There are not any many advantages to having a full-time working, CFA-studying husband at the moment, except the moment when he phones to say: “please book us massages for Friday” – which, of course, one promptly does. #omgamaaaaaazing
What started as a once-off treat this time last year has now become a bit of a semi-annual spoil for us – we book an early evening massage on a Friday, followed by dinner. The ‘spoil’ part comes in as each of our evenings has taken place at one of Jo’burg’s glorious 5-star hotels; this time we decided to give the spruced-up Four Seasons (The Westcliff) a try. I will admit I am somewhat biased when it comes to this hotel – we had our wedding reception here some three-and-half years ago – but still have to say it: post-renovation the hotel is better than ever!
The Spa itself feels exactly how I like a spa to feel: fresh, clean and modern. I wish we had managed to get there a bit earlier to take advantage of the pool area before our treatment, as I can only imagine how glorious it must be watching the sun set from a lounger (with a glass of wine in hand!).
I opted for an “Afrique in harmony balancing massage”, which probably sounds gentler than the massage actually was! A hand-carved TriTouch ‘stick’ (for lack of a better description) is applied to pressure points along the body, to assist in draining lymphatic fluid from the lymph nodes in the body. As I had requested quite a firm massage (I don’t waste my time with limp-as-a-three-day-old-lettuce leaf pressure) the overall experience was quite vigorous, but one which I ended up thoroughly enjoying. All the tension I tend to carry along my spine and shoulders was eliminated, and while I cannot comment on the ‘drainage’ of my lymph nodes, I was relaxed and re-energized after the treatment.
Before dressing for dinner, I enjoyed some time in the Steam Room – one of the benefits of going on a Friday evening is that I had the whole change-room, steam room and sauna to myself (allowing for bathroom outfit pics too 🙂 )
The hotel has five restaurants – and I have now had the pleasure of dining at two of these; Flames this past weekend and The View (through a very lucky mishap in the booking process). While The View focusses on fine-dining, Flames is about upscale, easy dining. Both have the most magnificent outlooks across Jo’burg – if you have never seen Jozi’s jacarandas in early summer from the hotel, you are missing out!
Our waitress recommended the Korean-style ribs to my husband, which I’m proclaiming as the best ribs in Jo’burg. While I enjoyed my main meal (Wagu beef burger), the highlight of the meal for me was the chocolate fondant – perfect chocolate, and white chocolate (!), oozing centre, served with ice cream, chocolate soil and salted caramel sauce ‘blobs’. As a dessert-lover and dessert-eater, the chocolate fondant impressed; I think it is worth the visit to Flames for this dish alone!
The thing I most enjoy about these evenings – besides my husband’s company (obviously) – is that I feel like I have spent the evening outside of the city; I wake-up the following day refreshed from a relaxing evening, having had my ‘five-star hotel hit’ at a fraction of the price 😉