If you’re planning a trip to Cape Town or live in the Mother City herself, stop whatever you’re doing right now and block out an hour and a half for what is, with no exaggeration whatsoever, one of the most incredible treatments you’re likely to experience.
That sounds like it couldn’t possibly be true, and I would normally not wax lyrical about the wonders of a manicure and pedicure (I mean, how exciting can it be to make your fingers and toes look pretty, really?) but the Bastien Gonzalez treatments are a different matter entirely.
To start off with, the spa is at the One & Only Hotel in Cape Town, a world of its own complete with canals and bridges and softly tinkling music in the background. The chocolate delight mani-cure and pedi-cure (hyphens intentional) is only on until the end of April, as an Easter treat, so if you’re in town for the next week, book it now! For those coming outside April, never fear. You’ll miss out on the hot chocolate and the delicious chocolate treats, but you’ll be able to experience the rest of the treatment, which is simply blissful.
There I go using all those adjectives again. But you will too, I promise. What sets Bastien Gonzalez treatments apart from other hand and foot treatments is that they’re not just about the appearance of the nails, but about the health of the hands and feet. “The uniqueness of his concept lies in the fusion of well-being and beauty”, as the brochure says. Surprisingly, it’s true. The highly skilled ladies assess your nails and give you advice on how to improve their health – from simple things like cutting the nails better to easy-to-adopt habits like brushing them with a toothbrush to get rid of dead cells. They have a wide array of tools to bring your nails to this optimum level of health, including a unique buffing tool that is used with crushed pearl extract to create a healthy and all-natural shine. And then, of course, there’s the hand and foot massage that will leave you so relaxed you may just fall asleep on the extremely comfortable (heated!) chair.
A manicure and pedicure is always a treat, never really an essential. But what sets this treat apart from others I’ve had is that you leave not only with vibrantly healthy nails, but inspired to keep them that way, and with the tools to ensure you know how to. It’s a generous treatment, and one that lasts far longer than a normal mani-pedi.
Image: One & Only Hotel