First Look: Adytum Sanctum | HerCanberra

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First Look: Adytum Sanctum

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Adytum will open its flagship holistic health and wellness retreat on Lonsdale Street on Monday.

In a stroke of perfect timing, Canberra’s worn down and previously locked down citizens now have somewhere to go to restore body and spirit.

The long-awaited holistic health and wellness retreat will provide a 200-square-metre sanctum in the new Branx building on Lonsdale Street in Braddon, offering Canberrans a place to immerse themselves in ancient rituals of self-care and indulgence.

And not before time!

The brainchild of Canberra entrepreneur Renée Douros, the Adytum sanctum is the full expression of her wellness brand which launched in 2020 and includes a range of certified organic products.

She has based the brand on the third-place philosophy, a term coined by sociologist Ray Oldenburg that suggests that the “first place” is your home, the “second place” is work and the “third place” is the moments and spaces in between the two.

The sanctum will include an Elixir Bar, Apothecary Lab, a full-service day spa and mindfulness lounge, plus a highly-coveted bathhouse that includes a traditional hot rock sauna, Japanese Oak mineral bath (for a maximum of two people), and a cold pail shower—a first for the city.

According to sanctum manager Renee Stinson, “The Elixir Bar addresses nutrition and will serve an entirely organic and vegan range of herbal teas, elixirs and cold-pressed juices, as well as a range of nourishing plant-based edibles for dining in or takeaway.

“We’re also proud to have partnered with local business Prism, who have sourced and roasted an organic, fair trade, coffee blend for us.”

The Bar will be located at the street front of the sanctum, meaning hungry and thirsty passersby will be able to stop in for a healthy break, choosing perhaps a Sunshine juice of lemon, orange, ginger, carrot, pineapple, mint and turmeric, or a chai elixir with reishi, cinnamon, MCT oil, cardamom and a choice of almond, oat, soy or coconut mylk. In the short term, the menu will be limited to baked goods such as tahini hemp chocolate bars and chai berry muffins with an expanded plant-based savoury menu to come.

Meanwhile, the Apothecary Lab will dispense a range of small batch, certified organic formulations, including candles, teas, soaks, oils and their very popular incense.

“This urban holistic health and wellness sanctum is multifaceted with a mix of offerings informed by the three pillars of wellness, as hypothesised by Hippocrates – bodywork, nutrition and psychological health. Our ultimate goal is to help guests achieve harmony within the self,” says Renee.

“Bodyworks takes a number of guises at Adytum and is offered via massage, holistic healing modalities such as Acupuncture and Naturopathy and the ancient, hot and cold therapies offered within the bathhouse.”

Conceived by interior architecture studio, Pattern, the interiors use a harmonious palette of neutral materials that have been manufactured from recycled building materials. The use of soft light and how it behaves in each of the spaces has been intentionally considered to create an ambient and restful atmosphere.

“It is our opinion that wellness is far more than being free from illness. It’s a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing,” says Renee.

In line with the ACT Government’s COVID restrictions, Adytum will open to a maximum of five clients at any one time, in addition to customers at the Elixir Bar and Apothecary Lab. Adytum will maintain the strictest sanitary conditions, sterilising treatment spaces after every guest and ensuring all of those who attend check in, wear masks, sanitise their hands, and are asked to reschedule appointments should they be displaying any cold or flu symptoms.

Photography: Lean Timms


What: Adytum Sanctum
When: Opening Monday, 18 October. See website for opening hours.
Where: 101/16 Lonsdale Street, Braddon

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