We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“RUSHED MASS! Deceiving and vague online packages- be warned. I went in fine, come away in pain!”
Review of Mowana Day Spa

Mowana Day Spa
Ranked #1 of 15 Spas & Wellness in Sandton
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 31 August 2018

I am MOST MOST DISAPPOINTED!!!!
I have been to many spas, I travel the world a lot, I live overseas, and so on my return to SA for my mother's 60th I thought I would try find a lovely treat experience for her.
I came across Mowana spa online, - We reserved a half day spa package, we mentioned it was a special occasion. My mom lives a good 40 minutes away so we drove to Mowana with high expectations for the day!

We arrived 30 minutes early which was a mistake on our part- this meant us sitting in the dark dining area a full hour and a half before any treatment.
Now, I was already aware that there would be a couple of lulls in the day but the first hour and a half of a 4 hour package takes a huge chunk of the 'treatment time'.

The first let down was that they reserved our table in the most ''out of view'' area at the back corner of the dining hall. I was not impressed. This was unacceptable and we asked to move to a different table. To be treated like that on a birthday is not nice.

Luncheon was 50/50. The main course was a vegetarian option and chicken pie the former being the bigger portion of the two.
The chocolate FONDANT -- completely raw inside- and I am not exaggerating this.
We sampled the slightly cooked lid- which was promising, delicious actually- pity it was not baked properly (and yes I know what a fondant is, I bake them, 95% raw is UNDERbaked).

The locker rooms and ladies room - very clean and beautiful facilities.
The spa premises very attractive grounds even in winter now.
Managing staff acted graciously but did not seem genuine.

We had one or two treatments and then high tea was served.
It was nothing to write home about, mediocre at best. Some food items were substandard but I won't go on about it, I was there for the massages, not the food.

Spa treatments: included were 3 treatments - head and shoulder massage, full body massage, leg and foot massage.
1. head and shoulder massage was the most acceptable one of the lot. The lady who was assigned to me was very small and thin with very bony fingers and so immediately I knew before she started that she was not a good fit as a masseuse.
She seemed she was nearing her last nerve of the day, with faked enthusiasm and the smile disappeared at the end of each treatment. She also finished first of all the other women around me (the day was busy, a corporate do, and other guests, just mass massages, packed in like sardines, not an intimate peaceful experience).

2. Leg and foot massage
No lie -this massage should be called '' rough sea salt calf and shin rub''.That was the majority of it.
If feet are rubbed less than 10 minutes total of 1hour treatment- then feet were NOT massaged.

3. Full body massage.
After the first treatment I was completely aware that these ladies employed as masseuses HAVE NO CLUE what they are actually doing!!!!
Do they give ANY proper massage instructing? I am sure it is slap dash!!
This is DANGEROUS!!! One can be severely injured by incorrect massage!!

I have had many kinds of massages and I know and can FEEL the techniques involved- and I can feel pain and pressure being released- but this was NOT A REAL massage- just a simple glorified back rub that feels nice at moments, and then other moments realize that more harm than good is being done--- THAT SAID, I WENT IN feeling 100%- and LEFT FEELING DAMAGED!
I gave it 1 day to write this review- because I wanted to give it time, but honestly have NEVER experienced this before-- I AM using a hot compress to relieve the pain, I AM STILL IN AGONY!!

I regret booking the packages and will warn everyone I know.

Overall, Clever deceiving online advertising, vague descriptions online with EXACT treatment times, eating times, (lulls between treatments) masseuse rushing, no personal touches, lacking the little details professional spas have mastered, herds of people ushered in and out, low informal tone, no PROPER massage technique used-rendering me in much pain a day later- and it is for this reason I rated POOR.

IMPROVE or enough people will catch on to the money making situation that is going on, Mowana (I get it, that is the point- but people are NOT cattle, and they do not mind paying for genuine quality - but to dish out faked quality- not acceptable. Good business practice is to ensure highest standards- this is integrity. )

5  Thank Kendall M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sharon H, Manager at Mowana Day Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 29 September 2018

Thank you for your feedback- we are certainly disappointed that you did not enjoy your spa experience with us as we pride ourselves on the service excellence which has seen Mowana Spa voted the number one spa in sandton on this platform by spa guests.

As noted in our spa package descriptions, our 1-2 day pamper journey includes a 2-course lunch followed by 3 spa treatments of 45-50 minutes each - we certainly do not believe that our package descriptions are in any way misleading and so apologies if you felt that you had wasted time- we do tailor make packages in our beauty section for guests who do not wish to enjoy a meal with us

I understand that your concerns have been addressed by our Spa Management and so hope that we were successfully able to resolve all your concerns

Hope to welcome you back soon for a truly decadent Mowana Pamper

Yours in Wellness

Sharon Hunink
Group Marketing & Sales Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (80)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
All reviews
"full body massage"
in 14 reviews
"indaba hotel"
in 6 reviews
"high tea"
in 8 reviews
"leg massage"
in 5 reviews
"spa package"
in 4 reviews
"hot breakfast"
in 2 reviews
"beautiful facilities"
in 2 reviews
"great spa"
in 3 reviews
"bathrobes and slippers"
in 2 reviews
"neck and shoulders"
in 2 reviews
"changing facilities"
in 2 reviews
"birds chirping"
in 2 reviews
"top class"
in 2 reviews
"masseuse"
in 7 reviews
"massaged"
in 4 reviews
"session"
in 4 reviews
"bushveld"
in 3 reviews
Filter

1 - 5 of 80 reviews

Reviewed 29 August 2018

We took the African Stay and Spa. The snacks before everything started was really great, our leg massage even more greater, then dinner came, we wanted to take our left over as a take away, because its really delicious, but was told we may not take it. I told them that we paid for it, then the hostess said that it's their policy that we can't take take ways. I've never seen a policy like that, and I was really upset, because it's my food that I want to take home. But I just left it there. Our full body massage felt abit rushed, but it was really relaxing after the whole dinner debacle, then our head and shoulders massage, the shoulder massage was good, but I have long hair, so it really hurt, as she was pulling and plucking, but otherwise the service was good.
We will definitely return, we'll just eat nothing that afternoon, so that we can stuff our faces with dinner :)

Thank Rene Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sharon H, Manager at Mowana Day Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 29 September 2018

Thanks for the feedback - I believe that our GM Claudia James has been in touch and so hope that she was able to resolve all with you with regards to our policies

Thrilled that you enjoyed your experience with us overall and do look forward to welcoming you back soon

Yours in Wellness

Sharon Hunink
Group Marketing & Sales Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2018 via mobile

Bestie surprised me with a night of pampering at this Spa. I love massages and I have been to a couple of Spas in JHB but this one has to be one of the best. It lasted a whole 4 hrs with breaks of dinner in between the massages. I had a total of 3 massages and I have to say it was sooooo relaxing. It’s a beautiful beautiful spa, everyone there is professional, the rooms are neat, well scented and soooo relaxing. The ladies who works there are good at what they do. The menu that came with the massages was good, the food fresh and tasty. It was overall a great ambience.

Thank letmeseeubitthat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sharon H, Manager at Mowana Day Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 28 July 2018

Thank you for your fabulous review - we are thrilled that you enjoyed your recent pamper journey with us and will certainly pass your kind comments on to Claudia and her team.

Looking forward to welcoming you back soon

Yours in Wellness

Sharon Hunink
Group Marketing & Sales Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2018 via mobile

An absolutely amazing African night escape treat! The massages were wonderful, food was great. Staff were friendly and accommodating. The spa even went beyond to make sure everyone was warm by providing hot water bottles, extra blankets and hot drinks available after we returned from every massage.
The package also included a stay over which was amazing, rooms very neat and clean. Overall experience was amazing will def return!

Thank dhineshan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sharon H, Manager at Mowana Day Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 28 July 2018

Thank you for your wonderful feedback. We are thrilled that you enjoyed your recent pamper experience with us and will certainly pass your kind comments on to Claudia and her team.

Looking forward to welcoming you back soon

Yours in Wellness

Sharon Hunink
Group Marketing & Sales Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 6 June 2018

The relaxing setting, super attentive staff, scrumptious innovative food and of course the heavenly treatments are superb. What makes it even more special is the value for money. I have never felt so relaxed and pampered at any other spa - and I have been to many across the country. Whether it is hot or cold, they cater to every need. I return home a new person from this African delight. The beating drums and face painting making it special too.

1  Thank KaaminiR4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sharon H, Manager at Mowana Day Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 7 June 2018

Thank you for your wonderful feedback. We are thrilled that you enjoyed your pamper journey with us and will certainly pass your kind comments on to the team.

Hoping to welcome you back soon

Yours in Wellness

Sharon Hunink
Group Marketing & Sales Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Mowana Day Spa also viewed

Randburg, Greater Johannesburg
Muldersdrift, Greater Johannesburg
 
Johannesburg, Greater Johannesburg
 

Been to Mowana Day Spa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing