Nights wrapped in luxury
From luxury lodges to stylish city abodes, we take a look at a few designer retreats to lay your head for the night.
There’s nothing quite like fluffy gowns behind the bathroom door, a chocolate on the pillow and a personal note from the GM to make you feel at home. Whether you’re staying at a luxury urban hotel or a small little lodge deep in the Timbavati, it’s always about the little extras. Here is our ensemble of some pretty fine establishments, where your name is remembered and your Eggs Benedict arrive, just the way you like them.
CHALKLEY TREEHOUSE, Lion Sands Private Game Reserve
Lion Sands Game Reserve is situated in the Sabi Sand Reserve and when it comes to accommodation options, you can choose from River Lodge, Tinga Lodge, Narina Lodge, Ivory Lodge or Lion Sands 1933 Lodge. Each lodge has its own design language, but attention to detail and inspired aesthetics are part of the deal. Wherever possible, nature is given pride of place – and gorgeous vistas surprise and delight. Guests staying at any of the lodges in Lion Sands Private Game Reserve (Sabi Sand Reserve) in Mpumalanga have the unique opportunity of a romantic evening picnic in a tree house.
Chalkley Treehouse is built around a magnificent 300-year-old Leadwood tree and guests who have booked in for the night can enjoy a delicious picnic while listening to the sounds of nature and drinking in bushveld views that go on for miles. The Lion Sands chefs will create a delectable feast from the menu of the day – or according to guest’s needs – using the finest local produce accompanied by fine wines, or anything else that guests would like to drink. The sunsets from the treehouse bring shivers to the spine, and this luxury bush bedroom is certainly something to write home about. Visit www.lionsands.com.
ONE&ONLY, Cape Town
The One&Only Cape Town has spectacular written all over it. As one walks into the main lobby you come face to face with an incredible view of Table Mountain through the floor-to-ceiling windows. That’s the start of it all, and it only gets better from there. The same visual language is on offer from your hotel room as the gorgeous views of the Mother City welcome you. When it comes to rooms, you can choose the Marina Rise option with a more than comfortable king-size bed and a vast bathroom sporting an oversized bath, ‘rain shower’ and double vanity – of course the views of Table Mountain and Signal Hill just add to the opulent feel.
The Island Rooms and Suites are on their own exclusive island in the heart of the waterway and the suites have private balconies. There is so much to enjoy at this resort city hotel, from the gorgeous spa on its very own island offering top choice treatments, to dining at Nobu or Reuben’s, chatting to the friendly staff and going for a cocktail at The Vista Bar. One&Only Cape Town redefines style without being stuffy, and the result is a ‘home away from home’ feel in unadulterated luxury. Visit www.capetown.oneandonlyresorts.com.
THE OYSTER BAY, Dar es Salaam
Conde Nast Traveller (UK) gave this Dar es Salaam hotel the thumbs up when it was placed on its Gold Standard List for 2013. This Tanzanian hotel has a mix of colonial attitude and contemporary African style – with French windows allowing views of the ocean. The place is East African chic and is boutique in every sense, with just eight suites on offer. Rooms are a combination of shades of white and African-inspired art and there is a lovely pool area where one can sip G&Ts until the sun goes down.
The feel is family-orientated and the hustle and bustle of this exciting city is nearby. For tranquillity and downtime, there are beautiful gardens and relaxation areas. The Oyster Bay feels like your own private villa, close to one of the continent’s most exciting cities. Visit www.theoysterbayhotel.com.
KASBAH TAMADOT, Morocco
Okay, so everything Richard Branson touches does turn to gold. And that’s pretty evident when it comes to visiting the Kasbah Tamadot hideaway in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Branson bought the hotel after first seeing it on one of his hot-air ballooning expeditions. The establishment is located in Asni, a small village in the Atlas Mountains inhabited by the Berber people. There are 27 bedrooms and suites – including nine luxury Berber Tents – if you’re really splashing out, go for the tents with private plunge pools.
The rooms, tents and suites are all fitted with gorgeous antiques collected by the previous owner, and no expense has been spared. There are spa treatments on offer – in a traditional Moroccan hammam – as well as tennis, table tennis, a gym and the option of going on walks or heading off into the mountains on a mule, if you are so inclined. Visit www.kasbahtamadot.virgin.com.
SINGITA FARU FARU, Tanzania
The Singita brand is all about letting nature ‘inside’, and Singita has a number of magnificent properties in Africa. Singita Faru Faru does much to uphold this brand that combines the ultimate in luxury with wilderness locations. It may take some doing to get to Singita Faru Faru in Grumeti Reserves, but the effort is worth it, and this riverside lodge is the ultimate in barefoot bush luxury. The language of the lodge was designed by renowned South African designer Boyd Ferguson (Cecile & Boyd) and is the perfect place to get away from it all. There are eight suites with en suite bathrooms on offer and Ferguson has used the natural elements of wood, textiles and stone combined with a rugged landscape.
The rim-flow swimming pool practically spills onto the spectacular bushveld below, and warm nights are spent on the verandah drinking in the stars. Singita does stylish incredibly well, and you might want to consider some of its other lodges, including the Singita Lebombo in the Kruger National Park, and Singita Pamushana in Zimbabwe. Singita Castleton was recently renovated and is the perfect place for a family gathering in ultimate style. Visit www.singita.com.
MAJEKA HOUSE, Stellenbosch
Majeka House is a perfect boutique hotel for you to lay down your head. South African designer Etienne Hanekom has created a beautiful contemporary look with beautiful fabrics and inspired interiors. There are layers to the design of Majeka House, and although the emphasis is on being super-stylish with a vast array of artworks, the homely feel is evident throughout. Start off with cocktails at the chi-chi bar, followed by dinner at Makaron Restaurant. While away the days by exploring the winelands, visiting the Majeka House Spa or reading around the gorgeous pool. Visit www.majekahouse.co.za.
Image by: Singita Castleton