Whenever I’m asked to recommend a spa with a view The Westin’s, which has recently been rebranded to become a Heavenly Spa, is one that always springs to mind. Situated on the 19th floor of the hotel, you’re treated to a panoramic cityscape that includes the mountain and harbour and, to me, this is just as gorgeous as any old rolling hill in the winelands.
But ja, killer views aside, let’s chat about the spa’s spoilicious new special, The Secret Lunch Hour (R650 per person.). It essentially entails your choice a 45 minute treatment (a facial, mani, pedi or back, neck and shoulder massage) followed by a delish 2-course lunch at the hotel’s new ON19 restaurant that’s literally a few feet away from the spa.
In order to celebrate Women’s Day, the spa invited myself as well as three other media peeps to bring along a friend and experience the special. Thus my darling Chelle and I shoved pounding hangovers aside and rocked up bright and early to use the spa’s facilities that include a sauna, heated lap pool, gym and jacuzzi. We kind of looked at the gym the way my cousin’s kid looks at veggies (great, but not for me) then hopped into the jacuzzi to sip surprisingly yummy green juice, soak up the city skyline and talk about how our impending spinsterhoods was actually awesome ‘cos we could travel the world with hairy legs and retain nice, tight vaginas.
Soon it was treatment time and Chelle and I had both opted for a massage. My therapist Linda was fab in that she allowed me to pretty much just lie there like a dead animal. She intuitively knew which of my muscles where in need of tenderising and was able to release them in a way that didn’t leave me wincing. Also, I asked that she not get any oil in my hair and she listened! You’ll be surprised how many therapists, whether they give you a hair net or not, still manage to slide oil up the back of your neck and into your hair. This is a pet hate of mine, so big props to Linda!
Afterwards, Chelle and I floated back to each other and used the remainder of our pre-lunch facility time to sit on this bench type thing next to the sauna that, whether intentionally or not, was super-duper warm. We merrily toasted our bums while staring out the city and I regaled her with the entire plot of the world’s most depressing and strange Jennifer Connolly movie I’d inadvertently half-watched while doing household chores. If there’s ever a day where you’re simply ‘too happy’ and need a dash o’ depression in your life, know it’s called Aloft and involves terminally sick children, a boy’s beloved falcon getting shot out of the sky, mysterious healing powers and Jennifer as a grim-faced bereaved mom rocking a super gross clip-in rat-tail plait that slithers out from the bottom of her lob. Funsies!
After that, I’m sure Chelle was thrilled to escape to The Westin’s chic-looking skytop restaurant, ON19, where the bubbles were flowing, two types of flavoured butters on offer and the menu was as long as my arm. While the special generally entails two courses, we were in for a multi-course journey that involved getting a taste of a bit of everything – my favourite way to eat and in great company too.
Of everything I tried, I really, really enjoyed the miso ramen amuse bouche – a super tasty, ultra salty broth that included ramen noodles and shiitake mushrooms – and most liked the baby soft beef fillet served with parsnip pure and something that looked like a square of cheesey potato bake.
Desserts where an impressive affair too and included an ice cream-filled strawberry macaroon (the whole thing tasted like a killer good strawberry milkshake) served with a vial of strawberry syrup and a sugar covered almond that had been whipped away while caramelising to create a long, striking-looking ‘tail’.
In all, this was a fantastically luxe change of pace for a Sunday, specially since mine of late have involved script writing in bed, ordering a pizza, scripting some more and then blacking out over my keyboard. Such is the glamour of working in television.
A big thank you to The Westin, On19, Heavenly Spa and Kirsty from Positive Dialogue PR for a truly fabulous day out.