25 July 2012 by Denise Slabbert

Cause for pause

You get spas, and you get spas, and then you get award-winning spas. Here’s the list of winners from the recent Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Spa Awards 2012.

Umngazi Spa in the Eastern Cape

I’m a spa junkie. I love nothing more than entering a plush spa with the smell of neroli heavy in the air, a water feature flowing in the background and a friendly therapist only too willing to let me do absolutely nothing for at least half an hour as she pummels my knotted shoulders, shifts my meridiens, jostles my chakras and paints my toes.

I don’t care what the treatment is – simply allowing myself the time to be pampered is my golden ticket to a place of sanity. The healing effects usually last for a day or 2 and then the treadmill of life takes over, and in no time at all I am looking for my next indulgent spa fix.

The spa experience is designed to pamper

The good news (for people like me) is that there are many excellent spas in South Africa, and the recent Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Spa Awards 2012, held at Montecasino, highlighted the calibre of the local industry. This year’s list of winners was impressive, as always, and will certainly help in planning my trips to the spa over the next six months.

In the Day Spa category, the new (and ultra-modern) Life Day Spa in Rosebank walked off with top honours. The Shambala Wellness Spa in Port Elizabeth and the Danika Spa in Klerksdorp also received special mentions.

This year’s list of winners was impressive, as always, and will certainly help in planning my trips to the spa over the next six months.

I had never heard of the Danika Spa, but it appears to have a regular showing at the Les Nouvelles Awards – definitely one to look up if I ever find myself in Klerksdorp.

Fordoun Spa in KwaZulu-Natal won the Boutique Hotel Spa Award, which is not surprising – it has always had a reputation for doing things a little differently. It is 1 of the only spas in the country with a traditional African healer on its staff, and Dr Elliot Ndlovu has worked hard with Fordoun to create a range of products inspired by African wisdom and nature.

The entrance to Fordoun Spa in KwaZulu-Natal

Etali Safari Lodge in Madikwe won the Safari Spa category. This unpretentious spa makes the best of its natural surroundings and adheres to a holistic philosophy in which nature has the leading role. Duma Manzi Eco Lodge and Spa received kudos for being ecologically friendly, while Donald Perry (from Duma Manzi) walked of with the Spa Humanitarian Award for his dedication to empowering communities and using green energy (among many other remarkable achievements).

The beautiful Umngazi Spa along the Wild Coast (Eastern Cape) won the Unique Spa Concept Award, which is not surprising – this spa, set on a hillside with incredible views of the coastline, continues to offer a top-notch spa experience that embraces local culture and offers a unique spa experience.

I’m not one to take travel awards too seriously, but what the Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Awards do for me every year is give me a new ‘must experience’ spa list. And for that my chakras are eternally grateful.

Time-out at Umngazi Spa

Category: Health & Wellness

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