LIFESTYLE TRAVEL

Willow Stream Spa at Zimbali Resort

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A few weeks ago I spent a week at the Fairmont Zimbali Resort.
Actually it was just one day and a night, but it felt like a week after an amazingly relaxing experience at the Willow Stream Spa, which was undoubtedly one of the best pamper experiences I’ve ever had – and there have been quite a few.
I’m a total sucker for a few hours of scrubbing, wrapping, massaging and facial treatments – I can honestly say that is THE way I choose to spend my leisure time and always wish I could just be left on the massage bed afterwards to fall asleep and prolong the experience. Well this time I got to retire to a suite in the hotel afterwards, still in my gown!

I had never visited the resort before, which is just outside Ballito, about 30 minutes from Durban. It’s an exclusive taste of luxury literally on our doorstep and if you’ve never been, do yourself a favour and go – it was like having a holiday in another city completely. I started off my day with a relax next to the main resort pool – I say main, as there are quite a few different pool options at the resort, which suit singles, couples and families, so everyone is catered for. It was such a beautiful day to enjoy under a huge poolside brolly with a cocktail – a sneaky decadent treat in the middle of a working week!
The resort really is beautiful and there’s so much tropical lush greenery it’s hard to remember you’re just outside Durbs – our KZN North Coast really is paradise.

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Then it was on to the spa which is inside the main hotel, on the bottom floor with  a fitness centre alongside it. But there was certainly no sweating on the cards, instead it was straight into a gown and slippers and into the relaxation area for delicious breakfast snacks, before being whisked into a treatment room for the first treatment – a 45 minute Detox Foot Intonga, which included exfoliation, wrapping and then a relaxing leg & foot massage, but the best part was that it was on a bed that is basically like a massive marshmallow! It felt like I was in a cocoon and was the most relaxing experience ever – the bed can be manoeuvred to accommodate your body in the most comfortable position for the treatment, so I felt weightless while being massaged – what an amazing feeling.

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In between delicious treats like macarons in the relaxation area, I also had a 60 minute full body massage with Lilian Terry essential oils and a 45 minute Guinot facial. I’d never used either of these products, but will definitely do so again as they left my skin glowing and I had zero breakouts on my face in the few weeks afterwards – a biggie for me.
If I could’ve taken that massage bed home with me though, I would’ve – what a phenomenal experience compared to the usual beds which are quite rigid and the massage was beyond sublime. Every knot was eased and relaxation levels were super high – thank goodness I didn’t have to drive home – I looked like a zombie!

Instead, after a delicious lunch, I was able to retire to the most beautiful suite with a magnificent view over the Indian Ocean with a spa bath in the middle of the room – as if the experience hadn’t been decadent enough already!
The view from the hotel rooms is phenomenal – we are so spoiled to live in such a beautiful part of the world.

 

That king sized bed was pure heaven and it took everything in my power to drag myself off it to get ready for dinner!
There are quite a few dining options available, but we chose to eat at OSA, their authentic Indian restaurant which serves a wide variety of dishes, including traditional Thali. We ordered a few dishes to share and enjoyed the good mix of ethnic dishes, most of which we hadn’t tried before – so it was an evening full of experimental eating.

Had to roll into bed after all that – the comfiest sleep ever!

Waking up in a hotel is my best, you know you don’t have to make the bed ;) – and breakfast is already cooked – what’s not to love? Well this was by far, right up there on my list of most extravagant breakfasts. A buffet is hard to do well, but this was a cinch for the Coral Tree which had real honeycomb to scrape your fresh honey from, the finest white choc shavings, fresh fruit in abundance and creme fraiche to dollop on top – I made myself the most decadent fresh fruit salad ever!
Of course you could choose from a myriad protein options and have your eggs cooked a zillion different ways, but I was honestly still full from the day before, so I had my fruit, with a view and a cappuccino and that was me – day made :)

So, if you are in need of time out – even in your own city – or are looking for a truly amazing relaxation experience – I highly recommend the Willow Stream Spa and make sure to have a treatment which includes getting on one of those massage beds! 

And if you can squeeze in an overnight stay – do it – you will feel like a new person.

Thank you to the amazing team at Zimbali for having me – it was such a pleasure staying at your beautiful hotel – I will definitely be back!

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Caley
    2nd March 2016 at 10:58 PM

    Our wedding venue :)
    I agree with all of the above – from the marshmallow bed in the spa to the breathtaking views, bath in the middle of the room, crazy buffet spread and so much more… Little slice of heaven, we can’t wait to go back x

    • Reply
      Nicola Ashe
      3rd March 2016 at 9:25 AM

      Oh my word how divine you got married there – it is amazing and YES, we are so lucky to have it on our doorstep x

  • Reply
    Andrea
    1st March 2016 at 8:48 PM

    Looks amazing!

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