A bit of TLC from the amazing team at Mount Grace Spa was just what I needed. Their PR team got in touch and asked if I’d be interested in benefiting from a few relaxing treatments. Considering that I haven’t blogged in over two months and felt like this entire year was spinning out from under me, I was only too grateful.
From Jo’burg you’re looking at about an hour and a half’s travel to get to the Mount Grace Hotel and Spa turn-off. I felt a bit nervous navigating a rather narrow road up to the spa, but the trip was incident-free.
The spa is completely separate from the main hotel, and even from outside there’s an air of calm. The dressing rooms are very well appointed. I received a key to a locker where I found a robe and slippers, and where I could store my belongings. The treatment rooms are on the first floor under a thatch roof – a smell I’ve always loved and for some reason associate with holiday.
I was treated to a hot stone back, neck and shoulder massage, a head massage, a foot treatment and an express facial. By then I was ready to snuggle down for a nap, but I was also keen on trying out the water treatment facilities. Lydia, my therapist, showed me around. Apart from the gym, there’s a steam room next to the ladies’ change rooms downstairs. Outside the lounge area there’s a normal pool. Then towards the back of the spa you’ll find the reflexology walkway (think river stream with large, smooth rocks), the hydratherapy pool that where the jacuzzi jets can be switched on at the touch of a button, and a very intriguing outdoor steam area among the rocks. I was very keen to explore this, but it was still a little chilly, and by the time the steam left the jets in sprays it was cool. I imagine this being an absolute treat on a summer’s day.
However, the facility I had my eye on – as always when it’s offered at any spa – was the floatation pool. But first, lunch.
The buffet-style lunch was fresh, crisp and delicious. Good manners (and the fear of sinking in the floatation pool) kept me from having seconds. I did have plenty of the delicious naturally infused water on offer.
After a quick change into my bathing suit, I was ready to let my body and mind drift away. At each feature you’ll find plenty of bright towels – bringing that holiday feeling on even more strongly.
Before stepping into the floatation pool you have a quick warm shower on the top step. This pool was unlike any floatation facility I’ve used before. Usually I’d be led into a dark room lit only by candles, given ear plugs and invited to step into a large jaccuzi filled with warm salt water – big enough for one person. This though! I was the only person at the time, although another lady joined in for a while too. It’s warm, not too hot, and once I reached the bottom step my legs lifted up from under me and I was listening to the music underwater. The pool has a large ceiling that prevents the sun from beaming down directly onto prone floating bodies, but it allows plenty of natural light in.
If not for the drive home (and work, and stuff) I’d probably still be floating in that pool. But good things also come to an end. I did at one stage wonder how I was going to flip myself upright again, but that wasn’t a problem in the end. The breeze that sneaked through the doorway, on the other hand, had me shivering all the way to the change rooms where I had a lovely hot shower.
I would visit the spa again if it weren’t quite so far, or if I stayed over at the hotel, as by the time I got back home through Fourways traffic I was feeling a little frazzled again.
And if I could, I’d totally marry that floatation pool.