Tag Archives: spa

Indoors at Santé

Indoor swimming pool
In my previous post I spoke about the fact that we were a little disappointed by Santé Spa... not the spa part, but the restaurant and apparent barrenness.

I took this photo through of the spa's indoor swimmingpool - isn't it lovely? Can you imagine spending a few hours in this room, away from the often-persistent-and-annoying Cape wind? Even though the restaurant and the grounds outside left me generally uninspired, there may be merit in visiting the spa to spend a day at the spa... to get away from the busyness and clutter of our lives.

Santé Spa – a little less than expected

Santé Spa
We visited Santé Spa in the Franschhoek Valley for their Sunday buffet lunch. Unfortunately, we should have known not to visit a health spa for a Sunday buffet! The food wasn't very exciting - in fact, it was pretty extremely bland-tasting, the type that health-nuts would go crazy over. Minimal salt, little flavour, and no yummies. :)

Do you may recall J Arthur Brown and the Fidentia asset management scandal of a few years ago? As far as I know, Santé Spa was (or is) owned by by Mr. Brown's wife and I can only assume that Santé was somehow negatively effected by scandal. The hotel and spa seemed extremely quiet - almost dead. In fact, I swear that I saw a tumbleweed pass us in the courtyard!

The only thing that we really enjoyed about our visit was the drive and the beautiful views of the spectacular Simonsberg Mountain Range. Hopefully with some tender loving care they'll step up their game and become one of the great resorts of the Franschhoek Valley, but as for now, I can't say that we were overly excited.

The Isa Carstens experience

Ex-students of Isa Carstens

The closest photo, in this photo, is the first group of Isa Carstens Academy students - from 1978. From then on and for over 30 years the Isa Carstens Academy in the leafy town of Stellenbosch has been the training ground for the top health, wellness and skincare professionals in the country.

Over the years I've known several people who've packed their bags, boarded huge cruise liners, and headed out to see the world while perfecting their practice on the rich and famous. (Well, not always the rich and famous... sometimes only the rich. ;) ). Doesn't that sound like an awesome way for a young person to kick-start their lives - traveling, seeing the world, and being paid to do so?

I guess it's no surprise that when we were offered the opportunity to visit the academy and indulge in their treatments - we eagerly accepted. Kerry-Anne's busy recovering from an arthroscopy of her hip joint, so Isabel (owner and MD of the academy) suggested that she try the lymphatic drainage treatment while one of the other students kept me in a state of bliss with a hot stone massage.

Both students were extremely professional and had such a calming nature and way of speaking that we both had no problem feeling utterly relaxed within a few minutes of lying down. It was awesome. Allow me to say it again. It was awesome. :)

What makes the Isa Carstens Academy different from many other training institutions is that the second-year students gain practical workplace experience in the academy's fully commercial spa, the Isa Wellness Sanctuary (map). While the students benefit from the experience, the public benefits from the greatly discounted rates (offered for the simple reason that the therapists are still students). Here's a link to their current rates for spa as well as for the nail lounge. (If you're visiting from abroad, remember, the prices are in Rands.)