A day in the parks

It’s the end of October—time to celebrate the return to summer in Johannesburg. The majestic jacaranda trees are in full bloom, their pretty purple blossoms dotting the landscape as far as the eye can see.

A day at the spa at Four Seasons Westcliff turns out to be a picture-perfect midweek escape prior to my long-haul flight home. A signature massage and rose-gold facial are just what the doctor ordered.

Tucked into the tony residential area of the same name, Four Seasons Westcliff is a lush oasis of splendidness in the otherwise rough and tumble city of Joburg. In their past life, the low-rise pinkish buildings cascading down the hillside were a collection of fashionable apartments—all part of a private estate in this prestigious neighbourhood.

In recent years, however, the well-known Canadian luxe brand has transformed the property and hung its hospitality flag on the 117 spacious guest rooms, suites and dining areas. It’s a happily ever after story for both intrepid pre-/post-safari tourists in pursuit of a comfortable place to bed down and locals looking to enjoy the seclusion and award-winning “rooftop” cuisine at View.

On the day I’m in residence, so to speak, there’s a gentle breeze cooling the new spa loggia, where healthy light lunches and quiet conversations are the order of the day. Book in hand, I head for a chaise to blissfully enjoy my last few hours in town.

But alas, all good things must come to an end. There’s an airport limo waiting to whisk me back to O. R. Tambo International airport, where the chilly winds of autumn will lift me back to my northern reality.


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