Andrew Shapland, aka The Roving Ambassador, is a leading authority in the hospitality industry and has experienced some of the top spas in the world. Here’s his take on everything you need to know about the spa industry right now.
What, in your opinion, should be expected from a top-class destination spa?
I believe the word ‘spa’ has been diluted from its original meaning and is used too frequently. People often confuse spas and skin centres. The overall expectation is that you should feel rejuvenated,relaxed, energised and in harmony with yourself and those around you. To achieve this, a spa should offer warm and calm surroundings, created by decor, aroma and music to enhance the senses. The soul of the spa is created by the energy of those within, so there should always be a world-renowned team of therapists, masseuses and healers. You should leave with a total balance of well-being.
What do you think is the major trend in spasaround the world right now?
Rejuvenation and longevity, relaxation and stress reduction, detoxification and romance.
What’s the best spa treatment you’ve ever had?
The Ayurvedic Experience at The Spa Village at Pangkor Laut Private Island, Malaysia, proceeds with a Lapis-Lapis (Malay herbal wrap) incorporating a fresh mixture of lemon grass, ginger, galangal and camphor, which is applied to your body. Finally, you are wrapped in warm sheets.
What do you believe is South Africa’s top spa property and why?
The Waters of Royal Malewane Bush Spa, Kruger National Park. South Africa, with its diverse history of people and cultures and vast abundance of natural resources, provides the backdrop for health rituals that are amongst the oldest in the world. Liz Biden has combined ancient arts of the East with modern day products that are undoubtedly effective and has created the most beautiful surroundings you can imagine in the middle of the bush! It exudes her positive energy and love of life. My favourite therapists in South Africa, however,are Kateglo Mampe at Tintswalo Waterfall in Johannesburg and Farah Maijet at The Renaissance Surgical Clinic at the Renaissance Body Science Institute in Cape Town, which was created by the renowned Dr Des Fernandes. Both have incredible karma, positive energy and hands that were blessed from above!