I’ve always wanted to pay a visit to the spa at One&Only Cape Town. With the hotel’s high walls and beyond exclusive image I naturally imagined that the spa located behind its walls would be the most incredible spa on earth – you know, angels massaging your feet, ladies in waiting hand feeding you grapes on the vine, that kind of thing. Alas, a journalist’s salary doesn’t buy you treatments at one of the most exclusive spas in Cape Town so I added it to my “one day” list and moved on with my life. But then it happened, the generous souls at Bisquit Cognac invited me for a day of pampering at the One&Only! That’s right ladies, dreams do come true and now thanks to Bisquit I can write about the rather mysterious spa and give you all the low-down on whether or not it is indeed worth the splurge for us regular folks.
Located on the hotel’s ultra-exclusive island (seriously what kind of hotel has its own island?) the spa finds itself adjacent to the hotel’s VIP island suites where many a Hollywood celeb has stayed when visiting Cape Town. The bottom line is; it doesn’t get more fancy-pants than this. Inside, the spa is elegant, yet intimate and offers a number of exclusive treatment rooms, a scenic relaxation room, singles and couples treatment villas, men’s and women’s changing areas with thermal suites, and a full-service salon including the Pedi:Mani:Cure Studio by Bastien Gonzalez, and hair styling by South Africa’s own Wayne Gates.
The relaxation room was beyond amazing and offers the most comfortable beds with heated blankets and wrap-around neck pillows as well as a selection of eats and drinks for guests to enjoy while at the spa. I’m not just talking cucumber water the relaxation room offers guests a spread of note while they are waiting for their next treatment or relaxing after their treatment – on the day I visited, the snack area of the relaxation room offered mini health muffins, health bars, fruit platters, a wide range of teas, bottled water, and other drinks for guests. I could have spent all day in this room and not even bothered with my treatments so if you book a treatment at the spa make sure you leave time to spoil yourself in the relaxation room as well.
Another awesome feature of the spa is the ‘his’ and ‘hers’ thermal suites which offer luxurious changing areas (complete with a blow-dry station packed with amenities) and secure lockers as well as sauna and steam facilities, ‘experience’ showers with three different water settings, an 18-square-metre heated vitality pool and an ice station. I spent loads of time in the vitality pool as it is equipped with a metal pool bed and a jacuzzi bubble function. Lying in that pool was beyond relaxing and I can’t imagine a better way to spend a cold afternoon. Once again, make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to experience the thermal facilities as they are fabulous. Saunas and steam rooms aren’t really my vibe, but I did check them out and found both to be quite spacious and elegantly done.
And now, let’s talk about my treatments! I was lucky enough to be treated to a full day ‘Me Time’ spa package (270 minutes and lunch at R3595) which included an ESPA Super Active Facial, (90 minutes), One&Only Spa Massage (60 minutes), and a Bastien Gonzalez Duo Manicure and Pedicure (60 minutes) so I got a pretty good idea of the facilities on offer.
The Bastien Gonzalez Duo Manicure and Pedicure was by far my favourite treatment as the One&Only Cape Town is the only spa in Africa offering this treatment! Bastien Gonzalez is internationally famous for his unique approach to foot treatments as well as manicures. The treatment leaves your nails naturally shiny, even more than it would with a coat of nail varnish and eliminates any nail problems or signs of skin rigidity that could lead to corns, calluses or other painful skin thickening. The treatment also includes a hand and foot massage that focuses on muscular flexibility, joint mobility, blood circulation and skin elasticity. Bastien’s Pedi:Mani:Cure Duo (60 minutes) will usually set you back about R1395. Find out more about this treatment here.
The One&Only Massage was also divine and I loved that my therapist consulted me about which areas I wanted her to focus on and which areas I wanted her to avoid during my treatment. My therapist allowed me to choose the oils I liked most before the treatment and then spent the greater part of the hour focusing on my back, shoulders, and feet. The One&Only offers three types of massages, namely the Unwind Massage, Restore Massage, and the Elevate Massage (all 50/80minutes minutes at R795/R1095) which can be tailored to your needs.
So what’s my verdict? the One&Only Spa is beyond amazing and definitely worth the splurge if you make use of the additional facilities on offer (the thermal suites, relaxation room, etc). I also loved that they offer a range of treatments that you would not be able to find anywhere else (like the Bastien manis and pedis). If, however, you just want a quick massage then you’re better off going somewhere less expensive – the beauty of this exclusive spa lies in its luxurious extras!
For more information on the One&Only Cape Town spa click here.
After years of working as an Editor and writer for popular websites like Joburg’s Darling, Cape Town’s Darling and Joburg.co.za, Crystal left her sanity and an established career in lifestyle journalism behind to follow her dream of creating a website for the intellectual and discerning woman. Today she spends her time chasing the thrill of being the first to know about ‘the next big thing’. She’ll try anything once and has been known to put her body, hair and health on the line – all in the name of research.