Last year, initial plans were unveiled for Alba Thermal Springs and Spa, a new luxury relaxation destination on a sprawling 15-hectare property on the Mornington Peninsula.
Now, we finally have more details on what to expect when it opens at Fingal this spring. And reservations are already open, so you can reserve your spot early.
A spectacular and minimalist layout
Striking concrete pillars and floors, touches of wood paneling, and ceramic tile characterize the minimalist space. The layout is a creative collaboration between landscape architect Mala Studio and award-winning design firm Hayball, with interiors designed to reflect the surrounding peninsular wilderness. “We worked together to find a language between the building and the landscape,” explains Bianca Hung, director of Hayball. “The site has a steep slope facing the ocean, so we decided to embed the building into the hillside, so that it appears to be rising out of the ground.”
Become one with nature while gazing through towering floor-to-ceiling windows, which Jean-François Lagacé, senior design partner at Hayball, says are different shapes to frame different views of the landscape. “Light is also a heavy element…the way sunlight travels across the concrete floor and dances across the room,” he adds. “Even the reflecting pools inside create their own decoration thanks to the reflections on the walls.”
Scattered across the hiking property are 22 elegant spa suites and 31 different pools, including geothermal pools, plunge pools, and herb-infused “botanical pools.” Additionally, there is a spacious salon on a mezzanine overlooking the gardens and water features, as well as a self-contained mani-pedi salon.
Distinctive spa experiences
Over 35 treatments will be available at Alba, including indulgent full and half-day experiences and a variety of facials, massages, scrubs, wraps and even scalp therapy.
Facials — in partnership with skincare brand Vanessa Megan — include the Fire & Frost treatment; it uses the brand’s “ice cube” Cryo Serum, which quickly cools the skin to repair and hydrate it before heat is applied.
Another spa partner is Ayurvedic-inspired beauty and wellness brand Aika, founded in Melbourne by Eranthi Bonney. Her treatments are based on the ancient natural healing science of India. The Vedic Warrior is a deep tissue massage that combines kalari martial arts movements with marma massage techniques, while the Herbal Healer revolves around a compress of aromatic oils and herbs that is warmed and rolled all over the body in combination with a more traditional massage.
Spa and wellness director Sonja Sorich also expects Vichy packages to be popular – all incorporating the Vichy shower, which has seven jets that massage and cleanse the body while you lie down. The Turkish-inspired Hammam Float will allow you to relax in a dark hammam before a vigorous full-body exfoliation using a kessa glove. Your hair will then be washed before a massage with moisturizing soap and a lukewarm rinse.
Group experiences are also available, as well as packages that involve a combination of hands-on, spring, and lunch or dinner treatments. “Our slogan is ‘take time’,” says Sorich. “So every spa treatment begins with an hour of soaking in the springs.”
A rooftop restaurant by a celebrity chef
Alba will also have an on-site restaurant, Thyme, with some credibility. The 120 seats will have a culinary program by celebrity chef Karen Martini. She’s a TV presenter, cookbook author and restaurateur behind Hero at Fed Square.
The all-day dining restaurant – located on the expansive rooftop terrace, with views of the property and beyond – will have indoor and outdoor seating.
Martini poke bowls will be the stars, including the adzuki bean rice bowl with cucumber and spring onion kimchi, avocado topped with furikake, soy shitake, shredded cabbage, snow peas and kewpie, sesame and miso dressing (with the optional -on addition of miso trevally).
“We will also support local growers and suppliers, sourcing seasonal produce from sustainable farming practices and choosing organic crops whenever possible,” Martini said in a statement.
The springs, spa and restaurant are all part of Alba’s first phase of construction. The second phase will see the addition of accommodation, which is expected to be completed in 2023.