I arrived at the Beverly Hills’ Mangwanani Boutique Spa just before 4pm on a Tuesday afternoon. I had booked a foot massage – one of my favourite types of treatment. There was a venue choice: either indoors in the airconditioned, fragranced shop, or outdoors in the gently billowing tented area. I chose outdoors. The outlook from the treatment area was gorgeous. Simple white décor on a bright-green lawn, overlooking the blue sea and Umhlanga’s red-and-white lighthouse. Perfect.
After sleep-inducing ministrations to my feet I went upstairs. There I ordered a rooibos tea served in a beautiful glass teapot, complete with a timer for correct straining time, and chatted to Mangwanani Marketing Manager, Jacques Dippenaar. Jacques explained that there are two types of Mangwanani spas: boutique ones with white décor (as at the Beverly Hills) and full spas with orange décor (such as the one at Sibaya Casino). The boutique spas tend to offer more individual treatments, while the full spas have more half- and full-day packages on their menus. I was particularly interested in the ‘Moonlight Night Spa Package’ on offer at Mangwanani Sibaya Casino. This package is popular with couples, includes three treatments and dinner and drinks, and is ideal for tourists looking for relaxing evening entertainment. The spa at the Beverly Hills obviously caters for hotel guests but is also open to the public Monday to Thursday.
From its original concept to its varied offerings, Mangwanani seems unique in the spa world. The group began in 2002, Jacques told me, as a way to train and employ disadvantaged women. There are now 18 spas around the country. Far from offering treatments only for the tourist market, Mangwanani also do: corporate spa treatments, nomadic spas, parties and kids’ spas. They can cater for as little as one person, up to as many as 500 people in three different provinces in one day. They also carry a range of African-origin products.
The corporate wellness offerings are interesting. Mangwanani can set up a treatment area at offices for employees to enjoy a ‘breakaway experience’. Or they can do seated acupressure massages at employees’ desks. Treatment offerings, oils, and fragrances used are all suited for the work environment.
To book your treatment at Mangwanani Beverly Hills contact 071 312 6418. You can request a treatment menu from them via email. For more information about treatments elsewhere or to book your corporate wellness setup, visit the website www.mangwanani.co.za or contact 0860 5500 55.
By Brenda Daniels