When it comes to stays of pure indulgence, South Africa is right up there with the best of the best. From exclusive boutique establishments with phenomenal views and the finest Egyptian cotton linens to 5-Star safari lodges where friendly staff wait on you hand and foot, living like royalty has never been more accessible. Here we highlight some of our favourite places in South Africa that epitomise luxury and style.
With 12 award-winning lodges across South Africa, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, the Singita brand is well-known and one not only synonymous with conservation, but with all-out wilderness luxury too. The private reserves in which they’re located offer extraordinary game viewing, natural beauty and vast spaces, while the lodges themselves are where comfort, elegance and style collide with nature in the most harmonious and sustainable ways. Singita’s tourism model is “low-impact, high-value” so you can expect a premium and intimate safari experience.
- Lebombo Lodge: 13 contemporary, open-plan suites suspended above the N’Wanetsi River in the renowned Kruger National Park.
- Sweni Lodge: With both vibrant and neutral tones inspired by the magic and diversity of Africa, this intimate lodge (there are only seven suites) is perched on the Sweni River bank home and is where design, food, nature and opulence come together in a bold and exciting way.
- Ebony Lodge: Ebony stretches over the Sand River and is a fresh take on the classic safari lodge, offering tented camp and bush lodge options, both of which are the height of luxury and modernism.
- Castleton: At Castleton, understated interiors punctuated by nostalgic elements of yesteryear come together to create a special and inviting space. Designed ideally for private use (you get your own staff, guide and tracker), six individual cottages offer relaxed living spaces, deep verandas and a distinct African farmhouse charm.
- Boulders Lodge: Inspired by the ancient boulders found here, this Singita lodge is an unapologetic honouring of nature. The colours and textures throughout invoke the elements earth, fire, air and water, bringing to life a space that manages seamlessly to combine Africa in her rawest form and unmistakable luxury.
Easily the new benchmark for luxury and exclusivity in Cape Town, The Silo is simply sublime. Built in the grain elevator section of the historic grain silo complex adjacent to the iconic V&A Waterfront, the hotel comprises six floors and 28 individually decorated rooms, including a magnificent, one-bedroom penthouse suite. Antiques are offset by bursts of colour and contrast with industrial architecture, giving each space an eclectic yet luxurious feel. Whilst the interiors are something to behold, it’s the exterior of the hotel that truly steals the show. Multi-faceted glass windows catching the afternoon sun and splash rays of light like golden rivers. Top-notch facilities, several top-class restaurants and attentive yet unobtrusive staff round out this 5-Star experience in the Mother City.
If the Silo is the new benchmark for luxury in Cape Town, Ellerman House is the classic benchmark. Known for excellent service, refined living and sophistication, this is genteel city living. The boutique hotel overlooks Bantry Bay with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. You can choose from 13 exquisite rooms or 2 secluded, exclusive-use villas that are ideal for small groups. Uber luxury facilities include a solar-heated swimming pool, a wine cellar, spa, fitness centre and even a guest pantry. The piece-de-resistance is Ellerman’s show-stopping art collection of carefully curated pieces that portrays the ever-changing story of South African history. Located in a sleek gallery space as well as dotted throughout the property, art lovers will be in seventh heaven.
“Tswalu lets you connect with the richness of the earth”. This magical luxury lodge lies in the Green Kalahari in the Northern Cape. You’ll be cocooned by the sights and sounds of the untouched bush in the most opulenct surroundings. Rooted in conservation and with a strong dedication to research, Tswalu aims to deliver an intimate, informative safari experience. Choose a leisurely game drive or get up close and personal with creatures on a walking safari. You can even opt for game viewing on horseback, where you’ll ride freely with the herds. After your busy day, relax at the award-winning spa before enjoying an excellent 5 star bush dinner.
Other spots worth mentioning include:
- Londolozi (Kruger National Park)
- Royal Malewane (Kruger National Park) – Sir Elton John’s favourite!
- The One Above (Cape Town)
- The Last Word Boutique Hotels (Cape Town)
Our helpful travel consultants would love to help you plan that perfect trip, complete with all the frills, recommending the very best and most luxurious places along the way – get in touch so we can bring your next all-out extravagant trip to life.