I experienced a little taste of heaven. Or at least what heaven would be like
if I was in control. It’s Fil here, and those of you who follow our blog regularly would know that my birthday was around a month ago. My awesome family clubbed in to buy me a Durban Hammam Ceremony from the Oyster Box Spa, and I experienced all its wonder this past Sunday.
And it all started with the number 6 - the key to my locker in the spa bathrooms, where a fluffy white robe and some equally awesome white slippers awaited me. Truth be told, I found it a bit random to be wandering around in a robe like a mental patient, but hey, I rolled with it!
Me being a creep in my bathrobe and slippers!
As is ritual at the Oyster Box Spa, each guests receives a foot bath. Before your feet are bathed, you are asked to pick a rock with words engraved on it. The one you pick is the emotion you want to experience throughout your spa session. The choice of rocks I was given were serenity, elated and gratitude. Since this was a gift, I went with gratitude.
The place where you pick the rock of your choice
The Oyster Box Spa proudly boasts South Africa's only Hammam (how cool?!). A quick foray into wikipedia will tell you that a Hammam, or Turkish bath, consists of first relaxing in a steam room. It slowly gets hotter and there are taps and showers to splash yourself with cold water throughout the process (a God send). You then receive a full body massage and retire to a cooling-room for some relaxation. That is pretty much what happened to me. I was given full run of the Hammam room, and so felt comfortable to walk around and make it my own, with no fear of being interrupted. The steam room was incredible and very, er, steamy. I started to battle a bit towards the end, but the refreshing water taps that I could stumble over to helped a lot. Afterwards came the full body massage. And it was divine. My therapist began with traditional body massage and then moved into using hot lemons to massage me. She finished it off with a full body exfoliation using the juice from the hot lemons and some salts. Don't be shy or body conscious during a full body massage or you just won't enjoy it. Accept the process, accept the disposable underwear and accept that your butt will be massaged. :)
After the massage, my therapist ran a shower for me and I was able to take my time and just relax. The shower head was HUGE, like the size of a car tire and I felt like I was standing in the rain. It was uber relaxing and the products they provided me with smelt divine. That was the end of my treatment, but not the end of my spa day. From there, the therapist showed me the plunge pool and the tranquility room and I was able to move freely around the Spa to wherever I wanted. SO, I went and got some delish crunchies that I had eyed out when I came into the Spa earlier that day, and then went into the Tranquility room. This room has incredible french door shutters and overlooks the beautiful gardens of the Oyster Box Hotel. The billowing curtains make you feel like you're a. in a cocoon and; b. in that scene from Pearl Harbour. I read a magazine, opened the shutters and just listened to the rain outside.
The Plunge Pool and Tranquility Room
The Oyster Box may be pricey, but trust me, it so worth it. The treatment you get is exclusive and unique. I felt like I was the only person in the Spa, and knowing that the entire Hammam treatment room was mine for an hour made me feel special and important. I picked gratitude as my stone, but I left feeling elated, grateful and serene.
For an idea of what the Spa offers, check out their brochure here. The Spa is open pretty much all the time and Sundays seem to be an awesome time to go there. My session started at half past four and was 75 minutes long. I hardly saw anyone else and really felt like the spa was mine for the afternoon! These make GREAT gifts and the list of available treatments is extensive. They offer packages for mommies to be, brides to be and even spa parties - great for bridal showers!
A huge thank you to my awesome family for knowing me so well and giving me the perfect gift - some time to relax, some time to contemplate and some time to just indulge. Love you all long time!
Picture Credits: All pictures except for the dodgy one's I took were from here and here and here
Labels: Beauty, events, Gift Guide, happy, happy birthday, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Ruby and the Swallow Design Collective, Spa Day, The Oyster Box Hotel, therubyteam