Peppers Noosa Resort and Villas is not the easiest place to find. There are two entrances, at either end of a sprawling estate, and the three people I stop to ask for directions give me wildly different replies.
I am running late for an appointment at Stephanies Ocean Spa. A serene Robin answers my frantic call and beams me in. Then it takes less than five minutes to totally relax at this 11-suite haven, which has all of the wellness world’s must-haves, from a flotation pool to Vichy showers that rinse and refresh urban-lagged clients as they lie on an acacia cedar platform bed.
A Shiro-abhyanga head massage, based on Ayurvedic principles, seems like a shot or massage with hot stones or herbal poultices. The Sole Suite is fun to book for mani-pedi parties and the relaxation lounge (pictured) is a lovely spot to loll, with a Berry Boost tea to hand, full of antioxidants.
Spa owner Stephanie Shepherd started her career with a two-room salon and now runs six day spas in Queensland, including an award-winning retreat at Sofitel Brisbane and, in the Brisbane suburb of Cleveland, the Vintage Spa in an 1852 Queenslander with heritage features and shabby chic interiors. I have been in safe hands - my drive back to Noosa proper is a much calmer proposition.
Step out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary.