2011 saw me venue into the world of spas for the first time so I was happy to win a spa treatment for Camelot Health Spa at the Table Bay Hotel. I was less nervous this time around, however, visiting a spa is always a slightly anxiety filled experience for two main reasons, firstly, one has to surrender one’s body for touching by a complete stranger and secondly, spa etiquette. These have been my concerns: I’ve run out of time, is it compulsory to shave my legs? Surely they’ve dealt with far worse than a few spikes (I hope!)? Should I wash my hair? But what if they put massage oil in it? Should I wear make up so I look presentable? What a waste of time (and product) if they remove it. What kind of underwear is appropriate or is it “all in” in the nude stakes? I make my point. One thing I knew for sure is that I would be using the Table Bay Hotel’s free parking! Sounds silly but worrying about an exorbitant parking ticket fee can cramp your relaxing session when you’re a paid-parking hater like I am!
I was greeted by the polite staff at the Table Bay Hotel, one of Cape Town’s most well known and loved hotels, with a famed high tea, perfect location (V & A Waterfront) and incredible views of Table Mountain, Cape Town Harbour, Cape Town stadium and the city center. The Camelot Heath Spa staff kindly directed me to the ladies changing rooms where I received a locker key for my valuables, towel for steam room, shower or pool should I choose to use them after my treatment and spa gown. Bottled water as well as toiletry basics set by Crabtree & Evelyn (nail file, ear bud, cottonwool, etc.) were also on offer.
Whilst I filled in my physical form (preferences and medical conditions) I was offered some dried apricots as well as a seaweed infused tea in the massage room waiting room. Not being a fan of seafood, I was worried but it was actually delicate and delicious. My masseuse ensured that I was comfortable in my room, a private room completely separate from other clients (some spas only have cubicles). To start the session, I had a body analysis done. Tabs were stuck on 4-5 points on my body, a machine whirls and 30 seconds later they tell you how much of your body is fat, muscle, your water intake, strength and how to lose weight or tone up depending on your results. Pretty fascinating.
Next I had a 60 minute full body massage, firstly face up and then face down including a foot massage and a facial. It was very relaxing and it felt like I was there for ages! I started feeling bad for the masseuse in case she was dying for home time!!! My least favourite part was the facial. The therapist put product on my face which felt almost like shaving cream. I couldn’t see as I had a warm bean bag over my eyes which was lovely and relaxing. A warm fan was then placed above my head which seemed to be to keep my face warm but I personally hate warm air in my face. I kept wanting to hold my breath so I didn’t have to deal with warm air in my nose that wasn’t created by nature! This is my personal preference but perhaps it won’t annoy others.
Over all it was very relaxing (except when those back knots are worked out – but isn’t that the point?) and peaceful. The massage therapist was lovely with a good sense of humour but very professional at the same time. I would definitely return to the Camelot Health Spa at the Table Bay Hotel although I have one warning: eat before you go because if you have an afternoon appointment you will meet the hotel’s afternoon tea on your way out which looks delicious!!!