One&Only Nyungwe House
Rwanda’s mist-shrouded mountains are home to extraordinary biodiversity, underscored by fragile populations of mountain gorillas and chimpanzees, two of the closest living relatives to human beings. In recent years, a high demand to connect with our biological heritage has propelled Rwanda into the safari spotlight, catalyzing an ultra-upscale eco-tourism movement. Encircled by the Nyungwe Forest National Park, the working tea plantation Nyungwe House in Gisakura grants its guests an all-access pass to the natural splendor of western Rwanda, a far-flung, lesser-known destination reserved for the lucky few. Here, an impressive 300 species of bird take flight and 13 species of primate roam, including Earth’s largest troop of Angolan black-and-white colobus monkeys and two families of chimpanzees.
To balance the challenging, adrenaline-inducing walking safaris in search of Nyungwe’s resident wildlife, the One&Only features amenities designed to appreciate Rwanda’s forested magnificence at a slower pace. Case in point: At the spa complex, sights, sounds, and scents of the rainforest complement healing treatments. The Fire Ritual works both mind and body with a smoke bath ritual, fire visualization, and guided breath work. Rehydrate your skin with the signature African Potato Experience, a 90-minute body wrap treatment crafted from organic local ingredients including the African potato and marula oil, both known for their healing properties. For something more familiar, the full-body Intoga Amasatchi treatment combines a traditional deep-tissue massage with the use of wooden sticks to expel the deepest of tension. oneandonlyresorts.com
Singita Kwitonda Lodge
With a presence across four African countries, elevated safari outfit Singita embraces a holistic approach to wellness in each of its lodges, but perhaps this Kinigi outpost is most in tune with the personal wellness journey travelers crave. Resting on the edge of Volcanoes National Park with unobstructed mountain views, each of the nine suites has been designed with wellness in mind. Tall, timber-framed, floor-to-ceiling glass windows keep the lush surrounds and rolling clouds in constant view. Each room’s spa-inspired bathroom includes a personal treatment table and a soaking tub overlooking mist-cloaked volcanoes. An expansive outdoor area features a private heated plunge pool, an outdoor fireplace, and a meditation deck ideal for morning yoga and al fresco spa treatments.
After a long morning hike, try a targeted leg massage, an African head massage, or the Kwitonda Sensory Experience. The latter invigorates all five senses, using fragrant plants, sound therapy, and locally grown tea. “This unique and carefully curated treatment ensures an overall reset that realigns, restores, and revitalizes body, mind, and spirit,” says Renée Rosettenstein, Singita’s group wellness coordinator.
Beyond the suites and treatments, discover prolific nooks for tranquility and deep thoughts among the carefully designed common areas, spanning both indoors and outdoors. Farm-fresh cuisine at the restaurant is anchored by produce cultivated from the on-site vegetable garden. singita.com
One&Only Gorilla’s Nest
This 86-acre expanse of flourishing gardens, towering eucalyptus trees, and winding pathways near the base of Volcanoes National Park is a destination all its own. While gorilla trekking remains the draw, the property’s 21 lodges and suites tucked among the spellbinding grounds, along with its upscale excess, present multiple reasons for longer stays.
In a place that channels jungle fantasyland—somewhere between FernGully and Avatar—it seems only natural for the spa to deliver multidimensional, next-level treatments. Recalibrate with the Forest Coffee and Coconut Experience, a treatment exclusively created for Gorilla’s Nest by sustainable spa brand Terres d’Afrique. Achieve equilibrium through the trifecta of a local coffee and coconut body scrub, a detoxing acupressure massage, and a more penetrative long-stroke massage using heated coffee seeds to relieve muscle tension. Alternatively, stimulate your immune system and rejuvenate with a fragrant 150-minute Essence of Rose Journey using products made from blooms in the on-site rose garden, including a delicate rose oil for massaging, a rose crystal roller used to stimulate facial muscles, and a rose-petal bath to cap off a (highly Instagrammable) floral fantasy. oneandonlyresorts.com