I’ve just returned from Australia where we officially launched Kerstin Florian. Our products have been available Down Under for about a year, but we waited until we had some fabulous spas before officially announcing our launch to the spa industry and media. My trip started in Melbourne, a creative, exciting, ever-changing city with extraordinary surprises. Upon landing, I took a run along the Yarra river in South Wharf. It was an unusual and extraordinarily lively hot day. Street musicians entertained as people flooded the cafes and boardwalk.
We work with a delightful day spa in St. Kilda, Melbourne called Aurora (whose name means “charged particle”) connected to the Prince Hotel (www.theprince.com.au) which is reputed to be quite the trendy hotel in town. The Prince is a luxurious art-and-design-focused 40-room boutique hotel in cosmopolitan St. Kilda minutes away from the beach and many of Melbourne’s finest restaurants. Lyndall Mitchell, owner of Aurora, lived her early life in the rhythm of nature on an idyllic tropical fruit farm. Aurora has a great team and incredible energy, cozy and unassuming. The Spa hosted a cocktail event for its loyal guests one evening. It was very busy and as anyone in business knows, it’s easy at times like these to go without dinner. The next day, Lyndall described how, upon getting home late, she went out to her organic garden and picked a salad and plucked a few eggs from her chicken coop. I knew she was a true spa girl living the life dedicated to passing along the message of lifestyle, health, peace and well being. Aurora is also taking over the spa at the luxurious Palazzo Versace on the Gold Coast, a gorgeous hotel. We are excited about this partnership.
After Melbourne, it was on to Brisbane, then Surfers Paradise where I was delighted to see the new eforea Spa at the Hilton Surfers Paradise. Beautiful staff and peaceful, this spa has a light, and airy ambiance, a true home away from home feeling. After Surfers Paradise, we hosted eight media at the Gibraltar Hotel in Bowral (www.gibraltarbowral.com.au) the Southern highland’s best-kept secret. Gibraltar Hotel Bowral, which sits on a 100-acre estate, is truly a magical getaway. It’s modern yet down to earth. There’s an 18-hole golf course (regarded as one of the better in the region); a Lifestyle Centre with Kerstin Florian treatments, a gym and indoor heated pool – a great place to relax and enjoy the natural surroundings. After a day of treatments, yoga and a vegetarian lunch of greens, lentils and herbs, it was off to Biota (www.biotadining.com). The Biota dining experience supports both local farmers and growers, focusing on artisan produce incorporating seasonal botanicals in all aspects of its menu and environment, local products, foraging, as well as propagating. There is a glasshouse where there are more than 40 varietals of seeds imported from France and the Netherlands, along with local suppliers, providing a constant seasonal harvest of shoots, cresses and seedlings. The ambiance was modern and gorgeous and the food creative and delicious.
Back at Gibraltar, our 7 a.m. morning walk was a highlight. The yoga instructor from the previous day shuttled us through groves of eucalyptus and other beautiful mature tropical trees. My attention was focused on spotting a kangaroo, koala or Kookaburra bird. Since I didn’t see any on this trip, I’m convinced I’m meant to go back soon. Next time, I will spend time with the Aboriginals. I have a long list of remote nature areas highly recommended by nature-loving Australians (local recommendations are always the best).
Our final destination was Sydney, beautiful Sydney, where just prior to leaving I had to see the famous Opera House. It was a cloudy day, but walking by the water was empowering and seeing the magnificent architecture of the Opera House made my trip complete.