“Who wants to live in a world where masculinity is equated with being gruff and scruffy?”
“Oh, that’s good! Or, well… Weird.” The Fairmont Nile City’s Willow Stream Spa director chuckled. He had asked me if I used any skin products, and I confessed my regular use of moisturizers, cleansers, exfoliators and eye cream.
I could see why some people might find that weird. What I could see as well was his seemingly well taken care of skin. I was booked for a 30-minute upper body massage and an hour of facial treatment. Before going in I was given a tour of the entire spa, and it’s certainly at the level of comfort and style you’d expect from the Fairmont. It comes fully equipped with a state of the art gym, steam rooms, rain showers and a slew of relaxing and stress-relieving body treatments. Aromatherapy, reflexology, hot stones and a long list of varied massage options.
After changing into a robe I was led to a quiet waiting room and offered some iced water infused with lemon to drink. A few minutes later one of the staff came and introduced me to my masseur (who looked vaguely similar to John Cho), who then led me to my assigned room. I lay down on the massage table and was asked to take three deep breaths of something that smelled faintly of lavender and eucalyptus. I’m not sure if it was that, the soothing Asian-infused world music or the warm and comforting colors of the room that made me feel completely relaxed and at ease.
I was started off with the massage first, and even though it was only half an hour, it felt as if time was passing much more slowly (in a good way, honest). The masseur knew what he was doing, and jumping a few hours ahead as I was driving back to work, I could certainly feel my shoulders and back being loose and relaxed.
After that half hour massage, I got on my back and started my facial treatment. Earlier, the spa director mentioned that they use specific products that suit each person’s skin type and lifestyle, so each treatment is tailored to the client. Aside from the beneficial qualities of the creams they used, the process itself, which involved massaging cream and then slowly removing it with a warm towel several times was extremely soothing.
I walked out more relaxed than I’ve ever been. There are options tailored specifically for men and male grooming. After all, who wants to live in a world where masculinity is equated with being gruff and scruffy? Well, unless it’s the dark ages. Trust me, being 40 with the skin of a 20 year old is the good kind of weird.