04 November 2013 by Denise Slabbert

Celebrating sanity, serenity and South African spas

Just before the silly season hits, why not book some well-earned time out at a South African spa…

The One&Only Spa Cape Town's vitality pool. Image courtesy of One&Only Cape Town

Going on a South African spa holiday might be just what the doctor ordered before the silly season begins and all sense of sensibility (or sanity) disappears until about the second week of January.

Here are 10 fantastic (and diverse) options that allow you to rest body, mind and soul before 2013 says its goodbyes:

1. The One&Only Spa Cape Town

Visit the gorgeous spa at the One&Only Cape Town resort at the V&A Waterfront. Situated on its very own 'spa island', this spa received the 2013 Spafinder Wellness 365™Readers’ Choice Crystal Award title as the favourite spa in Africa (as well as the award for favourite spa in South Africa). A pristine piece of heaven with a fantastic list of treatments, including the famous Bastien Gonzalez pedicure.

2. The Spa at the Oyster Box, Umhlanga

This gorgeous spa is part of the Oyster Box hotel in Umhlanga (on Durban's North Coast) and the winner of the Best Hotel Spa in this year's Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Awards. You might want to book into the hotel for a few nights too. The spa takes its inspiration from the ocean and the surrounding green sugar-cane fields.

The Hammam Room at the Spa at the Oyster Box. Image courtesy the Oyster Box Hotel The Hammam Room at the Spa at the Oyster Box. Image courtesy the Oyster Box Hotel

3. Amani African Spa at Ivory Tree Game Lodge

The 'spa-fari' concept offers a wonderful combination of spending time in the bush and enjoying an itinerary that includes both spa treatments and game viewing (though not at the same time). The Amani African Spa at Ivory Tree Game Lodge is situated in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve in North West province. You might want to try its Crystal Massage, complete with a glorious view of the bushveld.

4. Shambala Wellness Spa, Port Elizabeth

Situated in the city of Port Elizabeth (Eastern Cape), this spa has earned an excellent reputation over the years, and offers a tranquil environment and a range of therapies designed to restore and revive your chi. You might want to try the Four-Hand Massage or the Thermal Body Symphony.

5. Karkloof Safari Spa

One of the country's finest spas and part of the Karkloof Safari Spa, Wellness and Wildlife Retreat outside Pietermaritzburg (KwaZulu-Natal), this is the perfect spot to relax and unwind in nature. Try the range of incredible treatments on offer, including Thai massages, wraps, scrubs (how about the lime and ginger salt body-polish treatments) and beauty treatments. There is also a wellness retreat on offer for those who need to detox in gorgeous surroundings and enjoy the wildlife.

6. Bushmans Kloof Wilderness & Wellness Retreat

A sublime spa retreat in the Cederberg mountains in the Western Cape. This award-winning wellness retreat has an excellent spa – there are personalised wellness packages on offer that combine treatments, massage, meditation and time in nature. An added bonus is that guests can visit the ancient San rock art in the area.

7. Jiva Spa at Taj Hotel in Cape Town

As the hotel name suggests, the Taj Hotel in Cape Town has a decidedly Asian/Indian feel and the spa is no different, based on Indian culture and spirituality. There are body rituals, Indian therapies, beauty treatments and signature therapies, including a fynbos therapy (fynbos grows wild in this part of the world and has restorative properties when used in therapeutic treatments).

8. Waters of Royal Malewane Bush Spa

Situated on a private reserve in the Kruger National Park, Royal Malewane has a world-class spa known as The Waters of Royal Malewane Bush Spa. It includes a gym with views of the bush, a heated lap pool, a jacuzzi and private casitas (relaxation rooms). Special spa signature treatments include the African Awakening, a body treatment using indigenous Rooibos natural ingredients. There are also a variety of African ritual treatments available, as well as hydrotherapy treatments.

9. Africology Spa at The Maslow

This funky, fun city spa in Sandton offers a range of Africology (a local brand) treatments. Therapies include the delicious Devotion Journey, Circle of Friends package and/or the Jahzara Day package. There are also fantastic one-off treatments, including the African Goddess Facial, the Shaman's Journey and the African Potato Body Wrap, as well as a range of hydrotherapies.

10. Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa, Cape Town

When it comes to location, you don't get finer than the spa at the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa along the Atlantic Seaboard in Cape Town. There are nine treatment rooms and two gorgeous mountain gazebos that offer views of the sea and the aroma of fynbos. The saltwater flotation pool is a great way to de-stress. There is also a rasul chamber, plunge pools and a detailed treatment menu on offer. There are regular special 'holistic' events hosted by the Twelve Apostles Spa. 

Spa with a view. Image courtesy of Twelve Apostles Spa/Red Carnation Hotels Spa with a view. Image courtesy of Twelve Apostles Spa/Red Carnation Hotels

Category: Health & Wellness

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