As you approach Alba – the dramatic new 15-hectare hot springs and spa opening on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula on October 15 – a number of reflection pools and water features outside will command your attention. And they’ll likely lead you to get snapping.
Get it out of your system while you can, because once you’ve moved into the reception area, there’ll be a cease and desist on any photography (and phone use) from then on.
From the glimpses we’ve seen, what lies beyond Alba’s entrance is undeniably Instagrammable. But you’ll have to leave your phone – plus smart watches and laptops – in a complimentary locker before you head into the springs, spa or restaurant.
It’s what general manager Craig Dodd calls a “digital-detox requirement”.
“Alba is a place of tranquillity,” he says. “If you’re a guest wanting to relax and unwind – heading into nature, listening to beautiful birds and looking at local foliage – someone sitting next to you using their phone … will impact your enjoyment of the space.
“Recent research has shown around 40 per cent of Australians are willing to really treat themselves on their next holiday, and 24 per cent of travellers are wanting a digital-detox holiday,” he adds. “Which makes a property like Alba the perfect choice.”
Scattered among 15 hectares of wilderness, you’ll find 31 different bathing pools (including geothermal pools, cold-plunge pools and herbal-infused “botanical pools”), as well as 22 elegant spa suites (with distinctive treatments you can book right now) and an all-day rooftop restaurant called Thyme by celebrity chef Karen Martini.
And if you decide to try and break the no-phones rule? “We’ll raise it,” says Dodd. “I wouldn’t call it policing; we would say encouraging. That’s our policy.”
That policy also includes making the phone signal intentionally bad throughout the whole main building. So, “Even if they had [their phone] they wouldn’t be able to use it.”
Alba Thermal Springs and Spa is opening at 282 Browns Road, Fingal, on October 15. Book online.