South Africa is a hot tourist destination for a reason. We have the beach, the Berg and the bush (read: awesome beaches, stunning mountain ranges and incredible safaris), a combination which is a tourist’s dream. The vast selection of excellent hotels, lodges and resorts is endless and making the choice of where to stay is difficult. These three 5* hotels are some of the best, and well worth a try for any local or international visitor.
Beach: 12 Apostles Hotel
Location: Cape Town
The 12 Apostles Hotel is one of Cape Town’s most renowned hospitality properties. It’s located between two highly prestigious suburbs, Camps Bay and Llandudno. The hotel is set against the dramatic backdrop of the striking 12 Apostles mountain range as well as Table Mountain. The views of the Atlantic Ocean are a sight to behold and best enjoyed from the pool or with a cocktail at the Leopard Bar. Luxury is standard with extravagant rooms, award winning facilities, live entertainment, a lounge with a view for “Tea by the sea”, 16-seater cinema and Wellness Centre. 12A, as it’s known, was recently awarded the title of “Leading Spa Resort in Africa” and the Chaines des Rotisseurs Blazon award for maintaining an outstanding level of cuisine.
Berg: Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse
Location: Kamberg, Drakensberg
Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse is a beautiful hotel steeped in decades of history and set in the countryside of the Kamberg valley near Giant’s Castle. The hotel is run by the owners and is a fulfilment of their dream-to create an intimate gourmet getaway. Rest and relaxation come easily in the peaceful world created by green mountains and clear streams, especially after a superb meal. Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse has won a variety of culinary awards:
• Eat Out’s best new restaurant
• One of Wine magazine’s top 100 restaurants
• One of Wine magazine’s nineteen 5* chefs
Gourmet food is the focus here. The chef specialises in sauces and uses the freshest of ingredients-often picked from the garden just before serving! Exotic foods like fresh salmon from Norway or genuine Parma hams and cheeses from Italy are sometimes specially flown in.
Bush: The River Bend Lodge
Location: Addo Elephant National Park, Eastern Cape
The River Bend Lodge offers the ultimate safari adventure. The lodge is situated in the Addo Elephant National Park, a malaria-free Big 5 game reserve. The array of plant and animal life is extensive and game viewing is fantastic. Birders will be in their element with 250 bird species to spot. Dining at the lodge offers a combination of “old world food and Pan-African world fusion”. Meals are matched with fine wines for an exceptional dining experience. For guests who get the late-afternoon munchies there’s a lovely high tea on the terrace.
If you had a limitless wallet and all the time in the world, which South African hotels would you splash out on?