How to warm up in Wellington | Tory Urban Retreat

Tory Urban Retreat

Is this a Wellington thing? Or is it just me? I find my self complaining about being cold way too much. I know.. I’m English, I should be used to it and surely the weather is worse back in Yorkshire? Yes, I suppose there is nothing like having the wind and rain drive at my face to make me feel at home, but somehow I have just felt extra cold this winter. But wait, I complain no more! I have found the solution, and I will share it with you: its a lovely little heaven called Tory Urban Retreat Sauna.

(p.s. I know winter is over, but I’m still a bit chilly, you?)

“Hidden in the heart of the city, Tory Urban Retreat is your ideal tranquil setting to take some time deserved for yourself”

– Tola – Tory Urban Retreat Co-owner

Tory Urban Retreat Wellington Sauna

Inner City Zen

Nestled right in the center of Wellington on Tory Street, close to Bunning’s, you could be forgiven for not knowing it was there. An almost hidden dorway takes you up some steps to Tory Urban Retreat, an inner city spa offering a variety of ways for you to switch off and zen out from city life. I recently attended and can certainly vouch for this zen zone. Visiting is like stepping into a separate little tranquil world for a while, and everyone should experience this. Grab yourself  a kombucha or a herbal tea and let the relaxing begin.

Classic and Adventurous Therapies

At the retreat there are many ways to relax,  you can get a into the classic relaxation zone with a massage, or float in one of the of the moment Flotation Pods (a giant tank of water and Epsom Salts for deep sensory deprivation and relaxation). If you are feeling even more adventurous you can try Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (lying in a pod at 50% Oxygen air pressure to stimulate healing) or Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (to activate cells to their optimum charge for health).  These sound great and I am super eager to try these therapies but my chosen relaxation zone is without a doubt, the sauna.

One Super Amazing Sauna

Having visited Helsinki a couple of years back, I have been quite obsessed about the mental and physical benefits of visiting the sauna and the Tory Retreat Sauna might be one of the loveliest I have visited.

It is large and spacious which means more room for relaxation and as an aroma of essential oils is diffused through the hot air, you can actually feel your body thawing out after the long cold winter. Once you can’t bear the heat anymore, dive into the cold Grecian plunge pool for an exhilarating break. Unlike jumping off the harbour, you can get straight back in the Sauna afterwards to warm up again.

Tory Urban Retreat Wellington Sauna

Now, I could harp on and on about how lovely the experience is and how AMAZING it feels afterwards, but I thought I’d share 10 of the biggest health benefits of saunas, for a slightly more scientific perspective, here goes:

The 10 main health benefits of  the sauna:

1. Stress Relief – Under the high heat the body releases endorphin’s

2. Soothe aches/pains in both muscles and joints – Blood vessels dilate, improving circulation

3. Flushes out Toxins – Deep sweating can reduce toxin levels.

4. Cleansing for the skin – Through sweating, dead skin cells are replaced.

5. Induces a deeper sleep – Due to the calming heat and slow release of endorphin’s

6. Recreational and social benefits – Its a great area to socialise with friends

7. Improves cardiovascular performance – Cariac output increases down to the dialated bloog vessels.

8. Burns Calories – up to 500 in a 20 minute session.

9. Helps to fight illness – Can reduce incidences of colds and influenza amongst users.

10. Feels great – You just feel amazing after using the sauna

For more on these points check out the this BLOG POST

Like Finland, Like New Zealand

Shoot me if you will but I don’t find Wellington to be too dis-similar place to Helsinki. It is a similar temperature, size and city, one wonders why the sauna is not more popular here in NZ in general. I would advocate for a sauna movement in NZ, I think we need it! I suppose New Zealanders do have the option of sitting in a hot springs, but you can’t do that in the middle of Wellington!

Another reason why Tory Urban Retreat Sauna is so great, is down to the price. It is really affordable and they offer an introductory offer of 3 sessions within a month for $38. This is a super great way to try it out and see if you need the sauna as part of your Wellington life!

WARNING: OK, you need to know, there is some nudity! If this ain’t your thing then look out for the women’s only or men’s only sessions. check out the timetables on the Tory Retreat Website

So, that is my case for why you should visit a sauna, and the Tory Urban Retreat Sauna is particularly lovely. Warm up, relax, feel good. You can thank me later!

Tory Urban Retreat Wellington Sauna


If you enjoyed this post, you might like to read more about what has been going down in Wellington lately in my post: August in Wellington

Thanks for reading and come back soon!

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Josie x