What makes a great wellness retreat isn't just the scenery or the peace and tranquility. It is having amazing specialists who are great at what they do to create personalized experiences with an outstanding combination of great spa treatments, fine dining, meditation, fitness facility, and unique activities that makes you feel transformed, more alive, well connected and intune with yourself. Below you will find our top ten picks that truly go above and beyond for a great and transformational wellness experience.
1. BUSHMAN KLOOF
Where Nature Meets Luxury
The ultimate wilderness experience to escape, rest, heal and be at one with nature, with wide open plains, mystical rock formations, crystal clear waterfalls and an abundance of flora and fauna. Bushmans Kloof is the custodian of over 130 unique rock art sites, some as old as 10,000 years. The sites on the reserve may be viewed by guests, archaeologists and researchers. Since its founding, Bushmans Kloof has been dedicated to protecting this extraordinary treasure. Awarded the status of a South African Natural Heritage Site, Bushman Kloof is by far one of our favorite wellness wanders.
A Natural Wellness Journey
The surroundings are therapy in themselves, but the Spa is the focus of the abundant natural healing energy one experiences at Bushmans Kloof. It’s a peaceful sanctuary where one can surrender to the ancient mystical powers of the African landscape, rejuvenate all your senses, replenish your spirit and achieve deep inner peace and harmony. Dedicated to restoring beauty and balance through individual treatments and Spa journeys, personalised for each guest by exceptionally skilled therapists. Recent awards include the Best Spa in Africa & Indian Ocean at the Global Spa & Wellness Awards.
Meditation & Healing
Experience the healing waters of the 500 million year old mountains, a restorative crystal healing session at the spa, or enjoy a yoga session on mats provided. The opportunity for meditation and quietude is yours for the taking. In this exquisite and remote landscape you’ll find space to be still and to reconnect with the timeless natural world. Walk the ley lines, or simply meditate to birdsong and the gentle rustling of fynbos grass.
For a truly memorable gastronomic break, book a culinary weekend or an epicure’s special-interest package. A generous hospitality, and magnificent menu and wine cellar are in keeping with a standing as a Relais and Chateaux Property. Your day begins with a light continental breakfast, served in the splendid luxury of your room or patio. You might prefer a bush-breakfast beside a cascading waterfall, before setting off on a guided tour of the Bushmans Kloof rock paintings.
2. EMOYENI RETREAT CENTER, MAGALIESBERG
Situated on the northern slopes of the Magaliesberg mountains – in North West province, South Africa, about 100 km northwest of Johannesburg. Emoyeni is a Zulu name meaning ”Place of the Spirit.” Perched on a ridge at the head of a valley in the Umkomaas river system in KwaZulu-Natal, the Buddhist retreat Centre looks out on a vista of indigenous valleys, forests and rolling hills receding like waves in the blue distance. Run strictly on Buddhist principles, Emoyeni ("place of spirit" in Zulu) seeks to foster mindfulness and what it calls "loving kindness" among its guests. For more than twenty years people of all religions have come to experience peace and tranquillity. It is a gentle, sympathetic space where one can be still and get in touch with oneself and reflect on the things that crowd one's life. CNN featured the BRC as one of the 10 finest Meditation centres in the world.
A typical day starts at 7.30 a.m. with a light breakfast followed by meditations and other "mindful" activities (cooking and gardening) throughout the day. There's a light supper in the evening and then Noble Silence (no speaking) till the following morning. All meals are vegetarian, the accommodation is basic and there are no TV, games or swimming pool - the lack of distractions meant encourage a spirit of introspection.
3. THE ROSENDAL WELLNESS RETREAT
A Slice of Heaven
Rosendal Winery & Wellness Retreat offers the discerning traveller a unique country guesthouse and spa experience. Renowned for its warm hospitality, pristine mountain setting, excellent cuisine and award-winning wines, Rosendal is an oasis of calm conveniently located in Robertson's Wine Valley, amidst the many attractions of Route 62, less than two hours drive from Cape Town. With eight generously appointed rooms, all en-suite and offering magnificent views, 4-star guesthouse offers visitors the opportunity to retreat or mingle, and is ideal for intimate celebrations and corporate breakaways. Soak up the farm’s natural diversity from your private verandah or enjoy a refreshing swim in the rim-flow pool. For nature lovers, a short walk round the farm dam, with its viewing deck, is pure escapism amidst the bustle of bird life. And during farming season, an appreciation of farm life comes from witnessing the harvesting of the Sauvignon Blanc grapes, and the apricots in the adjoining orchards.
As a boutique winery, the award-winning winemaker, Therese de Beer, sources the best quality produce from across the Western Cape to craft premium wines; exclusively available to discerning customers via professional wine merchant service and online store.
4. SANCTUARY CHOBE CHILWERO
Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero is a luxurious riverside retreat in the heart of the bush on the edge of Chobe National Park, home to the world's largest remaining population of elephants.
Sitting above the Chobe River, the lodge offers unparalleled panoramic views across the islands and floodplains as far across as Namibia.
This is an incredibly luxurious lodge with just 15 guest cottages, as well as the only full spa on the Botswana safari circuit. Inspired by the abundance of nature that surrounds the lodge, the spa has drawn from that beauty to develop a range of treatments and rituals of the highest quality to relax, restore and revitalise guests. Authentic African design has been integrated with the natural elements surrounding this luxury lodge and the spa only uses products, treatment methods and practices that are environmentally friendly. Luxurious facilities include an indoor spa bath, Vichy showers, hydrotherapy, plunge pool, relaxation area and private treatment rooms, one of which is elevated in the treetops. Choose from treatments such as African Goddess Anti-Aging Facial, Soul of Africa Conditioning Body Massage, an African Milk Bath Ritual, African Potato Anti-Aging Body Experience, manicures and pedicures.
Enjoy the gourmet food that the lodge has become known for. Meals at Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero are all freshly prepared. The lodge prides itself on its personalised service and this includes your culinary preferences and needs.
5. BLUE BUTTERFLY RETREAT, WELBEACHT NATURE RESERVE
Located in the middle of the 400-acre Welbedacht Nature Reserve, Blue Butterfly adds chanting meditation, massage and yoga to the more conventional mix of hiking, swimming and wildlife tours. In the tranquil Tulbagh Valley, just over an hour and a half from Cape Town, you will find The Blue Butterfly nestled in the heart of the Welbedacht Game and Nature Reserve. Here, there are trails that meander through diverse and natural plant lands, a range of flowers for every season, an abundant variety of birdlife and both small and large game species that roam within the Reserve. Surrounded by the majestic Winterhoek Mountains, this is a beautiful and natural setting for retreats, workshops and getaways. Private self catering retreats: If you prefer a private retreat, there is the option to reserve a little stone cottage for yourself. The stone cottages are fully self catering and tucked away for privacy and quiet. While you are here, you are free to walk, swim, rest and explore.
Private catered retreats for groups: If you are a group of friends, family members or colleagues and you would like to have a retreat planned just for your group, acommodations are also provided. Conferences and workshops: For groups wanting to get together for a conference or workshop, they offer stay over options that are either self catered or catered for. The natural and tranquil setting offers an ideal space for groups to connect and share.
6. MAZAGAN BEACH & GOLF RESORT
Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort is a unique tourist destination with 500 rooms and suites. Explore Morocco, a land of rich culture and tradition, while enjoying all the comforts this resort has to offer.
Take advantage of Morocco’s year-round mild climate and enjoy the beach, which stretches over 7 kilometres along the Atlantic Coast. With a guarantee fun for the whole family with clubs for kids of all ages, restaurants and bars, a world-class spa, casino and night club, plus sports and other leisure activities mazagan is fully equiped for any activity. You can also play par-72, eighteen-hole golf course, designed for players of all proficiencies and boasting stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Whether you are relishing a dinner for two or dining with friends, Morocco’s rich cuisine is nothing if not satisfying. Much like its culture, Morocco’s food is a synthesis of Berber, Oriental and Mediterranean influences and one of the best ways to experience the country.
Sample tagines, couscous, honey, almond pastries and much more.
Your Spiritual Journey
A spiritual journey to enhance the wellness of body and mind. The Mazagan Spa yoga pavilion is filled with the soothing sound of the waves and offers a spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy yoga from sunrise to sunset. Yoga helps reduce stress and increase serenity, improve breathing and boost confidence, strengthen the body, and enhance flexibility. The Spa also offers unique, customized and personalized experiences with an exclusive selection of personalized treatments created to meet the specific needs of any skin type.
Discover these - and other benefits - with our qualified yoga instructors.
Start your day with a burst of energy with a session of Surya Namaskars - a sequence of 12 powerful yoga postures - accompanied by mantras and musical melodies.
Explore the connection between breathing, movement and energy and feel the power and dynamic of the group. Opening the conscience to a deeper rhythm enhances inner unity and healing.
Sequences of dynamic movements inspired by Ashtanga yoga help you develop muscle strength, flexibility and breathing control. Power Yoga not only tones the body, it also improves endurance and the ability to concentrate.
Meditation helps to purify the mind, develop a clear inner vision and enhance self-knowledge and self-understanding. The sessions provide a gentle introduction to different breathing techniques and to the power of mantras and mudras.
By far one of the best preserved farmyards in Cape today. This majestic garden, farmyard, vineyard and farm Hotel situated on the backdrop of the Simonsberg, Du Toitskloof and Franschhoek mountains is truly a breath of fresh air. The owners, Koos Bekker and Karen Roos restored this 300-year-old farm into a modern yet authentic sensibility that takes the farm firmly into the future while still maintaining its primitive texture. There are workshops offered regularly as an opportunity to share and teach guests about gardening in general. In addition, other workshops such as baking bread by Master baker Fritz Schoon & baker Peachy, show you how to grind your own flour. Make your own sourdough starter and take home to nurture. Also, another workshop they offer is Cheese making with Babylonstoren specialties such as ricotta, haloumi, fior di latte, youghurt and feta. There is more activities including beekeeping were you put on your beekeeping suits to inspect the hives in the garden and to harvest fresh honey while also learning some interesting facts and myths about bees and beekeeping.
Food and Dining
There are more than 300 varieties of plants in the garden edible or have medicinal value, with everything from blood oranges to asparagus, mushrooms and persimmons supplying the farm’s two restaurants: Babel and the Greenhouse. Food menu is guided by what is available in the garden, our food always reflects the season, and so in summer we may serve you a yellow salad of pineapple, gooseberries, granadillas, yellow tomatoes and apricots.
Like everything else at Babylonstoren, the Garden Spa is inextricably linked to the garden and the ever-changing seasons. We like to think of it as a living spa, set within a forest of bamboo with tranquil greenery and a myriad leiwater channels to set the tone. Some of our traditional treatment rooms are housed in our pavilion constructed of bamboo, which comprises a hammam, chill room and a gym.
We have a wonderful selection of classic treatments to be enjoyed in our light and spacious spa rooms. From hydrating body wraps to bespoke facials and deluxe pedicures, our spa menu will cater to your every need.
Hammam Experience an ancient cleansing ritual that is supremely good at relieving stress. The treatment increases circulation, relieves muscle tension, increases metabolism and keeps skin fresh as it rinses out toxins.
Massage Our massages are so relaxing it may well send you to sleep. Our fascination with the bamboo plant is rooted in heritage – we’ve used it to create outdoor spaces in which we perform our rejuvenation treatments and also use it during our signature deep-tissue bamboo massage.
Wraps Our Lilian Terry wraps include a full-body scrub, wrap and application of a body oil.
Facials and beauty Available as parent-and-child treatments. We use two natural, organic product ranges at the Garden Spa. Dr. Hauschka is a German product and Esse a local product.
8. THE ROYAL MANSOUR MARRAKECH
The Royal Mansour Marrakech was born out of a vision to create a spectacular masterpiece exceeding the demands of today’s discerning traveler, while reflecting the true essence of Moroccan tradition.
The owners of the Royal Mansour Marrakech wanted to celebrate architecture, ancestral knowledge and culinary arts as well as an innate sense of beauty which is part of the country’s heritage. The Royal Mansour Marrakech offers its guests unparalleled experiences of wonders and emotions, leaving an imprint in their memories.
The Royal Mansour Marrakech Spa is a true paradise which promises to stimulate the senses, encourage relaxation and offer you a unique, unforgettable spa experience. Upon arrival, guests begin their spiritual spa journey, leaving behind the hustle and bustle of the city and daily stresses as they enter into a world of tranquillity and peace. The outdoor hot air gives way to a comfortable coolness within this vast wellness area. The purity of white, punctuated by the colourful floral bouquets and the serenity of the surroundings, are only interrupted by the melodious birds and the soothing sounds of the water fountains. At the heart of this enchanting universe is an impressive fairy-tale white wrought iron atrium, evoking an elaborate birds’ cage. Immerse yourself in a feel-good oasis under a monumental glasswork. The Spa at the Royal Mansour Marrakech is not only a fitness, wellness and health area, it also mirrors the Palace’s majestic qualities. In fact, The Spa has been awarded Best Luxury Hotel Spa in Africa by World Luxury Spa Awards 2018.
When the night falls and the stars come out, a spellbinding feast for the taste buds begins!
At Royal Mansour Marrakech you will discover a truly unforgettable dining experience. Home to three outstanding restaurants, it is one of Marrakech’s finest gourmet destinations. From modern dining in La Table to the haute-cuisine of La Grande Table Marocaine and La Grande Table Française, Chef Yannick Alleno brings you a gourmet experience like no other.
9. THE WELLBEING SPACE AT SARUNI MARA & SARUNI SAMBURU
In the Masai Mara, the Wellbeing Space is a private cottage hidden in thevalley's olive and cedar forest and devoted to the use of local plants for beauty and relaxation treatments. In Samburu, it is an isolated house with awe-inspiring views over the conservancy and a totally open front. Considered two of the most professional and inspiring ‘beauty centres’ in Kenya, the Maasai Wellbeing Space at Saruni Mara and the Samburu Wellbeing Space at Saruni Samburu have been created by Kenyan designer Mark Glen.
The new techniques combine sophisticated methods developed at Centro Benessere Stresa with ancient Maasai and Samburu wisdom and knowledge. For instance, using Olsinoni leaves (Lippia Javanica) for their detoxifying and purifying properties. Also they use pure gel from Usuguru (Aloe Kedongensis) and compresse of Olleleshwa leaves (Tarchonantus Canphorantus) to remove skin impurities and to improve the natural regeneration of the cells. Pedicare is complemented with more traditional products such as Ol-Emoran leaves (Hoslundia Opposita). A half hour-long post-game drive or pre-game drive back & neck massage is included for free (per room per stay) in your safari package. Among the other treatments on available, you can choose between the lymphatic drainage massage, de-congestive or nourishing or purifying facials, manicure, pedicure and the popular sport massage.
10. SEGERA RETREAT, KENYA
Where Nature Meets Luxury
An exclusive destination for fun, adventure, spiritual reflection and peace, where absolute luxury, bespoke service and generous all-inclusive offerings combine to give you exceptional privacy in your wild Kenyan home away from home. Set in the heart of Laikipia, one of Kenya’s most exciting safari locations, conservationist Jochen Zeitz has created an exclusive destination for fun, adventure, spiritual reflection and peace, where absolute luxury, bespoke service and generous all-inclusive offerings combine to give you exceptional privacy in your wild Kenyan home away from home.
Segera is a treasured haven for Kenya’s most celebrated wildlife species, where a holistic approach to wellness ensures a revitalizing and authentic safari experience from the moment you arrive.
Nestled between glorious Mount Kenya to the east and the Great Rift Valley to the west, a stunningly diverse and seemingly magical environment, Segera’s golden savannah plains, rocky waterfalls and tropical botanical gardens offer a peerless and exquisite venue for the perfect romantic getaway.
Segera Retreat’s Wellness Center offers an array of scrubs, facials, full body therapies and massage treatments, which will help you unwind in luxury and comfort, encouraging you to find renewal amidst the peace and beauty of your surroundings. The Rasul Steam Tower offers guests a unique and truly therapeutic spa experience.
Segera’s botanical gardens, oasis and private wooden decks provide a range of inspirational spaces for enjoying individual self-rejuvenating yoga sessions as well as larger dedicated yoga classes.
When enjoying a specific yoga retreat at Segera, an entirely holistic experience is offered – with daily raw food menus, juices and revitalizing outdoor activities specifically tailored to nurture your mind, body and soul.
Segera’s dining experience is personalized and creative. Menus focus on fresh, seasonal, homegrown ingredients and are thoughtfully tailored to guests’ preferences, specific venue styles and individual wine recommendations. Segera’s team of professional chefs can also cater to any unusual or hypoallergenic cuisine requirements, including vegan, gluten-free, raw food, nut-free or otherwise.
Feel free to contact Trailblazer Travelz for an itinerary to each one of the wellness retreats listed above.