The Hydro Stellenbosch: 50 years young

Five decades on, The Hydro Stellenbosch is still South Africa’s premier health and healing sanctuary. Come discover the source of wellness, including an eco-pool with water as fresh as a mountain stream.

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Founded in 1972, The Hydro Stellenbosch was built on High Rustenberg farm on the slopes of Simonsberg mountain. Five decades later, local and international guests consider the modern Hydro to be South Africa’s premier health and wellness sanctuary. The Hydro owes its name to the healing power of water, which is central to many of the therapies and facilities offered.

As a health and healing facility, The Hydro is peerless. Guests can choose from an im- pressive selection of wellness therapies and or beauty treatments done by expert therapists. Stress and anxieties soak away, leaving guests feeling relaxed, restored and rejuvenated.

Holistic, balanced health is The Hydro’s promise: physical, mental and nutritional well-being receive equal attention. Mindfulness practices are also part of The Hydro’s offering. The Hydro benefits from its physical location. The exquisite views of one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world have a healing effect all their own.

Regular moderate exercise is encouraged and guests are invited to explore the magnificent surroundings. Guided walks may be taken through The Hydro’s expansive gardens – both horticultural and botanical – as well as the acres of forest, orchard and vineyard that grow in abundance on the surrounding property.

The Hydro chefs design the daily three-meal menu to make the most of the proximity and freshness of the seasonal ingredients grown in the farm’s veggie garden and orchards. The vegetarian meals are both delicious and healthy. Guests stay for extended periods, with specific slimming, de-stressing or remedial outcomes in mind.

Regular guests insist on certain rooms that they prefer to return to and treat like home. For this reason, The Hydro has ensured that all its accommodation options are plush and comfortable. Facilities include a spacious lounge and dining room; a fully equipped gym; a heated indoor exercise pool; a movement and mindfulness studio (with a stunning garden view); a lecture lounge; a business centre; and a gorgeous freshwater outdoor eco-pool that overlooks the entire valley.

Significantly, The Hydro is a model of sustainability. The business aims to create a circular, zero-carbon operating system. All the farm’s produce is grown for use within the sanctuary and only natural pesticides are used. All grey water is organically cleansed and recycled to irrigate the orchards and vineyards. All the organic refuse is recycled and used as mulch to enrich the gardens. The main source of electricity is solar generated.

Suffice to say, at The Hydro the concept of wellness, rest and regeneration is a purpose- driven philosophy. Being ‘treated’ takes on both meanings. This explains why, after only a few days, guests leave The Hydro feeling replenished, detoxified, beautified and nourished.

Stian Terblanche, The Hydro’s general manager, says: “One of the greatest rewards I experience working here is to see the transformation that takes place between when our guests arrive and when they leave. You can physically see the difference.”

Guests are treated with kindness, and the team’s understanding of the need for anonymity and privacy means that the many prominent guests who are leaders in business, entertainment and other spheres can visit The Hydro with peace of mind. When pushed for details, Stian just smiles. “Let’s just say that we helped to heal the feet that walked to freedom.”

Interestingly, given such an esteemed guest list, regulars at The Hydro enjoy the lack of pretence that shapes their time here; the signature, comfy and lush Hydro gown is the attire of choice.

Although the past two years have been difficult, The Hydro is still the best place to heal both body and mind. Never has The Hydro been more needed.

Whether you are looking to heal, address health issues, relax and escape, recuperate or just take time out to breathe, The Hydro is exactly what you need. It is the antidote to the madness of modern life.