Glasshouse has created a grooming emporium with overtones of a gentlemen’s club. Hot cappuccinos, cold beers and refined whisky can be enjoyed whilst watching the rugby – as a therapist skillfully attends to your toes.
The décor successfully reflects the ethos behind Glasshouse: masculine, comfortable, contemporary and suitably slick, yet not intimidating. Black leather couches and flat screen TV’s are balanced with natural textiles, creating a loft-like feel, complete with accent lighting. The treatment rooms are spacious and softly lit, with earthy colours and exposed red brick walls – minimal and masculine rather than pretty and pastel.
I was longing to try it, but Glasshouse is reserved exclusively for men, so I had to settle for sending my partner. He emerged from his glass cocoon with glowing skin, perfectly groomed feet and the blissful expression that follows a few hours of deep relaxation. Once he had drifted down to earth, I gleaned the following:
The treatments began with a muscle-melting massage. The therapist enquired about the pressure and where the most tension was held, and worked with oils that were fresh and citrusy. No one emerges from Glasshouse smelling of roses.
Warm, comfortable and relaxed, he was then led to a second room – the one part of the experience that could be bettered, as having to move to a cooler room after a massage can be a considerable dampener. Nonetheless, once settled in, he did relax deeply again – a testament to the quality of the treatments.
Here the facial and pedicure were done at the same time, by two separate therapists. An unusual combination perhaps, but in practice it works perfectly. Just imagine your feet and head being massaged at the same time… And it is also wonderfully efficient for those under time constraints.
A knowledgeable skin consultation preceded the Dermalogica facial, whilst feet were soaked in warm water before being scrubbed and exfoliated and nails neatened and trimmed. The highlight was undoubtedly the unexpected massage during both the facial and pedicure. Described as “way more than just a facial” the extended head, neck and shoulder massage, combined with the perfectly synchronised foot massage, elevated the Glasshouse treatments to a new level.
That, and the overall caring nature of the therapists really stood out. At Glasshouse there is no sense of rush, or of a factory production line – sadly an all too common feeling in busy spas nowadays. The therapists were chatty (when appropriate) friendly and very attentive. Used to dealing exclusively with men, as opposed to treating an occasional man amongst a stream of women, they are comfortable performing all the treatments (including the more intimate waxing ones) which in turn puts the clients at ease. Skin care samples are freely given, allowing one to try new products without the pressure to purchase immediately (another tiresome spa habit).
The facial clearly took years off his skin, which looked and felt clean, clear and hydrated. His feet were transformed and eminently presentable. The overall experience was resoundingly positive and definitely worth recommending as well as returning.
Glasshouse has set the bar for male grooming with caring therapists, great treatments and a welcoming and unique space. It therefore came as no surprise to learn that they have recently won a World Luxury Spa Awards for achievement in service delivery over the past year. From what I hear, it is well deserved.
Sam Reynolds is a freelance writer, photographer and spa consultant, with over 12 years international experience in the spa world. To see more of her writing and photography please look at http://goldendreams.me.
Glasshouse Rejuvenation for Men
The Foundry, 74 Prestwich St, Greenpoint, Cape Town
Tel: 021 419 9599
Standard Dermalogica facial 60 min R 460
Executive Pedicure 60 min R 250
45 min Swedish Massage R 370