14 March 2013 by Julienne du Toit

Renew in the Karoo

Interested in staying in restored historic cottages with the latest in health and beauty treatments only a walk away? Cradock’s most famous tourism attraction now has a whole new health and wellness aspect.

Interior detail at Karoo Comfort Zone. Picture Chris Marais

Next month, a group of Johannesburg friends are making the eight-hour drive all the way to Cradock in the Eastern Cape for a fun detox bonding weekend together.

The Tuishuise is a street full of restored Victorian cottages in Cradock - very popular accommodation options. Picture Chris Marais

They’ll be staying at the beautifully restored 1850 cottages, the Tuishuise, in Market Street. They’ll be eating most of their healthy wholefood meals at the Schreiner Tea Room. And they’ll be receiving lymph-drainage massages, along with body-sculpting treatments, luxurious facials, manicures and pedicures at the newly opened Karoo Comfort Zone, the latest addition to Cradock’s famous Market Street.

For the rest of the time, they might head off to the nearby Mountain Zebra National Park (which has a large pool at the picnic area, convenient for some aqua-aerobics or laps). Or they may get one of the instructors in from Cradock’s KarooActive Gym to take them through yoga stretches or Pilates.

Karoo Comfort Zone staff, including owners Lucille Ferreira and Helen Murray, in one of the treatment rooms. Picture Chris Marais

The recent opening of the Karoo Comfort Zone in Market Street has created all kinds of new healthy travel possibilities.

In fact, the Tuishuise and Victoria Manor Hotel have a special weekend package on until the end of August: you get dinner, bed and breakfast for two nights, plus a full body massage, body scrub, facial, pedicure and 18 rounds of golf at the local (rather splendid) course. All this for only R1 725 per person sharing – a perfect anniversary gift.

It’s interesting that Cradock is reclaiming its reputation as a health destination. A century ago or more, the clean dry air of this region helped many people with lung problems. Some stayed and founded farming dynasties here.

But as other ways of dealing with tuberculosis and lung disease were found, Cradock simply continued as a quiet farming town on the banks of the Great Fish River, 250km north of Port Elizabeth.

Owned by Lucille Ferreira and Helen Murray, the Karoo Comfort Zone’s facilities and décor would not look out of place in an upmarket city spa – except that here you’ll encounter more of a sweet country feel.

Once you enter the house, with its candy-striped verandah roof, everything is soft muslin white and pale grey, with warm accents and large canvas images of quiver trees.

The spa has a small garden with a spreading shade tree, a small bubbling fountain and a plunge pool.

The recent opening of the Karoo Comfort Zone in Market Street has created all kinds of new healthy travel possibilities.

The Karoo Comfort Zone is one of the platforms where the African Angels practise the art of pampering. They can be hired for private functions – perfect for weddings and corporate events.


Category: Health & Wellness

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