Real estate developer Tim Gurner has created a “private wellness club” in Melbourne that might just be the most luxurious and impressive gym Australia has ever seen. Whether any regular Aussies can actually afford to use it, however, is a different matter altogether…
With the WHO announcing this week that the global COVID-19 emergency has officially come to an end, it’s time to pack up that home gym, get out your favourite activewear, and get signed up for a real-life gym all over again.
If that sounds like you and, importantly, you’ve got a few hundred thousand dollars lying around, burning a hole in your carefully-tailored pocket, then we might just have the thing for you. Enter Saint Haven, Melbourne’s new centre for wellness-come-luxury.
WATCH: Hear from the people that have brought Saint Haven to life.
Private wellness club Saint Haven was founded by real estate developer Tim Gurner, and the cult-like space charges members up to $2000 a week. “Mid-tier” memberships are available, starting at a more modest $1000 a week, but whichever package you go for, the application process is intense…
Apparently, membership numbers are very limited but if you survive the gruelling five-stage interview process and financial checks you could become one of Australia’s lucky elites who may get to live longer and feel amazing while doing so, all thanks to the industry-leading facilities at Saint Haven.
What exactly do you get for such staggering sums of money? Allow me to explain in as few words as possible: access to state-of-the-art facilities including full-body MRIs, monthly blood testing, spiritual healers, trainers, cryotherapy, infrared saunas, IV drips, elixirs, a magnesium-laced pool, a vitamin-C shower, a meditation cave, and a breathing coach. You get the picture.
But why spend so much money on wellness in the first place? Gurner claims to personally undergo 250 blood tests a month and takes about 50 or 60 tablets a day which are always tailored to his latest results. All of this helps optimise his activity in the gym and spa for maximum effect.
With such dedicated and bespoke care as this, investors in the club are arguing that the hefty (read: astronomical) membership fees could actually save you on the masses of medical bills that we all inevitably rack up later in life.
Do I buy it? I don’t know, but it’s a damned fine piece of marketing if I’ve ever seen one… Saint Haven plans to expand into another seven locations in Melbourne, before opening eight in Sydney, one in Brisbane, and then before going global.
With a muted, soothing colour palette and carefully deployed mood lighting, the club’s design is supposed to inspire a sense of calm. As are the legal hallucinogenics on offer at the club including kava, a drug made from the ground roots of a plant found in the South Pacific that slows signals between mind and body…
Funnily enough, reading up about this place made me quite fancy some hallucinogenics myself – legal or otherwise. Why? Because I find the shamelessness of the entire team behind this endeavour absolutely nauseating.
We’ve reported at length on the current state of the nation: it’s nigh on impossible to find anywhere to rent, it’s even harder to buy somewhere in the country’s major metropolises and – if you can somehow scrape together the cash – there’s not even a guarantee that your house will sell for a profit down the line anymore.
On top of this, energy bills are through the roof and grocery costs are skyrocketing to the extent that the government has announced a $14.6 billion package of measures to negate the cost-of-living crisis’ impact, with many suggesting that this still isn’t anywhere near enough to really curb the underlying issues.
And yet, the superrich are literally standing idle, figuring out how best to spend their piles of money which, miraculously, only seem to grow while the majority of normal Aussies struggle on. It’s one thing to have the money but keep quiet about it, it’s another to launch a business as self-indulgent as this at such a contentious time.
What really grinds my gears, I think, is Gurner’s suggestion that the ultrawealthy are most in need of this pampering in order to help them cope with their oh-so-busy work schedules. Don’t get me wrong, I know lots of wealthy people work hard to establish themselves but… Come on.
If anyone needs a few doses of kava and a day spent in the spa, its Australia’s corporate elites who – and I’m just taking a stab in the dark here – probably have ample vacation time to unwind as and when they need it, maybe on a superyacht, or in a second property… Can you tell I’m being sarcastic?
To cut a long and winding rant short: in a world where the cost of living crisis still bears down on many with a relentlessness that few have seen before, the idea of sending such princely sums on personal wellness may seem somewhat farcical and illicit some pretty strong opinions.
Unfortunately for them, I have a strong suspicion that the people with the requisite time and money to even consider Saint Haven may not be able to hear their cries of anger from the bottom of a magnesium-infused plunge pool…