The idea of measuring luxury in terms of star ratings is becoming increasingly outdated as the definition of luxury itself evolves to mean so much more than good service and exquisite surroundings. The word has come to be defined by unique experiences and the privilege of being in remote, unspoilt places where silence and peace exist in stark contrast to the relentless pace and distractions of everyday life. Many travellers are striving for digital detox too, taking a mental break from electronic devices and plugging into the natural world instead. This is especially relevant as we approach the festive season, when priorities tend to shift towards indulging ourselves and others, and seeking rejuvenation ahead of the new year.
Singita guests are looking for authentic, meaningful, one-of-a-kind experiences and spa-going, especially on safari, becomes an extension of this desire to transcend the ordinary. Having a massage outdoors with organic Kalahari melon-infused body butter after an action-packed game drive is an experience unique to Africa.
A safari spa is so much more than a place to be physically pampered though. Guests often describe a fundamental sense of well being that may point to a subconscious yearning to reconnect with nature. The gentle rhythm of safari life, punctuated by twice-daily game drives, engages and sharpens all the senses facilitating this reconnection to the wilderness, to others and yourself. In turn, Singita’s philosophy of protecting and preserving large tracts of wilderness for future generations begins to resonate with guests along with an increased awareness about communities, conservation and sustainability and just how much is at stake.
CEO Luke Bailes believes that there’s an authenticity of place at each of Singita’s lodges that is not only a rarity but touches guests spiritually, emotionally and physically. “Being in the wilderness heightens the senses beyond anything that could ever be experienced back at home. People have a sense of well being, as if they are participating in something far bigger than themselves,” he explains.
Singita’s spa menus include indulgent beauty rituals and specialised hydrating, anti-ageing treatments using Dermalogica, but most guests request the healing power of touch. For massage therapies, subtly scented, nourishing oils and balms from Healing Earth’s Earth Soul range are used. Developed in South Africa, these pure products harness the medicinal powers of indigenous plants, flowers and herbs and are free from petrochemicals, synthetic ingredients, colourants and preservatives.
There are few things more relaxing than heading to the spa for a couple of hours after a morning game drive or in the still heat of the afternoon. Dried monkey oranges, indigenous fruits that are part of the calabash family, are often used as natural massage tools to ease tension and release pressure points. For guests who are accustomed to sophisticated, cutting edge spa therapies in first-world cities, a massage in this setting is unique and something to talk about and remember for years to come.