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Chimes, Chimes, Chimes.


Story: Sian Briggs

Ever since her nimble fingers danced across my back I have had trouble sleeping. At night I lie awake, devising ways to lure the magical masseuse and her intoxicating beauty blends up to Perth. I have tried begging; I have tried pleading; I have even tried telepathic messages.

But it looks like I'll have to get down to Denmark more often.

She of the nimble fingers is Michelle Randle who, together with husband Kane, owns and operates Chimes Salon Spa. Describing Chimes to one who is yet to experience it is not an easy task - every word is a sheer injustice to the true beauty and atmosphere that exists there.

A stay at Chimes will flabbergast your senses. Literally. It's a true sensory feast, and one the ear, nose, eye, tastebud and skin will talk about for years to come.

For me, it started when our car began winding down the tree-lined Denmark roads and the fresh scent of damp bark filled the air. My nostrils began flaring like a racehorse - I couldn't breathe that clean air in quick enough. My concerned other half started feeling around for an asthma puffer.  "No - no," I spluttered between gulps, but my explanation was forgotten as we rounded the corner and before us lay a view like no other. With rolling green plains dotted with content-looking cows, which lazily meandered to an inlet that in turn led to the baby blue of the ocean, I half expected Bambi and Michael Landon to gaily spring from the bushes.

We got Michelle and Kane instead - a fair trade, with their warm smiles and "my-place-is-yours" mentality. As welcoming as your favourite country cousins, they led us to our rooms and warned us to be prepared: at 2pm, we would be leaving life's worries at the door of the day spa.

Fine by us. But until then, we wanted to enjoy our room that little bit longer. The epitome of comfortable luxury, each of the suites available at Chimes features a King-sized bed complete with plump burgundy cushions and toasty electric blanket, sweet smelling robes, tea candles and a private spa overlooking that amazing view outside.

Firing up the jets, we were soon up to our necks in warm bubbles. We decided to read aloud from the guest books, which turned out to be an exercise both entertaining and affirmative.  "We'll definitely be coming back! . It was a big call from the young English honeymooners, who could hardly just pop down for the weekend. But I didn't doubt they meant it for a second. Chimes has a simple formula, but it works a treat. It's a precious, dead-on mix of privacy and nurturing. Kane and Michelle look after you to the right degree, in just the right dosage. You come out feeling refreshed, both personally and as a couple.

2pm. Spa time. We followed the path to the salon like excited children. There Michelle was waiting, warming up those magic hands and putting the final touches to our beauty treatments.

I began with a juniper and grapefruit body scrub, while at the same time my other half underwent 30 minutes of bliss on the steam deck, surrounded by sandalwood oil and colour therapy designed to balance his chakras. Then we swapped, and while I lay swathed in steam, he was scrubbed from top to tail with a mixture of clay, sandalwood chips, bush honey, macadamia oil and cedarwood. Baby smooth and smelling like heaven, we moved onto the massage tables where we both fell for the charms of Michelle's nimble fingers. Next a facial each, before the grand finale - an outdoor hot tub, champagne, herbal tea and a gourmet lunch.

Murmuring something about paradise found, my other half and I floated back to our room and both fell into an instant coma, waking a few hours later feeling decidedly different. Sure we felt a million bucks, but something was missing. Then we realised - it was stress. And neither of us missed it one bit.

Serving up a breakfast to-die-for the next morning made our impending departure all the more difficult. We weighed up the options - throw a tantrum? Chain ourselves to the spa? Hide in the steam room? Pack Michelle in our suitcase and stow her away? Prying our fingers gently from the keys, Kane and Michelle flashed one of their famous warm smiles and assured us we could come back whenever we wanted.

Would tomorrow be okay?

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