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“Rather go to another spa”

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The Hydro at Stellenbosch
Ranked #13 of 17 Hotels in Stellenbosch
Certificate of Excellence
Pretoria, South Africa
Level 6 Contributor
81 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Rather go to another spa”
Reviewed 10 November 2013

It was rainy and cold in Stellenbosch, so I booked a spa treatment and arrived 1 hr early as I was under the impression that I can use the sauna and steam room before the treatment, as is the case at many upmarket spa establishments. However, I was informed that one has to book & pay to use the sauna and steam room as part of a hydrotherapy treatment. The Hydro also switches off the sauna and steam room. And this is an establishment were people book spa retreats for a week or even longer. I assumed that guests then would expect to make use of the sauna and steam room whenever they feel like it.

I think the changing rooms were painted recently as the bathrobe that was in locker 22 smelled so much of paint!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JanineZA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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73 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Paarl, South Africa
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 September 2013

My husband and I spent two days as day spa guests. We were not thrilled with the rooms when we had gone to have a look, so we decided not to sleep there. They could use some updating. Staff was friendly and helpful. Place was super clean. I enjoyed the treatments though found the basic massages not top notch- for example, body alignment and liquid were great, Swedish massage not very good. It seems the treatments that require more expertise re the ones you should book there. Go to the Delaire if it is just pampering you're after! Ozone treatments were great. Hydro is unique in that it offers colonic irrigation, which is done by a very qualified person. Overall we had a good experience though I think the place could be jazzed up a bit. It was a cold day and felt not so cosy in places there, and the had a few water leak around the building. Food was fine- healthy, tasty, though too much onion for my taste! Don't expect gourmet- it is detox food. It is well prepared, though not in abundance and with health in mind. The juices were delicious and so were the teas. I would go back though only for day spa and only for more specific/ unusual treatments, not simple massages.

Room Tip: Rooms are a bit spartan
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kimberly278
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
266 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 July 2013

Have been visiting the Hydro since 2002 and am sad to say that the experience is not as good as it used to be. It now feels soulless, particularly since the recent refurbishments in reception and the waiting areas, which has a cold feeling. Once a health retreat the Hydro seems to be having difficulties rebranding itself as a spa. It now has competition from many good spas in the Winelands and Western Cape, that are more welcoming and with a better ambiance. Treatments and the hydrotherapy section are however excellent and make a visit worthwhile. The predominantly raw food offering is much more limited than previously but fresh juice is now available for breakfast. Set in the beautiful Ida Valley at high altitude the scenery is spectacular and a great location for hiking and meditation. The rooms are comfortable and clean, although a little basic. Since the refurbishment the waiting room chairs have been relocated to the auditorium, improving what was once a drab space.

Room Tip: Look out for special package deals and ask to view room before signing in as some rooms are accessed...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jenny B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 December 2012

They have stairs everywhere, two flights to gym and pool and the health section is far away from the rooms. The staff are help but management doesn't seem to care much. Food was good bt do not go there if you need therapeutic help or are ailing.

Room Tip: There are no ground floor rooms and even if you request something particular you probably will not g...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jo j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 November 2012

This iconic health resort has been in existence for decades.
Sadly recent owners have refurbished and have scrapped all references to the wonderful men who initiated this Health Spa, Boris Chaitow, and Cleto Saporetti. The painting of Cleto Saporetti has been removed from the dining room! and there is no Hydro Recipe book which was previously available. The tv screens in the so-called Superior rooms are small and the channels are lacking. Sad, when your evening ends circa 7.30pm and you may want to watch some decent tv.
It is a far cry from the "old" days when one used to have fun and fellowship with other "inmates", discussing steaks and wine whilst on a regime of 3 fruits a day. Then you would "graduate" to the dining room to eat wonderful salads and feel amazingly thin and wholistic.
Nevertheless this Spa is worth a visit. The salad buffets are wonderful, and varied with added baked potatoes at lunch and soup mid afternoon, ginger tea, and soup and wholewheat nutty bread with butter at your 6pm supper.
It is expensive but the health benefits are huge. There are many free activities like the Aqua excercises twice a day, morning walks, the gym. The warm indoor pool is magnificent with its amazing views through gigantic glass windows, the outdoor pool too where you can relax on a chaise lounge in peacefull surroundings listening to the Blue Crane, Fish Eagle and many other birds .. It is in a perfect setting in Idas Valley, sheltered with amazing views, the hydro therapy and massage treatments are excellent, and there are many add-ons such as reflexology, wraps, and beauty treatments.
My 3 days were well spent, the staff courteous, but it does lack an overall , visible,"hands-on" manager.

Room Tip: You need an Orientation map (maybe they will send it to you) to decide which room to choose. Its imp...
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank SueAfrica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2012

I recently spent 3 days at the Hydro in Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa with my daughter.

I recommend it for a very relaxing, peaceful, away from it all experience. It is set in the spectacular Ida Valley. It is really a hotel with a leaning towards a healthy way of life. I spent the day in my dressing gown and slippers (provided) by tghe hotel and was pampered with massages, cocoon wraps, back scrubs, facials - you name it they got it. The staff very friendly and helpful. The food vegetarian but plentiful and varied. In between treatments we sat by the fire reading and drinking herbal teas or healthy smoothies. Real bliss!

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Lina K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durban, South Africa
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 September 2011

Ideal place you can go and relax, great service and very relaxing , the staff was excellant and we enjoyed our break

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank James T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Hydro at Stellenbosch

Property: The Hydro at Stellenbosch
Address: Ida's Valley, Stellenbosch 7602, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Stellenbosch
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Stellenbosch
#10 Luxury Hotel in Stellenbosch
Hotel Class:4 star — The Hydro at Stellenbosch 4*
Number of rooms: 54
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hydro at Stellenbosch is South Africa's leading and preferred wellness destination. We provide an experience like no other and serve our guests with passion, pride and professionalism. We deliver personnal care to ensure that each guest fully benefits in body, mind and soul. The Hydro is a place where it is truly about you. We offer 43 years of experience in the wellness industry and focus on detoxification and relaxation delivered in packages specifically designed to achieve preventative and sustainable health. We are a natural destination encouraging the vital forces within us to heal the body, the mind and the soul. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Hydro At Stellenbosch Hotel Stellenbosch
The Hydro Hotel Stellenbosch

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