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Cape Town spas severely affected by drought27 November 2017With Cape Town at Level 5 Water Restrictions due to the ongoing drought, many of the city’s spas have implemented water saving measures, particularly in terms of their hydro facilities.Says Taryn Lilley, spa manager at Cape Grace: “As part of the hotel’s ‘Every drop counts’ campaign, an unplugged policy has been implemented, with bath plugs removed and hand sanitisers placed on basins. Low-flow shower heads, aerators and pressure releasing taps have been installed to reduce water usage. We have also fitted our cooling towers with screens to mimimise spillage. ‘Grey water’ is used for our gardens. “From a spa point of view it has been really difficult as the very definition of spa is ‘healing through water’. However, we have stopped hydro facility treatments – our NeoQi Cocoon has been put into storage and that area turned into a normal treatment room.“Furthermore, we no longer offer spa bath treatments. Our sauna is still on, but our steam room is only on for a limited number of hours each day, or on request as part of a special package.”Lilley notes that therapists are no longer using basins with water for facials but rather warm mitts. She continues: “We still do body scrubs and wraps but use mitts instead of showers to remove product. Our measures are quite drastic but we have to take the situation very seriously as it really is a crisis. We also have eco-taps in our hair salon to reduce water pressure and are looking to implement heaters to warm up water immediately. At the moment we are collecting the water while it runs to heat up.”“We have an on-going committee that is constantly looking at ways of reducing water consumption. The hotel is creating awareness about the water shortage with our guests and luckily they’ve been very understanding,” explains Lilley.Julie van Rooyen, Amani Spas operations manager, reports that her Cape Town spa no longer offers hydro treatments, namely rasul, steam room and hydro bath. “Wherever possible we adapt our body treatment protocol to include compressing products off rather than showering. We have also canged our ‘Welcome Ritual’ to be done with compresses rather than soaking feet in bowls of water,” comments Van Rooyen.Michael Nel, GM of Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa adds: “We have always been conscious and aware of responsible water usage and are doing everything we can to conserve and use water wisely in and around the hotel and spa.”To that end the spa is no longer doing its ‘Welcome’ foot ritual – instead feet are now wiped with a heated towel and essential oils.Says Nel: “Any water left over from the guests’ complimentary water bottles is emptied into a big bucket and we are using that water to clean the floors. We’re encouraging guests to leave the oil on after a massage for added benefit, to avoid guests from taking a shower.“The spa is only booking one to two full body exfoliations per day to save water as guests need to shower after this treatment. During pedicures we have changed the protocol and therapists only use two cups of water to soak the feet.”Water-saving cards have been placed inside the bathrooms, advising guests that there is a drought and dire need to save water. The One&Only Cape Town is ‘seriously committed to drastically reducing water usage across the resort’ and is encouraging its guests to ‘Save Like A Local’. Say marketing executive Ashleigh Fleming: “We have invested heavily in our resources, technology and water saving initiatives. With water at critical levels, we’re taking every possible step to effectively manage our water consumption. Along with introducing waterless hand sanitiser, installing eco-shower heads and aerating devices on all taps to minimise demand and consumption (saving 25% since July), we have implemented grey water harvesting and removed bath plugs and promote short shower usage with shower timers.” Steam showers in the spa have been closed and spa baths have been removed from the menu. The swimming pool water top up is only done via treated and filtered recycled water and the hotel is installing a borehole on the property as an alternative supply. “We have also launched a conservation committee to continually look for areas in which to save and help our employees to save water, not only in the workplace but also at home,” concludes Fleming. (Report by Joanna Sterkowicz)