From the day Karkloof Spa opened its doors, the industry was buzzing with the question, “Have you seen it?”. So, Les Nouvelles Esthetiques was most delighted to be the recipient of an invite, allowing us the opportunity to share this spectacular spa and wellness retreat with our readers.
Karkloof Spa, located just 24 kilometers from Pietermartizburg, in KwaZulu Natal’s magnificent Midlands, is a tranquil but uplifting haven for those setting out on a journey to wellness and restoration, with each step of the journey being planned in intricate detail.
From your arrival, where you drive through a shallow stream, symbolically leaving the world behind and being greeted by friendly faces with a warm fragranced hand cloth to freshen up, before your golf cart ride to the lodge, a car-free zone, so preserving the environmentally conscious space.
The lodge and Spa is surrounded by spectacular views, towering cliffs, indigenous trees, unspoilt landscapes with an abundance of water, as the waters of the Umgeni and Karkloof rivers converge on this 3500 hectare property, which is home to an amazing variety herds of game.
Whether, at the lodge, in the spa, on a game drive or merely travelling from the front entrance, you see an abundance of game: zebras, giraffes, rhino, hippo, impala, nyala, wildebeest, etc. It is as if the game themselves have visited the spa, as they walk calmly past you, nurturing a young one and taking a moment to contemplate their wellness.
The Lodge boasts 16 individually decorated, sumptuous villas, all of which feature spacious bathrooms with double baths, modern conveniences, satellite TV, complimentary Internet access, under-floor heating, air-conditioning, complimentary mini bars and espresso machines. The lodge is designed to complement and blend with its splendid surroundings, using only eco-friendly materials in its construction. The Africa’s heritage is embodied in every design detail, embracing elegance and sophistication, down the smallest detail, including each picture in the lodge been taken on the property itself, so instilling a understanding for the guests of the pride and love that the owners, Fred and Jenny Worner, have infused into every aspect of Karkloof Spa.
Although one could easily get absorbed into the tranquillity of the lodge, the focus of our visit is the Spa.
In appreciation of wellness, the spa has been built on “green architectural principles”, incorporating natural materials with thatch, indigenous gardens and living roofs to blend into the environment and for animals to graze. The commitment to eco-wellness, has extended the product usage in the spa, with all products used being natural and organic, and Pevonia Botanica being product line of choice.
The spa features 17 generous, airy treatment rooms (two of which are couples rooms), all with wonderful views over the native bush and surrounding gardens, a four-chair Manicure/Pedicure room, Reflection Lounge, Authentic Thai Sala, Moroccan Rassoul, Flotation Pool, Kneip Pools, Jacuzzi, Sauna and Steam rooms.
Each therapist has been hand picked, worldwide for their skill and talent, allowing each if the signature journeys to be executed to the highest level. My personal recommendation is the inclusion of a traditional thai massage in your journey choice, as this treatment sets the basis of wellness and balance for balance of your spa visit. Take time to enjoy the spectacular hydrotherapy facilties, and the reflection lounge or mani / pedi lounge, each overlooking the natural bush, with its abundant game.
Although our focus is the spa, the collective experience allows your journey to relaxation and restoration to be complete and the 2 additional components which have not yet been mentioned, but in my opinion completed my journey. Namely, the friendly and attentive staff and the most superb cuisine that would satisfy the most discerning clientèle.
A truly spectacular fews days and a testimony to a unique spa excellence, where all elements come together in harmony, from sophisticated accommodation, superb cuisine, excellent service, dedicated therapists, comprehensive spa therapies and facilities, impeccable decor looking out onto spectacular views and abundant game, and each component strung together will wellness in mind, not only for the visitor, but also the environment.