I recently spent 8 nights in Rarotonga with my entire family to celebrate my youngest brothers wedding to his local Polynesian Princess. While there we enjoyed a bunch of amazing services and experiences and this week I will share them all with you. I know Rarotonga is a favoured destination for Kiwi’s and it’s always nice to have recommendations of places to go when planning a family getaway so I hope this series of posts will help you if you are heading to the Cook Islands for a little vacay sometime in the near future.
Life in Rarotonga is a world away from life in Auckland. From the moment you step foot off that plane and onto the tarmac, you feel the dampness and warmth in the air, you smell the islands, that indescribable fragrance of flowers thick with intoxicating perfume, the salt air close by and island life. You know you’re far from home. It just feels like a new place, offering new experiences, new sensations and new pleasures. At the same time, it’s somewhat familiar too.
Rarotonga could best be described as an easy place to travel. Especially with a young family. The language is the same, the currency is identical, the culture is much like that which we experience in Auckland and other densely populated parts of New Zealand. It’s people are warm and friendly. The relaxed vibe of the island is infectious and the pace at which everything is conducted, mostly evidenced in the way the locals drive and handle the single round-the-island road, is contagious. You want to slow things down. You find yourself slipping effortlessly into that quiet life. That jandal-footed, floaty clothing, fresh-fruit eating vibe.
And yet, despite being fully immersed in the aforementioned relaxing island atmosphere, the reality of the 5am (or 4 or 3am) cacophony of crowing roosters and all-through-the-night howling stray dogs combined with all-day-demanding (albeit totally normal level demanding) children while holidaying in a rented house rather than a resort means life still goes on much the same as it would at home – snack time is all too frequent, meals still need preparing, toddler naptime scheduling is necessary for general life happiness blah blah blah… so to be brutally honest, there was going to be no greater way for me to truly relax than to be pampered at a spa. Total relaxation right there!
I was fortunate enough to experience a couple of unbelievably beautiful spa treatments whilst on holiday, the first of which was an incredibly relaxing and deliciously luxurious body scrub at the world-famous Rumours Waterfall Spa. This, my friends, is a multi-award-winning spa, an internationally recognised place of luxury, winning the World Luxury Spa Awards for five consecutive years since 2011! They offer every treatment you could imagine and I wanted to try them all. As difficult as the selection process was, I knew I wanted something I had never tried before and something that Rumours do spectacularly well, so I chose to have a body scrub and Vichy Shower treatment.
Boy, did I choose good! Body scrub luxury in Rarotonga is no understatement!
I arrived to my appointment on a Monday afternoon a couple of minutes late (told you I felt right at home in the islands – “Island time” and all!) and was greeted by my gorgeous therapist who showed me to my treatment suite with the Vichy Shower. It was well appointed, decorated suitably for the surroundings but not over the top flashy and pristine. It was clean and the stone features made it feel comfortable and not out of keeping with my surroundings. I undressed and lay on the padded table with the shower jets just above me. Brilliant sunshine was streaming through the skylights above and the sound of trickling water from the stone water feature beside the treatment table was enough to send me to heaven. Covered only in a sarong (lava lava, sulu, whatever you want to call it), the shower with seven adjustable jets caressed me in warm water for ten minutes straight during which time approximately 50 litres of water per minute flowed over my body, creating an amazing sensation of floating on water. The intention of experiencing so much water movement on your skin is to increase the blood circulation, hydrate the skin and soothe the nervous system, enabling your body to balance and your muscles to relax. We were off to a great start. This treatment only lasts 45 minutes in total but with the water kicking things off in this manner, I was well relaxed before even a minute had passed.
After ten heavenly minutes of the flowing water upon my body, the therapist returned to apply my chosen scrub formulation. There were an insane number of intoxicatingly delicious fragrances to choose from but I figured that since I was on a tropical island I should go for something traditionally tropical – Honey & Frangipani. The scrub was rubbed in quick fast motions over each limb of my body and it felt so invigorating while the flowing water gave a completely contrasting sensation as it hit my body in a gentle warm torrent.
After careful and thorough application of the frangipani-fragranced scrub upon the entire expanse of the back of my body, I lay for ten minutes with the Vichy shower jets working over me again. This water massage treatment is particularly effective following a body scrub or wrap, intended to circulate the recently absorbed products through your system which enhances the experience.
Once that resting period had elasped, the therapist returned again to my treatment room and rinsed off the entire scrub from that side of my body using gentle strokes, washing the sugar from my skin. I turned to lay on my back for the front side of my body to be treated. The same quick movements of scrub application saw the entire front side of me smothered in the honey & frangipani mixture before being left with the Vichy shower to once again do it’s thing. A carefully designed perspex face shield ensures that you don’t get any water splashing or spray on your face and the sunshine streaming into the room was just magical as I lay in peace and fell into an even deeper state of relaxation.
After a further ten minute resting period, the scrub was washed off and the jets flowed for a final time to envigorate and stimulate my skin. Once my therapist left the room, I reluctantly rose from the padded bed, showered, washed my hair and towel dried before getting dressed again.
My entire body felt amazing. Like you do after a full body massage but more. My skin was supple and so hydrated from the honey in the scrub and thanks to the effect of the continued flowing of water in this treatment, the relaxation imparted is long lasting. I drove leisurely clockwise around the island to make my way back home. I stopped in at the house my Dad, Step-mother, Aunt, Uncle & Grandfather were staying at and had a sneaky G&T (gotta make the most of being child-free right!?), took a few pictures of the sunset as I came around the West side of the island and finally made it home to my husband and babies.
I will be booking a Vichy Shower treatment whenever I can from here on out… that invention is the shizzzzz.
Rumours Waterfall Spa comes HIGHLY recommended. It was such a well appointed facility. It was clean and beautifully decorated. The staff were so lovely and I had one of the best experiences ever while there. I can one hundred percent understand how they have received their awards year after year.
Thank you Rumours for your wonderful service. I will be back for certain!