It’s not often you find a place that both relaxes the mind and settles the soul, unless it’s home, but that’s exactly what Brookdale felt like for me. I was invited to this piece of paradise recently, to take some time out to recharge the batteries and just be… and now I’m hooked.
I have to admit up front though, that I was expecting to feel relaxed, but deprived. I mean I knew I was going to have time to chill out, but I imagined that I would be starving throughout my stay, with just salads at meal times and tiny portions, with no caffeine and alcohol as if I was on a mega detox – how wrong I was!
Yes, there is no caffeine or alcohol, but the food was outstanding and plentiful – more than I even eat at home, but the trick is it’s all so wonderfully fresh and considered, that what you eat is nourishing and filling and you’re well satiated throughout your stay. Plus I’m now a tea convert – ginger & lemon tea to be exact.
Brookdale Health Hydro offers a holistic health package designed to bring balance into your life and the Nutrifit program which they prescribe to, is based on healthy eating, moderate regular exercise and stress management. It helps that resident chef Juliet is passionate about serving delicious food throughout your stay – no one meal is the same and the attention to making sure food is delicious, yet healthy is commendable. And as mentioned, you are not starved at all – with 3 main meals served in the communal dining room and 2 snacks served mid-morning and late afternoon, to eat at your leisure.
I’m already looking at dates to visit next year just to eat the food :)
Until then I’ll make some of the food at home from one of their 2 cookbooks – Heavenly & Healthy Flavours.
The beauty of Brookdale lies in the fact that it’s not a spa attached to a hotel, but rather a real hydro with facilities and treatments to support this. Choose from a variety of classes or informative talks, including aquacise, yoga, pilates, nutrition & supplementation talks, or have a swim in either the indoor heated or the outdoor pool, followed by either a steam, jacuzzi or sauna. Indulge in one of many amazing treatments on offer from the qualified therapists – I had an Esse Organic Body Exfoliation, followed by a full body and scalp massage on my first day, with an Ahava Back Mud Treatment with Bellabaci cups on my second day. Treatments include ozone therapy, body masks, hydrotherapy baths, facials, manicures, pedicures and waxing – so you can pretty much leave there looking like you’ve been on extreme makeover ;)
Facilities include a full gym, a studio for yoga, pilates & guided relaxation, the most beautiful landscape and hidden gardens for quiet moments of contemplation. There’s a reflexology path made of raised stones, a mosaic steam room, numerous beautifully scented treatment rooms and lounge areas. But it’s the small attention to detail that sets Brookdale apart from others – a table set with colouring books & pencils, a couch complete with balls of yarn and knitting needles and an all-you-can-drink tea station with the most delicious rooibos & honeybush tea, with fresh lemon, ginger and mint to add at will.
I felt like I’d been away for a week after just 2 days.
Now I know why so many people return year after year to reacquaint themselves with life at this very special retreat in the Midlands. You should too.
Accommodation & treatments were kindly provided by Brookdale.