It’s the month of love, and already I’ve been asked numerous times for my top suggestions on quick and local anniversary escapes that won’t break the bank. Luckily for South Africans, we have a plethora of choices. Here are five of my top suggestions for that special weekend away:
Luxury Escape: The Robertson Small Hotel
The five-star hotel Robertson Small Hotel is snuggled in the leafy suburbs of Robertson and features twelve boutique rooms, two pools, and the Small Restaurant in the gorgeous Victorian building that takes center stage on the grounds. This gorgeously appointed hotel epitomises the best of boutique bliss. The hotel is a celebration of attention to detail and a reminder that the small things do add up. From complimentary room drinks & snacks, reusable secret socks instead of slippers, locally designed décor, and much more.
What’s even more exciting is that there is a bounty of wine farms waiting to welcome you for some exciting days trips. Make sure to include a stop at Weltevrede for their enchanting underground tasting experience, Mont Blois for one of the country’s most beautiful French-inspired tasting rooms, and the scenic drive to Lord’s Winery for a farm with views that are as outstanding as the wines themselves.
Food Escape: Mo and Rose
In the lavish gardens of this country oasis, you’ll find eight rooms tucked away, all with views onto the gardens and access to the two pools. They’re beautifully appointed – my favourite is Room 1 with its own lounge and double veranda. For foodies looking for a country getaway that doesn’t compromise on culinary or accommodation offerings, Mo and Rose might just be what you’re looking for. Restaurant Succulent is nestled in Mo and Rose’s magnificent succulent gardens; I’d heartily recommend you ask one of the staff for a brief tour to meet some of these remarkable plants.
Eco-Escape: The Lab
In Franschhoek, Hout Bay and Robertson you’ll find the three sister properties of theLAB – an exciting new family of eco-friendly and tech-savvy lodges. In Franschhoek, South Africa’s gourmet capital, enjoy their central located property where the village and wine farms are all a short walk away. In Hout Bay you’re only 20-minutes from the city, but it feels like you’re in a remote mountainous location with sprawling lawns. In Robertson, the third of the properties offer a country getaway only minutes from some serious fun foodie stops. Back in your room, your voice controls the lights, blinds, TV, and even coffee machine, and best of all theLAB has a zero carbon footprint and the environment comes first.
Mountain Escape: Lord’s Guest House
Resting high up on one of the mountains of McGregor, you’d swear you were in the Scottish Highlands. Lord’s Guest Lodge is all about the views out over the surrounding valley. There’s a chapel on-site, several stone houses to choose from, a pool area, a bar and a restaurant that serves hearty doses of fine country cuisine. If you do decide to venture out from your mountainous sanctuary, the little hamlet of McGregor offers a selection of coffee shops, boutique wineries and even a donkey sanctuary.
Wine Escape: Opstal
Tucked away in the almost mythical Slanghoek Valley, one-hour from Cape Town, you’ll find this wine estate and its brand new accommodation offerings. Sitting safely on the slopes of the mountains and surrounded by fragrant fynbos you’ll find the four Opstal cottages – although cottage hardly seems appropriate. These are among the most spacious units I’ve ever stayed in; each one has a generous veranda with its own wood-fired hot tub and braai, and then spacious lounge and dining room with inside fireplace. Since you have the privilege of staying on a wine farm, a short stroll down the hill and you can taste your way through the Opstal range.
If that has successfully whet your travel appetite, it’s time to make that flight booking and off you go.