The Polynesian Spa is at the centre of Rotorua and it's very easy to spot. I decided to come here on a bit of a whim after a long day touring the geothermal activity of the local area. When you go in, I got the feeling of it being a leisure centre, with that sort of decor and more than a few kids lurking about because I went in the evening. However, once you mention that you are there for spa treatments, you are shown through into a much quiter, and more ambient lounge, where you select which treatments you would like.
It was a busy evening so after I selected my treatment - a hot mud wrap followed by a short massage - they asked if i would mind waiting, and while I waited i could use their therapy pools. The receptionist showed me to the changing room and were everything was (there were showers, many cubicles, free towels, it was a good changing room - and warm!) and then i proceeded to the pools.
The 'Priest Pools' as they are called, because of the history of the spa, were a very nice way to spend 45 minutes. They are at varying degrees of temperature and they are right by Lake Rotorua, so it is a pleasantly atmospheric way to watch the sun set. They are very busy though, and when i was there I was certainly not the only tourist in the spa.
There is a small waiting room before all the treatment rooms you enter a few minutes before your time, and I was called promptly by a very nice therapist to a warm treatment room. She was very friendly and chatty, and as i told her this was my first mud treatment she told me what she was going to do. The mud goes on and then three sheets are wrapped around you and you are told to relax, which is a lot easier said than done! This treatment is seriously not recommended for claustrophobics or anyone who would immensely dislike how it might feel to be a jacket potato. After 15 minutes the therapist knocks on the door and helps to initially unwrap you (get your arms free and stuff) before running the shower for you and directing you in to clean it all off. Not all of it will come off (as i found out later) but you are then laid down for an express massage, from your toes to your fingers, which was very relaxing especially after the wrap.
It's a really nice place and its one of the most notable spas in Rotorua, but I would probably suggest in hindsight that booking in advance at all times of the year would be a good idea. Leave two or three hours for it.
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