Spa Review: A Piece Of Paradise Hidden In Suburbia

Avoiding the Joburg morning rush, we made our way towards the wrought-iron gates of Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa – and a hidden piece of paradise. The hotel is tucked away in the neatly trimmed suburb of Wendywood, conveniently just out of the Sandton CBD. If you didn’t know about it, you wouldn’t easily find it. Escorted down an avenue of palm trees, we found it easy to forget we were in the middle of one of Africa’s busiest cities.

Fairlawns marries Eastern tranquillity with Western architecture and leisure, for a uniquely quaint end-product that promises true peace of mind. The hotel and restaurant, with its wide windows opening to lush gardens and sprawling lawns, has been artfully decorated with European-inspired antique pieces. But the true gem of Fairlawns – and the purpose of our visit – is the spa.

How to make the most of it

Don’t get stuck in traffic on a busy Joburg morning; simply switch off your phone and turn the corner to experience an inner-city delight. Whether it’s a late Valentine’s retreat or just a mid-week escape, ensure that you get a boost that will get you through the season. Be it lounging by the pool or sweating it out in the gym – or steam room – just enjoy your private city detox.

Who to ask for

The spa manager is the one with the calming demeanor and infectious smile. Corné van Reenen took control of our entire day and happily saw to all our needs. Our two therapists, Noni and Lucia, made the experience more enjoyable, treating us like old girlfriends, giggling with us about everything and anything as they filed our nails.

When to go

We went in mid-January, but while this kind of escape is desirable at any time of the year, we would recommend visiting in the autumn or early winter months – anytime between March and May. Aside from sporting fair weather and fewer clients, Fairlawns will also be unveiling its newly renovated additions to the spa in March. These include a floatation pool, an undercover heated hydro pool and a couple’s treatment suite.

Don’t forget to pack

Depending on the purpose and duration of your visit, pack lightly and comfortably. If the weather permits, you can go swimming in the pristine pools and lounge at the poolside on deck chairs, so do pack swimwear. If you are interested in trying the cuisine at the restaurant, include one smart-casual outfit. Meals can be pre-ordered from the spa and the selection is wide enough to satisfy even the most discerning clientele.

What you get from the spa

The spa is tucked away in the far corner of Fairlawns’ sprawling garden. On arrival, we were showed to the reception area of the spa and offered light refreshments, while Corné introduced us to our friendly therapists. They handed us forms to be filled in, where we noted the specifics of our skin and areas of concern, for purposes of the massage and facial. In this way, our treatments were set up to address our unique needs. After this, we got into our soft white robes and enjoyed the steam room for a few minutes, before starting our full-body massage.

Sharing a treatment room made the experience even more enjoyable, and we were able to fully immerse ourselves in the QMS Medicosmetics Collagen Rejuvenation Treatment. Wherever we went in the spa, we were accompanied by the sounds of birds and meditative music. Following a rejuvenating facial – an algae mask that provides the therapist with a full facial analysis, and a plaster modelage mask that delivers a micro facelift from underneath – we were treated to a sumptuous, freshly prepared lunch on the deck, overlooking the gardens. Noni and Lucia then took us through a side door to the spa villa, where we would enjoy a manicure and a pedicure courtesy of OPI polish.

Why this spa?

The Fairlawns half-day spa experience exceeded our expectations in every way. From collagen facials to full-body massages, everything is catered for. The spa features a refreshment table that is available throughout the day, as well as lovely bathrooms in both the reception area and the villa. If you do need to get online, Wi-Fi is available for clients’ use, and you can rest in lounge chairs in the gardens and villa.

If the fast-paced city life is getting to you, book yourself in for a quick escape and rejuvenation – and be set for the rest of the season. Click here to find out more about their bookings.

Click here to find out which health benefits are offered by regular saunas – and how you can have them too!