Thursday, September 29, 2011

NYT: Vain Glorious - Hugh Jackman's Favorite Spa

What: Tribal Dreaming Ritual

Where: Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, Australia

Why Bother: Let’s face it — the idea of Hugh Jackman naked, in a serene bush setting, being painted with natural clay dots is not an unappealing one. We’ll never see it (sigh) but it happens, and according to Jackman, the spa treatment, called Tribal Dreaming, is life changing. The two-and-a-half hour journey that combines massage, dance and movement is one of 25 new treatments at the Gwinganna spa.

The idea is “to light the fire of creativity and energy in each person, to help them reach their full potential,” according to Stephen McInnes, the therapist who created it. It starts outdoors on a forest walk with an initiation ceremony, followed by didgeridoo healing, the ocher clay dot painting and a customized 80-minute massage that draws from Myotherapy, hot stones and Chi Ne Tsang elements. “It delivers a powerful mix of movement, voice and deep stillness.”

Jackman, who is a part-owner in the spa (he invested after his first visit), said Tribal Dreaming left him and his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, “in a state that neither of us have reached before — incredibly relaxed, revitalized, inspired and looking at the world with new eyes.” Jackman told us he often gets massages but said it was the combination of the ritual and all its elements that took him to a new level of calm. He especially likes the natural local clays used to paint the body. The Australian setting takes him home. The spa at Gwinganna (which means “lookout,” and is the name given to the land by the Kombumerri Aborigines) is lush, with huge eucalyptus trees and native birds. You can’t use the spa as a day guest; you need to stay at least two nights. The therapies are organic, and some are Eastern, including acupuncture and cupping, but thankfully, beauty classics like scrubs, tanning and lash extensions are also available. Just in case Hugh’s in town.

How Much: $395 (Tribal Dreaming Treatment)

Address: 92 Syndicate Road, Tallebudgera Valley; 011-61-7-558- 5000; gwinganna.com