The Hydro Journey – A personal account

Amani invited their communication consultancy to come and experience the Hydro Journey, and this is what Michelle had to say…

I was treated to the Amani Hydro Journey purely for the purpose of documenting what it is all about.

I arrived bright and early at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Sandton (don’t get it confused with the Gautrain Radisson Blu. There ain’t no Amani Spa there!). The team of lovely lasses who greeted me were impeccably groomed (unlike me, with my disheveled bed-head), and were super efficient as they whisked me through to the changing room to don a fluffy gown and slippers. Orientation over, I was left to absorb the view of Johannesburg that 10 floors up affords. Those who say Jozi is ugly need to view it from up there.

Dorcas arrived to introduce herself, and took me through to the first phase of my Hydro Journey. Got to say, I still wasn’t feeling butterflies…

I need to pause briefly here to say something about my therapist, Dorcas (and yes, I do say my possessively). What an amazing energy this young girl has. She explained how her job really means connecting with her clients on a level beyond the physical, as she is often able to tune into what they are feeling. This is the part that she loves most – being able to tap into something far deeper than a “rub and scrub”. She also admitted to seldom speaking with her clients during a treatment, saying “Women arrive at the spa, and still don’t feel that they deserve to switch off from all of the external factors that have them hopping from morning to night. If I allow these women to speak, they will not truly get out of the treatment that they should – to for once put themselves first, and to completely relax and let go.” Never a truer word spoken. It is as easy for Pavlov’s dog to ignore the bell, as it is for me disconnect from the frenetic energy that is my life! That’s not a good thing, and I’m working on it.

Step one – choosing your fragrance – is about as much effort as you will have to put into the Journey. A body exfoliant fragrance, that is. After inhaling like a man starved of oxygen, I finally selected the new “ginger and lime” mix. Not an easy choice though, as the papaya, litchi & rose, cherry, and lavender are just as gorgeous! What appealed to me about the lime and ginger was its really clean and fresh fragrance. Simpler works better for me.

And so began the Journey. I lay down on the marble slab covered with a cushioned towel. Dorcas firmly exfoliated every inch of my skin before submerging me below the gentle spray of the Vichy Shower (A Vichy shower is a metal arm with five to seven shower heads that runs parallel to a cushioned treatment table, enabling you to shower while lying down). Mmmmmmmm… Sublime. So far so good.+

Now onto the Rasul – an exotic treatment involving mud, heat and steam. Every dead skin cell sent off packing, my body was now slathered in a baobab mud from MatsiMela‘s Baobab range – a fabulous range of products containing the moisture-giving oils of the pods from the “Tree of Life”, traditionally used by African women to protect their skin against the harsh savannah climate.

Dorcas now directed me to the Rasul (steam room), where she explained that steam activates the mud, eliminating toxins while conditioning and toning the skin and relaxing the muscles. The fifteen minutes passed very quickly. It was now time to rinse off under the shower – delicious smelling soap provided.

Feeling squeaky clean (literally, I heard the squeaks as I padded to the next room) and positively glowing, I joined Dorcas at the dual foot bath. One bath was filled with ice-cold water, while the other was comfortably hot. While I alternated between the two (your feet have not lived before you’ve experienced this), I got a firm back, neck and shoulder massage. Dorcas’ nimble hands have strength that belies her petite frame! She clucked as she moved over my knotted muscles, and reminded me that I really need to come more often. “If you do not take care of you, how can you take care of anyone else?” Good point.

The next part of the treatment involved alternating between the dry heat of the sauna, and a very gentle cooling mist reminiscent of what I would imagine around an Amazonian waterfall. The view from the sauna is magnificent, whether you look out the panoramic windows over Sandton or up at the tiny pin-prick lights, which change colour in the wooden ceiling.

The pièce de résistance of this sublime journey is standing in the middle of what feels like a million jets of water, which start off cold, so brace yourself – but then heat up beautifully. This is what you call a 360º shower, no doubt!

The Hydro Journey ended with me lying flat on my back in one of the subtly lit and elegantly finished massage treatment rooms as Dorcas applied Red Berry MatsiMela moisturiser in rhythmic movements to my arms, legs, back and stomach. I don’t think my skin has ever felt better. My body felt invigorated from heat to toe, and I can really understand why this is called a Journey. By the time I had finished, I had been through 60 minutes of pure hydration and restoration.

I realised that if this is what water is all about, then it is very much my element!

Michelle Damaskinos

MD, Originblu Communications

Some suggestions:

• Pack a bikini. While the disposable underwear is utterly functional, it is not as comfortable as you would be in your own kit.

• I highly recommend doing the 90 minute journey as this affords you more time in the sauna/ mist combo. You really don’t want any part of this to be rushed if you are to enjoy the full benefit and effect.

• The treatment would have been utterly perfect had I finished off with a full-body massage.

• Dorcas highly recommended the Khurula Body Ritual or Crystal Massage to finish of The Hydro Journey. You may also want to have a look at Amani’s extensive Massage Collection.