Escaping life’s daily pressures is necessary but we don’t always get it right. Whether on holiday or not, our hyper-connected lives mean we’re constantly available and poised for action. So when the opportunity came to spend a night indulging in a full day spa at the renowned Indigo Fields in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, a friend and I jumped at the chance.
The drive alone is therapeutic. From the serpentine R103 that winds through the Midlands’ green farmlands, we turned onto a dirt road following the signs to a tree-lined avenue that leads to the Indigo Fields farmhouse. We hadn’t even unpacked our bags before being whisked off for a champagne breakfast complete with healthy options to kick start our day. Granny Pat (who is a spritely 80), took us through the day.
Indigo Fields offers several spa packages. From full day to afternoon to book club and mid-week specials, there are a variety of options to suit all needs. Our full day package included four and a half hours of pure indulgence including a 90-minute head-shoulder massage, a 90-minute full body Swedish massage and a body scrub, steam room and hot tub session. Collected by a game drive vehicle, we were transported across fields of lavender and rosemary to one of their famed treatment bomas for our first session. Nestled against a little hill and overlooking the bush, it took me a while to settle into my surroundings. No traffic, no phone beeping, nobody calling mum!… All I could hear was birdsong and the gentle whisper of soft white curtains flapping in the breeze. By the end of my first treatment I had slipped into a go-slow and was now perfectly primed for supreme relaxation.
Boarding the Land Rover once more, we bumped along serenely to the next treatment boma. Barring a fish eagle’s cry, a glorious 90-minutes ensued in absolute silence as my skilled massage therapist kneaded away all the stress and tension that had accumulated over the past few months. As far as possible, the spa uses organic products and even has its own product range produced on the farm. I’m always a bit disappointed when a massage ends but we had a delicious lunch to look forward to in the form of a quinoa salad accompanied by a crisp Sauvignon blanc. Of course, Granny Pat checked in on us during dessert to see if we were having a good time before steering us in the direction of our next spa treatment. We headed off to the central spa for a full body scrub, steam bath and Jacuzzi time. The champagne from breakfast miraculously reappeared and there we were enjoying some serious girl time without a care in the world.
On arriving back at the farmhouse, Granny Pat was waiting for us with a tray of Amarula and chocolate truffles. After chatting with her for a while we understood that the friendly and caring staff at Indigo Fields purposely seclude guests so they can optimally enjoy the peace and quiet on offer. About what sets them apart from other spas, owner Jennifer Hindle said: “Our packages offer the best possible experience from our food to luxury accommodation to our sublime spa treatments. Transporting guests to the bomas allows them to leave their world and simply submit to the recuperative powers of massage and being pampered.”
And submit we did, in a trance-like relaxed state, we collected our bags and headed off to Little Pink Cottage, our home for the night. Indigo Fields’ deluxe suites and cottages are individually decorated and feature contemporary décor, luxurious fabrics, fine textures and carefully selected artwork. The ambiance of understated elegance within their perfect English country gardens just make you want to stay forever. By this time, and typically for a Midlands afternoon, the mist was rolling in and we opened the door to the most beautifully appointed cottage. The fire was going and the table set with a bottle of red wine on hand. No homework headaches, meal time rush or corralling kids into the bath. After a long, soaking shower to remove the oil from my hair, I put my feet up and simply waited for dinner to be delivered to the table. An excellent dish of grilled dorado did not disappoint while we chatted about home, kids, life.
Morning came with the lowing of cows. I lay in bed reading with a coffee, smugly imagining my husband wrestling the kids into their school uniforms. When it was time for breakfast, I reluctantly packed my bags and started conjuring up ways to simulate this experience at home. Barring a shoulder massage from my husband and a hot bath, it just can’t be replicated. From dining in your room at leisure to being driven to your spa treatments in a Land Rover, the Indigo Fields experience simply takes you out of your world for a day or two so that you can rest and reflect. It’s the ultimate escape.