I know I am biased, but I truly believe that the South African winelands are one of the most relaxing and aesthetically pleasing places to visit on the planet. Coupled with a professional spa treatment at a fabulous spas on a beautiful wine estate, one is literally transported to heaven.
The spa at Franschhoek’s latest in luxury, Leeu Estates
When Indian businessman, Analjit Singh, visited Franschhoek for the first time in 2010 during the Fifa World Cup, he fell in love with the quaint little winelands town and bought up half of it. At Leeu Estates he has created the most incredible new luxurious spa which promises to ‘replenish, restore and reconnect you to a serene and timeless place within yourself’. Using the organic handmade ‘ila’ products, their treatments are influenced by the Sanskrit word ’Bhumi’ meaning Mother Earth. As a day visitor, a treatment or two coupled with lunch on the estate and followed by a wine tasting in the new Tasting Room with Mullineux wines is a sure way to create lasting memories.
The spa at the bottom of the garden at Babylonstoren
Everything about this magical farm exudes style and quality and the spa is no different. In keeping with the whole farm ethos there is a charming simplicity and close-to-nature feel. Even the outside pool area is situated around an old-style farm dam. I recently experienced a Turkish bath in their custom built Hammam and it was a wonderful experience literally washing way the stresses and strains of everyday life. I love the way that fresh herbs and lavender are picked daily for use in the various spa rituals. The spa is open to hotel guests and day visitors alike and there are combined parent and child treatments.
A jewel of a spa at Delaire-Graff
Owned by Diamond jeweller, Laurence Graff – this ‘jewel’ of the Cape winelands situated at the top of Helshoogte Pass is always worth stopping at whether it be to admire the views, seasonal gardens, fabulous South African art or to dine at one of their wonderful restaurants. Another option is to spend a half day or day enjoying Delaire Graff’s unique spa packages. The entrance to the spa is through a fabulous lobby featuring artists such as Deborah Bell and extraordinary flower creations by Stellenbosch florist, Okasie. For the international jet set what could be better than the Revive Jet Lag Cure which includes an hour land a half detoxifying treatment for weary travellers. Children are also catered for with a 30 minute Princess Rose bubble bath which include a hot chocolate drink and a rose body lotion application. Oh, and did I mention the infinity pool with views to die for.
The spa at the historic Lanzerac Hotel
One of my favourite and oldest traditional Cape Dutch wine farms is Lanzerac in the suburbs surrounding Stellenbosch close to the mystical Jonkershoek valley. I harbour fond memories of Sunday lunches as a child, anniversaries as a newly-wed and wine tastings on their shady terrace. An exciting development to enhance this tranquil property is the rebuilt Lanzerac Spa. Boasting six therapy rooms, four mini manicure and pedicure treatment areas as well as a Rasul chamber complete with sensation showers, a heated pool, sauna and steam rooms, and a cooling mist room. A highlight of the Spa is the NeoQi® cocoon, which is a complete system for detoxing, energizing and relaxing the body used in conjunction with the Spa’s TheraVine Thalaso Therapy. The spa will opens early 2017.
The spa tucked away in the vineyards at Angala Boutique Hotel
For a ‘barefoot 5 star’ experience, the Angala Boutique Spa hotel is the answer. Set high above Vrede en Lust wine estate and reached by a very long driveway it commands a jaw-dropping view of the surrounding vineyards and mountains. It is an incredibly peaceful setting and the private outside showers in each suite are just gorgeous.
Angala offers various forms of Hydrotherapy such as their verdant eco-pool which evokes the sensation of swimming in a mountain pond. I could quite easily imagine a lazy afternoon in the heat of summer relaxing there all day there, but guest are also able to book a range of spa treatments in the privacy of their rooms. When the weather is cooler, the infrared spa as well as the solar heated Ozonated pool offers another relaxing option.
Whilst a trip to the winelands to taste world class wine, eat at amazing restaurants and feast on art is in itself a treat, by adding in a spa treatment one is really living and yes all of us can feel like a billionaire even if only for a few hours!