Kigali Marriott Hotel offered a free Balinese and Swedish massage in order to write this review.
I’m very slowly coming around to the wonderful world of massages, and the Saray Spa at the Kigali Marriott has a lot to do with that. I’m one of those weirdos who doesn’t like massages. It can mostly be chalked up to a few strange massage experiences (like that time in Beijing where my massage ended with a ‘wet willy’… no kidding) and a few deep tissue massages that left me in pain for what felt like weeks. So after these unpleasant experiences, I guess I decided that I didn’t like them and that was the end of that.
But running a website like mine means that I often have businesses write me with offers so that I’ll write a review of their services. I don’t accept freebies from Kigali restaurants and cafes, but I can’t really afford regular spa treatments and expensive hotel stays, so I’m more open to taking occasional freebies in these categories so I can write about them. Long story short… I’ve had a bunch of somewhat reluctant massages over the past couple of years, and I think the two I’ve had at the Marriott Kigali have really helped me learn to love them.
Saray Spa is a super slick operation right from the greeting on arrival, all the way through to the end of your experience. The staff are friendly and very professional, the decor in the lobby and the treatment rooms is beautiful, and even the locker rooms are somehow welcoming. On arrival, you’ll be led to the changing room to switch into a robe and slippers before meeting your masseuse back out in the waiting area on the cozy couch. They’ll lead you into a treatment room where everything is designed to put you into an ultra relaxed state including the silence, the lighting, and the aroma of lemongrass wafting through the air. Because what is a massage without a good lemongrass waft, I ask you?
I felt at peace the moment I walked into the spa and all of my apprehensions about getting a massage faded away. My ‘wet willy’ defenses were down and I was able to enjoy a Swedish massage (Rwf 30,000 to 58,500 depending on length) on my first trip that was done with a perfect amount of pressure. On my second trip I was offered a Baliniese massage which is something I’d never heard of before. It was a full body massage which seemed to focus on pressure points. I thought it was the perfect combination of a relaxing, soothing massage with a bit more pressure occasionally to help get knots out.
They also offer foot, face and scalp, Indian head, hot stone, and back massages along with reflexology, aromatherapy and a variety of waxing options. Saray Spa also offer a variety of 30 minute body scrubs (Rwf 18,000 to 45,000) and wraps (Rwf 46,000), 30 or 60 minute facials (Rwf 26,000 to 45,000), and foot, face/scalp, hot stone, deep tissue, and they also offer packages with several treatments in one deal. If you’re a member of the Marriott gym you get 10% off all treatments.Check out their online spa booklet and list of prices to decide which treatment is best for you.
Saray Spa is definitely one of Kigali’s best, with a full range of treatments, professional equipment, attention to detail, and well-trained and professional staff who are able to offer a variety of different massage techniques. Though they’re a bit more expensive than some other options in town, a treatment of any kind at the Kigali Marriott is definitely money well spent.
Hours: Daily, 9am – 9pm
Phone: 0222 111 111