Africa | Image by Chantelle Flores | www.kzaravisual.com

Life is filled with many frustrating challenges, and most days many of us struggle to make it through the day with energy, optimization, and enthusiasm. As women, we effortlessly carry the stresses of life, which heavily weigh on our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. We give very little energy to all the things that are wrong, and kick into survival “fix it” mode as opposed to our male counterparts who withdraw to their man caves at the first sign of pressure. We are known for pushing our boundaries and for not taking good care of ourselves when this happens.

Recently things have been challenging for me – life had through me a curve ball that nothing could have prepared me for. My spirits were low, my body was physically carrying the stress, and I had to just keep pushing through. I had no time to take care of myself.

A friend of mine offered to sponsor me a spa day with an overnight stay to unwind and relax – something that my friends would tell you is a luxury in my life. I just struggle to do it, and cannot seem to sit still in one place long enough for “relax mode to kick in”. It’s been years since I had the privilege of a massage, and this would be my first time in a day spa. I was thrilled, and welcomed the spoil and the opportunity to withdraw to a “women’s cave”.

Africa | Image by Chantelle Flores | www.kzaravisual.com

Africa | Image by Chantelle Flores | www.kzaravisual.com

After a scenic 45-minute drive from Sandton through the Magaliesburg mountains we arrived at the women’s cave – Cradle Health Spa and was greeted by their friendly staff. We were offered a tour of the facilities, assistance checking into our accommodation, and a briefing on our spa treatments which would take place the next morning. We were both given white soft gowns and slippers and laughingly I asked the staff if this meant that we didn’t have to wear clothes for the entire time we were there. Looking back, I never saw a guest dressed in their usual wear, not walking through the lengthy corridors, not at dinner, nor at breakfast the next morning.

Africa | Image by Chantelle Flores | www.kzaravisual.com

I couldn’t help but be drawn to the natural scenery that was before me. Lush green trees surrounded the property, the soothing sound of the water falling from the water features around every corner, and treatment rooms hidden away in all corners of their gardens, one, in particular, was the outdoor Jacuzzi glass room tucked away at the back of the property, as well as the outdoor steam room. I will be back here later with a bottle of champagne I thought.

Africa | Image by Chantelle Flores | www.kzaravisual.com

Africa | Image by Chantelle Flores | www.kzaravisual.com

I have always believed in the healing properties of nature, and often when things get overwhelming for me it becomes my perfect retreat. This was my ideal setting. I had no intention of wishing my time away, but couldn’t wait for the next day, to be pampered in this setting.

Africa | Image by Chantelle Flores | www.kzaravisual.com

Africa | Image by Chantelle Flores | www.kzaravisual.com

Africa | Image by Chantelle Flores | www.kzaravisual.com

I dropped off my overnight bag, ordered a bottle of champagne, changed into my swimwear, put on my gown and slippers, and headed to the Jacuzzi. I planned to stay there throughout sunset and as the night fell, I wouldn’t have been content until my skin had shriveled up like a prune. Jacuzzi treatments are said to help those with Arthritis and Osteoporosis and the jets are said to improve the wellness of your heart and lungs.

Africa | Image by Chantelle Flores | www.kzaravisual.com

Africa | Image by Chantelle Flores | www.kzaravisual.com

Later I had dinner at the Cradle Cafe restaurant. You have to try their bobotie – a favorite Afrikaans dish in South Africa – I couldn’t help but order seconds.

Africa | Image by Chantelle Flores | www.kzaravisual.com

Africa | Image by Chantelle Flores | www.kzaravisual.com

Africa | Image by Chantelle Flores | www.kzaravisual.com

After a restful night’s sleep in their comfy beds and again clothed in my gown I entered one of the 12 treatment rooms. I am usually a very talkative person, but this day, I just wanted to be silent and listen to the meditation music playing in the background and breath in the aroma of marula – an ingredient from the wild-grown trees mixed with coconut oils that were being massaged into my entire body. So this is how it feels to actually relax?

Africa | Image by Chantelle Flores | www.kzaravisual.com

Africa | Image by Chantelle Flores | www.kzaravisual.com

Hot stones carefully made it onto my back, and with each one placed, I felt the stress slip away. The therapist had to wake me up from a deep sleep multiple times. A pedicure, manicure, and facial followed my full body treatment.

Africa | Image by Chantelle Flores | www.kzaravisual.com

Africa | Image by Chantelle Flores | www.kzaravisual.com

Africa | Image by Chantelle Flores | www.kzaravisual.com

Africa | Image by Chantelle Flores | www.kzaravisual.com

Africa | Image by Chantelle Flores | www.kzaravisual.com

Fully distressed, I lounged around by the pool for a few hours nodding off to sleep every so often. Before making my way back to the rat race, I decided to have one more session in the sauna and Jacuzzi to cleanse my skin and open my pores and give my body one last detox.

Africa | Image by Chantelle Flores | www.kzaravisual.com

I felt invigorated and my soul was yet again rejuvenated. I was ready to take on the world again!

If you would like to have your very own destress session – be sure to check out their website. They offer amazing specials and themed packages for almost any occasion.

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