3

Royal Treatment at Sunset Beach Lodge and Spa

Spa Review - Sunset Beach Lodge and Spa on laurenkinghorn.com #SpaSunsetBeachCapeTown

Spa Review - Sunset Beach Lodge and Spa on laurenkinghorn.com #SpaSunsetBeachCapeTown

We got such brilliant value for money at our first Spa day this year that I found it tricky finding another Spa in Cape Town with Day Spa Packages with competitive pricing. Everything seemed to be way out of my price range. That was until I decided to look closer to home.  I googled…

Spa Sunset Beach Cape Town

And to my surprise and delight, I discovered that my very closest Spa, Sunset Beach Lodge and Spa, was offering amazing Spa Specials.  My Mom and I popped around to chat with the Owner, Debbie and decided on this stunning Special.

Mother Daughter Spa Package Sunset Beach Lodge and Spa

Sunset Beach Lodge and Spa – Mother-Daughter Spa Package

We found a couple of Spas offering similarly priced packages but none of them offered Executive Manicures and Pedicures.  My Mom’s absolute favourite treatment is a paraffin wax pedicure so a mini/express mani and pedi was just not going to do.

The closest special we found was around R800 per person (about $67) but the offer was for 4 x 30-minute treatments totally 2 hours of treatments, whereas Sunset Beach Lodge and Spa were offering 4 hours of treatments for R 775 each (about $65).  Plus this Special included lunch and a glass of wine.  What a win!

We booked immediately.  I had done my homework before we popped in so I knew we weren’t going to find anything that matched this kind of value.

True Hospitality

Yet what really clinched the deal was how accommodating Debbie was.  When I started calculating the time it would take to Relax, Revive and Rejuvenate (stealing their words), I was concerned that I may not be finished in time to collect my son from School.

Debbie booked us in from 8:15 in the morning (most other Spa’s start taking bookings from 9 am) so we could arrive straight after school drop-off.

Debbie also encouraged us to make a whole day of it and said it would be no problem at all if I nipped out to fetch my son mid-package.  He could play in the garden (which also has a jungle gym for children of the guests) or have a swim with us.  She even offered to get one of her staff to look after him if we were still busy in treatments when he finished school.

I’m not sure if Sunset Beach Lodge wants any of this advertised but I can tell you, it meant the world that Debbie cared enough to make this offer.

Now that is true hospitality.

No wonder Sunset Beach Lodge was one of the winners of Sanlam’s TOP DESTINATION AWARD in 2017.

What was included in the Package?

  • Coffee/Cappuccino/Tea Before & During
  • 1 Hour Back and Neck Massage
  • 1.5 Hour Paraffin Wax (Executive) Pedicure
  • 1.5 Hour Paraffin Wax (Executive) Manicure
  • Lunch complete with a Glass of wine AND Dessert

Spa Capacity

Sunset Beach Lodge is a small intimate Hotel with 6 Luxury rooms.  Therefore, the Spa is not massive either.  It is designed for single or couple treatments rather than Spa parties like the one we had in month 1.

At most, they could take 3 people at a time.  The Spa facilities include:

  • The French Room kitted out with two massage plinths and a table for manicures
  • Bathroom opposite with a Jacuzzi and Shower
  • Outdoor swimming pool in a beautiful garden

Highlights

Royal Treatment

As we arrived at Sunset Beach Lodge we were warmly greeted by Kelvin, the Manager and offered refreshments from their serve yourself counter.   We helped ourselves to coffee and water and then Kelvin picked up our bags for us and showed us upstairs to the Treatment room.

True to the byline on their Package, Mother of a Princess, Daughter of a Queen, we felt we were getting the royal treatment already.

When we walked into the French Room, we received another warm welcome from our therapists, Sasha and Shirley.  The room itself was welcoming, with lovely soft, aqua green decor and soft candlelight.

Expert Therapists

The ladies started with our back massages and I knew the instant Shirley started working on my back, that I was in expert hands. The massage was absolute heaven.  My Mom said Sasha’s treatment was exceptional too.   We both commented on how amazing it was to have well-trained, experienced therapists massaging us again.

All elements of a brilliant massage were there:

  • knowledge of anatomy and physiology
  • soft, yet strong hands giving firm pressure and deep tissue massage when required
  • a varied technique, including kneading and effleurage
  • keen tactile awareness, working problem areas rather than just following a prescribed routine
  • a deeply relaxing rhythm.

All our treatments were fabulous, the ladies were professional and meticulous.  I accidentally scuffed the nail polish on a couple of toes after my treatment and Sasha patiently re-polished those toes without me even asking her.

I’m only sorry my Mom and I clean forgot to take pictures of each other when we were having our treatments. We were simply too relaxed (and probably too busy chatting).

Shirley was extremely knowledgeable and well connected in the Beauty and Spa Industry in Cape Town and we landed up exchanging shop-talk for half the morning.  She is passionate about sales and has repped for a number of prestigious Skincare lines and is currently a Sales Executive for a South African range called Vitaderm. The range sounds amazing, especially to me as an Aromatherapist, as it contains essential oils.

Interestingly, Shirley and I qualified as Therapists at around the same time, in the early 90’s, so, although she looked 20-something she must be closer to my age (40-something), which she, of course, attributes to Vitaderm.

A Vitaderm Facial is definitely next on my agenda. Sold.Spa Review - Sunset Beach Lodge and Spa on laurenkinghorn.com #SpaSunsetBeachCapeTown

Going Above and Beyond

We wafted down to lunch after our treatments and the advertised “light lunch” turned out to be a sumptuous meal.

Debbie greeted us as we came into the lounge area and showed us into the dining room herself saying, “we’ve made you each a chicken wrap”.

Well!  We received a delicious, very filling chicken wrap with chips AND a whole bowl of side salad each plus, of course, the glass wine we were promised AND a surprise dessert.  We were bowled over.  And very grateful because an entire morning’s pampering had made us both ravenous.

So this is how the other half lives!

We finished the day having fun snapping pics around the pool which we had all to ourselves and it was a really hot, gorgeous Summer’s day, so I had a quick dip too.  All in time to fetch my little guy from School.

My Only Gripe

Although there was a great range of nail polish colours and the nail polish seems very robust, they did not have my favourite colour for my toenails, fire-engine red.

My Mom and I both chose the only red polish in the range, a very deep, dark red which looked gorgeous in the bottle, but once in the sun, it seemed to turn purple.

My Overall Opinion

The entire experience, from booking – through treatments – to the surprise dessert was TOP NOTCH and I have no hesitation in giving this Spa 5 Stars.

Although I set out at the beginning of the year to try a new Spa a month, I have to say I am tempted to just stick with this one and enjoy regular monthly therapy on my doorstep.   I owe it to you, my readers to keep reviewing Cape Town’s Spas, so I’ll press on.

Perhaps I’ll find a way to do both – have a regular treatment at my new home-from-home, Sunset Beach Lodge AND try out a new Health Spa every month.

Now there’s a novel idea. Which just shows you how just a little Self Care can quickly start snowballing into regular Self Care.

Rating

      • ✮✮✮✮✮  Environment – Beautiful home from home
      • ✮✮✮✮✮ Atmosphere – Welcoming
      • ✮✮✮✮✮ Facilities –  Well-run, Beautifully kitted out
      • ✮✮✮✮      Products Used – Great quality, could add more Nail Polish Colours
      • ✮✮✮✮✮ Food and Beverages  – Plenty and Delicious, Surprise Dessert
      • ✮✮✮✮✮  Treatments  – Expert
      • ✮✮✮✮✮  Staff – Top Notch
      • ✮✮✮✮✮ Value for Money – Exceptional

Overall Rating: ✮✮✮✮✮

Over to You

Have you ever stayed at Sunset Beach Lodge or tried out their Spa?

Or have you ever enjoyed a Mom-Daughter Spa Package?  What would you include in your ideal package?

Would love to hear your views or review in the comments below?

4

A Day of Pure Indulgence at Bakwena Spa

Bakwena Spa Zevenwacht - Day Spa Review - laurenkinghorn.com

Bakwena Spa Zevenwacht - A Day of Pure Indulgence - laurenkinghorn.com

One of my New Year’s Resolutions this year was to visit one Health Spa a month. It’s kind of my reward to myself for a job well done (my blogs just started generating income after nearly 2 years of hard slog) and also a necessary re-focus on Self Care.

I’m also treating my Mom to Spa days all year as compensation for her time and effort on my blogs, as my Virtual Assistant.

On Thursday, 12th January we kicked off 2018 with an entire day of pure indulgence at… drum roll…

Bakwena Spa Zevenwacht Wine Estate, Cape Town

On this occasion it was not just the two of us.  The day was arranged by Cayleigh, a close friend of one of my best friends, Mandy, as a group outing.  Cayleigh introduced us to The Entertainer App in December last year and we were able to purchase three 2-for-1 Specials of the Full Day Package.

Here’s the whole group of us hanging out at the pool before our first treatment.

Bakwena Spa Zevenwacht

I’m the one wearing the blue and white striped hat.  Please don’t laugh at my lily white, jelly-like thighs… I’m hoping by the end of a year of Spa Treatments they will look a whole lot better. Guess I might have to throw in a bit more exercise while I’m at it. Blogging is rather a sedentary pursuit and I can see the results of non-activity developing into middle-aged spread. Eek!

When I mentioned something to this effect to Mandy (or was it Cayleigh? It’s all a bit of a blissful haze) during our Spa day, she laughed at and said:

Today is not the day to be worrying about THAT, you’re here to relax and enjoy yourself“.

And that we did.  It was heaven.

Bakwena’s Full Day Package

The Full Day Package we purchased in December included:

  • 6 Amazing 50-Minute Treatments
  • A Hearty Breakfast
  • Delicious Lunch
  • As well as a Cheese Platter in the late afternoon (we did not go hungry)! 
  • Oh, and our choice of wine, sparkling wine, beer or cider at lunch too.

We were very grateful to Cayleigh, who has been to Bakwena a good few times as she knew the ropes and gave us plenty of brilliant suggestions.

For a start, Cayleigh recommended that we schedule our free time session first so that we could ease into the day with a bit of time at the pool and one the Spa’s Speciality Treatments, affectionately called Mr. Nibble.

Mr. Nibble at Bakwena Spa

Mr. Nibble

Mr. Nibble is a Fish Spa Therapy.  As you can see by the picture above, you sit with your legs dangling into a fish tank so that tiny scavenger fish feed on the dry skin of your feet.

This concept sounded horrible to me at first but my Mom had heard of the treatment and convinced me to go, saying, “We’re here now, we might as well experience everything the Spa has to offer“.

I’ve read up more since then and apparently the fish are freshwater fish called “Garra Rufa” fish and are found naturally in rivers in the Middle East, especially inTurkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.

I’m so glad I agreed to give it a try as it was really different and a lot of fun.  They had 2 large fish tanks so we were all able to go together as a group and dip our feet into the tanks.

I was envious of my Mom at first because we were sharing a tank and a gazillion fish were nibbling her feet and they didn’t seem to like the taste of mine.  Once Cayleigh taught me to be really still, more fish started nibbling and it felt amazing.  Not nearly as ticklish as one would expect, more like pleasant pins and needles (if you can imagine such a thing). Tingly I suppose would be the best way to describe it.

Certainly something to experience rather than read about. And your feet feel wonderfully smooth and soft afterwards.

Cayleigh also sent an email to the Spa beforehand requesting that we have all our treatments in exactly this order:

  1. Mr. Nibbles (during our Free Time Session)
  2. Foot Massage, Ankle & Calf Massage
  3. Hand And Forearm Massage Foot Massage
  4. Head, Neck and Shoulder Massage
  5. Invigorating Full Body Exfoliation
  6. Full Body Hot Stones Massage
  7. Facial Massage and Face Painting

She had a few reasons for this.

  1. All the first 3 treatments are upstairs near the pool and dining room, whereas the others are downstairs, so it feels like a natural progression.
  2. It’s lovely to have the full body massage after your body is exfoliated and you’ve showered off the scrub.  Having the exfoliation after the massage would mean you’d shower off all the lovely oils or cream.
  3. If you have the facial earlier in the day your face paint gets rubbed off during the other treatments.

Highlights

  • Mr. Nibble was definitely one of my highlights.
  • I loved the scent of Lemongrass as you walked into the changing rooms – they had candles lit under the essential oil burners and the effect was beautiful.  To me, it really created an atmosphere of SPA.  I felt happy every time I walked into the changing rooms.
  • The food was wonderful.
  • The therapists were lovely, full of joy and enthusiasm.
  • During lunch, all of the lady therapists line up and treat you to live song and dance. One of the ladies drums on Djembe Drums and it’s just gorgeous.
  • The African Face Painting is so pretty.
  • They gave us a little gift of a gemstone bracelet just before we left. I thought that was a very nice touch.
  • And glass of liqueur, which I declined as I was designated driver.

Bakwena Spa Zevenwacht Highlights laurenkinghorn.com

My Only Gripe

It seems in poor taste to have a gripe after you’ve enjoyed a full day’s indulgence. But to give a fair and honest review (especially as I am going to review other Spas this year, so for comparison purposes as well), I have to mention that the massage and facial were not my favourite treatments fo the day.  Simply because the staff are not that well trained.

I trained and practised as a Massage Therapist for years (Swedish Massage Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Shiatsu, Polarity Massage, Reiki and Quantum Touch). I’ve also had a lot of massage in my time and trained a number of people personally.

So I could be a tad pickier than most.  So please take the criticism below with a pinch of salt.

For me, the massage was just a whole lot of Effleurage (long stroking movements), with no kneading, no pressure points, no varying of pressure. And no knowledge of the muscles below the surface or where the bones are and how you should treat them.   Having said that, I never learned to do Hot Stone Therapy and I enjoyed that experience.

There was also no sense of Rhythm. We were always taught to have harder strokes towards the heart and lighter strokes away from the heart. Rhythm creates deep relaxation.

Some ladies have an innate awareness of this and don’t have to be taught and so some treatments during the day were naturally better than others.

I always thought, when I was training people that you can either massage or you can’t, it’s something inside of you.  It reminds me of dancing.  You either have rhythm or you don’t, right?   You can take the time to cultivate it, to hone your skills, but you also have an inherent skill.

When the ladies tried their hand at Tapotement (Percussion movements), it was clear they had not been taught properly. The idea with Tapotement is to lift the hands off the body really quickly, not thump them down. And it’s no fun to start whacking someone who’s just drifted off into sweet oblivion.

During the facial massage it felt like I was being throttled when she worked on my neck. I was dying to jump up and show her how it’s done. Again, I put this down to insufficient training. Her heart was in the right place, she was a Sweetie pie. But there was one moment when I thought I was not going to make it out of there alive.

Ooh, that turned into a bit of a rant. Forgive me.

My Overall Opinion

All in all, I felt we had an incredible day of pampering and we all went home happy and relaxed.  Another bonus was that none of the treatments were deep tissue, so I didn’t feel like I’d been driven over by the bus the next day.  Some absolutely awesome massages can make you feel that way.

Thanks to Cayleigh for introducing us to The Entertainer, I also felt our first Spa experience of the Year was incredible value for money. We paid only R 800 per person for the entire day. (About $70).

Thanks to Cayleigh’s attention to detail, our day was super awesome. She really thought of EVERYTHING.

Rating

    • ✮✮✮✮       Environment – on a Beautiful Wine Farm, dust road a bit tricky to navigate
    • ✮✮✮✮✮ Atmosphere – Relaxing, Scented Changing Rooms, Happy Staff
    • ✮✮✮✮    Facilities -Nicely run, nicely kitted out
    • ✮✮✮           Products Used – All in-house, no oils, only creams for massage
    • ✮✮✮✮✮ Food & Beverages  – Plenty and Delicious
    • ✮✮✮           Treatments  – Staff lacked proper training
    • ✮✮✮✮      Staff – Pleasant, Joyful, Caring, Service Oriented
    • ✮✮✮✮✮ Value for Money – Thanks to the Entertainer Special

Overall Rating: ✮✮✮✮

Next Up

Can’t wait for our next Spa Experience.  We just found another awesome deal at the Day Spa closest to my house, Sunset Beach Lodge and Spa!    A stunning Mother-Daughter Package.  We just happen to be going on a Thursday again…next Thursday- Woohoo!   Which works perfectly for me as my son has PlayBall after school on a Thursday so I fetch him later than usual.

I’ll be reporting back soon.

Over to You

I’d love to hear about your Health Spa Experiences.  Have you been to Bakwena Spa?  When was the last time you treated yourself to a Day of Pure Indulgence?