Seven restorative wellness retreats for regaining your mojo

These healing centres offer a dose of rejuvenation and respite

14 May 2024 - 08:00
By Wanted Reporter
Take time out to enjoy working out on the beach at Sala Beach House.
Image: Supplied Take time out to enjoy working out on the beach at Sala Beach House.

When you’re burning the candle at both ends, you sometimes need a timeout that goes beyond the stillness of the wilderness. These wellness retreats provide a complete set of physical and emotional practices to rest and rejuvenate the body and soul. 

Sala Beach (Ballito) 

Nothing soothes the soul quite like breathing in salty ocean air. At Thompson’s Bay, overlooking the ocean, you’ll find ample opportunities to let go, immerse yourself in nature and find space to think. Choose from themed, planned programmes such as the Winter Solstice Weekend Retreat or personalise things with the Sala Self-Retreat. 

Renewal activities include meditation, yoga, spa treatments and workshops. When you’re not soaking up the views or wandering through the natural surroundings, you can indulge in snorkelling, surfing, hiking or golf. 

Find your zen with beachside yoga at Sala Beach House.
Image: Supplied Find your zen with beachside yoga at Sala Beach House.

Waterfall Retreat and Environment Centre (KwaZulu-Natal)

As the name suggests, the Waterfall Retreat and Environment Centre is devoted to promoting overall wellness and preserving the wildlife and indigenous environment of the Nkutu Nature Reserve on which it is located.

The basis of the centre’s environmental work is the ongoing removal of alien plants to maintain and restore the indigenous forests and protected grasslands of the reserve.

The practice of mindful awareness is the focus of all the activities at the retreat centre with the aim to deepen the understanding of the mind.

The centre hosts a gentle day retreats, which include different yoga classes.

The centre boasts luxurious accommodation in its Rustic Eco House and the popular Floating House, which appears to float above the natural forests of the centre with views towards the Krantzkloof end of the Nkutu Valley.

The Waterfall Retreat Centre boasts the popular Floating House, which appears to float above the natural forests.
Image: Supplied The Waterfall Retreat Centre boasts the popular Floating House, which appears to float above the natural forests.

Vala House (Knysna) 

On the outskirts of Knysna, Western Cape, an oasis of calm and rejuvenation awaits. While your home suburb can feel cramped and bustling, this property is a wide-open space where you can feel free. Vala House has established a holistic retreat, taking into account mindfulness, yoga and movement, healthy, nourishing food, relaxation and educational workshops. Most retreats are flexible and thus bespoke. Choose from the Burnout Recovery Retreat or the Yoga Retreat for Beginners and more. And, if you’d like, you could include massages, facials, cacao healing and more. 

Vala House cold water therapy.
Image: Supplied Vala House cold water therapy.

Oxford Healthcare Retreat (Joburg)

Just a stone’s throw from Sandton you’ll find Oxford Healthcare Retreat, a space surrounded by greenery and rooted in healing.

Choose the length of your stay, ranging from one-day experiences to seven days of rejuvenation. The retreats can be geared towards relief from stress, detoxing and optimising health or a well-needed respite from the humdrum.

Included in your retreat are the use of the facilities such as the flotation pool, music sensorium and sauna, and specific treatments such as massage, psychotherapy (where applicable) and yoga.

As winner of the Prestige Awards for Wellness Retreat Of The Year, it’s a bucket list choice. 

Oxford Healthcare Retreat sauna.
Image: Supplied Oxford Healthcare Retreat sauna.

Woodlands Spa (Joburg) 

In rural Muldersdrift, overlooking the Crocodile River, Woodlands Spa aims to help you “let go, relax and heal”, per their mantra.

The retreat is supported by professional therapists, yoga, massage, meditation and the healing natural surrounds of the area.

Each stay ranges from two to three days and includes meals and sessions that allow you to focus on the present and soak up the nourishment they offer.

Choose from six retreat programmes, each addressing a different concern: to recharge, heal, radically transform or release trauma. To really get in the healing spirit, be sure to try the jacuzzi and sauna facilities too. 

Woodlands Healing Spa.
Image: Supplied Woodlands Healing Spa.

High Hopes (Cape Town) 

The 19-year-old retreat, set in mountainous Greyton, Western Cape, offers a space to heal and decompress.

When you’re not seeing a professional therapist, getting a massage or practising asanas, you can relish in nature by swimming under a waterfall, walking through fynbos fields or floating around a natural pool.

Each retreat is customisable and can be crafted from three days to month-long stays and can be centred on what brings you there, from adrenal burnout or trauma to health rebalancing.

What’s more, on entering you’ll be assessed by the kinesiologist and from there a personalised meal plan will be crafted to suit your needs. 

High Hopes Retreats.
Image: Supplied High Hopes Retreats.

Santé Wellness Retreat & Spa (Cape Town)

Set against the mountain ranges in Paarl, near Cape Town, this hi-tech facility offers different wellness programmes, each tailored to meet a specific need.

Stay for three to 21 days and become immersed in health and wellness, with opportunities to destress, detox, balance emotional upsets or level up your fitness.

Each programme differs from the next but what makes Santé unique is the technology used. Therapies might include an Electro Interstitial Scan (which detects, among others, hypertension, and body fat composition), crystal light therapy, ozone and infrared therapy as well as sound therapy.

You can also expect yoga, massage, sauna and jacuzzi access and meals prepared using the on-site indigenous kitchen garden. 

Sante Wellness Retreat.
Image: Supplied Sante Wellness Retreat.