African spas, where to leave your stress loads
As the frenetic pace of today’s lifestyle takes its toll on body of mind, many Kenyan safari hotels have found the perfect antidote for their seemingly stressed-out clientele – the wellness centre.
This concept is becoming over more exotic and self-indulgent. With demand growing all the time for new age therapies and wholly natural treatments, many of Kenya’s health clubs have evolved into fully fledged wellness centers.
This trend has expanded so rapidly that, nowadays, there are few major coast hotels that cannot boast a newly constructed, internationally branded and dedicated spa area where you can retreat into a special world of tranquility and general well-being. Perhaps it is the warmth of the sun and the open-air lifestyle of the coast that makes these centers so appealing.
In 2007, for example, the coast properties of two of Kenya’s biggest hotel groups, the Serena and Sarova, launched new spas at Serena Hotel & Spa and Sarova Whitesands. This is not to say that wellness centers have not opened elsewhere – in Nairobi, for instance, or among the camps and lodges – but development has certainly been most intense at the coast.
The Serena now has its Maisha Mind, Body & Spirit Spa, which is said offers you “a sanctuary of calm that draws on the beauty of nature and the elation of evocative surroundings to create the perfect island of holistic nurturing.”
The Maisha Spa offers a wide range of treatments, each of which can be specifically tailored to your needs. Some use the Elemis range of scientific skin therapy treatments; others are handmade by Serena’s therapy team using local fruits, flowers and oils. Treatments can also be made up especially for you to take away.
Meanwhile, the Sarova Whitesands has its new Tulia Spa, offering you a haven of relaxation and rejuvenation. The Spa offers the Mombasa and greater coastal area chance to wind down in luxurious and peaceful grounds.
On the South Coast, the Leopard Beach Resort has added the words ‘& Spa’ to its title since it opened its Uzuri Spa. Meaning ‘Goodness’ in Swahili, this new facility is set in no less than six acres of forest, creating what the hotel describes as “a sanctuary of those seeking tranquility and the rejuvenation of mind, body and soul.”
Next door, the Diani Reef Resort & Spa offers the Maya Spa, with its uncompromising approach to health, well-being and beauty.
Further down the coast, Pinewood Village has its Amani Day Spa, while The Sands at Nomad offers its Forest Breeze centre with professional messages and facials, pedicures and manicures, exotic body scrubs and personalized natural treatments along with range of beauty treatments.
Away from the coast, there is a less emphasis on ‘wellness’. Some of Nairobi Hotels have more traditional health and fitness clubs, but many camps and lodges are just too intimate to warrant such facilities. In any case, with you being busy each morning and late afternoon on game drives, this leaves you little time for out-and-out relaxation and may decide to wait until you reach the coast before pampering yourself and getting the dust out of your hair.
There are exceptions, of course. The Loisaba Wilderness Spa at Loisaba Lodge, for example, combines Kenya wildlife safari with well-being by offering you sheer indulgence combined with views of the Laikipia Plateau. Look out also for a comprehensive international spa at The Tribe hotel in Village market, operated by Protea hotel chain.
Enjoy your spa!