The end of the year is on the horizon and recharging your batteries before that final sprint towards the Christmas holiday season might be just what the doctor ordered. There are some fantastic spas and wellness retreats in and around South Africa so book your spot now:
- Take a “spafari”: What better way to unwind than by heading off to the bush for a bit of game-viewing, rest, relaxation and pampering spa treatments. While some of the five-star lodges have their own on-site spas, many offer massage options in the comfort of your room – or on the deck of your luxury suite overlooking the bushveld while listening to the sounds of nature. Great spafari options in SA include: Singita Sweni Lodge Kruger Park, Amani Spa at Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge and spa treatments at the Aroma Boma at Richard Branson’s Ulusaba lodge.
2. Head to the mountains: Fresh air, lots of time in nature and a host of treatments and therapies does wonders for the soul. SA has a number of luxurious spas in mountainous places like the Cederberg, the Magaliesberg and the Drakensberg. One of the most notable spas in the Cederberg in the Western Cape is the Bushman’s Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat. Another great option if you’re in Johannesburg and in need of a good wellness fix is the spa at The Valley Lodge in the Magaliesberg (some 45 minutes from Johannesburg). The spa is an excellent facility and before or after treatments you can spend time enjoying the pool and hydrotherapy areas.
3. Winelands spa excursion: The Cape winelands play host to superb venues when you can combine a spa or wellness retreat with a spot of wine tasting along the way. Okay, so it’s not exactly a detox, but wellness is all about creating balance, isn’t it? The Garden Spa at Babylonstoren is open seven days a week and you can opt for a number of treatments, including their new bamboo massage (using bamboo sticks for deep relaxation). Their Hammam Water Ritual (Turkish bath) is also an absolute spoil and includes a delicious lunch and chill time in the bamboo garden.
4. Mother City magic: If you’re visiting Cape Town and need some “me time”, we’d suggest you book into the spa at One&Only Cape Town. The property lying underneath the gaze of Table Mountain is exquisite and has its very own unique Spa Island. You could opt for one of the many fabulous massages on offer, although it’s hard to miss out on the Bastien Gonzalez pedicure (recently awarded Best Nail Studio Brand for their PEDI:MANI:CURE at the World Spa Awards).
Another Cape Town spa that definitely deserves a mention is the award winning spa at The Twelve Apostles. There are rasul chamber ceremonies, a hot lava shell massage (one of the spa’s signature therapies), as well as traditional touch therapies. A massage in one of their mountain gazebos with the smell of fynbos and views of the ocean will have your chi restored in no time.
5. KwaZulu-Natal North Coast
If you’re visiting the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal and need a serious pick-me-up, you might want to make a booking at the fantastic spa at The Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga. This hotel is something of an institution along this coastline and the spa has a fantastic reputation and great facilities. If you’re looking for something a little different, there’s the Hammam and Sensation Shower (a traditional Oriental “heat experience” to help you relax and unwind). There are also Signature Experiences such as the Our Journey Through Africa ritual; a Change of Season Ritual and the Absolute Beachfront Hot Lava Shell Massage. There’s a Tranquility Lounge to relax in-between treatments, a salon for manicures and pedicures and a health bar if you’re feeling peckish.
So beat end-of-year burnout and book a spa experience in SA today.