Travel

South Africa Hotels

Hotel neighborhood
Babylonstoren
R45, Simondium
For the better part of a decade owners Koos Bekker and Karen Roos lovingly worked on restoring a 300-year-old farm at the base of the Simonsberg mountains into a wine destination in its own right. There are only thirteen rooms (formerly farm-workers’ cottages) and each one is whitewashed and pristine with an open floor plan and modern furnishings from the likes of Kartell and Bourellec Bros. For those in need of something more generously sized, whether it’s for themselves or for a couples getaway, the five-bedroom Owner’s House is pretty special, and features checkerboard floors in the bathrooms, a soaking tub, and the farm kitchen with its own wood-burning stove. On property, an eight-acre walled garden informs much of the menu at its restaurant, Babel, which churns out deliciously fresh meals. (In the summer months, it's yellow tomatoes, apricots, and gooseberries, while a winter menu may feature, say, a slow-cooked lamb leg in a red wine sauce.) For a bit of pampering, spa treatments can be had in the bamboo pavilion, which also includes a Hammam. Guests can participate in the harvest, pruning, and picking (they provide trowels and…
Le Quartier Français
Corner of Berg & Wilhelmina Streets, Franschhoek, South Africa
Surrounded by the hills and vineyards of the Franschhoek Valley, this little boutique hotel (there are only 21 rooms on the property) is just an hour from Cape Town, but it feels worlds away. While the quaint, comfortable suites by themselves justify a trip, this location is really all about the food. Chef Margot Janse’s Tasting Room is one of (if not the) best restaurants in South Africa; it’s the winner of countless awards for its 8-course tasting menu, which serves a uniquely African-inspired style of food. The wait-list is notoriously long, so plan accordingly. Note: They'll be closed for renovations May 22-July 9, 2017—we've heard the new plans, which include converting the tasting room into a new restaurants, are incredible.
Londolozi
Sparta Farm, Sabi Sand Sildtuin, Mpumalanga
Londolozi has several camps, all equally luxurious, but for honeymooners it's hard to beat their granite suites, which walk a thin line of luxury while maintaining the feeling that you’re out in nature. Outfitted with wide doors and windows that open to the Sand River, the stone huts (even the slanted roofs are made from granite slabs) feel like they’re part of the land, with private, heated pools that mirror the floor of the riverbed. Of course, the real draw here is the safari adventures in Kruger Park, and Londolozi’s guides have a great track record for finding some of the more difficult animals to see, along with plenty of lions, elephants, hippos, and more. As a bonus, Londolozi has a well-respected reputation for conservation and community support in the area.
Singita Lebombo Lodge
Kruger National Park
Everything about this safari camp is achingly chic (to the extent that it's Michael Kors' favorite vacation destination), from the leather and canvas washed interiors, to the long pool. Of course, that's kind of just a side note to the fact that it's in the middle of South Africa's Kreuger National Park, meaning that you get to take your laps in the morning to the sound of giraffes tussling nearby. There are also incredible views of the N'wanetsi river. While they allow kids over 10, keep in mind that a safari isn't for those who don't want to wake up early in the morning (or hate being confined to a car for most of the day). Rates include two game drives per day, walking safaris, and all meals and drinks (there's a great wine cellar).
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