A haven of flickering candles, ornamental copper decor and locally hand-crafted Himalayan salt and recycled glass chandeliers, the ravishing new Saxon Spa is dedicated to the art of holistic sensory revitalisation.
Designed by internationally-acclaimed interior designer, Stephen Falcke, the Saxon Spa has been created as a sanctuary of the senses with dark wood, copper, linen and water featuring throughout.
The backdrop to the start of your restful journey begins as you step out of the elevator straight into a scented-candled oasis of calm. Throughout your spa journey, you will find yourself enveloped in the uplifting aromas of the Spa’s signature scent. Visitors are welcomed by a glass of tea; the Harnn Tichaa herbal infusion. A retail space of products by Molten Brown, La Prairie and Harnn line the walls that lead up to the reception area.
I recommend that you arrive at least an hour prior to your booking time. Remember to wear soft, comfortable clothes that are easy to change out of and into again once you are done with your treatments. If you are intending on doing any treatments where oil is used, be careful with the type of garment that you wear to avoid any staining or discolouration. I also prefer not to wear much makeup when visiting a spa, especially around the eye area, as when you put your face through the opening in the massage bed, most of your makeup will come off and smudge. It’s also best to avoid wearing any jewelry, or leave them in the secure locker before proceeding to your treatment.
Allow the spa reception staff to show you around, so you are not only made familiar with your surroundings, but also not to overlook a treatment that you think the Spa might not be able to offer.
The change rooms are equipped with most amenities and also feature private changing rooms if you would prefer more privacy.
The Spa has state-of-the-art hydro facilities to use prior to the start of your treatments. The recommended usage is: 10 minutes in the heated, indoor Jacuzzi pool, a quick dip in the cold plunge pool (this is said to reduce fatique, stimulate energy levels and induce a state of relaxation), a 10 minute steam or sauna and finally move to the flotation therapy pool.
Remember to carry a bathing suit.
Once settled into your bathrobe and slippers, request one of their freshly squeezed juices, tea or coffee and help yourself to the complimentary small bites that the Chefs have prepared for you. Take some time to enjoy it all. Having undergone a recent concept change, the entire setting is striking and incorporates healing natural elements which help you to immerse yourself in the tranquility.
The Spa now has a dedicated manicure area (if you remember being a guest before the renovation, the mani’s and pedi’s took place downstairs, near the jacuzzi) with four stylish stations. The area is closed off by glass and each station is dedicated to individual service. I especially love the colour-splashed manicure bar detail which gently separates the spaces. Visitors can now book a manicure and pedicure without any other body treatments (exception of weekends).
The Pedicure Lounge is also in an enclosed area separate to that of the Manicure Bar. It also features specialised foot treatments from the highly acclaimed Margaret Dabbs ‘Fabulous Feet’ products. The muted tones in this serene setting allow you to unwind in this tranquil part of the Spa. Because your space in enclosed, it’s not the ideal booking to make if you’re looking at spending time socialising with your partner or friends.
There are now treatment rooms on the upper and lower levels (with the most sublime couples treatment room located amongst the outdoor spa gardens aptly named ‘Eden’ which is a glass-encased treatment room – not pictured here).
The upper level will feature a spacious pedicure area; a tranquil sleep zone, stocked with relaxing teas and nutritious snacks; a hair spa offering cocooning treatments including a caviar hair mask as well as a dining area serving nutritious and delicious dishes, using fresh fruit and vegetables grown in The Saxon’s own rooftop vegetable garden.
The lower level will be themed around hydro-based therapies, comprising wet treatment zone where the invigorating Rasul treatment will take place; a floatation pod; unisex steam room; Himalayan salt sauna; heated outdoor plunge pool and relaxing day bed area; heated hydro pool; cold plunge pool for Kneipp therapy and hammam centre.
This space is located just as you make your way down the staircase, with the juice bar located to the right. The Spa has specifically designed a health-conscious menu with a variety of wholesome food and drinks that are available to order throughout the day.
Every treatment room is ionised by a breaktakingly beautiful, locally hand-crafted Himalayan salt and recycled glass chandelier created by a local conservation and sustainability project. The salt light is said to stimulate circulation, soothe the mind and uplift the mood and energy levels.
Now to the main purpose of my visit; the Saxon Himalayan Signature Journey.
What to expect: Your therapist will welcome you and inquire whether you have had any refreshments and offer you a drink if necessary. My therapist, Kimakhatso, led me to our low-lit treatment room located on the upper level. She pointed out the main elements of the room, specifically focusing on each treatment room having its own shower (exception of Eden, where the shower is located slightly behind the room).
The therapy began with a welcoming foot ritual using milk. She gently scrubbed off my feet and wiped them dry.
She then left the room and asked me to de-robe and get comfortable on the bed. The bed was lined with a silver sheet (to collect the excess salt and oils) and a multitude of fluffy, warm towels.
She begins by using spa-taught-towel-folding methods on my body and gently rubbing a warm oil onto my skin. She then rubbed my entire body, back-to-front, with Himalayan Salt Scrub which is immersed with the signature Saxon scent. My skin felt smooth to the touch and infused with a heavily scented oil. She prepared the shower and I rinsed off the salt and proceeded to lay down on the clean bed.
She then applied oil and hot granite stones using a specialised massage technique (I usually request a soft to medium touch as I am quite sensitive) using rhythmic massage movements. The element of surprise (although she did notify me before proceeding) was the cold Rose Quartz crystal which is meant to heal and relieve muscular inflammation. As described; this is “an absolute must for spa connoisseurs.”
Of course I went in with a pre-conceived notion of not only expecting the best service, but also the best treatment experience.
The music was at just the correct sound level, the room was warm enough, my therapist was superb (and extremely knowledgeable; top-tip: use Argan Oil at home mixed with Himalayan Salt for an at-home body exfoliation) and I walked out feeling incredibly well taken-care of. I highly recommend booking this on your first visit to the Spa. I also suggest booking one of their later appointments so you may literally get home and get in to bed!
Because I was so focused on getting the most out of my visit for my article, I spent the remainder of my time walking through the treatment rooms and chatting to the staff. I promised myself to completely unwind on my next visit!
Once your treatment is complete, you may proceed to the Silent area where you will be offered healing tea that has been specifically selected to compliment your treatment experience.
Be sure to look out for my experience over the next few weeks of the Hammam Signature treatments which will open mid-November. This Middle-Eastern tradition is a full body cleansing ritual using steam to detoxify, a full-body cleanse using savoir noir, followed by a full body exfoliation and finally an Argan oil massage which has an incredible moisture benefit for the skin.
Contact the Spa directly for their Treatment Menu and Price List. Further details may be found on their website: http://www.saxon.co.za/the-spa/