Simply stunning spas
Health and wellness are big business in the tourism industry these days, and South Africa and Africa have some world-class spas.
The spa industry has grown in leaps and bounds over the past decade, and most top-class establishments have some form of on-site wellness offering. South Africa is well known for some of its fantastic spas – whether urban day spas, destination spas or bush spas, there is something for every need. Here are some of the standout spas that are definitely worth a visit.
The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa in Johannesburg is a tranquil spot away from the dynamic business hubs of Sandton and Rosebank. The beautiful hotel is surrounded by gorgeous gardens and the spa is a perfect hideaway for an afternoon of pampering. A wide range of treatments is on offer, including a special Tibetan sound therapy room (designed to ensure deep relaxation), adding variety to the experience, and if you’re having a bad hair day, there’s a salon that forms part of the spa.
In KwaZulu-Natal, The Oyster Box Hotel has an award-winning spa that is a welcome addition to this age-old family hotel, which had a serious revamp a few years back and is now known as one of the top holiday spots on the KwaZulu-Natal coast. The hammam spa treatment is a popular choice and there are also couples treatments on offer in this intimate and stylish spa. Finish off your day with a massage, followed by a glass of champagne around the pool for added relaxation benefits.
In Mpumalanga, the Summerfields Rose Retreat Spa in Hazyview is situated on the Sabie River and consists of a lodge, spa restaurant and deli set on Summerfields Rose Farm. The farm is renowned for its hybrid tea, roses and macadamia nuts and offers the ultimate getaway. Treatments in the spa pavilion on the banks of the river are the stuff of which memories are made. You could also make your way to the Kruger National Park for a bit of game viewing before or after your treatments.
Cape Town is a well-known spa destination and top spas include the spa at The 12 Apostles Hotel on the Atlantic Seaboard. This spa has won numerous awards and there really is nothing to beat a massage in an outdoor gazebo among the fynbos with a view of the ocean. The One&Only Cape Town Spa is in a league of its own, with a ‘spa island’ beautifully situated in the shadow of gorgeous Table Mountain. A wide range of special treatments is on offer, and this spa is a calm refuge, where every health and beauty need is taken care of.
Heading out of Cape Town, the Bushmans Kloof Wellness and Wildlife Retreat is good for body, mind and soul. Regular retreats are held at this spa, which focuses on getting back in touch with nature. As a bonus, you can enjoy walks into the Cederberg Mountains to explore the rock art in the area.
Babylonstoren Garden Spa in the Cape winelands is a designer spa with a gorgeous aesthetic (in fact everything about Babylonstoren is absolutely gorgeous) and, again, a range of treatments and therapies is on offer. Make sure you take the time to stroll around the gardens after your treatments and perhaps book a luncheon at the legendary Babel Restaurant.
The Tswalu Kalahari Spa in the Northern Cape is a place to truly get away from it all – and the lunar landscapes of the surrounding Kalahari give one space to contemplate and enjoy a bit of pampering in a place that allows one to breathe. Tswalu has recently introduced individualised yoga classes as part of its health and wellness offering.
The bush spa concept has been around for some time and the top lodges in Africa all boast some form of spa offering – even if it’s having a massage on the deck of your luxury suite as you overlook the bushveld. High-end lodges, including Ulusaba Private Game Reserve (Richard Branson’s South African game lodge), Singita, Sabi Sabi and Royal Malewane – all have excellent spas, just the thing after a dusty day out on a game drive.
SPA-ING, FURTHER AFIELD
Africa has many notable spas to speak of, including those on the Indian Ocean Islands. The Spa at the Four Seasons Resort in the Seychelles, The Ayurveda Spa at Maradiva Villas Resort, The Banyan Tree Spa in the Seychelles, So Spa at Sofitel Imperial Mauritius and MAIA Spa at MAIA Luxury Resort, as well Sanctuary Residence in Mauritius, are just a few notable spas that have gained accolades worldwide.
Further up Africa, let’s not forget the Royal Zambezi Lodge Bush Spa, which was one of the global award winners in the 2013 Best Luxury Hotel Awards, The Serena Maisha Spa at Nairobi Serena Hotel and the Six Sense Spa at InterContinental The Palace Port Ghalib also did well in these awards.
Box: Yoga safaris. Kenya has also woken up to the wellness trend and there are a few operators offering yoga safaris, including Rift Valley Adventures, which offers a seven-day yoga safari in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Image by: Babylonstore Garden Spa