Another year gone, another birthday. And what a better way to celebrate than with some pampering? Contrary to popular belief, I don’t spend all my free time at the spa, so when I do, I’m looking for something really special – not just a massage but some great facilities too (sauna, jacuzzi etc).
I was really let down by my birthday last year at Avara Spa as posted about here so I was hoping to make up for it this year.
Heavenly Spa, the Westin
Funny how social media can make us aware of great photo opportunities!? I was familiar with that luxurious corner jacuzzi pic overlooking the ocean on Instagram. So, I jumped at the chance when my sister suggested the Heavenly Spa at the Westin.
I called them on Wednesday and made a booking for three on Saturday (my mom, sister and I). The receptionist was really friendly. She let us know that the steam room was closed due to water restrictions but that we were welcome to check out the sauna, heated pool and jacuzzi. She also told me that the spa would validate the parking ticket so we wouldn’t have to worry about that (the parking rates are crazy at the CTICC). My mom and I booked the Heavenly massage and my sister got the pamper package (it was her bday too!).
Girl’s day arrived and we headed down to the CTICC about an hour before our appointments started. The lobby at the Westin is pretty impressive. Unfortunately, On the Seven was closed so we couldn’t check it out. The Heavenly Spa is situated next to the restaurant.
The Heavenly Spa looked tranquil but modern with a touch of green. One of the staff members led us to the change room and handed us a towel, gown and slippers. The change room was nice but there wasn’t much place to sit which can make life a bit challenging when you’re trying to get dressed (there’s a reason gym change rooms look the way they do). After fussing with the lock, we got into our swimsuits and headed to the pool.
We must’ve been there on a busy day as all the loungers were taken. The area is open to anyone (male, female, etc) so it’s a good place to go with your partner. If you’re not having a treatment, you can pay R250 to use the facilities.
I sat around the pool and eventually got in – which was fairly cold. It’s probably a lot nicer on a warm day. The views from the pool area were stunning. Once a few people left, we grabbed a lounger to keep our stuff on. There is a time limit on the jacuzzi (it says 10 minutes) but people tend to stay in longer. The jacuzzi is big enough for a couple of people to sit in. The two women who were in there didn’t look very impressed when I asked to join them but it’s not like you can have it to yourself for extended amounts of time.
We also checked out the sauna to dry off before our appointment.
There’s also a gym available but c’mon, I wasn’t going to get Vitality points so I gave it a pass (don’t judge me).
We went to the ‘chill area’ (not sure what it’s called) and grabbed a quick bite for the appointment. As per usual, we were asked to fill out a form about allergies etc.
I was led into the treatment room right next to the ‘chill area’ and memories of Avara came rushing back!! I remembered how I could hear people’s conversations while having a massage. Thankfully, the sound was muffled and although I could hear some chatter, I couldn’t make it out. I relaxed into the heated massage table.
The Heavenly full body massage is a mix of methods. I asked the masseur for medium pressure. But wow, she had really strong hands. I had to stop her and ask for an even softer massage as I was finding it quite painful. She stopped various times after that to ask whether the pressure was okay.
The massage itself was okay – it was relaxing but I’ve had better. I think that maybe I should’ve gone for the Swedish or Thai massage.
After the massage, the masseuse told me I had lots of diamonds. I was puzzled!! I’d never heard of knots being referred to as diamonds. She mentioned that once I get rid of those, I would enjoy my massage more. I just nodded and smiled.
My mom on the other hand said her massage was too soft. She thinks the masseuse may have misheard her asking for a hard massage. I so wish we could have swopped masseurs!!
My sister had a 1 hour facial and a Heavenly massage. The massage was quite firm and painful at times but that’s how she prefers it. She complained of a lot of knots in her shoulder area due to carrying her baby. All in all, she enjoyed her treatment but didn’t find it as relaxing as she had hoped.
Back to the chill lounge, I grabbed some pastries and relaxed to a beautiful view. Everything in the Heavenly Spa looks new, modern and beautiful. I enjoyed my experience there and wouldn’t mind going back on a quiet day.
- Rif & Imaan
The Heavenly Spa at The Westin, Cape Town: http://www.heavenlyspa.co.za/