South Africa's Best Spa Resorts

Couple in bathrobes standing in outdoor spa
••• Martin Barraud/Getty Images

The best spa resorts in South Africa are all about making you feel good. As a luxury tourist destination, South Africa excels at pampering its guests and many of even the small game lodges and hotels offer some spa treatments, often in glorious outdoor settings. It's incredibly difficult to select just ten resorts for this article. We chose these ten in the end because they cover the country geographically, they offer a huge variety of treatments, and they spoil you senseless. But there are many other excellent day spas and resorts in the country as well.

  • 01 of 09

    Beautifully designed to reflect the ocean outside, the Pezula Spa uses a signature Maruwa collection of body treatment products based on the local fynbos vegetation of the Western Cape. With options such as the heated massage water bed, aromatic steam-filled Rasul Chamber, and medi-spa facility, under full medical supervision, offering a wide range of therapeutic treatments, this is a spa to explore. And there's golf outside to keep the man happy while you do so!

  • 02 of 09

    A luxurious private ​​"big five" game reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal, Thanda appeals to all the senses. After an early game drive or walk, spend the heat of the day by the pool, go riding or bird watching on the beach. And in between, wallow in the welcoming embrace of the Wellness Centre, where treatments use Marula, the African potato, and glory in names such Soul of Africa. Who could resist?​

  • 03 of 09

    The Twelve Apostles is a perfect blend of sophisticated city hotel and resort, with beach, mountain trail walks, and a heated infinity pool with ocean views - all within easy access of Cape Town city center. Its Sanctuary Spa, carved from the rocks and using Elemis products and Moya Crystal healing therapy, is one of the best in the country. For true sybaritic luxury, book yourself and your partner in for a three-hour moonlight picnic and treatment in one of the two beachfront gazebos.

  • 04 of 09

    Most people visit the Pilanesburg as a day trip from Sun City, but this doesn't do justice to one of South Africa's great National Parks. The Ivory Tree is within the National Park boundaries, a comfortable and friendly lodge with an added bonus - the lush and lavish Amani African Spa, using locally crafted Africology products that offer to turn you into an African Goddess.

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  • 05 of 09

    A magnificent hideaway in the Cederberg mountains, north of Cape Town, Bushmans Kloof was voted Best Hotel in the World, 2009, by readers of Travel + Leisure USA - no small accolade. Its spa draws for inspiration on the unique rock formations and flora of the Western Cape, using locally grown fynbos herbs and crystal healing. You can choose treatments in traditional rooms or in an open gazebo with panoramic views.

  • 06 of 09

    Ulusaba

    The Sabi Sand Reserve next to Kruger Park is a patchwork of exclusive game lodges, many of which also have excellent spas. Ulusaba, owned by Virgin, is one of the best, with two small lodges - Rock Lodge is set high amidst the boulders of a rocky kopje and Safari Lodge, made up of tree houses linked by a series of rope bridges. Both have Aroma Boma Spas with magnificent views and offer treatments in your own room or even by the pool to help take out the kinks after a day's safari.

  • 07 of 09

    A small, cozy boutique hotel in the rolling green Midlands Meander inland from Durban, the Fordoun Spa offers a multitude of ways to soothe the soul from Reiki and bio-energy specialists to a traditional African healer, a flotation tank, and​ a thalassotherapy center.

  • 08 of 09

    Right on the beach just a few minutes' walk from the center of Umhlanga village and within easy reach of downtown Durban, this is one of the great classic hotels of South Africa's north coast. Recently restored to its former colonial splendor by the Red Carnation group, it now also has a world-class spa, complete with hammam, infinity pool, dry flotation bed, and color therapy suite.

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  • 09 of 09

    With a boutique hotel that has been voted one of the best in the world for six years straight, you would expect something special from the spa and this doesn't disappoint. The Saxon Spa and Studio looks magnificent and has an extraordinary range of treatments that cater to all the senses, using underwater music, gongs, cymbals, singing bowls and bells, color therapy and hydro jets alongside the massages, wraps, and aromatherapies that we all know and love.