They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but as far as Spas are concerned, I am as guilty as sin – I do judge the Spa by the locker key. And right there and then the Africology Spa at The Maslow Hotel created a warm, happy place in my heart. I attended a two day conference at The Maslow and by day two I was quite ready for a bit of a treat. OK I admit, I was so excited at the mere prospect of trying out this award-winning Spa, that I sneaked away on day one during the tea break and made a spa booking in person. Imagine if I waited any longer and they were fully booked. I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself. So on the Monday afternoon, I reported to the hotel concierge, who rang the Spa. A designated Spa staff member collects you from reception as one needs a special key card to get access to the Spa floor. Nice touch I thought – Rolls Royce treatment:
To say that the Spa reception area takes your breath away is an understatement. Decorated in moody greys and elegant beiges, with heavily gilded mirrors and plush upholstery, they could have easily left me there for the next hour and I would have been blissfully happy. The Africology range is artfully displayed around the reception area, lush orchid arrangements are dotted around the area for effect, while a juice and nail bar is set to the left of the entrance. A sensory delight in every which way.
I booked a Muscle and Joint Magnesium 60 min massage. According to the sleek, beautiful designed marketing material, magnesium benefits are many: Symptoms such as chronic pain, fatigue and insomnia, are effectively treated with magnesium supplementation. While I didn’t suffer from the first, fatigue and insomnia were high on my list of things that needed fixing. The delightful Fransina welcomed me in the Spa, assisted me with the guest form completion and escorted me to the dressing room. A soft fluffy gown and black flip flops awaited in my locker.
The massage more than met with my fussy requirements: I felt part of a beautiful ritual which started with me inhaling minty essential oils, and the gentle sound of gongs announcing the treatment. I requested a medium pressure massage which was done with so much skill and care. My back, neck and shoulders are always the body parts causing the most trouble, and I felt a million times better once the knots have been straightened out in these areas. Worth mentioning is that the full body massage addressed two areas which other therapist often skimp over – it could be for a lack of knowledge or perhaps caution? The therapist gently massaged the muscles around my jaw up to the area behind my ears – an area which carries an immense amount of tension and is hardly ever addressed during massages. The other huge tension point in one’s body is the gluteus maximus. Yes, the bum muscles. This area is often guilty of trigger points (muscle knots) which can be extremely painful and has to be handled with knowledge and care. I was relieved to be in the hands of this skillful therapist who knew the balance between healing massage and pampering.
After the massage I asked to take a look around at the facilities and Fransina pointed out the hydro facilities – a very impressive sauna and Rasul chamber beckoned, but my biggest regret was not bringing swimwear. A beautiful heated dark splash pool is set towards the back of the Spa and leads onto a deck overlooking the Sandton skyline. I watched a hotel guest slipping into the lukewarm water with loads of envy and intentions of coming back rather sooner than later.
Terri Guillemets shares this pearl of wisdom: “My own prescription for health is less paperwork and more running barefoot through the grass.” I would like to add that a regular visit to your local Spa or salon would only add to a tremendously healthy lifestyle. And if your ‘local’ is The Africology Spa at The Maslow, count yourself very, very lucky.
ABOUT THE SPA:
The Spa at the Maslow is an Africology Spa, and it is worth your while to take notice of the ethos behind the product: “Not only is this product line Proudly South Africa and not tested on animals, it also uses natural ingredients that are bio-identical to your biology. The product formulations and spa treatment offerings are inspired by the wisdom of Africa’s traditional healers and celebrates Africa’s vibrant heritage, communities and plant life”. The Maslow Hotel is part of the Sun International Group and situated on the corner of Grayston and Rivonia Roads in Sandton. Tel 011 780 7770.
DISCLAIMER: AboutSpas paid for this treatment (R630 for 60 min) and only revealed after the treatment that this will be an online review.