Did you know?
An Indian head massage is a great stress reliever. It can be performed on the shoulders, neck, scalp and face without the use of oils while you are sitting in a chair.
Grooming on the move is an efficient way of taking care of beauty and wellness needs while on the go. South Africa's spas and salons are well equipped to deal with the needs of travellers and customers who have limited time.
Airports are a good place to start. You'll find the Letsema Xpress Spa in both international arrivals and departures at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. Letsema specialises in quick massages, starting at a 20-minute session.
Another option is to take some time out at the Camelot Spa at the Intercontinental Johannesburg Hotel OR Tambo. The Camelot brand offers a range of treatments and operates nationwide. Octavia's Sensorium Day Spa is situated at the Emperors Palace casino complex, close to OR Tambo International Airport, and is a good place to retreat and enjoy a pedicure or manicure.
At Cape Town International Airport you can take advantage of the Yemaya Express Nail Bar kiosk, where your manicure or pedicure will take just 15 to 30 minutes.
Another option in Cape Town is to book a treatment at the Vineyard Hotel & Spa (just 15 minutes from the airport). The Angsana Spa offers a varied treatment menu and half-day packages for those who have time on their hands between flights.
Nearby you will find the Sanctuary Spa in Newlands Village, where you can take advantage of an 'Express Combo', three spa treatments in under an hour.
For those landing at King Shaka International Airport in Durban, there are a number of choice spas and health and wellness options on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast.
These include the fantastic African-inspired Impilo Beauty Spa at Hotel Izulu in Ballito, where one can enjoy hydrotherapy treatments. The Gateway shopping mall in Umhlanga also has a number of places where you can have your nails and hair done or enjoy a quick massage.
Look out for the Amani group of spas all over the country. These choice spas are found at many of the country's luxury hotels and offer a range of treatments for the traveller on the go.
Mobile spas in South Africa are growing in popularity too. In the Western Cape, Cape Mobile Spa is a good contact to put in your little black book, while in Gauteng the Ikhutsa Ultimate Relaxation Spa will come to you if there are four or more of you wanting a treatment.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Letsema Xpress Spa
Tel: +27 (0)11 642 4387
Yemaya Express Nail Bar
Tel: +27 (0)21 439 2266
Octavia's Sensorium Day Spa
Tel: +27 (0)11 928 1815
Cape Mobile Spa
Mobile: +27 (0)82 393 5848
Best time to visit
Most day spas are open in the mornings from 8am and stay open until at least 6pm. Some even stay open as late as 8pm or 9pm to accommodate travellers on different time schedules, or businesspeople who don't have time during working hours.
What will it cost
Manicures and pedicures (20 minutes) start at around R80, while massages (30 minutes) are generally R180 and up. Tipping the therapist is always appreciated.
Length of stay
Express spa treatments are generally 20 to 30 minutes long. However, if you have a half day between meetings or a layover at the airport, time at the spa will be well spent.
What to pack
If you are having a pedicure then make sure you have open shoes to avoid your nail polish smudging.
Look out for the Africology range or Healing Earth range, both home-grown cosmetic and skincare ranges. They are also available online.