Tucked between a wine store, café and yoga studio, Marci Wellness is a boutique salon for those looking to retreat to the Mornington Peninsula for a little pampering. It's a truly tranquil space that invites you to slow down, breathe deeply, and reconnect with the body.
The whole experience has been designed to create a sense of comfort and well-being from start to finish. From the natural dappled light when you step inside the studio, to the calming scents demisting, to the luxurious treatment beds topped with plush linens. You can sit back and savour a naturopathic tea in the lounge to engage the senses and begin the process of unwinding.
Founder Sam Johnston first opened the salon in January 2020, having relocated from Melbourne to pursue a slower lifestyle in Red Hill. She had dreamt of opening a safe space for natural therapies and healing modalities, with an offering that incorporated elements of massage therapy, energy healing and meditation. When she stumbled upon a double frontage in a leafy pocket of the hinterlands, she knew she'd found the perfect spot.
With two spacious treatment rooms, a relaxation lounge and a dedicated workshop space, the studio feels both cosy and expansive. Sam has fitted out the salon with blonde timbers, soothing blue-greens, a suspended floral installation and air-purifying plants.
Treatments are tailored to the client and their individual needs, whether they are looking for relaxation, rejuvenation or straight-up results. Signatures include The Marci Ritual Facial, which incorporates balancing breathwork, a personalised skin analysis, rhythmic massage and gentle reiki.
There's a focus on working with the skin, with massage used throughout the facials to promote blood flow and aid lymphatic drainage. "Our skin is our largest organ. It is constantly communicating with us; all you have to do is pause and listen," says Sam.
The experienced therapists weave traditional techniques into their sessions, effortlessly working with crystal Gua Sha and facial rollers to flush toxins and reduce puffiness. After some guided breathwork, silence is encouraged to allow your mind and body to drop down and experience the full benefits.
There are also tailored packages for expecting mothers who require a gentler touch. Mums-to-be can unwind with a harmony pregnancy massage designed to ease pressure on tired joints, or indulge with a nourishing facial.
For those looking to restock their kit, you'll find a selection of high-grade homeopathic products available for purchase, including Sodashi skincare, MV Skin Therapy, and local brands such as Bare Roots and Inner States. You won't find any preservatives, parabens or artificial fragrances in the mix – each product is cruelty-free and made from sustainably-sourced botanicals.
As for the name? The studio is a loving tribute to Sam's grandmother, Marci. "She was such a special person who gave the best hugs. That's how I want people to feel when they step into the space; like they're being enveloped in a huge hug from their Nan." It’s a nurturing approach to massage and mindfulness that lets us know we’re in good hands.
Marci Wellness is open by appointment Tuesday-Saturday, with bookings available via the website. To curate your own wellness retreat, we'd recommend visiting Higher Ground Yoga beforehand and teeing up lunch at Nordie post-treatment.