Everview Suites, Cape Town
If you could picture Nirvana on earth then Everview Suites could be the closest we can get to paradise. With unparalleled views of the Atlantic, this Camps Bay apartment gives you equally impressive panoramic vistas of [AV1] Lion’s Head. Accommodating six people, Everview Suites has three recently renovated bedrooms all with en-suite bathrooms; its open plan modern décor is perfect for a couple’s retreat (sadly they do not accommodate pets). With wireless Internet throughout the property, a Nespresso coffee machine and milk frother, you won’t have to leave the house if you don’t want to. But if you do – the Suites are only a 10-minute drive to the Table Mountain Cable Car and a short walk from Camps Bay’s buzzing beach – getting around won’t be a problem because the apartments are 100 metres away from the myCiti bus stop. As Everview Suites is part of a bigger property that includes bungalows, the owners stipulate no parties, smoking and the minimum stay is two nights. When you consider that Everview Suites is considered to be on Airbnb’s current top 15 listings from around the world, it’s not surprising then that a night’s stay here will cost you R6014. But you can’t put a price on the suite life can you?
There was a time when “self-catering” meant roughing it in cheap bunk beds, but our luxury take on it will have you falling in love with the idea.
The apartment is serviced Monday to Friday so no need to stress out about cleaning up after yourself when you’re on holiday.
Melkkamer Manor House at De Hoop, Overberg
For those with a penchant for the great outdoors then De Hoop’s Melkkamer Manor House is the place for you. Just a three-hour drive from Cape Town, De Hoop, according to www.capenature.co.za, “forms part of the world’s smallest and most threatened plant kingdom - the Cape Floral Kingdom”. It is the perfect pit stop if you’re on your way from the Cape winelands to preppy Plettenberg Bay, or ‘Plett’ if you’re a cool kid. Whether you want to gaze at the stars and learn about the constellations, or perhaps go on a guided eco-quad bike trail, you won’t need to worry about missing the gym while you’re vacationing. Bird enthusiasts will love the two hour guided bird walk but if you’re looking at activities less strenuous then you could simply go on a game drive and enjoy the wild life (don’t forget to bring your binoculars and sunscreen). Melkkamer Manor House has four bedrooms – all with en-suite bathrooms, an outdoor braai area and is perfect for children. They offer babysitting but at an extra cost. Ladies, you will definitely need to book yourself a treatment at the SPA @ De Hoop and get pampered with Africology products. With 36 000 hectares of De Hoop conservation area being part of a World Heritage Site, the outdoors have never been more luxe.
Whale watching season between May and November when 40% of the world’s Southern Right Whales come to breed each year.
Brahman Hills, Natal Midlands
“This is self-catering without the ‘self’ catering”, sounds like a bold assertion but in this case it’s true. Taking care of everything from making beds and washing dishes, Brahman Hills will even organize you a chef on days when you don’t feel like cooking. The self-catering cottages are situated in the Blue Crane Nature Private Reserve and they’re equipped with the full DStv bouquet, a Jacuzzi for your enjoyment during the summer months and a fireplace for cooler seasons. With expansive views of the Drakensberg Mountains, you may recall Brahman Hills in its previous incarnation as the Windmills Hotels. Gill Bowmaker, a hospitality specialist, assisted the properties new owners in achieving Brahman Hills’ makeover. Yet this is not one of those refurbishments that cost the environment as they used repurposed materials such as recycled corrugated iron (which you can see while at their Afro Zen Spa for a treatment). With a dedicated halaal chef, you might also want to book 89 on Copper, for a private dining experience and celebrate your life with those you love.
Getting married and need a venue with spectacular views and great accommodation? Brahman Hills is known as a premium venue for a wedding in the Midlands. They can accommodate up to 380 people.
Walkersons Hotel and Spa, Dullstroom
It’s often said that you’re likely to come back empty handed after an afternoon of fishing but with famously well-stocked trout dams, this won’t be your experience when you stay at Walkersons Hotel and Spa in Dullstroom. For a five star self-catering experience book the eight sleeper, and aptly named Riverview Cottage, which overlooks the idyllic Lunsklip River. Walkersons prides itself on having a chef who is a member of the elite Chaîne des Rôtisseurs international gastronomic society. Chef Adri Van Wieringen changes the menu every day so you can be guaranteed to dine like the African queen or king you are. But Chef Adri also contributes to the local community by providing free cooking courses for the community; 11 of his former students have found employment as a result of the classes. Back to your holiday though, take time out to dine over a five course meal or sit outside your room and enjoy the Mpumalanga hills; children over six years old are also welcome to join their parents in the family dining room.
Famous for their scones and high tea, Walkersons Hotel and Spa is great for day visitors who want a little bit of fine dining while road tripping.