The world has become so fast and noisy, that visiting a spa almost feels like a necessity rather than a luxury!
Fortunately the Cape is dotted with a slew of sanctuaries – from vineyard retreats to luxurious urban oases, and even a slick sky-scraping city spa – where locals and out-of-towners can escape into a parallel universe for an hour or two.
Whether you’re after a destressing deep-tissue massage, an indulgent pamper, or you simply want to clear your mind from the chaos outside, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in our list of the best spas in the Cape.
Cucumber water, anyone?
What’s your favourite spa treatment? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Enjoying pride of place at the picture-perfect Leeu Estates, Leeu Spa is a word-class sanctuary whose treatments and products are imbued with the healing and holistic wisdom of African rituals.
Lie of the land The spa is home to three expansive treatment rooms that look out onto the breathtaking Franschhoek Valley. There’s also a hair and nail salon, his-and-hers steam rooms, a plunge pool overlooking a tranquil lily pond, and a 15-metre-long infinity pool. The lavish relaxation area is the perfect place to linger – no matter what time of year – with a sparkling swimming pool just outside for summertime dips, and a fireplace and blankets on the massive couches in winter.
Luxe cred From the minute you set foot in the beautiful and modern building, the spoiling and cocooning begins. A freshly made fruit-juice infusion, heated floors and next-level spa attire set the tone – nothing stock-standard about these robes and slippers. And then there’s the treatment bed: big enough to stretch out in all directions, boasting the perfect temperature and – again – made with the plushest of fabrics – it’s light years ahead of normal spa fare.
Recommended treatment Knowing that my runner’s legs were in dire need of TLC, the knowledgeable, ever-helpful staff recommend the African Fuse Massage. Within an hour, my aches and pains and work stresses were gently ushered away.
I wish I could give a full blow-by-blow account of it, but it was so relaxing, so enveloping and so perfect that I blissed out for the better part of the hour.
Cost R820 for an hour
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 10am – 7pm (including public holidays, Christmas and New Year)
Contact 021 492 2223, email@example.com
Location Leeu Estates, Franschhoek
Reviewer Riekie Human
With sweeping views of the vineyards and the towering Jonkershoek mountains in the distance, the spa at Lanzerac Estate offers some of the best vistas (and facilities) in the business – all from the comfort of the spa’s relaxation area. Fresh from a year-long refurb, the luxurious spa boasts cutting-edge amenities in a light and airy space that dates back to 1692 (when the first grapes were planted).
Lie of the land There are seven state-of-the-art treatment rooms, including a NeoQi Mediq Cocoon, mist room and an experience shower. Spa guests are invited to make use of the heated pool, bubbling Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room•, while the fitness room is reserved for hotel guests only. There’s even a Vitality Corner for wholesome post-treatment juices, salads and smoothies.
Luxe cred The overarching attention to detail – from the exquisite design and location to the service and offerings – will leave you feeling contained, cosseted and utterly content. Recommended treatment The AromaVines Pinotage Massage (apt given the estate’s rich vinaceous heritage) is a stress-relieving and muscle-relaxing therapy that uses a blends of grapeseed oil and natural botanicals.
Cost R800 for 60 minutes
Opening times Peak season (1 September – 31 March)
Monday – Sunday, 8am – 8pm
Low season (1 April – 31 August)
Monday – Sunday, 8am – 6pm
Hotel guests can make use of hydro facilities until 9pm
Good to know * The additional spa facilities may be used by day visitors who spend more than R500. Keep an eye on their website for specials.
Contact 021 887 1132, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location 1 Lanzerac Road, Stellenbosch, Western Cape
Perched at the top of Stellenbosch’s Helshoogte Pass, the Delaire Graff Spa is the apex of indulgence. From the estate gates, the driveway gently guides you to an even-higher plane, while the fragrant fynbos soothes the mind into a calmer out-of-city state.
Lie of the land The spa itself is discretely positioned to ensure privacy and sweeping vistas, while the four treatment suites and relaxation rooms are linked by tranquil indoor ponds and sculptures that offer a meditative focal point.
Relaxation facilities include a 22-metre infinity pool, Jacuzzi, a sauna and steam room, and a panoramic spa retreat where you can rest in between treatments.
Luxe cred You can’t put a price tag on Delaire Graff’s breathtaking setting. A post-treatment glass of wine by the pool – with mountain and vineyard views that extend forever – elevate an excellent experience to an exceptional one.
Signature treatment The four-hand massage offers a pleasing symmetry of touch and, followed by a Rasul Ritual (exfoliation and masks) in the sauna and steam room made for a wonderful two hours.
Cost R2 500 for 120 minutes
R2 800 for 150 minutes
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 6pm
Contact 021 885 8160, email@example.com
Location Delaire Graff, Helshoogte Road, Stellenbosch
Reviewer Lynette Lawley-Day
One & Only Spa
On the edge of the marina at the buzzing V&A Waterfront, this glamorous resort raises the bar with its designer dining, luxurious accommodation, and one-of-a-kind facilities. Pulling into the plush hotel (with the best-smelling foyer in Cape Town!), I was a tad concerned that the wording on the website might’ve oversold the experience: “an oasis of serenity nestled on a private island… an exclusive, unparalleled spa retreat… surrounded by water and lush vegetation, offering tailored holistic experiences”
Lie of the land Located on a private island, the Bali-esque spa features 12 spacious rooms, along with his-and-hers Thermal Suites, a vitality pool, steam room, ice fountain, and luxurious “experience” showers. But it wasn’t until I stepped inside and was greeted with a glass of bubbly, a slice of cake, and a welcoming smile that I felt my tension begin to melt.
Luxe cred Every tiny detail has been considered in the facilities and amenities offered – from the plush robes and slippers to the hair-straighteners. All spa guests receive complimentary access to facilities and can help themselves to a selection of healthy snacks and indulgent sweet treats, as well as fresh juices, teas and MCC.
Recommended treatment After identifying my “problem” areas, my ultra-skilled therapist suggested a full-body massage, focusing on my lumber and shoulder sections. I then enjoyed a Bespoke Facial that involved a face-mapping and a custom-made product cocktail to suit my skin. Needless to say, I arrived a skeptic and left supple, glowing and humming to the whale music, as I made my way to the post-treatment pamper room to enjoy a selection of patisserie and bottomless bubbly.
Cost Bespoke Facial: R1 170 for 60 minutes
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 8am – 8pm
Contact 021 431 5810
Location Dock Road, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town
Reviewer Seth Shezi
The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa
Known for its spectacular ocean views and unique sea-scraping setting, this chic boutique hotel on the Atlantic Seaboard is the ideal destination for a tranquil spa experience. Decorated in a palette of ocean colours, the interior blends seamlessly with its breathtaking surrounds.
Lie of the land The first floor features seven treatment rooms, a rasoul chamber, changing rooms, and the health bar, featuring a complimentary selection of nuts, fresh and dried fruit, muesli, muffins and an assortment of juice. The lower level boasts two plunge pools and a flotation tank, an intimate nail bar, and a tranquility lounge where guests can help themselves to tea, while flicking through the latest editions of local magazines. There are also two magical outdoor gazebos, and a fitness centre.
Luxe cred Designed to reflect a white crystal grotto, the spa gives guests the feeling of being underwater, with romantic dimmed lighting and calming blue hues floating up from the three downstairs pools, offering an immediate feeling of escapism.
Signature treatment The only spa in the area to stock Decleor products, it’s only fitting to try the signature Decleor Vitamin Glow facial – a 10-minute back massage, followed by a facial, and a head massage while the face mask soaks into your skin.
Cost R 1 100 for 60 minutes
R 1 350 for 90 minutes
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 8am – 8pm (including public holidays)
Contact 021 437 9060, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Victoria Road, Camps Bay, Cape Town
Reviewer Kent Cloete
Spa at the Cape Grace
You’ll find nirvana at the end of the fourth-floor corridor of the Cape Grace Hotel where gleaming mirrors reflect crystal chandeliers, and the carpet pile is so plush that even your clickiest heels won’t make a sound. Wearing sexy shoes to this spa is highly recommended because the treatments are designed to leave you glossy, glowing and gorgeously ready for an après-spa rendezvous with the rest of the beautiful people in the hotel’s luxe Library Lounge.
Lie of the land The spa offers the full complement of body, face and hair treatments in five treatment rooms, a nail bar and hair salon. There’s also a Fitness Studio and Relaxation Area, which boasts glorious views of Table Mountain and the marina, and offers complimentary snacks and refreshments throughout the day.
Luxe cred Everything about the experience is transporting; you couldn’t be happier if you were a piece of dough being kneaded into a brioche by the goddess Nigella herself!
Signature treatment The Rolling Sands massage that begins with deep inhalations of four scented candles, allowing your body to intuit what it needs. What turns this deep-tissue treatment from excellent to exceptional is the inclusion of reiki and stretching.
Cost R1 260 for 60 minutes
Good to know Teens and tweens are welcome too, and there’s a gentleman’s menu with grooming services that range from beard trims to facials.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 8am – 8pm
Contact 021 410 7140, email@example.com
Location Cape Grace Hotel, W Quay Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Reviewer Stefania Johnson
Librisa Spa at the Mount Nelson
A veritable oasis at the foot of Table Mountain, this historic hotel is a vision. Drive through the pillars towards the iconic dusty-pink building and, hidden beyond the palm trees, you will find the Librisa Spa – the ultimate haven where the outside world becomes irrelevant.
Lie of the land On arrival, tea and snacks are offered in the tranquil, conservatory that’s imbued with plants and striking orchids. There are eight spacious and beautifully decorated treatment rooms, including two couple’s rooms, a steam bath, sauna and plunge pool. Manicures and pedicures take place upstairs on oversized and extra-comfortable chairs.
Luxe cred The staff go out of their way to make sure you are taken care of in every possible way. Parents of tots (between 3 and 12 years) can drop off their children at the kids’ club (no extra charge) while you languish in the lap of luxury next door.
Recommended treatment The African Goddess Facial is a calming ritual that starts with a back and neck exfoliation followed by a muscle releasing massage of the face, which leaves your skin feeling rejuvenated.
Cost R1 370 for 90 minutes
Opening times Summer, 1 December – 28 February:
Monday – Sunday, 9am –8pm
Winter, 1 March – 30 November:
Monday – Sunday, 9am – 7pm
Contact 021 483 1000, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location 76 Orange Street, Gardens, Cape Town
Reviewer Annabel Short
Santé Wellness Retreat & Spa
Located on eight hectares of land on the breathtaking La Bella Vita Wine Estate, you’ll find this one-of-a-kind haven neatly tucked between Paarl and Franschhoek.
Lie of the land The majestic day spa is two storeys high, and boasts over 40 treatments in 17 zones, an indoor pool, individual steam rooms and saunas, and a sun-kissed dining area for lovely, light lunches that can be enjoyed in your spa gown and slippers, should you so desire…
Luxe cred Leading treatments, organic meals, and a world-class holistic ethos make this winelands gem truly unique – and give the top Swiss escapes a run for their money.
Signature treatment Exclusive to Santé, the Vinotherapy treatment fights skin-cell damage, repairing and hydrating the epidermis using a soothing liquid made from grapes. The Pro-Sleep massage is another exclusive treatment that’s very effective in relieving stress and calming the mind.
Cost Pro-sleep massage: R1 250 for 60 minutes
Vinotherapy Signature Journey: From R2 700 – R4 200 (includes lunch)
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Contact 021 879 1500, email@example.com
Location La Bella Vita Wine Estate, Simonsvlei Road, Paarl
Reviewer Kent Cloete
Babylonstoren Garden Spa
Babylonstoren needs no introduction – with its awe-inspiring gardens, chic restaurant and super-stylish lodgings – making it the perfect outing for all. Add a luxurious spa and, trust us, you’ll want to move in.
Lie of the land You’ll find the spa hidden towards the back of the farm, within a forest of bamboo. There are five treatment rooms, including a hammam (Turkish bath), chill room and a gym. One-of-a-kind touches include a swimming dam, a salt room built from blocks of Himalayan salt, and tropical rain showers, as well as a sauna, steam room, and indoor heated vitality pool.
Luxe cred Being on a working farm, where natural beauty seems to go on forever, is what sets this spa apart. That, and stylish interiors, superb service, and some exclusive treatments.
Signature treatment The Private Hammam Water Ritual includes a full-body exfoliation, dynamic flexing, body butter application, as well as a head and scalp treatment. Guests opting for this treatment are invited to relax in the chill room or the bamboo garden afterwards, while enjoying a healthy and wholesome lunch.
Cost R2 050 for 60 minutes
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 8am – 5pm
Contact 021 300 3929, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Klapmuts Simondium Road, Simondium, Franschhoek, Western Cape
Angsana Spa at The Vineyard Hotel
Part of the internationally renowned Banyan Tree group, Angsana Spa is located on three hectares of lush, landscaped gardens at the Vineyard Hotel. With spectacular views of Table Mountain’s eastern slopes, the spa’s unparalleled setting is matched by its wonderfully professional Thai-trained therapists.
Lie of the land The calming hush that greets you in the spa’s reception is infectious, and extends to the 11 treatment rooms, whose decidedly Asian aesthetic is inoffensive (but could definitely do with a spruce up). In addition to two deluxe rooms with steam and shower facilities, five single treatment rooms, there’s a Rainmist Room with twin beds, the first of its kind in South Africa.
Luxe cred The luxury is in the setting – a magnificent garden on the banks of a river with commanding views of the mountain.
Signature treatment The Angsana massage – designed to work on the body’s key pressure points and strengthen inner energy – was possibly the best massage I’ve had in years. I slept like a baby that night, and my 5km run the following day felt like a stroll in the park.
Insider tip If you can, ask for Taslynn.
Cost R600 for 60 minutes
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 10am – 8pm
Contact 021 674 5005, email@example.com
Location Vineyard Hotel, Colinton Road, Newlands, Cape Town
Reviewer Nikki Benatar
Majeka House Spa
On a quiet corner on the outskirts of Stellenbosch is the impressive Majeka House, a luxurious boutique hotel, restaurant and spa. Your relaxation journey begins in the spa’s changing rooms, where lush white robes and brightly coloured Crocs await…
Lie of the land A large indoor heated pool (and adjoining Jacuzzi) overlooks a beautifully manicured garden, and leads to an intimate sauna and steam room. Guests are invited to make use of all these wonderful facilities before enjoying their treatments.
Luxe cred Apart from offering all the basic treatments – facials, massages, waxes, manicures and pedicures – guests can also book wraps, scrubs and spa packages, some of which include lunch at the acclaimed Makaron restaurant.
Signature treatment The African Goddess Facial – otherwise known as 90 minutes of pure bliss. The facial rejuvenates the skin using pure natural and botanical oils. But before the facial begins, guests are treated to a 20 minute back massage and back scrub before being met wonderful and relaxing aromas of citrus and lavender. A surprise scalp, neck and foot massage are thrown in during the facial and ensure a final send of into a world of relaxation.
Cost R650 for 90 minutes
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 8am – 8pm
Contact 021 880 1549, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location 26 – 32 Houtkapper Street, Paradyskloof, Stellenbosch, Western Cape
Reviewer Alicia Chamaillé
Nestled in the Constantia Valley, overlooking the majestic False Bay, lies Steenberg Estate, home to a five-star hotel, two acclaimed restaurants, a cutting-edge tasting room, and a serene spa.
Lie of the land The intimate spa houses four spacious and comfortable treatment rooms, with a Quiet Zone just off reception, with couches, beds and a tea station, for guests to relax before or after their treatments.
Luxe cred The vineyard and mountain create an omnipresent sense of calm. All products used in the spa have been manufactured under fair-trade guidelines, and feel and smell heavenly.
Recommended treatment Soulful Decadence: a wonderfully luxurious combination of a full-body massage and a bespoke facial.
Cost R1 500 for two hours
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 8am – 6pm
Contact 021 712 7481, email@example.com
Location Steenberg Estate, Steenberg Road, Constantia Valley, 7945, Cape Town
Reviewer Nikki Benatar
Mai Thai Wellness Spa
Setting Situated in a beautiful historic home in picturesque De Waterkant, this innercity sanctuary is a wonderfully relaxing retreat, removed from the buzz just outside its doors. With just five treatment rooms, you know you’re receiving the attention you came here for.
Lie of the land Upon entering this urban oasis you’re greeted with an overriding sense of tranquility, imminent not only in the tasteful decor, but in the calming sounds of trickling water features. Take a seat in the enclosed garden courtyard, while you wait for your treatment, and enjoy a selection of beautifully presented organic herbal teas. There are also gowns and slippers, and shower facilities available.
Luxe cred Various factors make this award-winning haven one of the best, namely The authentic Southeast Asian atmosphere, the focus on holistic practice and spirituality, the use of all-natural products and Thai-imported oils, and the five-star quality treatments.
Signature treatment The Mai Thai Signature Massage is a 90-minute treatment, ideal for those suffering with fatigue, as traditional Thai stretching and palming techniques are used to energise, rejuvenate and refresh. I felt like a brand-new person at the end of my massage.
Insider tip We recommend Sumatra – she’s a wonderful masseuse with magic hands!
Cost R990 for 90 minutes
Opening times Monday – Friday, 8am – 7pm
Saturday, 8am – 5pm
Contact 021 418 0713, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location 18 Dixon Street, De Waterkant, Cape Town
Reviewer Adam Lange
Heavenly Spa at the Westin
Set at the top of the Westin Hoel in the busy foreshore precinct, Heavenly Spa lives up to its name (in terms of its sky-high location and delightful offerings) – and is the perfect escape from a busy work day.
Lie of the land The 19th floor is dedicated to the spa, so there is no shortage of space. The exit from the elevator takes you to reception, where welcoming staff book you in and show you around the facilities, which include a gym, sauna, steam room, pool and Jacuzzi – all with that heavenly view! Once in your cosy robe, make your way to the waiting area for a pre-treatment snack. The neutral palette creates a sense of calm.
Luxe cred Being atop a skyscraper, you feel elevated and somewhat removed. Make sure to have a sauna at sunset, when you can see the harbour and Waterfront in full spectrum.
Signature treatment The Heavenly Massage combines three signature stone rituals in a Swedish-style massage that releases muscular tension and aids relaxation, using the pure essence of marula and herb-infused oil.
Cost R690 for 60 minutes
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 9pm
Contact 021 412 8200, email@example.com
Location Convention Square, Lower Long Street, Cape Town
Reviewer Simone Cilliers
The Fresh Wellness Spa at Cellars-Hohenort Hotel
We don’t actually need another reason to visit our favourite Constantia hotel, but if we did the Fresh Wellness Spa at Cellars-Hohenort would be it. A footpath around the side of the main building takes you to the spa and, though it’s surrounded by a magnificent garden, once inside, you don’t really get a sense of the awe-inspiring setting. That said, the wonderful sensorial therapies on offer make up for it.
Lie of the land Once comfortably ensconced in one of the six spacious treatment rooms, it’s time to slip into a luxurious gown and soft slippers, and await what’s guaranteed to be a sensational treatment. The spa does have a steam room and hydrobath, but both are currently off limits due to water restrictions in the Cape.
Luxe cred With revitalisation the priority, all five senses are incorporated in all the spa offerings and every effort has been made to ensure that only the best and most authentic products and elements are utilised, such as pure vine oil from Stellenbosch, and proper volcanic stones.
Signature treatment The 5 Senses Full Body Massage, aimed at refreshing and relaxing the body, is phenomenal. Hot volcanic stones are alternated with cold bamboo sticks (and a host of other elements), to awaken all five senses.
Cost R1 050 for 90 minutes
Opening times 1 October – 30 April:
Monday – Saturday, 9am – 7pm
Sunday, 9am – 5pm
1 May – 30 September:
Monday – Saturday, 9am – 6pm
Sunday, 9am – 2pm
Contact 021 794 2785, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location 93 Brommersvlei Road, Constantia, Cape Town
Explore more of the Cape; subscribe to our weekly newsletter.