Reboot your body and mind with state-of-the art treatments, star fitness trainers and food that’s seriously good for you. BY CARLA AVOLIO
If the year’s hectic schedule is starting to take its toll, it might be time to restore your inner calm with a wellness getaway. But with everything available from thalassotherapy to Turkish baths, it can be hard to decide which is the right choice. We take out the guesswork and find five different ways to help you say “ahh.”
1. Luxe detox in New Zealand
Forget everything you know about detox retreats. At Aro Ha Wellness Retreat there are no military-style drills, juice fasts or colonic irrigations. Instead, imagine daily deep tissue massages, satisfying vegetarian meals, and mountain views to make Peter Jackson swoon.
Aro Ha offers an active weight-loss experience that doesn’t skimp on luxuries. For starters, it’s located in New Zealand’s majestic Southern Alps, about 40-minutes drive from Queenstown on the south island. Each of the property’s eight zen-style cedar cabins boasts jaw-dropping views of the sapphire Lake Wakatipu rimmed by towering bluffs. The five- to seven-day all-inclusive “wellness adventures,” meanwhile, are designed to get results.
The day kicks off with sunrise flow yoga followed by an energising breakfast featuring an array of fruit and vegetables grown on-site. Then, you’ll get the heart pumping with a four-hour subalpine hike (above) through the very terrain brought to life in the Hobbit movies. Come afternoon, you’ll be ready to retire to the spa, where an infra-red sauna and plunge pool with mountain views are waiting.
2. Animal therapy in South Africa
Part safari lodge, part wellness getaway, Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat is about a three-hour scenic drive from Cape Town. Located in a predator-free nature reserve and surrounded by the rugged Cederberg Mountains, the retreat’s scenery is its own kind of therapy. With personal game rangers assigned to every guest, days can be filled with drives or bike rides to see roaming zebra (above) and bontebok, or excursions to 1,000-year-old rock art sites hidden within the sandstone cliffs. By night, the resort’s acclaimed food and luxurious lodgings — in the Riverside Suite, for example, one can soak in the heated plunge pool while taking in the beautiful rock formations — will lull you into a restful repose.
But if spa treatments are what you’re after, then Bushmans Kloof does not disappoint. Offerings include hot stone massages, Rooibos milk footbaths and sessions of lying on a giant quartz crystal while steam envelops you. But the highlight, without a doubt, is the outdoor spa gazebo (above). The sound of the babbling Boontjies River and twittering birds married with panoramic views of hills glowing gold will elevate your experience to unforgettable heights.