I’ve found the perfect haven of tranquility right in the heart of Cape Town that proves you don’t need to travel far for a little piece of magic. Perfect for some well-deserved solo indulgence or as a romantic treat for two, this signature massage at The Spa at The Cape Grace Hotel is just the thing to help you unwind in style.
Kalahari Rolling Sands Massage with Kalahari Signature Scent Oils (R820 for 60 mins) per person
Having been to the hotel many times, this was actually my first time visiting the Cape Grace spa and I couldn’t believe this little gem had been sitting there for so long without my experiencing it. The spa’s relaxation area is a sunny, peaceful space with comfortable loungers that invite you to spend an hour or two of quiet repose while sipping on a herbal tea from the refreshment station.
And the view? Breathtaking. A 180-degree wrap around balcony provides the perfect vantage point from which to enjoy off some of the most beautiful sights in the Waterfront yacht basin, not to mention Table Mountain in all her splendour.
Before this treatment begins, guests are invited to choose their favourite Kalahari scent by smelling fragrances from candles housed under large bell jars. There are four to choose from: Khoisan Aromatic (containing buchu plant extracts), Aromatic Dune (reminiscent of an African fire), Tsamma Blend (with hydrating African watermelon) and Wild Honey Blend (offering a delicious sweet scent). My partner and I opted for a Khoisan Aromatic and a Wild Honey Blend, as I fell in love with the unusual, sweet scent.
Tip Take a look at some of my favourite Kalahari face and body products over here that you can purchase to enjoy at home.
A cosy double treatment room awaited us and I was pleased to find the beds facing each other, which adds a sense of closeness when experiencing a couple’s treatment. Sounds of nature played subtly in the background and the warm, soft beds with plush duvets seemed to sensually engulf our bodies as we breathed in the scent of our chosen Kalahari oils.
As a first step in the treatment, your feet are cleansed with a heated cloth before warm oil is poured lovingly over your back and smoothed over using a series of flowing and rolling arm movements, which gives the treatment its name. It really does remind you of the undulating sands of the desert, and the slow, rhythmic movements over your skin send you into a state of bliss almost immediately.
Attention is paid to the entire length of the back, neck and shoulders, as well as the glutes and legs before turning over and concentrating on the fronts of the legs and feet, with a focus on the toes, ankles and knees – my favourite. There is nothing quite like a perfectly-pressured knee massage for those who engage in sports activities such as running, cycling and the like. The same slow movements carefully caress your arms, hands, chest and neck, expertly manipulating stubborn knots and tense muscles. The experience comes to a close with a short scalp massage, using no extra oils so you’re not forced to leave the spa with oily hair if you don’t have a chance to shower. As a final touch, while sipping on Kalahari tea, we were each presented with a bracelet made by the Bead Project, which benefits people in the Kalahari as a way to earn a living.
The Result An hour’s break in this sophisticated city escape will feel like a whole day and you’ll leave the spa with super smooth skin and a totally tension-free body. Remember to pack a bathing costume and arrive early to make use of the spa’s facilities which include a sauna and steam room, rain showers and that tranquil relaxation area.
FYI For something a little different, try the Kalahari Rolling Sands Warm Candle Massage (R850 for 60 mins) which uses fragrant, warm candle wax as the massage medium to nourish and pamper your skin. You’ll even get to keep your chosen candle after your treatment to continue the pampering at home.
Photography Courtesy images