Glamour in Gigiri


10 years ago, Spas as we know them – where you throw off the vagaries of the world and immerse yourself in the touch of a gentle, yet firm and professional, hand and the smell of unidentifiable, yet highly therapeutic, fragrances etc. etc. – didn’t exist in Nairobi.  Now they appear to be everywhere, offering up all kinds of therapies to rid you of unwanted stress, hair, nail polish, cellulite (whatever), and fill you up to the top with the joys of spring.

As a Nairobi green-leafy-suburb dweller, usually filled to the brim with minor angst and anxiety over all sorts of things, I have been to quite a few of these such havens in search of an ‘over the rainbow’ transformation – or even just a quick superglue – and I have to say that in general I do leave in a better state  of mind and body than I went in.  But – and this is a very big but – I believe that there is only one place in Nairobi that really cuts the mustard, delivers the goods and hits the mark.

When I first walked into Serenity Spa, an attractive house set in a lovely garden in Gigiri, I was simply blown away by the gorgeousness of the interior.  It’s silver and gold, it’s sultry noir, it’s stylish. It reeks of Glamour. The reception area leads to a high-vaulted nail spa where the decor is grand yet unpretentious, the music is zen yet in no way trite and the atmosphere is soporific in a really good way. Upstairs – off staircases and corridors draped in art – lie the treatment rooms, each with its own thematic decor, and each just dripping with luxury.

Yes, I certainly judged this book by its cover, but that’s ok in this instance, as what’s underneath is just as wonderful.  My therapist was a lady named Ferrero Roche and she took me to heaven and back with her full body Art of Aroma massage, SPArkle body scrub and the rest. Upon investigation it turns out that all the therapists undertake a South African training programme, and the products used are ‘Africology’, the leading natural, eco-friendly and holistic spa brand in – again – South Africa.

Having dragged myself down the stairs – wishing I could lie prone for another couple of hours – I was able to place another big tick on the ‘How to Spend a Great Day’ checklist.  Shopping.  A happy half hour browsing through a lovely little designer boutique, ‘Kache by Angie’, and a well-stocked health food shop, ‘Healthy U’, added to my sense of well-being, as did a cup of herbal tea in the sunny garden.  A lady in lycra joined me: she hadn’t had any beauty therapies, she had spent her morning at Serenity Spa doing an hour of yoga and trying out their new Bio-Resonance treatment.

I look forward to watching this special Spa continue to come into its own as Nairobi’s best, and of course to taking advantage of all that it has to offer.