Health and Beauty: In search of the five star spa

Health and Beauty: In search of the five star spa

By RoxyK

Visiting a spa is supposed to represent sheer luxury indulgence and some of us save for months to actually have a good experience. However, which spa you choose to visit makes all the difference in the world in whether you will have a good experience, or a bad one. Now, with all the marketing, advertisements and pictures posted on the internet, the picture sometimes becomes distorted. How much of what is posted out there is actually true? My experience at Arabella Spa in Kleinmond was one that definitely did not do it for me.

I was blown over by what I have heard and read, but the true test came when I went for my treatment. On arrival, I decided to sit in the pool which offered jets that massage and relax your body, but unfortunately only two of these worked. My next option was to visit the steam room. When I got inside, I stepped into a pool of water. A steam room is supposed to have a good drainage system. Standing water is extremely unhygienic. There was no one available to help drain the standing water.

I then opted for a shower and to my astonishment found that the shower had no shower head. This was really not the kind of five star treatment I had hoped for. That afternoon I went in for a massage and handed in my room key in exchange for a locker key. Well, it sounded fair at the time and still trusting the staff on duty, I happily obliged.

I opened the locker and found an unwrapped slipper which was wet and still had nail polish on it. The robe, which was neatly folded, was damp, which clearly shows that someone had used these before and they were not changed. I wore my own shoes and went in to a bright room. There was no calming fragrance or dim lights, elements that are supposed to create a relaxing, unwinding feel.

However, I had the treatment with all the shouting from the garden cleaners outside. I could hardly dose off. I was quickly awoken by the therapist who was eager to sell me products. When I asked about the relaxing rooms that are in the brochures, she said that it was only for those awaiting a second treatment. By this time I was quite irate, because everything that the pretty pictures showed about the spa turned out to be a lie.

I returned my locker key and then the receptionist could not find my room key. I stood in amazement, wondering how this could ever be considered good service. It was a total nightmare. My advice: be weary of false advertising. Do proper research on the spa you are about to visit; check with friends or blogs to read other peoples experiences of the place. Treatments are not cheap and you must demand a first class treatment. Sadly, my rating for this spa gets a 1.

roxyk@48hours.co.za