March 5th, 2009
Spas around SA have honed in on thousands of years of traditional experience by incorporating indigenous fruits, herbs and plants, as well as local techniques, into their therapies.
Here are eight of the most indulgent spa treatments on offer - each with a good dose of local flavour.
1. The Spa at Bushman's Kloof - ‘Celebration of Life treatment' (95min at R850)
Who said that drinking tea is the only way to enjoy Rooibos's benefits? Bushmans Kloof in the Cederberg uses this miracle plant in a foot scrub as well as during a pressure point massage. Rooibos is renowned for its powerful antioxidant properties, not to mention all the essential minerals it contains that protect the body against cell damage and disease. The treatment also includes a luscious lavender balm back massage and exfoliation followed by an Africology facial and nourishing scalp massage and hair treatment. And to top it all off? A frosty glass of homemade Rooibos iced tea.
2. Labrisa Spa at the Mount Nelson - African Wellbeing Experience (80-min at R450)
The Mount Nelson's Labrisa Spa is an oasis in the heart of the bustling Cape Town CBD. Try the African Wellbeing Experience - a de-stressing and uplifting treatment, with purely indigenous essences to soothe the senses, that calms the mind and restores balance and tranquility. Enjoy a luxurious soak in a copper bath infused with mountain buchu and lavender essential oils, then, using our wild ginger and vanilla blend, drift away with a full body massage.
3. Cybele Spa - ‘African Rungu & Calabash Massage' (60min at R550 or 90min at R700)
Cybele Spa near Kruger has developed a treatment administered with the help of a rungu - a wooden baton that bears special significance amongst East African cultures. It's made from eucalyptus wood that helps provide a deep friction type of massage. Following that, the therapist will use a selection of calabashes as her massage tools - a plant originally grown to be used as a container. The therapist will make use of calabashes ranging in size and texture to provide an experience that's completely out of the ordinary.
4. The Sanctuary Spa at the Twelve Apostles - ‘African Signature Journey' (90min at R990)
It's hard to go wrong when you're combining the techniques of an African face and scalp massage, hot stone massage as well as aromatherapy - all in the spectacular setting of Camps Bay. This treatment promotes circulation and relaxes tired muscles with local products. The African face massage, described as a natural ‘face lift', works with facial muscles to increase elasticity and reduce lines and wrinkles, while the head massage works to alleviate mental stress and emotional fatigue.
5. Klein Genot Spa - ‘African Experience Treatment' (60min at R478)
Klein Genot Spa in Franschhoek uses a product called Africology containing several indigenous ingredients including African Potato to boost the healing power of skin, Rooibos for the soothing and calming of skin, Aloe Vera for its anti-ageing and moisturising properties, and Marula for toning. You'll be led into a treatment room prepared with candles and a fresh Africology room spray, where for the first 20 minutes you'll be treated to a full body exfoliation, followed by a shower and a customised full body wrap for 30 minutes. To finish it off, a scented body butter will be massaged into your skin to leave you feeling absolutely delicious!
6. Etali Spa - ‘Hypoxis (African Potato) Body Experience' (120min at R850)
It's hard to imagine anything better than being treated to an indulgent spa treatment in the middle of the bush in Madikwe with African drums beating gently in the background. This treatment starts off with an Africology body scrub and purifying mask to eliminate toxins and exfoliate. Then the Hypoxis, combined with Marula oil, is applied to soothe and moisturise the skin. Following that, you can choose between a traditional foot ritual or a relaxing face massage while the African Potato wrap does its job. Lastly, you'll be treated to a pressure point massage.
7. Pezula Spa - ‘Phumla Massage' (90min at R975)
This is Pezula's signature massage, designed by therapists who worked with an African woman who had started massaging her family as a method of healing. It's deep and firm, employing long strokes and kneading pressure to improve circulation and ease aches and pains. Maruwa Shea Butter is used in the treatment, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. The massage starts at the back of the body with the feet and gradually works up to the back, neck and shoulders. The client then turns over and the therapist repeats the entire sequence, ending off with a face massage.
8. Ginkgo Spa at The Steenberg - ‘Babor's Khanya Treatment' (120min at R1200)
This treatment draws inspiration from ancient African rituals and traditions by incorporating lava stone, calcite and rose quartz to awaken and harmonise internal energies. The therapist also makes use of wooden African rattles, known as Maracas, as a massage tool. Products used include Marula oil and active tea plant extracts to balance the skin's natural protective function and to maintain vitality. The treatment starts off with a full body exfoliation using fine salt, continues with a full body massage and finishes with a mini-facial.