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6 South African wellness retreats to check out

Fairlawns provides a place of solace for those yearning for a few days of R&R. Picture: Supplied.

Fairlawns provides a place of solace for those yearning for a few days of R&R. Picture: Supplied.

Published Mar 1, 2020


Now and again, your mind and body need a break from everyday stresses. In a world where technology plays a big role in how we live and function, getting time to escape from the hustle and bustle of a big city (assuming you live in one) is hard work. But if you do, these are the wellness spots to visit:

Brookdale Health Hydro, KwaZulu-Natal

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Brookdale Health Hydro, located in Nottingham Road in KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, offers a holistic health package designed to bring balance to your life. The property encourages guests to invest in their well-being. Their Nutrifit Lifestyle Management programme, devised

by physiologist Rob Cowling, is based on healthy eating, moderate regular exercise and stress management.

Brookdale prides itself on offering one of a kind activities to keep travellers gainfully occupied.

Guided morning walks, aquacise classes, yoga, pilates, guided relaxation classes, biokinetics and nutrition consultations, cooking demonstrations and spa treatments feature heavily on their activity list.

If that does not tickle your fancy, then head to the heated indoor swimming pool or soak in absolute peace at the private mosaic steam room. Other amenities include hydrotherapy baths, gym, studio, juice bar, jacuzzi and sauna.

You will never go hungry at Brookdale as they offer three balanced meals, morning and afternoon snacks and crisp salads.

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There are two, three, four

and six-night packages, as well as themed getaways throughout the year, including Art Getaways, Gut Health Getaways, Self-care for Women Getaways and Yoga Getaways. Rates start from R4 100. Call 033 266 6208 or visit:

Santé Wellness Retreat & Spa, Western Cape

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This multi-award winning wellness retreat is located in the pristine Western Cape Winelands.Santé provides the perfect backdrop for a much-needed retreat, and the views of the mountains and luxurious serene spaces are bound to leave you feeling refreshed in no time. Santé prides itself on holistic wellness, which it accomplishes through healthy eating, physical activity, adequate rest and healthy dining. There’s a comprehensive, holistic wellness programme that caters to de-stress and rejuvenate, detox, healthy ageing and weight loss. Activities include yoga, pilates, training with a personal trainer, guided morning jogs, cooking demonstrations and group de-stress sessions. All meals are created using unrefined foods and without any sugar, dairy, gluten, preservatives, colourants and additives.Produce is sourced from their indigenous kitchen garden or local bio-dynamic farmers and suppliers. Rates start from R6 000. Call 021 879 1500 or visit

The Whole Truth Retreat, Western Cape

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“The Whole Truth Retreat isn’t about detox, weight loss or self improvement, but waking up to the wonder of what you already are.” These are the words that greet you when you log onto the retreat’s website. Tasha Saha runs holistic health retreats at her home in the delightful village of Stanford in the Western Cape. She shows travellers holistically healthy living that will help them long after they pack their bags and head home.These home-stay retreats are personalised and tailored to individual needs. At the Whole Truth Retreat, you are surrounded by the most exquisite and pristine natural settings in the world. To keep you occupied during the retreat are daily yoga and meditation practices, nature immersion, conscious dance practices, microdosing, and a bioenergy workshop.Guests, in their spare time, get to embark on solo walks, journalling and other mindful activities.Alternative therapies such as massage, reiki, reflexology, somatic therapy, therapeutic yoga and sound therapy are available as optional extras. Guests have the option of a juice cleanse, raw food, or healthy plant-based meals, or any combination of these during their stay. From R2 000 per day. Call 076 968 8608 or visit:

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Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa, Johannesburg

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Once a family home, Fairlawns Boutique Hotel is now one of the leading luxury hotels in Johannesburg. Despite the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg, Fairlawns provides a place of solace for those yearning for a few days of R&R. The 5-star-hotel has one of the largest and exclusive spas and wellness spaces in the city. Explore the calming gardens with bamboo forest, that transport you to the beauty of Bali. There’s an undercover heated hydro pool, rim flow jacuzzi, sento bath, relaxation lounges, and salas. The spa offers a range of treatments to leave you feeling on cloud nine. The hotel offers 41 elegant suites that are individually decorated in varying themes ranging from Eastern to French influences. Make sure you head to the terrace to sample some of the Cape’s finest wines and bubbles, as you watch the sun disappear behind the lush trees.  

Rates start from R7 300 per suite per night, including breakfast. Call 011 804 2540 or visit:

Summerfields Rose Retreat and Spa, Mpumalanga

Located just 10km from Phabeni Gate of Kruger National Park, Summerfields Rose Retreat and Spa offers peace in a luxury setting.The establishment calls itself a 5-star luxury retreat on its website.

Besides the out of this world views, there are 11 secluded tented suites, a luxury Jackalberry Suite and a Forest Suite.

Travellers will find percale linen and the fragrance of fresh-cut roses in their rooms.

Their Rose Spa, located on the banks of the Sabie River, affords views of the majestic mountains. If you are lucky, you may spot crocodiles or hippos lazing about from a distance.

As you indulge in your treatment, listen to the soothing sound of birds as there are over 100 species on the estate.  

Once you are done, enjoy other amenities like the steam room, jacuzzi, Vichy shower and a hydro walk along the banks of the Sabie.

Besides the spa, guests can dine at the award-winning restaurant called River Café, wander into the macadamia and litchee orchards or go on a guided tour of the farm and rose tunnel.As Kruger National Park is near, spend a day in search of the Big 5.

Besides, being in nature is the ideal way to get some much-needed solitude. Rates start from R3 670pps including breakfast. Call 013 737 6500 or visit:

Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat, Western Cape

Picture: The Red Carnation Hotel Collection.

Bushman’s Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat may be a three-hour drive from Cape Town, but the long journey will be worth it once you reach. Nestled in the foothills of the Cederberg Mountains, you will find open plains, sandstone formations and ancient bush art sites dating back 10 000 years. Their range of activities will never leave you bored and there’s so much to learn about ancient African culture. And for those who want to take in nature in a relaxing setting, the spa is the place to spend lazy days.

Voted the Best Spa in Africa & Indian Ocean at the Global Spa & Wellness Awards in 2015, the spa menu boasts an extensive variety of health and beauty enhancing treatments to leave guests feeling pampered.If you’re looking for some peace, book the secluded Riverside Gazebo perched alongside the tranquil waters of the Boontjes River.

Other spa amenities include the crystal steam room, heated outdoor pool, health bar, fitness centre, and tranquillity lounge

Natural Wellness package caters to those who want to escape from their 9 to 5 blues.

A special package consisting of two-night accommodation, an hour massage, facial or reflexology treatment, all meals and a variety of activities including a daily guided rock art excursion, afternoon nature drive with sundowner drinks and snacks, hiking, canoeing, and swimming, is available. From R7 570pp/pn. Call 021 437 9278 or visit:

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