So, they say that CitiClicker, Groupon, etc are great ways to try new places at discounted prices. This is how I discovered the Casuarina Wellness spa, located on the 1st floor of the Commodore Hotel at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. The special was an hour full body Swedish massage and an hour Dermatologica facial for 500 bucks for two people. That is CHEAP! My friend and I bought the voucher and eventually got a booking on a weekday.
We arrived at the spa at about 5pm and the first thing I thought when I saw the decor in the entrance was, “WTF?”. It was outdated, somewhat messy and had a slight stuffy smell. The couches appeared worn. The receptionist/ therapist greeted us upon entering the foyer. We had to fill in those standard questionnaires about any illnesses etc. We completed it and left it on the table. When the therapist called us, she didn’t even look at the questionnaire we completed. It was strange and somewhat concerning.
But through it all, I was very open minded. We were shown into a “couples” room. The room was tiny with 2 beds basically “shoved” into the room. It looked nothing like the pictures on the website. The lighting was frighteningly bright compared to the low light therapeutic ambiance I was accustomed too. The Therapist turns to us and said: “You can change here”.
My Friend and I looked at each other in disbelief and she asked the therapist if there was perhaps a bathroom we could change in and a gown we could use. The therapist looked at us somewhat confused and takes us to the bathroom. En route to the bathroom, she went into one of the massage rooms and picked up 2 previously used gowns and folded it for us. At this point, I was almost ready to just walk out, but I decided to stay so that I can complete the full experience.
The bathroom was very small and contained a whopping 4 lockers! The lockers were on top of each other. You literally had to hover over someone looking in the locker below yours. After we changed, we went into the couple’s room and got ready for the 1st session.
The therapists started on my back and worked down to my feet. Very odd ! Most massages I’ve been to start from the feet. I asked for a light massage as I am not very big on those really hard massages where you are bruised the next day. I was pretty nervous as therapists never seem to get the pressure right. It always starts light and then they just start abusing me as they get to the halfway mark. In addition, I really lost faith as I was so shocked about the incidents that occurred up until this point.
As I lay there waiting for her to start, I kept thinking about how I hope this goes quickly so I can get out of there. I was fuming. She began. As she was working on my back, I was highly tense. As she continued I felt my eyelids closing. I thought, “wow this chick is unbelievably good.” As the hour progressed, I fell asleep. It was so amazing. This was officially the first time a therapist ever put me to sleep during a massage. I was ready to forgive the outdated decor, the complete disregard for my susceptibility to allergies, the tiny massage room and the lockers. None of it really mattered at this point as the massage was AMAZING!
When she started the facial, she massaged every inch of my face in tiny little circles. It was so therapeutic .My face glowed and I was very happy with it all. I turned to my friend and asked, “How was it?”, she replied, “ that was amazing.” So it wasn’t just me.
As we got dressed and ready to leave, we tipped the therapists who appeared very grateful. Upon leaving, the receptionist said we need to pay our parking tickets and then I was about to say “WTF ? we spent money at your spa!”, but I was in my Zen and nothing mattered. So my WTF turned into a “Wasn’t That Fucking Amazing”.
So if you looking for a no frills, fantastic massage, please try this spa out. Word of advice – ignore the extras and enjoy the spa for what it is: A good massage parlour and not a wellness spa.
Things to note :
Location: The Commodore Hotel 1st Floor
Portswood Road, V&A Waterfront
Cape Town, 8001
Times :Mon – Sat:9am – 9pm + Sundays & Public Holidays: 9am – 6pm
Tel: 021 419 3090