Years ago I worked as a masseuse at Empire Retreat in a cosy room under the stairs. It was lovely to work there for even just the beautiful drive in gracefully winding around the native flora. It’s one of the most tasteful and tranquil retreats I’ve ever been to on three continents. As mentioned (written) earlier during an abseiling adventure I met three English ladies staying at the Empire Retreat. They all just loved it too and thought it was such a beautiful sanctuary with wonderful rooms, breakfasts and spa treatments.
This retreat is nestled within 265 acres of tranquil and undulating pastures and the Empire Estate vineyard. The buildings themselves are testaments to an aesthetic combining of Bali and bush components woven compatibly. Architecturally designed it ensure complete privacy, each suite offers the level of luxury synonymous with the Empire culture of furnishings, furniture, textiles and designs. Subdued lighting, natural stone and timbers create a perfect ambience of clean lines and simplicity. The finest linens and soft furnishings await to envelope the guest.
Now there is a purpose built spa set serenely off to the side. This is state of the art style designed to pamper both body and soul. The foyer, halls, rooms and furnishings are richly aesthetic. All is immaculate with therapists speaking in subdued voices. Treatments include deep tissue and hot stone massages, body wraps, manicures and for myself a unique signature facial. As a therapist myself as well as a spa ‘junquie’ I can tell quickly who has the magic touch and rhythm. My therapist Ailise was a magician on all fronts. I can’t give away all their secrets but it involved cheesecloth on my face, masques painted on with a camel hair brush, unguents of all manner, refreshing spritzers and a myriad of cleansers both creamy and exfoliating, not in that order.
“Every activity, treatment, furnishing and food is about making the guest feel special,” explains Claire Wall, the manager. I was proud to work there before and this time pleased to enjoy the luxury and pampering of an afternoon of the Organic Glow. I floated back down the drive with radiant skin, renewed in spirit.