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Review: Santé Wellness Retreat and Spa, Cape Town in South Africa

By Kate Morfoot on 6th April 2019

South Africa’s, Santé Wellness Retreat & Spa is an idyllic centre of healing in the Cape Winelands, designed to serve not only its local clientele but many overseas visitors looking to ‘discover extraordinary’ at this leading Premier Healing Hotel of the World.

Kate Morfoot, leading travel writer and founder of LoveToEatToTravel.com , checks in to find out more…

Spa and wellness breaks in the UK have seen an increase in popularity over the last ten years and now more and more people are escaping overseas in search of wellness and ‘health holidays’. We checked into Santé Wellness Retreat & Spa, situated on La Bella Vita Wine Estate in the region of Paarl, a beautiful wine region enveloped by the Drakenstein Mountains, in Cape Town, South Africa.

Santé Wellness Retreat & Spa has an idyllic location in the Drakenstein Mountains

At the end of an impressively long driveway we discovered Santé Wellness Retreat & Spa, a vast mansion, which in the past year has celebrated a multi-million Rand refurbishment of the entire estate by the new owners, Ingrid and Graham Hindle.

Santé’s accommodation comprises ten stunning Retreat suites, which includes the deluxe Retreat suite, 20 Spa suites and the nine newly appointed Villa suites. Each suite has been individually decorated, with immense attention to detail.

Ingrid and Graham Hindle have been relentless in their commitment to bringing a new culture to the retreat, an ethos that embraces wellness and combines expert scientific and holistic technologies.

Guest suites at Santé Wellness Retreat & Spa are luxurious and spacious

Santé will delight people seeking simple rest and relaxation, as well as those needing a more defined, effective and dynamic route to complete healing, health and wellness.  No stone has been left unturned and no expense spared in this massive refurbishment, where you can enjoy the day spa or stay for longer expertly combined Wellness Programs.

We enjoyed our deluxe suite with a spacious balcony overlooking the beautiful gardens and mountain ranges, with the sound of bird song. The bedroom was decadent with a king size bed and lounge area, a mini bar and a large TV, together with custom made authentic South African furniture. The en-suite had one of the largest showers I have ever seen as well as a luxurious bath tub, huge fluffy towels custom made bath robes and carefully selected amenities.

En-suite bathrooms combine glamour with attention to detail

The facilities are impressive, which includes a large outdoor swimming pool, where you can enjoy relaxing on comfortable sun loungers. There is an indoor heated pool & Jacuzzi with beautiful relaxation areas, saunas, steam rooms, Hammam, Rasul, Hydrotherapy bath, Vinotherapy baths, Vichy Shower, Kniepp therapy, a magical labyrinth, a fitness center and a nail studio.

The ‘vinotherapy’ Santé’s signature treatment where your body is immersed in a tub and bathing in the delights of red wine, which assists in fighting free radical damage and hydrating the skin. Nestled in one of the most famous wine regions in Cape Town, this is the perfect place to experience it!

We wandered through to the dining room past the bar, opposite the wine cellar which we were told had an extensive list of organic or bio-dynamic wines! In fact all the alcohol and drinks are either organic or bio-dynamic. Food and drink play a major role in Santé Wellness’ client health optimisation.

The wine cellar offers an extensive list of organic or bio-dynamic wines

They only use the freshest ingredients and the Cape Winelands is a haven for the best produce. The nutritious food has been beautifully and expertly prepared by executive chef Terrance Ford and the consultant chef is Margot Janse, who is famous for putting Le Quartier Francais on the food map in Franschoek, another well-known wine region in South Africa.

We had tried her food tasting menu a couple of years ago, so we knew that the food at Santé was going to be amazing. However, her remit at Santé is very different, because all meals are created using only real, unrefined foods without the use of sugar, dairy, gluten, preservatives, colourants and additives.

Nevertheless we indulged in some wonderful culinary experiences, which were creative and delicious proving that healthy food can be inspiring, creative and delicious!

Facilities include a stunning indoor pool

Santé is certainly a sanctuary for those who are searching for peace and relaxation, however, I found that it goes one step further in helping you to optimize your health. From speaking to Ingrid and Graham Hindle, their true passion is holistic wellness and believing that balancing one’s mind, body and spirit will achieve lifelong well-being.

Guests therefore can choose from a number of packages starting from three days that are customized to suit each person and their individual health requirements.

I opted for the ‘Wellness Package’ which was perfect for my three night stay. This included a morning yoga sessions which is taken in the dedicated studio next door to the well-equipped gym, a body exfoliation, a body strategist wrap with a head and scalp treatment, an aromatherapy massage and a remedy facial. Speaking to the beauty therapists they are all expertly trained, and from what I saw they are in holistic heaven, working in a world class spa.

Treatments are customized to suit each person and their individual health requirements

The ‘Health Optimizing Royal Retreat’ is the flagship of their treatments to achieve optimum health, where through technology-based, non-invasive tests, discover where imbalances are and then crucially finding out where possible dysfunction in the body exists.

Another of their healing treatments offered is ‘Bio-Energy.’ Healing takes place using electromagnetic waveforms to stimulate the body’s own healing capabilities and you can choose from deep relaxation, rebalancing or revitalizing.

Santé Wellness Retreat & Spa captures the essence of well-being and health within a holistic sanctuary in a valley of the mountains surrounded by nature. We left having discovered the extraordinary, feeling energised, rejuvenated and revitalised!

A break at Santé Wellness Retreat & Spa will leave you feeling energised, rejuvenated and revitalised

Price starting from R4615 per double room, per night, Bed & Breakfast. Half Board and Full Board available on request.

Address: La Bella Vita Wine Estate, Simonsvlei Rd, Paarl, 2000, South Africa
Phone: +27 21 879 1500
Website: santeretreat.co.za

Fact-File:

Transport: British Airways Heathrow to Cape Town International fares from £650 per person. Car hire is essential to visit Santé Wellness Retreat & Spa, transfers available on request.

Car Parking: Parking with Airport Parking & Hotels – 01342 710 071. (aph.com/heathrow-airport/parking.)

Insurance: Travellers will find that InsureandGo’s lead-in budget policy includes 50 activities and sports as standard. An InsureandGo annual Worldwide (excluding USA, Canada, Mexico and Caribbean) Budget policy starts from £40.99. For more information or to purchase a policy, please visit insureandgo.com