You don’t have to go far to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. Whether you’re looking to centre yourself after a particularly difficult time in your life, or you’d like to kickstart a new health regime with a week at a proper hydro, I honestly can’t recommend Brookdale Health Hydro enough.

ALSO SEE: My top 5 healthy lifestyle tips 

Because Brookdale Health Hydro is nestled amongst the scenic mountains in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, you can’t help but feel relaxed the minute you step foot inside. There’s just something about the natural surrounds (the forest, farmlands and natural running streams) that help you to instantly unwind and feel calm and centred.

Plus, the staff are warm and friendly, yet very professional and cater to your every need. What more could you ask for? I literally felt my heart rate slow down and the tension in my shoulders ease up – after putting my bags down and breathing in that fresh mountain air.

What's included?

More than just a spa, Brookdale Health Hydro has been designed to offer a complete wellness experience including:

  • 3 delicious home-cooked meals a day (read on to find out what some of my favourite meals were)
  • Morning tea brought to your room daily – such a lovely touch!
  • Guided walks through the scenic countryside
  • Guided relaxation classes
  • Yoga, Pilates and aqua aerobics classes
  • Holistic treatments such as massages, therapeutic facials and reflexology
  • Daily informative talks on all aspects of healthy living (I went to a gut health talk and it was excellent).
  • Healthy cooking demos. (Chef Sarah Farrington showed us how to make homemade pesto, nourishing salads and some healthy sweet treats)


One of the great joys about Brookdale is its variety of offerings. There’s plenty to do around Brookdale or you can curl up with a blanket by the pool or in your room and read, meditate or sleep – the choice is really yours.


You have access to saunas, Jacuzzis, steam rooms and hydrotherapy baths, as well as cosy lounges to curl up with a book or relaxation areas to quieten your mind and meditate. Plus, there’s a health and beauty shop and a juice bar to give yourself an extra vitamin boost.


You can go on plenty of scenic walks and rides if you bring your bike (there’s so much space to explore), or stroll along the reflexology paths, spend some time navigating your way through the labyrinth and have a swim in their beautiful outdoor pool. 

Let's talk about the food...

It’s no secret that I’m a complete foodie at heart and love spending time in the kitchen. And, as a vegetarian, I’m always on the lookout for new, healthy vegetarian recipes to try that my family will love too!

Well, all I can say is that whenever I leave Brookdale, after eating their mouth-watering meals, I’m inspired to get into my own kitchen and replicate some of their recipes. Yep, they’re that good. Why? Because all their food is nutritionally balanced, unprocessed and delicious.

Brookdale follows the Nutrifit programme which I really like because it teaches you to manage your portion sizes (and your cravings), while choosing healthier, more nutrient-dense foods. You don’t feel deprived at all on the programme, even though women follow a 1200 calorie diet and men follow a 1500 calorie diet throughout the stay.

By the way, seconds are always available for those who aren’t on a weight management programme, however, you rarely feel like eating more! Click here to find out more about their unique recipe books. Some of my favourites…

  • Scrambled eggs with homemade seed bread, plum tomatoes and avocado
  • Red quinoa and kale fritters with creamy guacamole and sprouted salad
  • Spicy lentil, feta and butternut salad with fresh greens
  • The best chocolate mousse I’ve ever tasted!

ALSO SEE: My super chocolate mug cake recipe

Just remember taking time out now and then is important – for your physical, spiritual and emotional wellbeing. Investing in yourself is one of the single best things you can do to live a healthier, happier life.

So, if you’ve been contemplating whether you can afford the time out – I say take it! Live with no regrets and prioritise your needs first so that you can be the best version of yourself for friends, family, colleagues, etc. To book your stay at Brookdale or to learn more about this tranquil retreat, visit
April 01, 2019 — Lisa Raleigh
Tags: Lifestyle