* This piece originally here appeared on Aluxurytravelblog.com
South Africans and her international visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to luxury getaways in the country. Here is a selection of seven unmissable luxury hotels and why my visit to them prompted their inclusion on the list.
1. The Old Rectory, Plettenberg Bay
The Garden Route a lush and scenic part of the South African coast enjoyed my many of South Africa’s foreign and local visitors. One of its newest luxury stays is the Old Rectory, in the beachside town of Plettenberg. This perfectly restored heritage property has elegant charm and a refined hospitality service that will cater to your every need. It’s a one minute walk to the beach – ask the staff to setup a beach picnic and enjoy views of kilometers of pristine coastline.
2. The Four Seasons The Westcliff Hotel, Johannesburg
The undeniably iconic Four Seasons Westcliff Hotel is a luxe lodging of note in the heart of Johannesburg. Hugging the side of one of the city highest ridges, the hotel offers unrivaled views over the world’s second biggest man-made forest. Serene wellness spaces, a range of eateries and world class service make the hotel a must-visit if you’re passing through Johannesburg.
3. Hartford House, KZN Midlands
Nestled in the rolling hills of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Midlands, you’ll find Hartford House. This boutique farms sits on kilometers of prized farmlands and offers what I feel is the pièce de résistancedining experience in the area. Dine in style, and then you only have a couple steps to your room in the gracious country house, or a short walk to the chalets built on the lake. Come for the food and stay for the whole experience.
4. Holden Manz Estate, Franschhoek
If your dream is to stay in 5-star luxury, on a working winery, with some of the most beautiful views offered from South Africa’s winelands, then look no further than Holden Manz. With premium wines to taste, a restaurant with killer views and a country house with only 5 luxe rooms you may just be tempted not to leave the property. Make sure you leave some space in your suitcase, you’ll want to take home some wine.
5. Queen Victoria Hotel, Cape Town
In the midst of the busyness of Cape Town’s V & A Waterfront, South Africa’s most touristed spot, hides an exclusive and utterly gorgeous 5-star hotel. The Queen Victoria Hotel has beautifully appointed rooms – although you’ll be impressed the minute you walk into the dazzling triple-volume atrium. The afternoon tea is not to be missed.
6. Ellerman House, Cape Town
Since the early 1900s this elegant Edwardian mansion has been proudly casting her gaze over the Atlantic Ocean. Now one of the country’s finest luxury boutique hotels, her guests can also enjoy unbridled views. If that isn’t enough, the owner’s relentless love for the art means you’ll also be living in one of the most impressive private art collections in the country. Naturally, an incredible gourmand experience also awaits the discerning traveller at Ellerman House.
7. The River Lodge Thornybush, Kruger National Park
A quintessential African safari experience, with some of the best service and hospitality you can find in the country. Wildlife abound in this private enclave of the Kruger National Park, and so get your animal checklist ready. A total of only 6 units means it’s an unrivalled intimate experience that will leave you feeling like royalty. The elephants drink almost daily from the River Lodge pools – one of the wildest welcomes I’ve ever had from a game lodge.