The ultimate luxury in today’s busy life is finding the time to relax, and to do it properly. To be able to indulge in the quiet, breathe slowly, take a moment to be grateful and to enjoy getting spoilt.
Okay, we know practicing selfcare doesn’t necessarily have to involve a spa, but everyone would agree: it’s a pretty divine way to do it.
Luckily South Africa boasts with a long list of award-winning spas, many of them hidden in the midst of the majestic winelands. Massages, beauty treatments, wine and vineyard views.
Franschhoek Wine Valley
1. The Garden Spa at Babylonstoren
The words “natural”, “organic” and “indigenous” best describe the Garden Spa at Babylonstoren. The serene Bamboo structures and glass walls ensure an even flow to reconnect with nature with the expansive gardens just outside.
Facilities: five treatment rooms (four of them are double treatment rooms), chill room, hot spa, gym, swimming pool and hammam (for ancient Turkish cleansing).
Good to know: If you stay at the hotel you can request private yoga lessons at the spa.
For more info.
2. Leeu Spa at Leeu Estate
Other than the incredibly luxurious details and beautiful vineyard views, Leeu Spa is quite unique in the treatments that they offer. Their bespoke menu is inspired by Africa’s rich heritage and traditional rituals.
Facilities: three treatment rooms (one couples’ suite), hair and nail salon, steam rooms, changing rooms, plunge pool, 15 meter infinity swimming pool and gym.
Good to know: They also have a cute range of treatments for children (aged six to 12).
For more info
3. Farm Spa at Boschendal
Add a proper country-style pamper to your list of things to do when visiting this popular winery destination. Whilst doing so, you will not only be looking after yourself but after the environment too, as the spa (operated by) donates a percentage of its profits towards environmental conservation initiatives.
Facilities: two couples’ treatment rooms, one single treatment room, garden treatment options, outside jacuzzi, swimming pool.
Good to know: Boschendal has fresh farm-to-picnic offerings on the outstretched lawns, so make sure to book a basket along with your pamper session.
For more info
4. Lanzerac Spa
The highlight of the spa at Lanzerac has to be their picture-perfect central relaxation area. With huge windows overlooking the mountains and vineyards (literally a stone’s through away), you can laze in the heated pool, jacuzzi or on the sun loungers on the deck.
Facilities: six treatments (one couples’ suite), four manicure and pedicure stations, indoor heated swimming pool, a private relaxation lounge, a sauna, steam room, experience shower, mist room, and a fully-equipped fitness room.
Good to know: they have a disabled therapy room equipped with a bathroom and shower.
For more info.
5. Clos Malverne Spa
Hidden away in the Devon Valley is a traditional family-owned wine farm with an intimate spa. After you’ve experienced one of their treatments, don’t forget to try the farm’s famous ice cream and wine pairing.
Facilities: two treatment rooms, private wet room, deck with sun loungers, swimming pool.
Good to know: they always have a couple of special deals running so check their website before booking.
For more info.
6. Majeka House Spa
Majeka House hotel is a must-visit estate in the Stellenbosch winelands offering eclectic luxury with daring design and surprise touches. Add to that a professional spa experience with a wonderful hydrotherapy area and you’ve got a date.
Facilities: three treatment rooms (one couples room), hydrotherapy water facilities including jacuzzi, steam room and sauna.
Good to know: Their restaurant, Makaron, has won multiple awards, so we’d suggest booking a table along with your treatment, while you’re at it.
For more info.
7. Mangwanani Winelands Orange Spa
Mangwanani is one South Africa’s most famous spa brands and pioneers when it comes to creating unique spa experiences. They have a couple of branches all over the country, with the Winelands spa situated between Stellenbosch and Kuils River.
Facilities: treatment rooms (including couples’ rooms), a winelands high tea room and an outdoor swimming pool.
Good to know: they have a very unique Moonlight Night Spa experience with cocktails, snacks and the sound of the African drum.
For more info
8. Delaire Graff Spa
If prizes were awarded for wine estates with the best views, Delaire Graff would definitely get a podium position. Enter their spa area and it’s no different. For top luxury with only the finest beauty products they promise a holistic experience where they pamper your body, mind and soul.
Facilities: four spa suites, 22 meter infinity pool, outdoor jacuzzi.
Good to know: they host a special Healing and Purification spa ritual for couples on a monthly basis.
For more info.
9. Santé Wellness Retreat & Spa
At Santé, you can choose between four types of spa programmes to suit your specific need: Rejuvenating, Cleansing, Ageing or Relaxing, which all include body and facial treatments. This place is however so much more than a day spa – it’s a health destination, perfect for holistic retreats.
Facilities: treatment rooms, bio-energy centre, accommodation, restaurant, health optimising programmes, yoga, pilates, stretch classes, labyrinth.
Good to know: Experience the complete offering by booking a multi-day retreat that will feed mind, body and soul.
10. Mooikelder Spa
The day spa team at the Mooikelder manor house is experts in hosting big groups of people for special occasions. They can host up to 20 people at a time and can even add catering, special touches and event planning to your pampering if you need it.
Facilities: three single rooms, two couples’ rooms with spa bath, two aesthetic treatment rooms, Aesthetic Wellness doctor, nail station, tea room with fireplace, venue rooms, swimming pool, outdoor relaxation area. Good to know: There are bespoke picnic baskets available to be enjoyed after treatments, but it needs to be ordered in advance.
11. Steenberg Spa
Set in beautiful surroundings with elegant furnishings, the spa at Steenberg estate is a lovely place to book your me-time, a mere 20 minutes from Cape Town’s CBD. Their therapists focus on giving a sensory experience on various levels to ensure you rejuvenate as much as possible. Oh, and they have a spa menu for the little ones too.
Facilities: four treatment rooms, manicured gardens and an outdoor courtyard.
Good to know: the estate has so much to offer so make sure you pop by the wine tasting room, excellent restaurants or even play a round of golf if you have time to spare.
12. Fresh Wellness Spa at The Cellars-Hohenort
The Cellars-Hohenort is a renowned five-star hotel famous for its old-world charm and lush vegetation. Breathe in the fresh air from the mountain and magnificent gardens as you unwind with one of their signature treatments using oil from the Stellenbosch vines.
Facilities: six treatment rooms (including a couples’ room), nail stations, steam room, outside heated swimming pool, outdoor treatment rooms, beautiful gardens.
Good to know: the recommended treatment is the Five Senses Signature Massage that includes body butter, volcanic stones, tropical bamboo sticks and a unique massage technique.
13. Arabella Hotel and Spa
Sited between the Elgin, Bot River and Hemel-en-Aarde wine routes you will find a signature landmark: the Arabella Hotel and Spa with its scenic golf course. The award-winning spa is situated downstairs in the hotel offering an ambient and mysterious feel as you enter the hydro pool and treatment areas.
Facilities: treatment rooms, heated indoor hydro-pool, outdoor lap pool, sauna and steam room.
Good to know: Arabella is the first spa in the world to offer a sensory water and steam treatment called the African Rainforest Experience.
14. Karoo Tranquility Spa at De Zeekoe
De Zeekoe is an oasis in the arid Klein Karoo landscape, offering a variety of accommodation options and a myriad of activities. From birding, canoeing, meerkat tours and of course, relaxing at their spa where you can expect an authentic Karoo touch to your treatments.
Facilities: treatment rooms (including a couples’ room), swimming pool.
Good to know: they offer an African Calabash Massage - a deep tissue treatment with traditional dried-out and rounded plant material.
15. Zen Den Spa at Old Mac Daddy
A fresh new addition to the winelands spa scene is the Zen Den Spa at Old Mac Daddy – the quirky designer hotel and trailer park. Slowly becoming a family vacation favourite, the spa is no different, offering many mini treatment options for kids of all ages.
Facilities: treatment rooms, beauty product shop, swimming pool, access to Old Mac Daddy facilities. Good to know: sign up to their email list to be the first to know about their special deals every now and then.