I once joked that I am not getting out of bed for less than R10,000 after a skincare company presented me with a hamper of their products worth R10,000.
It was a throwaway reference to Linda Evangelista’s witticism about supermodels not getting out of bed for less. I never thought more of it until I was invited to preview Valley Lodge & Spa’s first foray into finer dining. I was talking to their General Manager, Laurence McGrath, when the Spa Manager, Jacqueline Lindeque, joined our conversation and casually suggested I make use of their spa facilities – one of the perks of being a guest at Valley Lodge & Spa is unlimited access to the hydro facilities at the spa.
Naturally, I said, “Yes!”
It was the polite thing to say, and I had already planned on using the spa facilities and had booked a treatment for myself. Laurence quickly interjected that Jacqueline couldn’t invite me to the spa because I was “JoziStyle”, and I don’t get out of bed for less than R10,000!
A week later I received an invitation to experience a spa treat at Valley Lodge & Spa. Valley Lodge & Spa is literally an hour’s drive from Johannesburg, tucked away in the leafy green pocket of the Magaliesburg, and a gorgeous travel destination for local and international holiday makers alike.
When we arrived, Robert popped into the spa to check us in while I pop into Laurence’s office to say hello and thank him for the invitation. When I caught tup with Robert, he looked at me with a look of uncertainty and said, “I don’t know, but I think we are going to be here the whole day …”
I say it can’t be possible because most spa invitations are limited to a either a massage or a facial at best, but Jacqueline assures me that it’s true as she’s booked us into a private suite in the spa and intends to pamper us until sunset!
<strong>Elemis Exotic Line and Ginger Salt Glow – R800.00</strong>
We begin with a light body brushing to exfoliate dead skin cells and stimulate circulation before our therapist applies warm oil and the Elemis Exotic Line and Ginger Salt Glow. The zesty scrub is massaged over our bodies to further polish away dead skin and leaves our skin feeling silky smooth and nourished. I love the aroma as it’s quite refreshing and stimulating.
Our private suite has an en-suite where our therapists instruct us to shower before soaking in a jet bath for twenty minutes. The jet bath pummels our muscles from every angle and leaves us feeling massaged into submission.
<strong>Classic Aromatherapy Massage – Full Body Massage, 60 minute treatment, R700.00 </strong>
We’re invited back onto the massage tables for a full body massage with the Elemis Exotic Frangipani Monoi Body Oil. Our therapists ask if we have any specific areas we want them to focus on – Robert stores more tension in his neck and shoulders whereas my wrists and forearms take more strain, so we get a customised massage according to our individual requirements. The heady massage oil is evocative of a tropical island. I couldn’t help but drift in and out of consciousness as my therapist applies her skills to massage all tension out of my muscles – which coupled with the jet bath leaves me suspended in a stupor incapable of thought or speech.
<strong>Manicure & Pedicure – 60 minute Manicure for R500.00 60 minute Pedicure for R550.00</strong>
Our therapists segue effortlessly to give us a manicure and pedicure that leaves hands and feet feeling rejuvenated. I am so relaxed I can barely focus on what is happening but am delighted with the results.
<strong>Elemis BIOTEC Facial Treatments R1,300</strong>
Jacqueline pops in with some refreshments – because being pampered is hard work, and to advise us on what facials she’s recommended for us. She’s passionate about the Elemis range of skincare products and prescribes the Sonic Skin-Radiance Facial for Robert for it’s super-lifting properties to help firm and tighten cheeks, neck and jawline. She recommends the O2 Sensitive Skin Soothing Facial because I have a sensitive skin.
Elemis products are responsibly sourced using marine and plant and active ingredients, and with the exception of honey, beeswax and milk proteins, they don’t use animal by-products or test on animals. It’s a high-performance skincare range that delivers visible results.
I love the application of the products because the technique feels like a layering and unveiling. I also love the results because my skin feels refreshed and nourished and looks visibly pampered and plumped.
<strong>Craniosacral Therapy (R1,200)</strong>
Valley Lodge & Spa offer a variety of cosmetic treatments but they are evolving to offer a wider range of holistic treatments to restore balance to body, mind, and spirit. Their offering includes craniosacral therapy, rei-flexology, and ear candling. After being pampered from head to toe, Robert and I were treated to a craniosacral therapy with <a href=”firstname.lastname@example.org”>Darryl de Villiers</a>.
Craniosacral therapy manipulates the joints of the skull and spine to regulate the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. It is a soothing treatment that aligns the body and releases stress. Darryl observes that my left and right brain are “surprisingly well-balanced”, and that my throat chakra is quiet strong – which means I can express the truth quiet strongly. He adds that it doesn’t mean that people like what I say, just that I speak the truth. He identifies that my breathing is restricted so he manipulates my diaphragm to release the restriction. Regardless if I was aware of my restricted breathing, it feels as though my chest has opened to inhale and exhale more easily. If I wasn’t fully relaxed already, I am feeling deeply serene on a physical, mental, spiritual level – even down to a cellular level.
<strong>Late Lunch </strong>
Valley Lodge is a veritable foodie destination, and their spa is no exception. I ordered a Salmon, Prawn & Avocado Salad for lunch (I was surprisingly peckish considering I hadn’t done much). It was a generous portion that included fennel and horseradish pickled beetroot to create a salad that was varied in texture and flavour. Feeling rejuvenated and celebratory, I ordered a bottle of bubbles to enjoy with my salad – because it’s a spa, not rehab. Robert had been nibbling all day so he just had some bubbles.
There was no rush or urgency to leave, so we relaxed in the spa and enjoyed a lazy afternoon taking full advantage of the hydro facilities – jumping from the steam-room into the Jacuzzi and the mineral pool. The mineral pool at valley Lodge & Spa is a must do if you visit because it re-mineralises your body, leaves your skin soft, and washes away all of fatigue.
After a day of decadence, Valley Lodge & Spa and Elemis took it to a whole new level of indulgence as presented Robert and me with goodie bags filled with Elemis products. I felt like a kid in a candy store. Jacqueline said she noticed that I gravitated more to facial products while Robert was more interested in body treatments so she included a thoughtful selection of each. We both received a jar of Elemis Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream (R1,740) and Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Mask 50ml (R1,225); plus a slew of Elemis products that included:
Elemis Hydra Balance Day Cream 50ml (R985)
Elemis Pro Collagen Hydra Gel Eye Masks (R1,190)
Elemis Tea Tree S.O.S Spray 60ml (R570)
Elemis Instant Refreshing Gel 150ml (R760)
Elemis Jasmine and Rose Milk Bath (R1,000)
Elemis Aching Muscle Super Soak 400ml (R875)
Elemis Frangipani Monoi Salt Glow 480g (R955)
Elemis Frangipani Monoi Body Cream 200ml (R625)
Elemis Exotic Frangipani Monoi Shower Cream (R570)
Elemis Exotic Frangipani Monoi Body Oil 100ml (R810)
The best part of the hamper was it helped extend our memories of a fantastic day at Valley Lodge & Spa with Elemis whenever we use the products – and those memories are priceless!