A secret beauty spa in Auckland is a dream come true for some locals but not others.
Key points:The spa is part of a community effort to help tourists relax and enjoy their summer holidaysThe beauty spa is the latest in a series of small, family-run businesses in Auckland that cater for visitors to enjoy a relaxing holiday in the country.
The Upper Beach, which is near Waikato’s Lower Harbour, is the home of Waikati Valley Surf Club and the Waikatipu Surf Resort, which both offer tours of the area and can cater for guests.
The secret spa has attracted attention since the first owners began taking tourists to the beach in October 2016.
The Waikatai Valley Surf club owner and his wife, Marni, opened the secret beauty shop in November 2016.
Their business is run by a young couple, who have run it for the past three years.
They said their vision was to provide tourists with the best of local hospitality and also to offer a safe, relaxed and enjoyable holiday for locals.
“When we opened the shop we had no idea that it would become this big and we have been overwhelmed by the amount of visitors we have had,” said Marnis Gidlestone.
Their experience was initially disappointing, but they have since learnt the secret spa was the best in the area.
“It has been an absolute pleasure to work with the owners and they are such a wonderful group of people, so many of whom have come from all over the world,” she said.
Ms Gidbestone said her experience at the spa had been “so positive and so much fun”.
She said she had been to many other small beauty spa operations and the ones she had stayed at were not so good.
However, she was excited about the prospect of visiting the secret one for the first time.
She had visited the Upper Beach in December and said it had been a “really good experience”.
“It’s an experience that is really unique, which I think makes it unique in that it’s also an experience where you can come and experience what it is like to relax and spend a weekend in Waikānui, to see what the locals are doing on the beach,” she told ABC New Zealand.
For the past two years, the Gidlasons have taken visitors to the spa for a “visit and a soak” and had also held their own “beauty break” there.
There is a new “beautiful spa” and it’s a family-owned venture that is also taking visitors to Waikate beach, she said, adding that the “beautys” had had a “great experience”.