I have never been cleaner in my life. I have three showers and an exfoliation scrub to thank for that. My morning at Mangwanani Spa at The Cullinan also left me looser than freshly cooked spaghetti and more relaxed than a postal worker on a dog-free street.
Now, I have never been one for spa treatments. I generally find them awkward, but while I didn’t do myself any favours this time around by laughing at the disposable underwear provided, Noxi – my massage therapist – does a great job putting me at ease early on and thus allowing me to really tap into the experience from start to finish.
Mangwanani, established in 2002, was born of the decision to couple the ethos of revitalisation with an African inspiration. All the therapists employed are local, while the training and accreditation is world-class, driving social development and excellence.
The facilities are fantastic, the treatments top-notch, but what is really evident at Mangwanani, across all their venues, is the natural warmth with which you are welcomed. Offering a wide array of treatments and packages, I have been signed up to undergo the Korean Scrub (not as dastardly as it sounds), followed by the Traditional African Full Body Massage with Hot Stones.
After showering, I spend around 30 minutes with the exfoliation scrub – I lose track of time at some point – and apart from it being insanely relaxing, I also genuinely feel like I have a new layer of skin on display. It’s a weird, yet not all too bad, feeling as I head back down to shower and prepare for the full body massage – the real reason I am here.
As I put my head back on the towel, the soft, rhythmic music and dimly lit room almost immediately mellow my mood further and within minutes I am nodding off, vaguely aware of Noxi’s movements and the soft click-clacking of the stones as she prepares them with the oils.
The next 30+ minutes – again the room acts as a time chamber of sorts – are a blur, my awareness woken only once as I turn from my back onto my stomach, before drifting back into that place which lies somewhere between sleep and wakefulness.
At the end I emerge from the room, while not necessarily a new man, certainly a more relaxed one. The tension that has been bunching my back and shoulders magicked away at the fingertips of Noxi and her hot stones.