Image: Jay Yeo
August 13 2011
Spa Junkie is in Australia for a wedding and has booked into the Four Seasons Sydney to detox and lose weight.
DAY TWO, 4am
I wake up, certain that hunger rumblings and pangs, not jet lag, are the culprit. I have not done any pre-detox prep this time – reducing my portions, cutting out coffee and alcohol. So, as usual, I’m craving a Starbucks Grande Soya Cappuccino, extra hot and dry. I feel my fingers reach for the room service button – but I don’t.
Well and truly awake now. I crack open my detox box and down a fistful of supplements with water, including colon cleanse, gut repair, liver and kidney tinctures (God knows, I need those), super-duper antioxidants, phyto-nutrients and assorted essential fatty acids (which I have actually been taking for a few months, and note a difference in my skin and hair).
This is my first official do-it-yourself detox attempt at a hotel in which I’m surrounded by the “eating public” – tourists who have travelled from afar to gorge on all-inclusive buffets and copious barbies. My first point of defence was to bring along one of my bespoke Organic Pharmacy Detox Boxes prepared by Margo Marone, the founder of Organic Pharmacy and my friend. When I explained my dilemma, she immediately set to task and delivered a total DIY detox filled with vitamins, lotions and potions. I created my exercise programme; together with the miracle box I’m thinking I can achieve reasonably good results. I plan to follow the two regimes and severely limit my exposure to any and all hotel facilities that engage in the producing or serving of foodstuffs.
Just did my weigh-in; it’s much worse than I thought. Going to put this down to water retention – I did fly for 24 hours…
The smell of hot buttery toast permeates the hotel public spaces as I may my way to the gym. The restaurant is at the centre of the open-plan lobby, so wafts of delicious baking-bread scents are floating around more or less 24 hours a day. This might be harder than I thought.
After an hour in the gym – which is well equipped with a complete selection of cardio machines – it’s back to the spa. There is nothing particularly “best” about the overall look and feel of it – it’s a typical day spa attached to a gym, until you get to the open-air pool upstairs which is pretty neat, and it’s a kick to swim or lounge among skyscrapers. I pop another handful of tablets while I wait for my Purifying Body Boost. If the treatment menu is to be believed, this will draw all the unwanted toxins out through my pores – and along with them will go my sluggishness, and the congestion in my skin.
The treatment starts with an all-over body exfoliation followed by a body mask made of clay that sucks out impurities as it dries and cracks on the skin. Then a washdown, and we end with an all-over body massage. The treatment is impressively well choreographed, considering the logistics and the bits my therapist, who’s very well-trained, needs to get to. I shuffle out in a trancelike state, smelling like a new-born baby, but am shocked back into reality when I’m shown the bill (A$205). I sign the damage to my room.
Time to explore Sydney. As I put my running gear on in my suite, I perceive that despite the therapist’s ministrations, the sluggishness is still very much alive and settled in my legs. But I persevere. I have run in every city I’ve ever visited, and it never ceases to enthral. There is always a wonderful work-out just outside your hotel’s entrance.
I’ve managed to book the tour up and over the famous bridge, so immediately after my run I go and scale the concrete mountain. I’m feeling literally and figuratively on top of the world; this trumps the Stairmaster any day.
Then it’s back to the spa to try out a crystal and stone massage, in which a handful of specially selected crystals and a stone called tiger iron (found only in Australia and South Africa) are employed. There’s a formidable amount of skill required.
More tinctures and pills, and into the shower with my Detox Body Oil. Then a positively saintly supper – salad and soup – and then bed.
Spa Junkie pays for all her own travel, treatments and accommodation.