Some of South Africa's best hotels are the ones that lie under-the-radar and off-the-beaten-track. Often with a limited number of rooms, their hallmarks are personalised service, attention to detail and a genuine welcome, so let us share our secrets with you…..
Nestled on the Doolhof Wine Estate below the Bainskloof Pass, this luxurious property is the very definition of a hidden gem. The fabulously restored Cape Dutch manor house is home to just six luxurious rooms and suites, with a separate thatched cottage for those seeking extra privacy. The gourmet cuisine is complemented by a large outdoor swimming pool, sun terrace, and spa room, and activities ranging from stunning hikes and mountain biking, to private cellar tours and wine-tasting, with the emerging Swartland Wine & Olive Route and quirky town of Riebeek-Kasteel nearby.
Those driving from Cape Town to the Garden Route often speed straight through Swellendam, but this is one place worthy of stopping for at least a couple of nights. Just a two minute detour from the N2 motorway, this stunning country house hotel offers deluxe accommodation including superb family cottages & suites. There is an intimate restaurant which is open for breakfast, afternoon tea & dinner, as well as a saltwater swimming pool and lush gardens. Delay your journey here and it could just be your best South African stopover.
Located in the heart of the Garden Route on Knysna’s vibrant waterfront area, The Turbine is an old power station which has been magically transformed into a superb hotel, surrounded on three sides by water and now offering light & airy guest rooms with over-sized beds, a swimming pool, spa, two restaurants and a selection of bars. The onsite Turbine Water Club offers lagoon & sunset cruises, bicycle & kayak hire and, at very low tide, the unique chance to join a free Knynsa seahorse tour, which explores the creatures’ fragile habitat.
An old favourite, this restored farmhouse lies at the end of the glorious Route 62 in the ostrich-baron town of Oudtshoorn. Named after its exquisite roses and set in large gardens, Rosenhof is undoubtedly the best base from which to explore the many attractions of this fascinating town, perhaps on one of the hotels’ bicycles? The luxury rooms, each with their own patio, are set around a beautiful courtyard, and the property’s five-star facilities include an in-house art gallery, spa & sauna, gym and swimming pool.
Time slows down at the Strandloper, which is nestled on the edge of the sleepy fishing village of Paternoster less than 2 hours drive from Cape Town. Kick back and watch as whales and dolphins frolic in the sea, or venture out to enjoy walks in the neighbouring nature reserve and on the endless beaches, which lie just a hundred metres away. The hotel’s 16 suites and rooms are laced with laid-back luxury, and the village is now a notable gourmet destination, with a number of intimate bistros and seafood eateries serving sophisticated food - perfect for a few days downtime.
Located directly across the waters of False Bay from Cape Town, Gordon’s Bay is an often overlooked, old-fashioned seaside resort, but one which packs a real punch. The brightest star in town is the exquisite Chocolate Box – a luxury home from home with just seven suites, a stunning sundeck with pool, designer touches throughout, home-cooked cuisine and Olaf & Brad – your extraordinarily good hosts. Where better place to retire for the night after a day spent sampling the nearby wine estates, coastal drives, sandy beaches & penguin colonies?
Manicured gardens, three swimming pools, a spa, tennis courts and luxurious individually designed rooms and suites – all the makings of an archetypical Cape Town boutique hotel? Think again, as this is The Residence, an oasis of calm hidden away in vibrant Johannesburg. Situated just 20 minutes from the airport, this is where those in the know stay when visiting the city, to take advantage of the exceptional service, renowned cuisine and proximity to the shops and restaurants of glamarous Sandton. Make a stay in the diamond city one to remember at this sparkling gem.
Hidden along the banks of the Sabie River just a 10 minute drive from the Kruger National Park, the lucky few who choose to stay at Summerfields are in for a real five-star treat. The accommodation is in luxury air-conditioned tented suites set alongside the cascading waters, with award-winning meals available at the stunning River Café. There are guided tours of the orchards and rose farm, and relaxing treatments at the Rose Spa, but for those wanting to venture out, the beautiful Panorama Route and the animals of the Kruger are close by.
To book your dream holiday to South Africa, get in touch with us by calling 020 7843 3500 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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