Bondi’s newly opened Slow House carves out a dedicated space for grounding and renewal, providing a place to detox and recharge both body and mind by using therapies like LED, sauna and ice baths.
“This next hour is your moment of self care,” I’m told by Tash Higham, the co-owner of hot new wellness destination, Slow House. The statement reverberates within me well after she’s pulled the curtain to my suite; I realise that I’ve never considered the sauna as a personal time out. But this isn’t your typical sauna.
Stepping into the space off Curlewis Street in perpetually busy Bondi feels like entering another realm. With its warm, neutral tones and large archway framing a hallway of moodily lit suites, the space acts like a portal, calming the senses and drawing you in. It’s an escape from everyday overwhelm.
The suites are beautifully appointed and finished, complete with private shower, Clearlight infrared sauna and enough space to practice a dance routine. Once you draw the curtain, it’s all yours.
Tash runs me through their ‘Signature Slow’ treatment (75 minutes, $149), pointing to two ceramic dishes on a wooden bench in front of me. One is an organic sugar scrub with essential oils, designed to exfoliate and hydrate the body pre-sauna. The other is Oway’s Slim and Shape Booster oil, with active ingredients like Pink Pepper to help replenish and tone the skin after a cold post-sauna shower. To finish, I’ll be treated to Omnilux medical-grade LED light therapy.
I find there’s something ritualistic about booking in for this kind of session, moving through each phase in total silence – scrub, sauna, shower, oil – as if in reverence to my own body.
And when it comes to healing modalities, I’m all about them. I’m no stranger to infrared saunas and consider them a fundamental remedy to the environmental toxin overload we absorb on a daily basis. So I can vouch that this cedar wood sauna is a goodie; spacious, clean and well sealed to reach and maintain high temperatures. Plus, there’s an in-built iPad sporting Netflix, podcast and meditation apps. My only gripe is that the 45 minutes flew by.
The personal infrared saunas also offer chromotherapy – an alternative holistic treatment using coloured light to improve health and alter mood – something Tash tells me significantly helped her anxiety during 2020.
In fact, Slow House was born out of the impact of the pandemic. Tash already had an infrared sauna at home and began noticing how much it helped her state of mind during that rollercoaster year. Her whole family got on board and they began learning more about ‘Ice Man’ Wim Hoff, eventually incorporating ice baths into a hot and cold therapy routine with great success.
Having personally experienced the benefits, Tash and co-founder Jody Coggan knew that Sydney needed an intentional, beautiful space where people could reconnect to themselves in a deeper way, one that looks after our skin but also penetrates beyond its top layers, helping to reframe the mind.
The result is a menu reflecting the elements of fire, water and light: infrared sauna and traditional coal sauna in varying room sizes; iCool controlled ice baths; and Omnilux Revive2 LED facial treatments. The Slow House ethos hinges off the concept that you’re able to leave feeling rejuvenated on the inside while glowing on the outside.
Speaking of glow, I’m also a big fan of LED light therapy. Not one to fall asleep in a massage (go hard or go home) or spend my sauna meditating, I always find LED the perfect dash of zen. I drift effortlessly into beautiful nothingness as my face warms under the healing light; a collagen-boosting cherry on top.
Everything about Slow House has been carefully considered. The stunning minimal design is a key aspect to the whole experience, with tonal natural materials like timber and stone creating a sedative effect. The aesthetics were informed by Tash’s frequent visits to wellness-obsessed Bali, LA and Tulum, but there’s also a pared-back Mallorcan vibe (a very good thing).
The little details are also finessed, from the specific dim of the lighting, the organic Oway toiletries, bespoke Slow House towels, and Mayde Tea to sip after a session.
If you’re meant to feel a world away in your own neighbourhood, then Slow House has succeeded in creating a special place where taking things slow isn’t a chore, but a choice.
One-off visits are available, as well as memberships starting from $39 per week. Check it out here.
The writer was invited as a guest of Slow House.
(Lead images: Supplied)