As one samples with the eyes first, long before a therapists has even laid a gentle hand on you, the effect of the large glass panels, straight lines and clever use of large prints and bold patterns set the tone for what is to come. Valley Lodge is a prime example of a beautifully architecturally designed Spa where a lot of thought has gone into the visual appeal of the Spa.The stone-cladded spa entrance with its high exposed beams has a dedicated desk for new spa clients to complete their detail – something I haven’t seen before. Other Spas can take note that a freshly brewed cappuccino is served during this time – and let’s face it, although crucial for your treatments to follow, this form-completing stage part is always a bit like a child being told to sit still and wait to open his presents.
The interior is light and wispy, complete with billowing curtains in the light breeze. The signature grey and white couches stand proud in front of a heated pool and spectacular Jacuzzi. A coffee and snack bar serves delicious little sweet treats, coffees, teas and flavoured water. On the counter a bottle of bubbly awaits its deserving guests.
Trendy Spa manager Jackie, welcomed us and took some time to share all her exciting plans for the Spa. A windy road in the corporate world lead her to Valley Lodge Spa and I can immediately see that her passion for the industry combined with business acumen, could take this spa to new heights. Valley Lodge and Spa has been a cornerstone in creating employment in the local community for the past 42 years, and now the focus has shifted to empowerment, and allowing the spa to seek accreditation for training on offer. They currently have 25 ladies in their skills development training program and look forward to assisting each one in their career development.
Before introducing us to our therapists, Thuli and Martha, we were offered a choice of two fragrances for our treatment – the one soothing and calming (Frangipani) and the other invigorating and uplifting (Lime and Ginger). This would set the tone for the treatments to come. We settled down in the couple’s treatment room for a full body exfoliation. Not something one would normally choose from a Spa menu, but having experienced this first hand, I can highly recommend it. The dead sluggish skin from the winter has been banished and I am now oh-so-beach-ready. The space blankets were an interesting and practical touch to saving the towels from the salt scrub.
The body scrub was followed by a rinse in the couples shower and a soak in an aromatherapy jet bath filled with their signature blend of Vetiver, Neroli and Ylang Ylang – all bathed in soft candle light. We were immensely grateful for the jugs of fresh juice and waters to reinforce us. Spending 10 to 15 minutes in a hot jet bath left me feeling a bit woozy when I got out of the bath, so hydrate hydrate and get up real slowly when you are done.
Back to the massage beds we went for a full body massage. (May I add that they are sturdy wooden masage beds, nice width and with cute brass finishes). Mr Brown who is larger than life, often complains about falling off massage beds. The other thing he complains about is the size of spa gowns and spa slippers. Happy to report that Valley Lodge Spa got the golden nod for two out of the three – Mr Brown’s toes still spilled over the edge of the slippers, but then again fitting those feet into any shoe takes a small miracle.
A very pleasant massage was followed by a much needed stop at the pedicure station. Mr Brown teased that Martha will be needing a grinder to fix his boats. But she just smiled knowingly and whipped out a needle to sort out the first issue she encountered – a thorn embedded in his one foot from over-enthusiastic gardening. Painless surgical procedure done and she could move on to the more pleasant part of a pedicure. Many giggles, tickles and a foot mask later, Mr Brown’s feet looked like a baby’s bum, although he will never admit this to his Movember Mates.
My pedicure extended to a toenail paint in the most vibrant OPI pink imaginable. Even looking down at my toes now, I feel a sense of happiness and a “come-on-summer-come-on” tune repeats in my head. If I look at my tootsies long enough I can almost smell coconut tan lotion.
Valley Lodge Spa gets a special mention for its really clever signage and branding inside the spa. The ladies and gents, toilet doors, shower doors and hydro facilities are all beautifully indicated with sandblasted vinyl. Their clever use of colour and colour therapy in areas are unique – the treatment room has a soft red glow, while the jet bath room is bathed in blue tones. A haunting print decorates one of the main focal walls – Spa manager Jackie explains how this image reinforces the fact that we are vulnerable and truly dependent on our environment. It further makes one reflect on your footprint on earth.
Valley Lodge Spa naturally forms part of the four star Valley Lodge itself and the property is looking really good keeping in mind that it is has over 4 decades under the belt. Although we didn’t have the pleasure to stay over the rooms are exquisite. GM Laurence Dale McGrath is keeping a watchful eye on the property and its certainly paying off. The lawns and garden look spectacular and the knotted old poplar trees provide an inviting resting place on a late afternoon. Many couples were lazing around the pool even late in the afternoon as the shadows started creeping over the pool and loungers.
MORE ABOUT OUR TREATMENTS ON THE DAY:
Aroma Hydrotherapy Treatment – R800.00
Using a blend of relaxing Aromatherapy Oils, this Hydrotherapy treatment is a wonderful way to relax and unwind. This experience is a 60 minute treatment which includes a pre-exfoliation and post application of Body Balm to seal in moisture.
Elemis Exotic Line and Ginger Salt Glow – R800.00
This exotic exfoliation ritual invigorates and brings vitality to your body. After light body brushing, warm oil is luxuriously drizzled all over the body before our Exotic Lime and Ginger Salt Glow is applied. You Skin is deeply cleansed, polished and softened with this luxurious treatment.
Classic Aromatherapy Massage –Full Body Massage, 60 minute treatment, R700.00
Aromatherapy massage is massage therapy using highly concentrated plant oils called essential oils which are added to the massage oil. An Aromatherapy Massage is a wonderful way to forget the outside world and truly indulge your senses in a tranquil treatment.
- A wonderful day trip just under an hour from Johannesburg
- The most beautiful sky-lit Jacuzzi
- Loungers on the deck under the poplar trees just make you want to stay there all day long reading.
www.valleylodge.co.za | Tel +27-14-5771301 | firstname.lastname@example.org