When you’re feeling stressed and severely drained a day of pure relaxation is just the trick. My best friend’s birthday was this week and she selected her closest girlfriends for treatments at a spa.
Sampling different spas is one my favourite things. There was a time I had to review and rate spas as part of my job – I loved every minute.
The Saxon boutique hotel and spa has the reputation of being sophisticated and discreet. It certainly lives up to its hype. Once your treatment and plans are confirmed, you receive an electronic spa booking form. A welcome relief from the many paper forms one usually spends half an hour filling in before any spa treatment.
The spa is situated on the first floor of the hotel in its own wing. There’s an serene atmosphere as you walk through the short passage to the reception desk. The walls are lined with beauty products, giving customers an opportunity to pick and purchase. It’s been done cleverly because the shelves are not overly stacked, just one or two products from each range making them appear decorative.
A full-body Swedish massage is always good for the body as well as the soul. It irons out the kinks and knots and the toxic build-up from the daily stresses of working in a busy city. This was my treatment of choice and my friendly masseuse gently kneaded my very tense body like dough.
A pedicure coupled with a foot scrub followed. The treatments range in price and the amount of available time, from R1 100 to R1 560. Snacks and breakfast are available in the small dining area and guests are welcome to pick treats or champagne to take along to the treatment rooms.
A culture of relaxation is the key element and limited use of cellphones is requested. Well, you are there to get away from the real world.
When the owner of the hotel, millionaire Douw Steyn, converted his private Sandhurst home into this boutique hotel many years ago, the word “discretion” was high on his list of requirements.
Everything about the hotel screams privacy. From its location, deep in the heart of the leafy Sandton suburbs to the high walls that reveal nothing of what’s behind them, to the well-hidden underground car park, which you’re directed to upon entry.
Once you’ve parked, a luxury German sedan seems to appear almost out of nowhere and you’re chauffeur-driven to the door of the main hotel. Staff are well dressed in tailored suits and always ready to be of service at a reception that isn’t loud or too busy, so you become the main focus.
It really makes sense why Nelson Mandela chose this hotel to be the place where he edited his book Long Walk To Freedom. It has such a calming power, one can completely forget that there are other guests, which you’d think would be difficult to achieve, with 29 suits in three different villas and 24 suits in the main hotel.
Lunch can be booked at the spa for those intending to continue to enjoy the amenities there, or at the terrace restaurant in the main hotel, overlooking the lush gardens and pool. I was pleasantly surprised at the three-course lunch menu, which also offers Banting options. After eating a delicious bunless chicken burger and chips, there was hardly any room for dessert.
My meal cost less than R250 which isn’t too bad for a five-star venue. While the birthday girl received a beautifully plated birthday dessert, courtesy of the hotel, the ladies from the spa came down and gifted our group with goodie bags. I really appreciated how the staff went out of their way to personalise our short visit.
Next time I feel the need to be spoilt, I’ll know exactly where to go.
- The Saxon Boutique Hotel and Spa, 36 Saxon Road, Sandhurst
- Tel: 011-292-6000/087-375-7777
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org