Hands that serve are holier than lips that pray.Sai Baba
Two weekends ago my boyfriend invited me on a family trip to Cape Town where we took some time to unwind at the Jiva Spa in the Taj – the setup had already been so captivating but their employees were an amazing addition to this already fantastic experience. We’ve been stuck in this pandemic for the longest time but it was comforting to be able to enjoy something relaxing without feeling vulnerable and downright anxious. Situated in the heart of the city, inside the Taj hotel, the moment you walk in you wouldn’t even remember that fact. Besides the international flair of ancient Indian royalty you’ll be engulfed by their hospitality and the warm ambience, you’re completely transported to a different world, the soft tinkle of music completely drowns out the noises of the busy city just outside.
We were welcomed in true Indian tradition with hands pressed together and a soft “Namaste” by the spas host and warmly directed to our respective changing areas. I have no idea what the men’s change room looked like but the women’s change room was well lit, well stocked and well cleaned, offering a keyless locker where you can choose your own six digit code to lock/unlock and prepped with a bathrobe, disposable underwear, a pair of sandals and a really beautiful jewelry box to keep any valuables stored away for the duration of your visit. After doing some research on the spa, it was amazing to find out that in line with their approach to wellness everything we had touched and worn had been completely natural and organic.
We were ushered into a cozy waiting area (the Vishram – translated from Hindi meaning ‘breathing space’) and served hot tea or bottled water whilst our treatment room was prepared for us. We finally entered a warm, cosy candle-lit room which would serve as our ride to relaxation and an aroma one can only describe as the scent of the perfume Mary poured on Jesus’ feet.
I loved how welcoming and accommodating our therapists were from asking if the music was suitable to our taste to the temperature in the room. They begun our treatment by directing us to our chairs and requested we place our feet in the warm water whilst they washed and sanitized their hands (COVID vibes) before they began. They started our treatment by greeting us and explaining the philosophy of Jiva Spa being deeply rooted in India’s ancient traditional approach to healing and wellness, they use these philosophies to align body, soul, and mind. If you know me, you know I’m a sucker for holistic living. In traditional Indian custom, our feet had been washed, ensuring relaxation from head to toe, before we began our full body aromatherapy massage. I love that even before we were smothered and drenched in beautiful aromas we were given a whiff and our therapist explained the ingredients in each, IMPORTANT. Then the magic began.
For me, a spa is not so much about Instagram worthy shots or champagne glasses clinking, it’s about relaxation, being able to unwind and allowing your body to release tension and stress that we may not even realize we have. My dear therapist introduced me to something spectacular called cupping, but not that awful one that could potentially leave your body and mind scarred, but one that’s not only gentle but serves to remove toxins from ones body in a less painful way, I was too relaxed to get specifics but I would 10/10 recommend this addition to your treatment.
Despite my mind wandering off into planning this review mid massage, I was able to surrender what felt like my entire being to the relaxation and ambience of my therapy. Each limb was drenched in the most luxurious feeling and each pressure point perfectly massaged relieving me of tension I didn’t even realize had been built up in those crevices of my body. When I say full body, I expect my entire body to be in complete surrender to my therapist and she surely did the job never missing a spot. You really never know how much you need it until you do it. I would return to Cape Town specifically to visit Jiva Spa and relive this experience. I’m truly grateful for my boyfriend who spoilt me with this, and I’m grateful to Jiva Spa for their hospitality.
Ironically, my therapist’s name was Bianca. So if by chance her employers see this – she was a gem, soft-spoken and sweet. At the point of entry to the very end she was courteous, considerate and I felt very comfortable with her, and her angel hands that transported me to a point of complete zen. Thank you for introducing me to cupping and for helping my little body have a moment of relaxation – you made the experience even better!
My therapist, Bianca.