Self-care is enjoying a moment. The term has found itself as a popular social media hashtag celebrating everything from meditation to manicures. While it’s easy to dismiss self-care as self-indulgence, no one can dispute the importance of regular me-time. Beyond the Instagram captions, taking consistent care of yourself and maintaining a level of care throughout the year is essential to ensuring a balanced lifestyle. Whether you require a mani-pedi to remind yourself that there’s life away from office stress, or need a weekend getaway for total rejuvenation, we’re here to help you find the perfect relaxation retreat. Here, we take a look at six spas across South Africa that will help you relax, rejuvenate and restore.


The Garden Spa at Babylonstoren, Western Cape

The body is not a machine. Sometimes, you need to take the time to rejuvenate to ensure that your body can keep delivering.

Best for: Holistic treatments infusing local, seasonal ingredients

The Garden Spa, set within a bamboo forest, offers everything from facials to massages, therapies and pedicures. To add a special touch, fresh herbs such as lavender and rosemary are picked from the garden every day for use in the spa’s daily rituals. That means the treatment menu is dictated by what’s seasonal, local and ripe. The spa is a treat for all senses, with guests welcome to enjoy modern facilities such as a hammam, chill room and gym. Guests can also enjoy a tea ceremony featuring herbs and infusions from the healing garden.


Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa, Johannesburg, Gauteng

Best for: Break away without leaving Joburg

Need a quickie relaxation session without leaving town? Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa in leafy Morningside might be the destination for you. This Balinese-style spa offers various treatments and packages for everyone, from those seeking a few hours of indulgence to guests in need of a weekend escape for maximum indulgence. Guests can shake off the Joburg hustle and bustle in the lush gardens and enjoy a true oasis of relaxation. The spa, which offers classic therapies and Asian-inspired treatments, features a heated plunge pool, a spa bath, Chinese daybeds, as well as steam rooms and a sauna.


Karkloof Safari Spa, Midlands, KwaZulu-Natal

Best for: Luxurious safari and spa experience in serene surroundings

If you want the best of a bush breakaway and the serenity of a spa retreat, Karkloof Safari Spa is the place for you. This award-winning luxury lodge offers everything from private guides to game drives. And then, once you’ve satisfied your appetite for spectacular wildlife, it’s time for the full wellness package. Karkloof has mastered the luxury spa experience with a whopping 17 treatment rooms, all with wonderful views of the bush. No detail has been left to chance and guests can be spoiled with unlimited hydrotherapy, a flotation pool, therapy pools, an open-air Jacuzzi, saunas, steam rooms and more. Pure bliss!


St Francis Health Centre, Bathurst, Eastern Cape

Best for: Tranquil treatments and holistic health and healing

There’s a time and a place for a quickie mani-pedi. But St Francis Health Centre offers so much more. This spa is, in a word, an experience. Tucked away in the Kleinemonde River Valley, this spa specialises in stress relief, weight control and natural healing. For those seeking a "health holiday", its detox programme is world-renowned. If the famous hydrotherapies, steam and jet baths and indoor and outdoor pools aren’t enough, guests can take their journey to a deeper level. St Francis Health Centre provides holistic healing and guests are encouraged to explore The Labyrinth and The Sanctuary to treat life’s stresses.


The Spa at The Oyster Box Hotel, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal

Best for: Eco-friendly and exotic opulence in tropical surrounds

The Spa at The Oyster Box Hotel in Durban combines the luxury of a high-end spa with the traditional effectiveness of local plant-based products and eco-friendly technologies. World-class service meets opulent facilities as guests are free to explore any number of indulgent areas, including a grooming lounge, plunge pool, gym and infinity pool. It’s easy for guests to be transported to complete serenity in a spa set in private, tropical gardens. And, once pampered with treatments inspired by nature, guests can enjoy quiet time in a post-treatment tranquillity lounge. 


AM Spa Lodge, Hoedspruit, Limpopo

Best for: Stillness and tranquillity meets indulgence and privacy

Luxe in Limpopo? Yes, please. The award-winning AM Spa is well-known as an oasis of total relaxation. A global World Luxury Spa Awards winner, this spa is a serene haven, enclosed in the stillness of the bush. Guests can enjoy soothing treatments, from facials to massages, all while being serenaded by birdsong and wildlife rustling in the trees. If a massage with a bush view is your idea of relaxation, then AM Spa is for you. A dip in the outdoor pool or unwinding under a canopy of trees awaits you at this wilderness gem.