The path leading to Angsana Spa – winner of the 2013 World Luxury Spa Awards for the Best Luxury Spa in Africa – winds through the lush landscaped gardens of the Vineyard Hotel in leafy Newlands. The setting and the views alone are an antidote to the world of noise and business outside.
Glass doors open to reveal an airy contemporary interior, with tropical fruit colours of tangerine and lime accented with Asian touches. Upon arrival, one is greeted with the warm smiles synonymous with Thailand, in keeping with this award-winning Asian brand, which trains its therapists from the acclaimed Banyan Tree Spa academy in Phuket.
With no less than 12 different massages on offer, including the famous ‘Fusion’ (a blend of Thai and Swedish massage techniques) Hawaiian, Ayurveda, Javanese warm bamboo (based on ancient Balinese healing traditions), Thai and the exclusive Angsana, the choice is far-reaching.
For those who are undecided, the receptionist is a knowledgeable source, ready to discuss particular needs and preferences. The Javanese massage is the Angsana Spa’s most popular – aiding relaxation as well as tackling twisted muscles.
The treatment rooms here are exceptionally spacious, and are flooded with natural light from large windows overlooking views of wild foliage. A vast shower doubles up as a steam room and there is even a choice of treatment bed, which are both dressed in cool sheets – a welcome touch on a hot summer’s day.
My lovely doll-like therapist, Laila, took the time to confirm what pressure I would like as well as which areas of tension she should focus on. Even more impressively, she actually followed these directives, unlike all too many therapists who appear to forget the information as soon as you lie down.
What followed was a skillful full body massage with even, firm pressure. Softly spoken, Laila took care to ensure everything was comfortable. As she placed the eye pillow, a subtle fresh scent of neroli fragrance filled the air.
Just as I was coming to terms with the idea that the massage was complete, Laila then began one of the best and longest head massages I’ve ever experienced.
The treatment concluded with the gentle sound of a gong and a fine mist spray of essential oils. In a blissed out daze I was guided to sit with a choice of hot ginger or iced rooibos tea – presented with a delicate arrangement of melon balls. It is these mostly neglected touches that elevate a spa from good to great. The longer massages (60 or 90 minutes) include an additional 30 minutes of ‘calm time’ – a thoughtful touch ensuring that there is no need to rush.
Angsana Spa has five luxurious double treatment rooms and five single treatment rooms as well as a signature rainmist room. The spa is particularly renowned for its Asian healing therapies, which are a fusion of East and West and aromatherapy beauty remedies. Body wraps and polishes are made from natural ingredients that are hand-blended at the spa – not out of a jar – and sing with delicious names such as ‘Almond Lemon Shine’ and ‘Honey Sesame’.
Named after the exotic Angsana Tree, with its fragrant golden flowers which burst into bloom unexpectedly for just one day, the philosophy of the Angsana Spa is to seize life spontaneously, to sense the moment and savour time as it passes… a philosophy which is easily embraced whilst experiencing one of their signature treatments in these tranquil and stylish surrounds.
Sam is a freelance writer and photographer as well as a spa consultant.
For further information contact the Angsana Spa on 021 674 5005 /6
60 minute Javanese massage is R520 90 minute Javanese massage R690