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Lifestyle

The Royal Portfolio

Fulfilling a longing for luxury

Its almost halfway through 2014 and most of us already need a break away from the mayhem of the daily grind. If you aren't too sure whether to escape to the bush or retreat to a beach haven, The Royal Portfolio has options for you that will blow you away with their beautiful surroundings and luxurious offerings. Beach, bush or wine lands… this will make it hard to choose!

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ROYAL MALEWANE LUXURY SAFARI LODGE

If the bush is your favourite place to unwind and detox the senses, this exclusive African safari getaway offers private and personalised service and the best game viewing in Africa. The glorious unspoilt bush setting stirs the senses and touches the heart and combines the joys of nature with a warm and welcoming atmosphere for an effortlessly relaxing time. Far from the madding crowd, this gem is situated on a private reserve within the Greater Kruger Park and hosts only 20 guests in superb luxury and style. At the Royal Malewane lodge, the exuberant spirit of Africa is enchanting and energising. The complete seclusion and unbelievable views from this lodge create a feeling of old-world charm and splendour, whilst every modern-day whim is generously catered for.

What to do there:

With two daily game drives, the guides and trackers from the lodge offer a detailed insight into the fascinating ecosystem of the bush, whilst bringing you exhilaratingly close to the Big Five. If ground travel is not your thing, there are helicopter flights, which offer thrilling views of canyons, waterfalls and rock formations. And if you are after a more unique and unconventional way of seeing the bush, there are hot air balloon flights on which you can watch the spectacular sunrises and survey the African wilderness from the sky. If a bit of a trip on water takes your fancy there is always the Canyon Cruise and picnic lunch on the Blyde Dam.

Further afield, amidst bush dwellers such as giraffe and impala and bordering the Crocodile River, you can enjoy a round or two of golf on the exclusive Leopard Creek Championship Golf Estate. This course is expertly designed and a great challenge for avid golfers. Not too far off, the Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate offers horse-riding safaris, which show a totally different perspective of the game plains from the saddle.

For those wishing to indulge in the peace and serenity of the bush and restore their bodies and minds, The Waters of Royal Malewane Bush Spa is an oasis of calm. The lavish massages and body treatments given by internationally qualified therapists use indigenous ingredients and mineral rich water which is sourced from the underground stream running through the reserve. The signature treatments and African Rituals, which are unique and unashamedly indulgent, are the epitome of luxurious pampering. The comprehensive facilities of the spa include a sparkling heated lap pool, steam room, jacuzzi, hot and cold African baths and a pool where you can sap up the sheer tranquility of the location.

Ambient Bush Dining:

The dining experience is one of the highlights of the Royal Malewane Game Lodge. Some spectacular mealtime game viewing can be seen from the dining area overlooking the waterhole. The incredible atmosphere of the bush at night can be experienced in the Boma. Whilst you are serenaded by crickets and frogs and entertained with traditional singing and dancing, you will enjoy exceptional flame-grilled fare under the endless canopy of stars.

For an equally special and dazzling experience, there is also an option of dinner in the Bedouin tent lit by Moroccan lanterns and overflowing with an exotic feast of flavours. Handpicked South African wines are selected to compliment each meal.

Naturally, the lodge also offers sophisticated indoor banquet dining beside a glittering fireplace and personalised service is of the highest order - leaving you wanting for nothing!

Best time to visit:

The time is now! The winter months (May, June, and July) are a great time for good game viewing as the bush is quieter, drier and more open. Temperatures are more moderate, you are more likely to be able to go off road for close-up viewing and there are no insects to bother you! What are you waiting for?

For reservations and further information:
ROYAL MALEWANE
Tel: +27 (0) 15 793 0150
Email: info@royalmalewane.com

 

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BIRKENHEAD HOUSE - HERMANUS

If you are more beach than bush and you are looking for an exhilarating seaside experience, look no further than Birkenhead House in Hermanus. From its cliff-top position overlooking the whale-watching paradise of Walker Bay, this luxurious beach hotel is the epitome modern, stylish and laid-back. With its enviable location atop the rugged cliffs of the Cape Coast, Birkenhead House boasts dazzling ocean views and easy access to the beach. Its contemporary feel and quirky opulence ensure a relaxed and easy going atmosphere where you can indulge in breakfast at noon, take tea on your balcony and then watch the ocean at dusk over a cocktail.

Birkenhead House, which is located along this wild, rugged and beautiful Cape coastline, is stylish and charming and has an amazingly relaxing atmosphere which makes you feel instantly at home. The suites are designed with a mood of humour and fun whilst the white walls and contemporary artworks exude serious modern chic. The chilled ambience of this hotel is instantly felt on arriving there.

What to do there:

Hermanus is the world’s best location for land-based whale watching and from May to December the Southern Right Whale graces this area with its magnificent presence. In August, the height of the birthing season, calves as young as a couple of hours old and their mothers can be seen from the wonderful vantage points at Birkenhead House.

Aside from whale-watching, a myriad of activities is possible on both land and sea in Hermanus. It is a town world renowned for its wild beauty, artisanal food producers and its very own wine route. Its quaint boutiques, markets and galleries as well as its pure air and sheer tranquility are a captivating combination providing the backdrop of an unbelievable holiday.

There is the option of amazing mountain trails and walks, indigenous birdlife to study and deep sea fishing adventures. The beaches are clean, safe and easily accessible with an irresistible beach vibe and there are pathways and scenic trails along the world-renowned cliff path providing spectacular views of the ocean and the coastline.

To round off a leisurely day or just to enjoy the surroundings whilst indulging your senses, Birkenhead House Spa offers a medley of massage, aromatherapy and reflexology treatments.

Fusion beach dining:

At Birkenhead House, world-class cuisine is a matter of course. The fusion of modern African Cuisine, Cape seafood and French techniques with Asian and Italian influences, make for sensational and exotic creations.

The meals, designed to delight guests’ individual palates, can be enjoyed overlooking the ocean, next to the pool, in the glass fronted dining area or in the privacy of your suite.

Best time to visit:

From December to February, which is peak summer season, Hermanus is very popular with warm sunny days with regular afternoon breezes. During the months of June, July and August, you can expect frequent rains and chilly evenings.

For reservations and further information:
BIRKENHEAD HOUSE AND VILLA
Tel: +27 (0) 28 314 8000
Email: info@birkenheadhouse.com

 

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LA RESIDENCE - FRANSCHHOEK

Within the category of luxury hotels in the Cape winelands, La Residence is in a class of its own! It is located on a private estate in the heart of the beautiful Franshhoek valley and is surrounded by vineyards and plum orchards and shrouded by stunning mountains. If you are looking for opulence, grandeur, elegance and refinement, this is the ultimate in sophistication.

With enchanting mountain views in every direction, the uninterrupted peace and tranquility of La Residence offers unparalleled luxury. The eleven suites are all individually and lavishly furnished with charming antiques, Persian rugs and a wonderfully eclectic mix of objects d’art. Grand but welcoming, visually stunning yet supremely comfortable, this gorgeous hotel has a relaxed and informal atmosphere where there is time to stop and gaze at and relish the very special surroundings.

Franschhoek is known as ‘The Food and Wine capital of South Africa’ for a very good reason. Despite its tiny size, it boasts and incredible range of cafes, bistros and restaurants which offer a kaleidoscope of exciting flavours in a variety of settings.

The wine tasting in this area offers a unique experience for wine lovers. The Franschhoek Valley has a 300-year old wine making history and the quaint architecture and beautiful vineyards of the old family-owned wine farms are definitely worth a visit. Many of the wine estates also offer museums, gardens, farm shops and restaurants as well as cellar tours. You can explore boutique wineries or experience a private tasting with an expert - with or without food pairings. From pink champagne to red dessert wine, pinotage or grappa, Franschhoek has it all!

What to do there:

La Residence offers a whole host of activities for a varied stay. There is a magnificent infinity pool and reclining sun-loungers under umbrellas for hot summer days or the chance to unwind with a massage in the spa treatment room. if you are feeling a little more energetic, there is an option to stroll or cycle around the estate and soak up the beauty of the olive trees, vines and roses and the vast Franschhoek valley beyond.

When the temperature drops, there is nothing better than to sit curled up in the library with a good book in front of an open fire amidst the collection of fine paintings, sipping delicious red wine.

You can also play golf, go trout fishing or quad biking, paragliding, hot-air ballooning or take horseback tour of the surrounding wine farms. A more sedate excursion is the horse-drawn carriage ride through the local village or perhaps a ride on the Franschhoek Wine Tram.

Wining and Dining:

Dining at La residence restaurant is always a leisurely experience. It is reminiscent of a manor hall with dazzling chandeliers, black and white flooring and vast fireplaces. Outside, the Persian Alley offers a delightful setting for alfresco summer meals. The chef prides himself in using the best local ingredients and produce picked from la residence’s own kitchen garden.

For something a little different, you can indulge in your own personalised cooking demonstration at the Chef’s Table. At this beautiful marble table in the restaurant dining hall, the chef will prepare your dinner, course by course, with full opportunity for interaction. This is a lovely experience for anyone remotely keen on cooking.

The Franschhoek area is rich in producers of the finest artisanal products. Handcrafted cheeses such as smooth, straw-coloured Angelot and delicious, cumin-spiced Boerenkaas are served with home-made preserves and breads after dinner. Local berries and fragrant fynbos honey are also familiar faces on the dessert menu. Excellent South African wines compliment all menus in La Residence’s restaurant.

For reservations and further information:

LA RESIDENCE AND VILLAS
Tel: +27 (0) 21 876 4100
Email: info@laresidence.co.za


For The Royal Portfolio Central reservations office:
Tel: +27 (15) 793 3977
Email: reservations@theroyalportfolio.com

 

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