The Spa Life recently visited the beautiful Willow Stream Spa at the upmarket Fairmont Zimbali hotel. The spa has all the potential of a 5 crown experience, but sadly, it receives a lowly 1 crown from The Spa Life team, mainly because of the disappointing treatment (read the treatment review here)!
Spa Location, design and lay out
- gorgeous hotel
- great location (although you don’t see much of it from the spa)
- luxury spa amenities (including steam room and sauna)
It is hard to imagine a more beautiful location for a spa than the Fairmont Zimbali. With Durban’s warm ocean, gritty dense sand and the lushness of the Kwa-Zulu Natal coast, the location is idyllic. Fairmont Zimabli is a mere 20 minute drive from King Shaka Airport, so you needn’t even rent a car and can rather grab a cab or Uber to Zimbali (or ask the hotel to arrange a collection for you).
The Willow Stream Spa is located on one of the lower levels of the hotel (right next to Fairmont Zimbali’s in-house gym). The entrance to the spa is unassuming but an atmosphere of relaxation was created by candles lighting the stairs (and no, there was no load-shedding at the time The Spa Life visited) and soft music playing in the background.
The Willow Stream Spa at the Faimont Zimbali is set in a truly magnificent location, and yet the views of the beautiful beachfront are barely visible from any of the spa areas, and the treatment rooms are holed up far away from the refreshing sea breeze.
- lockers, comfy gowns and slippers
- relaxing Ladies Lounge
A friendly receptionist greets you and asks you to complete a form before taking you on a brief tour of the spa, allocating a locker, gown and slippers and advising you to get changed and wait in the “Ladies Lounge”. So far, the spa is doing well in our books, but it would be far more inviting to have some comfy chairs to sit on and be offered a refreshment whilst completing the form.
The Ladies Lounge is a nice touch (there is one for the men as well) and a place to sit and relax with a lovely cup of tea or a refreshing drink of water.
The Spa lost most of its points thanks to a rather disappointing treatment. See the full review here!
At the end of the treatment, the therapist escorts you to a magical lounge filled with fairy lights and sheer drapes and a place where you can sit, read a magazine and allegedly having some refreshments. Sounds ideal, and looks really pretty too – only problem was that there were no (as in zero) refreshments laid out. There were some empty glasses and a place where these imaginary refreshments could be placed, but sadly there was nothing and not a soul nearby to ask.
When it came to settling the bill, The Spa Life found it difficult to even add a simple 10% tip to the bill. The experience was highly disappointing and definitely not worth the rather high price tag.
The Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Zimbali has the potential be one of the most amazing spas in South Africa, but sadly it is currently far off the mark. Would we go back? Not anytime soon.
Willow Stream Spa Contact details
If you want to go and check out the Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Zimbali, we’ve included a link here to their contact details.