My buddy once invited my then boyfriend (now hubby) and I to celebrate his birthday with him at Caledon Hotel and Casino. Back in my broker days (2010 was rough y’all) we road tripped out to Caledon and had an awesome day in the hot pools. It was the middle of the week which was fine as most of us were in that weird place between being students and unemployed.
We’ve always remembered that day fondly and with my hubby’s birthday on the horizon, I thought it would be cool to re-visit the place and check out the actual spa. For various reasons, I decided not to stay overnight –
(1) my brothers birthday being the day before hubby’s birthday i.e. missing my bro’s party
(2) hubby wanting to have a party for our friends and family that evening i.e. hubby missing his own party
(3) it was R1500 for a room for one night where you need to push two single beds together i.e. less broke but still cheap
I settled for a day at the spa with some fun in the pools. The spa was running a special for couples – basically R700 for a chocolate body scrub, chocolate body paint, shower and a back massage. Sounded good to me (almost too good to be true!) so I made the appointment. The receptionist was helpful and efficient.
On the day of the spa booking, we were (obviously) running late and phoned the spa to hear if we could switch to another appointment time. No can do – so we drove pretty fast to get there in time. We walked into the spa a bit stressed about the time and we were shown quickly to the change rooms. When I realised the ‘change room’ was a toilet with lockers I started to wonder if I made the right decision in coming to Caledon.
We changed quickly and were shown to a room. The back massage was divine and I wished it could go on longer. My husband thoroughly enjoyed it (I could tell by hearing him ‘mmm’-ing throughout). It was really good, they used some sort of chocolate-smelling sauce that heated up really well. The skilled therapist worked at my many knots without causing me too much pain. All my stress from the journey there vanished. It was over too soon but I was excited to see what next they had in store for us.
Chocolate body scrub & shower
The next part of our couples’ package included a body scrub and shower. The therapist left us with a timer set to fifteen minutes with a bowl of body scrub. We stood in a rather big shower, used the body scrub and showered it off. For some reason, that fifteen minutes seemed to last really long. It was fun for the first five minutes but after that, I just felt like I was standing in a massive lukewarm shower. It was also at this point when I realised I forgot to take out my contacts. I’m not supposed to shower with my contacts in and now I knew why – they felt like they were falling off my eyeballs so I kept my eyes closed to avoid having them fall out.
Chocolate body paint aka TORTURE
See these happy looking people?
When I saw this picture on the website, I thought it looked pretty interesting. The Rain Spa is described as being tranquil with mood lighting and a warm tropical shower. To get down on the slab was painfully cold but I grinned through the pain thinking the experience would be worth it. The therapist told us that they would have some ‘fun’ by alternating the hot and cool water. Did I mention I was at the spa during winter?
Wanting to be open to the experience, I lay on the cold tiled block and let the therapist paint me with chocolate body paint (not edible by the way!). I shivered in my bikini as the shower turned on and lovely warm water helped me to relax my cold muscles. I was happy! And then came the switch to cold water – ice cold water. I politely screamed when all I wanted to say was “what the *&%^ !!!??.” It was TORTURE. All that went through my mind was that I am sure that this is a torture technique that governments use to extract the truth from spies.
It finally ended and we were given water to drink. I felt like punching the therapist. We had almost forgotten how fantastic the massage was after the hot / cold water torture.
The other nice thing about going to the spa is that they give you free entrance to the hot springs, sauna, and Turkish steam bath. Usually, it costs R150 for a day visitor (Please see their website for current prices). After our torture session, we spent the rest of the day running away from an annoying fourteen-year-old and warming ourselves up in the pools. I love that they have so many pools of different temperatures so you are bound to find something to suit your mood. It was cold on the day we were there so we spent most of our time in the mineral pools towards the top. The pools are naturally iron-rich so it leaves your skin feeling quite nice and moisturised. The only downside is that it can be freezing when getting out of one pool to go to another! Your towels tend to get extremely wet and there doesn’t seem to be any place to really hang and dry them.
All in all, we had a great day. I think that next time we go, we will just fork out the cash and stay for a weekend instead of rushing to get there. The spa is nothing fancy but we both thoroughly enjoyed the massage. I definitely would not recommend the hot/cold water thing – well, maybe I would, to my mortal enemy.
The Caledon Spa 1 Nerina Ave, Caledon Western Cape 028 214 5100 Caledon.Spa2@tsogosun.com