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Cape Grace Launches New African Inspired Spa

Cape Grace, Cape Town’s premier luxury hotel, launched their new African inspired spa in November 2003.  The Spa at Cape Grace is open exclusively to hotel guests offering time-honoured African remedies and traditional African healing techniques. Located at the southern end of the building, on the top floor, The Spa offers magnificent panoramic views overlooking Table Mountain, the city and yacht marina.  The treatment rooms open to the outdoors, creating a unique and inspiring feeling of space and harmony with nature.

With Cape Town being the midway point of the spice trace route between Europe and the East from the early part of the 15th Century, The Spa at Cape Grace will reflect this culture and colour in its décor and ambience.

The internationally acclaimed professional skincare range, Académie, has been selected to complement The Spa’s range of treatments.  These include the conventional spa therapies as well as, for the first time, traditional African techniques taken from generations of healing remedies. 

Massage Therapy

In Africa, generosity is a part of life, and it can’t be rushed.  This is why each of the culturally inspired massages includes a pre and post phase, where guests are invited to take their time before returning to the rest of the world.

The African Cape Massage has been devised from inspiration from the Khoi San culture.  Based on their tradition of dancing in circular movement in preparation for healing, this treatment draws on the San’s custom by introducing the circular massage technique in the pre-treatment phase with a relaxing head massage.  Moving to the stomach, traditionally believed to be the central point on one’s being, the therapist will begin with a full body massage using the circular movements in a clockwise direction.  The massage medium is an infusion of Shea butter and Snowbush, resembling the animal fat that the Khoi San people rub on their bodies for cleansing.


The Thaba treatment begins with the application of “intelezi” (a gel of aloe vera and eucalyptus) to the ankles, wrists, biceps and head.  This four-hand massage is both invigorating and relaxing and incorporates the expertise of two therapists, skilfully using the African knopkierie (induku fighting sticks) to relieve tension knots and stimulate muscle tone.

Body Treatments

In Africa, no journey can begin without careful preparation of the mind, body and soul.  Drawing on the same belief, the body treatments all start with a calming body alignment.  To complete the journey, the therapists recommend a period of deep relaxation in the post-treatment area.

The African Way is a body treatment which uses various active ingredients to differentiate the experience.  Following a specific African-influenced sequence, a dry scrub is used to exfoliate the entire body (this resembles the Khoi San method of rubbing the body with sand for cleansing).  Thereafter, a relaxing oil or energising balm is massaged into the body followed by an enveloping body mask (like the mud that the Khoi San applied to their bodies).  While the mask takes effect, an indulgent head massage induces a state of complete relaxation, leaving your body to rest and your mind to dream.  The body mud mask is showered off and a powdered cream or body spritzer is applied to the body.  This cream resembles the root the Khoi San applied to their bodies to cool them in the desert and leaves your body smooth and silky whilst the spritzer refreshes and revitalises your nourished skin.

The African Face and Body treatment provides for a truly African experience.  Revel in a full body poppy seed exfoliation containing aloe vera to soothe, smooth and moisturise the skin.  This is followed by a revitalising facial using natural South African products containing double cream and an alginate mask to boost and brighten your skin.  This treatment also includes a relaxing neck and shoulder massage utilising Xhosa beads to help relieve tension.

The Spa at Cape Grace also has a range of facial, hand and foot treatments as well as an extensive hair salon.  However, in order to experience pure relaxation and pure indulgent pampering, the various ‘day-packages’ are a must!  These range from three hour’s treatment over one day to 18 individual treatments spread over five days for the most relaxing, revitalising and incredible spa experience.

Tony Romer-Lee, General Manager of Cape Grace commented: “We are delighted to be able to open the new, African inspired Spa at Cape Grace.  We are constantly listening to feedback from our visitors, and as a result, are now able to offer a full spa and pampering experience to all our guests in a truly relaxing and indulgent environment.”