At this stage of the #lockdown, it’s a huge understatement to say that we’re itching to travel – we feel like we’re going to burst with how much we want to get out there and explore. So what do we do with all this pent-up anticipation? We make a wish list, of course! We’ve carefully chosen seven a-mazing Portfolio Places around the country where we’d love to head the minute we get the green light – here they are:
WHAT: A beautifully restored Victorian farmhouse set on a working farm and nature reserve. Insane mountain views, country charm, gorgeous gardens and luxury rooms make this a truly special and memorable farm stay.
WHERE: Boland, only an hour away from Cape Town.
WHY WE LOVE IT: To top off a wonderful escape, you’ll enjoy superb fare in the form of lavish brunches and high teas, not to mention delicious four-course dinners served in the conservatory.
WHAT: Consisting of two luxurious and eco-friendly lodges, one set in indigenous gardens and the other in a lush Milkwood forest, Grootbos is the kind of place you go to quiet the mind, relax the body and feed the soul. With breath-taking ocean views across Walker Bay, light-filled spaces, gourmet cuisine and the most serene of atmospheres, it’s a 5-Star experience that won’t soon be forgotten.
WHERE: Cape Overberg, close to Hermanus.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Apart from the all-out luxury and total immersion in nature, you’ll also get to choose from a wide variety of exciting excursions, including marine safaris, horseback riding, hiking and our personal favourite, the botanical tour.
OTHER CAPE OVERBERG FAVOURITES: Schoone Oordt Country House, Selkirk House, Sea Star Lodge
WHAT: History collides with valley living and vineyard charm at stunning Boschendal, the country’s second-oldest wine farm. Stay in one of the gorgeous little cottages scattered across the property while you enjoy privileged access to the farm and the selection of activities it offers. Dine in or at one of the many eating options, each one offering something delicious.
WHY WE LOVE IT: On top of the natural splendour and rich history, we love that we’re also able to enjoy an all-inclusive luxury tented camp experience, wine estate style. Beautifully furnished tents nestled amongst the fynbos look out across the mountains and promise a unique getaway that will satisfy the senses.
OTHER CAPE WINELANDS FAVOURITES: Maison Chablis Guest House, Van der Stel Manor, Franschhoek Country House
WHAT: Dreamily positioned at the foothills of the majestic Outeniqua Mountains, Kurland Hotel is a wonderful mix of old-world charm and the modern sophistication. With only 12 suites, you can expect an intimate country stay surrounded by natural beauty as well as a variety of activities to choose from, both on the estate and in the area.
WHY WE LOVE IT: It has been designed with families in mind with excellent facilities for kids in place – a true luxury family hotel destination where lasting family holiday memories are made.
OTHER PLETT FAVOURITES: Hog Hollow Country Lodge and Villa, Limoni Luxury Suites, Lairds Lodge.
WHAT: Many things come to mind when we think about the inviting Windermere Hotel: it’s welcoming, stylish and peaceful and is the kind of place where a relaxed atmosphere intertwines with impeccable, personal service. You’ll have all the comforts you could want for an enjoyable and easy stay, with the cherry on top being your own private terrace.
WHERE: Port Elizabeth.
WHY WE LOVE IT: It’s super central yet secluded enough to deliver the best of both – be close to fantastic beaches, a golf course, restaurants at more while also being removed from the hustle and bustle to ensure you can relax and unwind.
WHAT: It doesn’t really get more special than a place located in the historic Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal… Three Tree Hill offers colonial-style accommodation in the foothills of the Drakensberg, ensuring your experience is an authentic African one while still being charming. Guided walks and horse rides are available, alongside amazing food and warm family hospitality.
WHY WE LOVE IT: For its spectacular location, incredible attention to detail and its warm ambiance. Our favourite place on the property though has to be the sundeck and wide veranda – perfect for sundowners while overlooking the hills.
OTHER DRAKENSBERG FAVOURITES: Montusi Mountain Lodge, Qambathi Mountain Lodge, Malachite Manor.
WHAT: With far-reaching valley views, extensive wooden decks and spacious havens for rooms, Fifty Seven Waterberg is simply a natural wildlife paradise. Featuring a modern, refined African style, it’s the ideal mix of luxury and the essence of what a wild, Big Five safari experience should be like. Cool off in the infinity pool or watch from the lodge hide while the animals visit the nearby waterhole.
WHY WE LOVE IT: With only five private and luxurious rooms, you can expect an intimate bush experience of the highest standard – really the only way to enjoy the wild. Plus, it’s a malaria-free reserve.
OTHER WATERBERG FAVOURITES: Itaga Luxury Private Game Lodge, Matingwe Lodge, Ant’s Hill.
Main image: Grootbos