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50 Top Wellness Destinations: Africa/Middle East Text by Husna Haq Photo by Robert Steenpoorte/Mangwanani Group
The Mangwanani Sibaya spa in South Africa features traditional Tulu dances.
Riad Mehdi (Morocco) The Spa: Tucked away in a garden at the foot of Marrakech's thousand-year-old city walls, this opulent hammam and spa seduces guests with exotic treatments and traditional ingredients. Treatments: Soak in a traditional hammam and try the traditional body scrub with black soap and kesa glove, a hot stones body massage, and a clay body wrap with essential mint oils. Local Sights: Wander through the ancient alleyways of the Kasbah district to the Tombs of the Saadian Kings.
Mangwanani Sibaya (South Africa) The Spa: This African spa designed as a traditional Zulu village is committed to social responsibility through sustainable development and job creation. Treatments: Best bets include molala, an ancient Indian/North African head massage with sesame oil, izimanga, a full-body traditional body rub with essential oils, and ubuso, a traditional facial. Local Sights: Visit a Zulu village a few steps away or take the 15-minute drive to coastal Durban.
Rosendal Winery and Wellness Retreat (South Africa) The Spa: Wine, wildlife, and wellness lure guests to this eight-room farmhouse retreat on a boutique vineyard in the Upper Klaas Vogds Valley. Treatments: Wine grapes find their way into many treatments, including grapeseed exfoliation, wine body cream wrap, and aromatherapy-infused African wood massage. Local Sights: Cape Town is a two-hour drive away, and the nearby Klaas Vogds Game Reserve is a 1,977-acre (800-hectare) paradise brimming with spectacular scenery and wildlife.
Maritim Hotel Yadis Djerba (Tunisia) The Spa:Located on the sun-soaked island of Djerba, this spa specializes in thalassotherapy, a seawater soak treatment that originated in 19th-century coastal France. Treatments: Consult with an onsite physician, dip into a traditional hammam, or Turkish bath, and soak in seawater pools overlooking lush gardens. Then choose treatments to your heart's desire: body wraps, massages, facials, and more. Local Sights: Nearby, explore ancient Moorish ruins.
Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa (UAE) The Spa: Sprawled across 85 square miles (220 square kilometers) of enchanting desert, this tranquil Bedouin sanctuary is named after the Arabian oryx, a spear-horned antelope that frequents this oasis. Treatments: Desert ingredients like dates and frankincense dominate. Highlights include the desert hot stone therapy, desert sand-herb rasoul body scrub, and a mud bath detox. Local Sights: Complimentary on-site activities include guided nature walks, camel treks, and archery and falconry classes.
Off route E66, toward town of Al Ain (50 minutes southeast of Dubai) United Arab Emirates Tel. +971 4 303 4222
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