You’re looking for a getaway where you can sit back and relax. Usually a spa, a pool and a view are on your checklist, but what if you could add something a little different to the mix? What about a night in a cave, or a view of alpacas grazing from your silo window? Read on to discover some of SA’s hidden gems…
#1 Karoo Art Hotel, Barrydale, Western Cape
Barrydale is a known refuge for those that enjoy wielding a paintbrush or three. So it only makes sense that the sleepy village has a hotel that celebrates its inhabitants, with each of the 15 rooms individually decorated by local artists – and even one designed by the internationally renowned art group, Magpie Collective. Bonus? Much of the art that adorns the walls is for sale, so who knows what you’ll take home with you?
#2 Grand Daddy Rooftop Trailer Park, Cape Town, Western Cape
Perched on the roof of this boutique hotel you’ll find seven uniquely designed vintage Airstream trailers, complete with US Postal Service mailboxes, the electric buzz of Long Street and a generous view of Table Mountain. Each one draws inspiration from the South African landscape that it encapsulates and each has a story to share. Choose between the The Grape Escape inspired by the winelands, Roaring with Colour inspired by Safari plains, To The Beach inspired by well, the beach, Join The Gold Rush inspired by SA’s richness’s among others. Just to be clear… Each Airstream trailer has a queen-size bed, wet room with a shower, and modern comforts like TV, aircon and fridges.
#3 Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve, Ceres, Western Cape
Fancy tapping into your inner Fred and Wilma by spending a night in a cave in a nature reserve? The luxury cave rooms of the Cedarbertg’s Kagga Kamma are nestled between sandstone formations. The 10 “cave suites” blend into the environment making you truly one with nature. Creature comforts include a double bed, aircon and ensuite bathroom.
#4 Fairview Twin Towers Estate, Fouriesburg, Free State
Farm life is just so wholesome! This breakaway should be on your bucket list, because where else can sleep in renovated silos overlooking a field of fluffy alpaca grazing? These two sturdy silos once stored cattle feed, but now they have been transformed into a four-story holiday home for eight people, perfect for a family or large group getaway. The towers are a delightful amalgamation of the highland’s rustic warmth and contemporary South African inspired décor.
#5 The Turbine Hotel, Knysna, Western Cape
This boutique hotel in Knysna is situated on the picturesque Thesen Island overlooking canals from the Greater Knysna Estuary. Once an old power station, now a unique five-star boutique hotel; all the old machinery that was in the power station has been lovingly restored, forming an integral part of the hotel’s aesthetics. They have a 90-seater Island Cafe restaurant on site overlooking the stunning canal and a spa for all your pampering dreams. But the best part is the Turbine Water Club, which has partnered with prominent adventure companies to bring you the best Knysna water-based activities, including pontoon cruises, fishing charters, eco-safaris and kayak hire.
#6 Old Jail, Phlippolis, Free State
This hotel may just be worth going to jail for. Built in 1872, the oldest “nedersetting” in the Free State housed inmates from the area, but now it has been turned into a place for you to rest. It is self-catering, with a kitchen and braai place available. If you’re feeling to cooped in, you can go for a hike, canoe on the Orange River, fish or bird watch.
#7 Graskop Hotel, Mpumalanga
While you n choose from a range of rooms, it;s the artist rooms you want to check into., They feature the work of contemporary South African artists like Isaac Sithole, Barbara Wildenboer and Andrew Milne. Well-known collector and art patron Harrie Siertsema also holds regular exhibitions of contemporary South African artists in this innovative space. On the hotel’s doorstep is the famous Pinnacle Rock, God’s Window and the historical town of Pilgrim’s Rest, the Panorama Route and The Kruger National Park is quite close too.