It’s a known fact that in Johannesburg, people work hard. Long hours at the office combined with horrendous traffic on the highways means that by the time the weekend arrives, all folks want to do is just vegetate.
One good thing that has arisen from this desperate need to relax is the fact that many establishments have come up with innovative ways for us to do just that. And these five spots represent the best of the best. Forget the usual, clinical spas you’re used to: these spas will blow you away with their offerings…the treatment itself is just the cherry on the top.
While some spas start readjusting the treatment room to prepare for the next client before you’ve even had a chance to put your clothes back on, Enmasse is the type of place that encourages you to linger. A large lounge area is the focal point of the spa. Here, you can take your pick from one of 47 different types of teas, all created by Enmasse itself.
Enmasse believes that herbal tea extends the relaxation experience, so your one hour Thai massage could easily extend into a 3 hour affair, especially if you go with friends. The fluffy white blankets and magazines make for a great way to spend some quality time with the girls.
The slightly awkward office block location of the spa doesn’t take away from its Hong Kong style slickness. Massages are Thai style, done fully clothed, but it’s not your clothes you’ll be wearing. Instead, Enmasse provides white linen pants and a loose fitting top for you to change into. The idea is that you don’t need to shower directly after the massage to get all the oil off; you can go straight back to work if you like.
The massage area itself is somewhat communal, and is made up of about a dozen mattresses on the floor, each partitioned by a white screen. Navy blue walls and florescent lights provide an interesting contrast. Therapists are extremely skilled, and will ask you what area they should concentrate on. Each therapist has his or her own technique, so if you really enjoy your massage, I’d recommend requesting that particular therapist next time. Another plus: Enmasse is open until 10pm everyday.Illovo Junction, 1 Corlett Drive, Illovo. Tel: 011 880 3020. www.enmassemassage.co.za
Woodlands Centre For Healing and Wellbeing
The great thing about living in Joburg is that you only need to drive 30 minutes out of the city to feel like you’re in the middle of the countryside. Sometimes all we need is a time out from the hustle and bustle of city life, and Woodlands, situated in Muldersdrift, provides the perfect escape.
The spa overlooks the Crocodile River, and features glass-walled therapy rooms and natural finishes in keeping with the aesthetic of its natural surroundings.
Woodlands is more than just a spa. It’s also a healing centre and yoga studio. The aim is to avoid relieving stress momentarily, but rather to deal with the mental and physical components of stress simultaneously, so that you achieve a deep and lasting sense of relaxation.
Go early and make use of the complimentary hydro facilities, which include a sauna, hot and cold pools and Swiss showers. Make sure to have a slice of cake and a cup of tea at the beautiful River Café on the premises.29 Woodlands, Driefontein Road, Muldersdrift Tel: 010 010 5026 www.woodlandsspa.co.za
If you ask any spa owner what the most popular treatment is, the answer will undoubtedly be a massage. While some people prefer back, neck and shoulder, others prefer full body massages. Whether it’s either of those, or just one specific area that you would like attention on, Swani, a women-only spa, can do it. The pricing is calculated by time, not area of the body massaged. A 60-minute treatment is priced at R475, and you can customize this however you want, in terms of pressure, area and technique.
If you just want a butt-and-thigh cellulite reduction treatment for a hour, that’s fine. Or, if you want a foot massage with exfoliation and a mask for the full 60 minutes, that’s doable too. Aromatherapy, Swedish or Hot Stone–the choice is yours. The spa has a few special touches: warm towels and herbal tea are supplied on arrival, plus you get to choose from a range of music to accompany your treatment.
The spa is a little tricky to find but once you arrive, you’ll forget that you’re in the office block section of a mall. The aqua and white theme along with the minimalist decor creates an airy, feminine sanctuary. Swani is closed on Sundays and Mondays but takes appointments till 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays.Loft Office 6 (above the Nike store), First Floor, Rosebank the Zone Tel: 011 457 4434 www.swanispa.com
Pyramid Day Spa
While Joburg’s inner city has lots to offer in terms of nightlife, restaurants and culture, it falls short when it comes to spas. Thankfully, Pyramid Day Spa is its saving grace.
The waiting areas are as luxurious as the treatments themselves: think oversized couches overlooking a leafy outdoor pool, plus a private Jacuzzi in the lavish change rooms, which are fitted with everything you need to feel pampered, including vanity stations with hairdryers, body lotion and perfume.
If you’re wanting to spoil the special someone in your life, make sure to request one of the Pyramid’s couples treatment rooms. The temple of Luxor features a private spa bath for two, a steam shower and a daybed, as well as chocolates and champagne on arrival.
Pyramid offers a complete beauty regime, with nails, facials, make up and body treatments on the spa menu. It also offers monthly specials which are great value for money–check their website for more information.86 Eloff Street Extension, Selby Tel: 011 493 5526 www.pyramiddayspa.co.za
Africology Spa at the Maslow Hotel
One of Jozi’s newest spas, Africology is situated on the top floor of the Maslow Hotel, and has sweeping views over Sandton, which you can enjoy while sipping a cocktail on the glitzy outside deck.
The spa takes a scientific approach to its treatments, which are designed to assist a stressed muscular system, by focusing on optimizing blood flow. The hydrotherapy areas complement this, with a selection of hot and cold therapies, which have healing properties.
The “skin adoration” wraps are a great way to refresh a tired body. I recommend the African potato body wrap, which is formulated with African potato and Marula oil, and heated up before it is applied to the body, resulting in soft, smooth skin. The scalp, foot and body massage that follows completes the experience.146 Rivonia Road, Sandton Tel: 010 226 4688 www.africologyspa.com