The Cellars, luxury winelands hotel, Cape Town

A consistent favourite for those seeking ultimate luxury winelands hotel in South Africa

This is truly a South Africa luxury winelands hotel with accommodation at its finest, equivalent to the top international hotels but distinctly South African. The rooms are beautifully decorated in the unique, luxuriously restful style established by the late Liz McGrath. The family have maintained her legacy which extends to the other hotels in this small exclusive group. These are  The Marine in Hermanus and The Plettenberg in Plettenberg Bay which are all top of the range 5 star hotels with a level of service that is second to none. For that special occasion, the Cellars can offer a separate cottage where Nelson Mandela once stayed. This cottage comes complete with a kitchen, lounge and outside jacuzzi.  Other notable visitors to the Liz McGrath hotels include the Duke of Edinburgh.

About Cape Town and the Constantia Winelands

The gardens are a botanist’s fantasy and if these are not enough the world famous Kirstenbosch Gardens are nearby. You will love to relax by the two pools with Table Mountain as a backcloth. The hotel has two rated restaurants one built around the garden and the other serving Cape Malay cuisine. Afternoon tea or a pre dinner glass of wine can be served on the terrace which is surrounded by beautiful flower beds with many of the local floral species growing in profusion. Cape Town is an easy 15 minutes drive away but the hotel ‘feel’ is the countryside. On the way to the city centre, you can visit the impressive Rhodes Memorial built as an imperial reminder of Cecil Rhodes with its commanding views to the north. His dream was to see the British Empire extend from the Cape to Cairo.  Long after his death and after the Great War, he would have seen his dream come true! All the wineries in the Constantia Winelands are within a twenty minute drive. Groot Constantia and Buitenverwachting are among our favorites and some of the oldest wineries in South Africa.

Visit the Cellars website for more information

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The Twelve Apostles Hotel

One of our favourites – this is luxury personified with views over the Atlantic ocean and the Twelve Apostles mountain range

The 12 Apostles has one of the most spectacular locations nestling beneath the Twelve Apostles mountain range, forming the spine of the Cape Peninsula behind Table Mountain and beside the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean. The rooms are in a larger than suite format with a large bathroom and have either a mountain or ocean view – the choice is yours.

About the Location

The pool complex is tasteful overlooking the sea and here you can relax, eat lunch or you may prefer to dine in the excellent restaurant. The service is very attentive. There is  a second pool complex next to the charmingly casual bistro, which serves light meals. There are walks in the grounds up to the mountain; bustling Camps Bay is 5 minutes drive and the centre of Cape Town is 15 minutes over the spectacular Kloof Nek pass near the Table Mountain Cableway.

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Isandlwana Lodge, Isandlwana, Battlefields

Isandlwana Lodge is a magical, thatched lodge overlooking the site of one of Britain’s worst military disasters

Isandlwana Lodge will provide you with a magical experience at one of the most moving and inspiring locations overlooking the battlefield of Isandlwana which marks one of the worst military defeats ever inflicted on the British Army by the might and cunning of the Zulu led by King Cetshwayo in 1879. The Lodge has been very sympathetically built into the side of the hill overlooking the battlefield and from where the Zulu commander astride his white horse guided his troops to victory. This was immortalized in the film ‘Zulu Dawn’. The Lodge has an almost fairy tale quality with the 12 large suite style rooms built into the rock face. Each room has a balcony overlooking Isandlwana Mountain. The rooms are beautifully appointed reflecting the American owner’s style and attention to detail. The cuisine is beautifully prepared for a mixture of tastes. You will receive a warm Zulu welcome from the attentive and friendly staff – most of whom live in the little village below the hotel.

About Isandlwana Lodge’s Location

Idle over a beer in the bar around the log fire on a crisp winter’s evening and learn about modern day Zulu culture. By day, the resident historian will provide you with a very graphic description of the battle of Isandlwana. In the morning you will be seated in the middle of the battlefield and then in the afternoon at nearby Rorkes Drift where the small British garrison drove off the Zulu attack. This was the subject of the film ‘Zulu’. This is a fascinating location approximately two and a half-hours drive from Durban. You can easily visit the site of the Battle of Blood River (1838) which has become legendary in Afrikaans history. The Anglo Boer War battlefield of Talana is close by just outside the town of Dundee. There are also several Boer War battle sites within easy reach. This location can be easily combined with a visit to the Private Game Reserves of Zululand and the Drakensberg Mountains.

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Pakamisa Private Game Reserve

Pakamisa Private Game Reserve, Pongola, Northern Zululand

Pakamisa is a  horse lover’s paradise on a beautiful nature reserve

Pakamisa is set in the pristine wilderness of northern Zululand. The lodge offers exceptional comfort. Accommodation is in 8 luxurious safari suites complete with lounge and veranda – each with sweeping views over the beautiful surround countryside. The large pool is beautifully positioned overlooking the distant mountains beyond which is the Kingdom of Swaziland. Accommodation is provided on an all inclusive basis. As well as a sumptuous breakfast, dinner is served in the opulent restaurant and most of the vegetables and salads are grown organically on the reserve. The reserve’s resident owners are an Austrian / South African couple and there is an Austrian theme in the buildings. The attention to detail by the owners is exceptional. We recommend asking for a tour of the stables – they are immaculate! Just take a look at the lodge’s Trip Advisor reviews to see that this will be a well rewarded experience.

About Pakamisa’s Location

The property is close to the Jozini Lake, which offers good fishing including the tiger fish. Pakamisa is also an Arabian Stud and horseback safaris are offered to provide you with true feeling of wilderness among mostly plains game. The Wellness Centre can also provide you with massages and a health and beauty service. Durban is a 3 1/2 hour drive and Johannesburg is 5 hours away.  The Hluhluwe National Park with its wonderful array of animals is an hour’s drive. We do, however, expect your main interest will be enjoying the excellent riding through gthe African bush.

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Hunter’s Country House Hotel, Plettenberg Bay

Wonderfully traditional country house hotel with luxurious and large rooms 

This is a fine 5 star hotel at its luxurious best, set in a beautiful setting with a remote feel yet close to the main highway and only 10 minutes away from Plettenberg Bay. This is gracious country living based around 23 romantic thatched cottages each with exquisite decor and ultimate luxury. The restaurants are renowned for the sumptuous cuisine and in the heat of the day why not cool off with a drink by the side of the pool. The staff are very attentive and you will find a level of service comparable, if not exceeding, that in luxury hotels worldwide. This is a very popular destination for weddings with is pretty thatched chapel set in the forest.

About the location

This is, however, not a beach hotel so is more suited as a romantic location for couples. From here, however, it is a short drive to Plettenberg Bay, Knysna and the Garden Route Wine Route.

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Leisure Isle Lodge, Knysna, Garden Route

Leisure Isle Lodge is one of the few lodges in Knysna on a beach

Leisure Isle Lodge is situated close to The Heads, where the Knysna lagoon meets the Indian Ocean, this small, luxurious hotel is just a few metres from the beach. You can walk across a very quiet road to the beach and relax under one of the hotel’s umbrellas. This is one of the best beaches for swimming in Knysna. As you wade into the lagoon  you will see an amazing number of shells coming alive and moving around at great speed. Alternatively you could decide to relax beside the pool with a book from the lodge’s library.  All 11 rooms are exceptionally well appointed,  vary in size, and suites are available. One of the suites is a large penthouse complete with entrance hall and lounge with fireplace. Every room has a ceiling fan and underfloor heating for those chilly winter nights. Accommodation is provided on a B&B basis but you can book for lunch and dinner at the lodge’s own restaurant. Picnics can also be arranged.

About Leisure Isle Lodge’s Location

This is a quiet residential location set apart from the bustle of Knysna. The town is a 10 minute drive and here you will find plenty of good restaurants.   For Golfers, the hotel has preferential rates at Simola Golf Course which is a 15 minute drive. Knysna’s indigenous forest is a short drive away. You may see the impressive local bird – the Knysna Loerie – or you may be fortunate to spot one of the last wild forest elephants. A short drive away, you can visit Millwood which is the site of one of the first gold rushes in South Africa. At the weekends there are several interesting craft markets from nearby Sedgefield to the Saturday Market near Plettenberg Bay. The wonderful beaches and the Robberg Peninsula Nature Reserve are a 20 minute drive. The various animal sanctuaries at the Crags are an easy 30 minute drive. In short, there is so much to do and Leisure Isle Lodge will provide the perfect base.

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Tsala Treetop Lodge, Plettenberg Bay

Treetop living at its absolutely most luxurious…….you will be amazed and captivated by this unique property

The sister hotel to Hunter’s – it shares the same driveway – could not be more different in style. Here you will find the same 5 star luxury and attentive service but the ambience is similar to some of the bush camps built around and up trees! This is more for the adventurous (and more athletic) than Hunter’s with the rooms reached along boarded walkways above the forest. Climb up some stairs into your room complex and you will be amazed! Each suite has its own plunge pool (yes aloft in the trees) that you can sit beside in complete privacy. The suites comprise a lounge area and bedroom divided by a stone chimney and fireplace for those cool autumnal evenings. The bathrooms can only be described as an incredible feat of design (if sometimes a little impractical) with granite bathtubs and basins and beautiful showers. The central complex is complete with a first class dining room that serves fine ?nouvelle? style cuisine and the lounge has great views. This is definitely a must for people looking for something a little different.

About the Location

Whether you just want to relax in a truly romantic location, arrange your destination in Tsala’s chapel in the forest or use this asa a convenient and different base from which to explore the Garden Route, this lodge has one of the biggest ‘wow’ factors of any property we have seen.

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Colona Castle

Colona Castle, Lakeside, Cape Town

Colona Castle is an exceptionally luxurious and very stylish gem with spectacular views of False Bay, fabulous rooms and great hosts

Colona Castle is one of the most sumptuously luxurious small hotels in the Cape. Situated 3 kms from the centre of Muizenberg and the head of False Bay and just 25 minutes’ drive along excellent roads into the centre of Cape Town. This hotel is high up on the mountainside with extensive views of False Bay, Table Mountain and the lake (vlei) that gives Lakeside its name. The eight suites are larger than usual and they all have a theme. Some are exceptional suites whilst others are larger rooms all with excellent en suite facilities. Most of the accommodation has a porch from which you will get stunning views. Breakfasts are sumptuous in the stylish dining room and lounge.  Everywhere you will be surrounded by antique furniture collected from all over the world. Dinner is available but on a request basis.

About Colona Castle’s Location

There are numerous good restaurants locally including some of the great, historic wineries close by in Constantia.  These include one of our favourites – Buitenverwachting Winery. This is just a 15 minute drive and provides fine dining during the evening and picnics most days, with some great wines. One of the Cape’s oldest wineries, Groot Constantia is a 20 minute drive. The winery has some excellent wines, a great museum in the splendid old Cape Dutch Manor House. There is also a good restaurant for casual eating. All  these restaurants can be booked through the hotel. For people wishing to see Cape Town, the Peninsula and Winelands from a single location Colona Castle is perfectly situated close to the Constantia Winelands and with the centre of the Cape Winelands (Stellenbosch & Franschhoek) just 40 minutes’ drive away. It is a good location from which to explore Kirstenbosch Gardens (15 minutes drive) and the Peninsula. The penguins at Boulders Beach are a 20 minute drive. The centre of Cape Town, the Waterfront and the Table Mountain Cableway are a 30 minute drive. This is truly a perfect hotel for those wanting something a little different.

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Amakhosi Lodge, Mkuze River, Northern Zululand

Amakhosi Lodge translates from Zulu as ‘The Palace of the Kings’ which is an apt description for this romantic hideaway

Amakhosi Lodge is in the Amazulu Game Reserve. Here you will find the Big Five. These include Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo, Rhinoceros but you will also see Hippo, Crocodile,  Antelope and 400 bird species. This small, select lodge is set on the banks of the Mkuze River. The 6 suites overlook the river from a private deck. Each suite is complete with a lounge, luxurious bathroom and has the necessary benefit of air conditioning. Game viewing and safaris are under the strict supervision of experienced rangers. The lodge is renowned for its cuisine and there is a beautiful pool to cool off in after a day in the bush viewing game. This is a fully all-inclusive property and the price includes accommodation, all meals, game drives and local beverages.

About Amakhosi Lodge’s Location

You can easily combine a safari here with a trip to the hauntingly evocative KwaZulu – Natal battlefields.  Within a short drive are Blood River, Isandlwana, Rorkes Drift, Ladysmith and Spioenkop – all reminders of the tragic history of this beautiful land. In this area you will still experience traditional and fascinating Zulu culture even though it is fast disappearing.This area is approximately a 5 hour drive from Johannesburg International airport and is 3 1/2 hours from Durban International Airport.

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MAIA Luxury Resort & Spa, Anse Louis, Mahe

An extraordinary level of luxury awaits romantic couples with the budget to match

There are very few properties worldwide that can match the sophisticated luxury and attention to personal service provided by Maia. Each beautifully appointed villa has its own dedicated butler. Your own personal butler ensures your every whim is catered for and  complete uninterrupted privacy if this is your wish. Each villa has wonderful views over the bay and a beautiful infinity pool set in your own private tropical gardens.  No expense is spared in the provision of toiletries and even the sound system is provided by Bose.  The resort has an excellent central restaurant but guests are invited to arrange their own menu to be served in their villa – even in bed if required! The resort’s slogan is “Whatever, Wherever, Whenever”.

About the Location

The resort hides among the tropical foliage overlooking Anse Louis. The spa and wellness centre provides Balinese massage complete with local products. Couples therapy sessions are provided in a lush garden setting. The remoteness of the location ensures complete relaxation punctuated only by the natural sounds on the islands.

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