Stepping Into The New Venustus Will Transport You to Another Realm
Stepping into Venustus’ new space from busy Oxford Street in Paddington, you’ll immediately feel a weight lifted off your shoulders. If you ever had the pleasure of visiting the beauty and body lab at its prior location next door, you’ll understand the magnitude of the transformation of this space. It’s more than a place to experience beauty treatments. It’s transformative, built off decades of experience in beauty therapies, massage therapies and healing techniques. A visit here will leave you feeling as relaxed as a week on the beach.
When you first enter, the space is quiet and calm. Its minimalism helps clear your mind. Polished concrete flooring, metal ‘pods’ that house treatment rooms, and intentional skylights flood the space with natural light. A curved staircase will eventually lead to a Farmacy space. The ceilings are high, hallways wide and you can feel the energy shift as you walk through.
The spa’s founder, Jeannie Bourke, says its aesthetic, not to mention the fact there’s barely even a sign-in area, is deliberately different to other beauty and body spaces. When the construction of the space began, Bourke, who has been working with crystals for over 40 years, created an architectural crystal grid beneath the building. A sacred grid of crystals buried into the Earth, so healing can begin the moment you step inside.
The minimalism of the space, is of course intentional. You’d be hard-pressed to find a beauty space that isn’t laden with floor-to-ceiling shelves of beauty products for clients to purchase, but Venustus is different. “The business model of selling merchandise and take-home product on our shelves seems ill-fitting after a treatment, and we want every part of a client’s cognitive to be rested, not agitated,” she says. “We are preparing for a client’s experience hours and sometimes days before they arrive.”
Bourke describes the spa’s space as vast, empty and impressive, resulting in her version of “wholehearted luxury”. One of the design focuses is playing with negative space. Another is creating privacy for clients. Your treatment occurs inside a metal ‘pod’, where the silence is almost overwhelming. A warm room, deliciously cosy bed and silence help you relax immediately. If you have trouble switching off, that won’t be an issue here.
Treatments include facials, massages, bodywork and waxing, with prices ranging from $88 for a Brazilian and bikini wax and $266 for a 45-minute ‘High Performance Facial Treatment’ that’s ideal for those with breakouts, but who don’t have enough time for a massage, to a $1059 ‘Six Hand Body Massage’ that sees three therapists massage you in perfect sync, choreographed by Bourke.
A $970 ‘Sculpting Lymphatic Package’ lasts for nearly three hours, and sees a therapist using gua sha, dry body brushing and cryotherapy to visibly contour and define the face and body, as well as increase blood circulation and help eliminate excess fluid and toxins.
Other treatments include the ‘Osaka To Sydney Facial’ which uses a variety of Japanese beauty techniques to release muscle tension, a ‘Cocoon Massage’, which massages the face and body working to create equilibrium, and an ‘Exhale Back Massage‘, a muscle-melting massage, specifically designed for the back, neck and shoulders.
All treatments take place in four-metre-high, egg-shaped pods. Noise-resistant, they’re fitted with cashmere, linens and state-of-the-art temperature control. Bourke says her aim with them is for the client to feel held, and in a space where therapists can give the client all that they feel they need.
“When a client is in their pod, they really are in the most sacred, loving and secure of spaces, wrapped in a cone of ancient metal,” says Bourke. “It’s the exquisiteness you expect from Venustus, but with the reductive design skills that honour the sun and the moon as our starting points.”
Though the new Venustus space only opened in June 2023, Bourke has been working in the industry for over 40 years and healing has always been her focus. She opens the spa each morning with a smudging ceremony of sage, palo santo and incense, honouring spirit animals and spirit guides.
“We select healing from our curated wish list and open the space, close the space and, most importantly, hold the space for you,” she says. “Designing and choreographing each and every treatment is a complete passion for me and my absolute favourite part of work.”
If you’re looking to treat yourself, or someone you love, a treatment at Venustus is as good as a holiday.