Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Zimbali – Treatment Review

The Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Zimbali is a beautiful spa set in a gorgeous location (see the Spa Life’s full spa review here), but sadly the treatments our Spa Life team experienced at the Willow Stream Spa were so disappointing that the spa scored a very low 1 crown overall.  This spa has great potential but at the moment it has a long way to go to score anything close to 5 crowns from the Spa Life Team.

What we booked

The Spa Life had booked the Fabulous Face and Perfect Feet Package. This is what was advertised – “Radiate from within after a Guinot Hydradermie express facial, and then clear your mind with a stress-releasing head massage, indulge yourself further with a delicious Spalicious foot soak, scrub and massage, followed by a mud wrap and calming Intonga calf massage.”

Fairmont Zimbali Willowstream Spa Luxury toweling gowns and slippers

Fairmont Zimbali Willowstream Spa Luxury toweling gowns and slippers

What we got

  • average facial
  • pathetic head passage
  • actual treatment differed from what was advertised
  • no foot soak, no mud wrap
  • cold room, noisy, smelly
  • overall very disappointing

The Therapist

The therapist introduced herself and led the way to the treatment room. She confirmed the treatment, and it was at this time that The Spa Life realized that the mud wrap advertised was actually just a foot mud wrap and not a body wrap. Slightly disappointed by this, but certainly not about to let this be the determining factor in our review of the Willow Stream Spa.

The Treatment Room

The aircon in the room is centrally controlled. It was too cold and all the therapist could do was switch on an electric blanket, which helped but was not ideal.

Apparently a drain was also blocked (something the therapist apologised for) but it resulted in a rather foul smell in the treatment room. Just lovely.

To top it all off, during the treatment, the therapist was clanging so many basins and containers around in the background that it felt like we were lying in a room behind the hotel kitchen as opposed to in this otherwise beautiful spa.

Guinot Facial

The treatment was however completely disappointing. The facial included the Guinot Galvanic/Galvanising machine, which the therapist did not explain properly. For those of you who have not experienced this before – certain electrodes are placed on your face (little rollers and prongy things apparently stimulate the cells to increase absorption of the product and do all sorts of other wonderful things like anti-aging and cell stimulation). Needless to say, the machine makes some noise and suddenly having a prongy thing placed on your face when you are least expecting it can ruin anyone’s idea of relaxation.

Head Massage

The head massage was an absolute waste of time – no oil was offered or used and even after asking the therapist to press firmer, The Spa Life can confirm that no stress-releasing was achieved from this part of the treatment at all. You may as well ask your 5 year old to play with your hair – that will be more relaxing.

Foot Soak

The Spalicious foot soak was non-existent. Some water was used to wash off the scrub that was applied but there was definitely no soaking of any sort. Something quite hilarious considering that at the end of the treatment, the therapist tried to motivate for a purchase of the Spalicious bath soak (which we assume is what should have been used during the non-existent foot soak).

Mud wrap

Equally, the mud wrap just did not happen. Instead, a thick foot butter / masque was applied and left on for a few minutes. When questioned about the mud wrap, the therapist replied that there was no mud, it was just a foot masque. Yet another disappointment as this is definitely not what was advertised, and we wanted our mud!

Intonga Calf Massage

The Intonga calf massage uses a stick and this was actually the most enjoyable of the experience at Willow Stream Spa. The stand-alone treatment is described as a Detox Foot Intonga and costs at hefty R650 for a 60 minute treatment. It includes nail buffing (no polish) and we imagine also includes the foot soak, scrub and illusive mud wrap. Is it worth it? Based on our experience, sadly not.

Would we recommend this treatment?

Unfortunately, after the experience our team had, no, but we don’t want to write off the Willow Stream Spa altogether. It truly is a stunning spa, but the treatment was utterly below expectations and not deserving of the price tag!

Sadly, the Willow Stream Spa only gets 1 crown

Sadly, the Willow Stream Spa only gets 1 crown


Willow Stream Spa Contact Details

If you would like to try out some of the treatments on offer at the Willow Stream Spa, click here for a link to their website (which contacts a link to their services and price list).

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