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Waikato Herald - 2021-07-23

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Domain House getting a new life

News

Danielle Zollickhofer

The popular Te Aroha Mineral Spas are expanding the beauty and massage arm of their business into the Domain House to meet increasing demand. Currently, this part of the business is operating out of a single room in the spas building on the site of the original No. 1 Bath House. Tourist manager Aimee Davies says the spas and beauty services were in high demand and often being booked out two weeks in advance. “Every month, we’re turning away paying customers, locals and tourists, so this move will go a great way in meeting some of this demand. Te Aroha is rising in popularity with customers travelling from Auckland, Tauranga and beyond to soak in the mineral waters or be treated by Te Aroha Mineral Spas’ skilled beauty therapists.” The Domain House, a former tea house popular with spa patrons in the early 1900s, was most recently used as a venue for hire. However, the building had little to no interest from business operators in the past 15 years, especially since the Silver Fern Farm Events Centre in Te Aroha became an option. The Domain House is now undergoing repairs to bring it up to the standard of Te Aroha Mineral Spas. Work includes re-piling, having airconditioning installed and the veranda repaired. While some of the decor will be refreshed, the pressed copper ceiling will become a focal point in the reception area. Although the physical structure of the heritage building will not change, additional internal walls will be built to create three treatment rooms, a manicure and pedicure room, as well as a waiting room, bathroom and reception area. All going well, beauty and massage services will be available from Domain House from October. The expansion of the beauty arm into the Domain House means mothers and daughters wanting be treated at the same time will be able to and customers will be able to book a couple’s massage or pamper parties. “With the expansion, we’d have the potential to provide services for four or five people at a time. At the moment we have one room dedicated to beauty which means, we can only have one therapist working on one customer,” Davies says. “The move will also open up space for an extra spa in our current facility, so we’ll have eight mineral spas available to our customers. Different to our wooden tubs, this room will house a stainless steel hot tub that will allow customers to use aromatherapy oils to enhance their spa experience.” Meanwhile, work on the new day spa facility for Te Aroha, approved in the 2021-2031 Matamata-piako District Council Long Term Plan, is progressing with a governance group in place and a concept plan. Project manager Graham Shortland says building of the new facility is expected to start late 2024. “The idea is to put everything under one roof: day spa, beauty, massage and the mineral hot tubs, maybe even a steam bath and sauna. The best part existing facility is 30 years old and can’t meet the demand anymore because it is so popular. “However, we are still several years away from finishing construction and opening. We have got a concept, but we still don’t know what will be in the new facility or where [in the Domain] it will be located.”

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