When in Rotorua, you really must experience bathing in a natural hot spring, and the Polynesian Spa (which, incidentally, has been voted as one of the top 10 spas in the world!) is a great place to do just that.
They have arranged things so that if you want to be thoroughly pampered and spoilt, choose the Lake Spa Retreat, which is for adults only and offers a landscaped lakeside garden with hot pools as well as a therapy area, relaxation lounge and a bar. Sumptious fluffy robes provided!
Then you have the Priests Spa area, also adults only, and refurbished in October 2004. Again, the rock pools are overlooking Lake Rotorua, and there is also a large hot mineral swimming pool.
Got kiddies? No worries, mums and dads have their own hot pools near to the children and toddlers freshwater pools.
The Polynesian Spa also has a great gift shop (go on, you know you want a Rotorua Mud Mask!) and a good cafe. The spa makes a great way to end a day taking in the sights of Rotorua, and is open until 10pm.
Wow! 35 hot mineral pools to chose from, ranging from family bathing to adults only etc.
Something for everyone here, and a really nice café and souvenir shop in the foyer.
Treat yourself to this and spoil your weary traveller bones and muscles. You won't regret it!
After dinner we go down to the Polynesian baths. What an experience! All very well organised, with lockers, changing rooms and showers. 8 pools set in the gardens with varying degrees of temperature and mineral content. We try them all. Some are comfortably warm, one is decidedly too hot! If you bury your feet in the gravel at the bottom, it hurts! (moral of the story: don't bury your feet in the gravel!).
There is a mineral "swimming pool" by the changing rooms and we float about ther for a while wathcing the free "show": a group of Koreans going in for a dip. Several of them strip off and get changed at the poolside, male and female, and some put their hired cozzies on back to front! One lady stands by the pool and changes, then takes her clothes into the changing room! There is a tour leader in a suit trying to herd them in the right direction, but he is fighting a losing battle.
In the showers afterwards there is more amusement: one lady carefully removes her wet swimsuit, dries herself off, puts on her bra and knickers and goes into the shower! There sre 4 public showers and twp private cubicles, one of which is taken. One lady walks along past the four public ones (three of which are free), past the free cubicle to the occupied one on the end. She tries the door. It doesn't open. She rattles the door. She looks around, then walks back down the other end, past one cubicle, four free showers, three more (free) cubicles and back up to the occupied one. Then rattles the door again and again and keeps knocking. Eventually she gives up and uses a free shower.
We go back the following afternoon for a massage - another "first". Wonderfully relaxing, carried out under jets of water with coconut oil.
If you have come to Rotorua, you must spend some time at the spa! Yes, even you male readers that have never had a spa experience! Trust me, you will love it! It is very well done, organized and the staff will walk you through the entire thing. All you have to do it show up, relax, and melt into relaxation! Plan in advance for the treatment(s) you want to schedule. They do book up quickly, so don't delay. They will instruct you to arrive at least 1 hour prior to your appointment, so that you have time to enjoy the hot springs. Four pools at different temperatures will set the tone for your spa treatment.
I enjoyed a 60 minute mud wrap, with a 30 minute foot therapy treatment. It was messy, but heavenly. I walked out like mush. After completing treatments, we slipped into our robes and wandered down to the lounge area to relax further with a glass of wine. No need to hurry!
The Polynesian Spa is one of the more modern facilities in which to enjoy the hot springs around Rotorua. Many motels and hotels in the area will have private spas but the Polynesian Spa is the largest public facility. There is a family pool and private pools available for hire. The main part of the pools are the adult pools which consist of several smaller pools of varying temperatures and minerals. The Spa is open from 6.30am to 11pm everyday. The cost is $12 for an adult (unlimited time in adult pools and half an hour in private pools).
We do enjoy going there - the facilties are great, however had a bad experience with a very rude staff member. When they ask you where you are from this person made an inappropriate comment about our home city. I was not impressed. Even sent a complaint letter afterwards and then never heard back from them. They could at least have apologised and said that the staff would be reminded about this sort of thing,. Very disappointing.
Rotorua lies in a very active geothermal area, and hosts a number of spas: you cannot miss the wonders of a natural spa when you are in town!
We went for the Polynesian Spa because our accommodation was very close to it, and because it ranks in the World top 10 spas.
Admission fees change depending on the areas you want to access. It is possible to rent private pools, but we went for the Adult Pools & Priest Spa for 20NZ$ which includes 7 pools (with different water temperature) facing Lake Rotorua.
Definitely a relaxing experience, also because we went there at sunset time, and the view on the lake was stunning.
I suggest starting from the coolest pool (36°C) and moving to the warmest one (42°C) step by step. We started from the 41°C pool, and I was about to faint!
A store with face and body skin care products is located in the spa foyer.
Polynesian Spa is an historical hot mineral water bathing spa on the edge of Lake Rotorua. It offers 35 hot mineral pools including adult only pools, a luxury spa including massage and skin care therapies, a family spa and private pools. A souvenir shop and a cafe complete this fascinating complex.
A must visit when you are in Rotorua is Polynesian Spa. It is an historical hot mineral springs spa, situated five minutes walk from Rotorua’s central business district, and overlooks Sulphur Bay on Lake Rotorua
The Lake Spa Retreat at the Polynesian Spa offers a variety of blissful treatments and after a hard day of sight seeing and other activities this is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the view over the lake.
Nice place to stop, and a nice warm pool for the kids, as well as a couple of mineral pools for the adults to soak in.
$14.50 for adults and under fives were free.
I liked it. It was winter in Rotorua at that time, so outside temp was around +3C, in the pool +39-43C. Nice experience.