Leaving the hustle and bustle of Auckland CBD behind me, I entered the tranquil lobby of Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour. “Bonjour Madame”, the valet greeted me with a smile. I made my way to the elegant and serene spa, eager to begin my Manuka Honey Bliss treatment. I’m lucky enough to have visited a few spas so I was looking forward to the So Spa experience.

The Sofitel experience

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While I was there, staff informed me that each Sofitel draws interior inspiration from local culture while celebrating the French art de vivre to offer a one-of-a-kind, luxurious hotel experience. Beautiful french furniture merges seamlessly with local artworks to create a bespoke ambience.

The central water feature of the hotel adds to the tranquillity as sunlight glints off the turquoise waters of the Viaduct Harbour. It was clear that the staff were all proud to work at the hotel, reflected in their impeccable manners, knowledge of the hotel and attention to customer service.

My So Spa experience

Bare-faced chic; my glowing skin after the Manuka Honey Bliss Treatment

The sublime serenity of the hotel continues into the So Spa. Wrapped in a luxurious robe, I followed my therapist to the treatment area where I would experience a 60 minute Manuka Honey Bliss treatment, consisting of a half hour soothing massage followed by a rejuvenating manuka honey facial. Sofitel claims that their treatment “delicately cleanse, detox and restore body, mind and soul”, so I was rather excited.

My treatment room was perfect – low lighting, soft music and gentle fragrance relaxed my shoulders; I lowered myself onto the most comfortable treatment bed that I had ever experienced, it was a literal cloud. I requested a fairly strong massage as I carry tension in my shoulders and my therapist instinctively knew the exact place that I have trouble with, expertly easing knots and stiffness from me. I was jelly in her hands.

All too soon it was time to turn over. Her firm hands that had so deftly tended to my back and shoulders became soft as a feather when she began applying the manuka cleanser. The facial was amazing, starting with a double cleanse and exfoliation, followed by a manuka honey face mask and finished with eye cream and moisturiser.

My final stage was being led – floating – into the relaxing area where I slowly returned to my body after a celestial experience with the help of a cup of herbal tea. I paused to inspect the results and I was delighted my reflection glowed back at me, my skin looked polished, radiant and fine lines had disappeared.

The Spa also has an impressive health suite that includes a decadent sauna, steam room, gym, 20-metre indoor lap pool and spa pool.

From the complimentary valet parking to the exceptional customer service by the whole staff to the skills of my therapist and the facilities available afterwards, the Manuka Honey Bliss treatment and the whole Sofitel experience was five-star and thoroughly recommended.

Make sure you treat yourself or someone you care about with a visit to So Spa. For more information, visit sofitel-auckland.com.

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