10 Sexiest South African Hotels (in no particular order):
- Singa Town Todge (Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape)
- The Lofts Boutique Hotel (Thesen Islands, Knysna, Garden Route)
- Karkloof Spa Wellness & Wildlife Retreat (Karkloof, KwaZulu Natal Midlands)
- Hartford House (Mooi River, KwaZulu Natal Midlands)
- The Oyster Box Hotel (Umhlanga Rocks, Durban)
- The Peech Hotel (Melrose, Sandton, Johannesburg)
- Airstream Penthouse Trailer Park at The Grand Daddy Hotel (Cape Town City)
- The Last Word Constantia (Constantia, Cape Town)
- Nova Constantia Boutique Residence (Constantia, Cape Town)
- Vineyard Hotel & Spa (Newlands, Cape Town)
To say this is a subjective list is a huge understatement. There are literally hundreds of gorgeous South African hotels which are ideal for couples looking for a “sexy” weekend away from the kids and the daily grind of modern life. I’ve tried to choose some of the lesser known hotels and have (where possible) focused on boutique hotels, where each of the rooms available is unique (rather than carbon copies of each other). Most of these have only a few rooms (privacy and exclusivity being high on our agenda), services that will make you feel like royalty and locations that you’ll be tempted to explore with your significant other.
Surrounded by luscious tropical gardens and only minutes from the beach, Singa Town Lodge offers unbeatable luxury five star accommodation in Port Elizabeth, infused with an African and Asian twist. There are twelve phenomenal suites that are uniquely decorated and have an incomparable air of romance, comfort and opulence about them. Slip into the comfy robe provided and enjoy the privacy of your suite or take a stroll along the winding paths, under the tree canopies to the cocktail bar and sip on a tantalizing cocktail. For a complete chill out, why not take a dip in the crystal blue pool or sneak up to the quaint library in the loft to select a good book to curl up with.
The Lofts Boutique Hotel – on the water’s edge of the Knysna Lagoon – is a welcome escape for couples. I have fallen in love with the Luxury Lagoon Suites which boast sliding doors opening onto the lagoon. Imagine falling asleep to the smell of the fresh open air, waking up to underfloor heating, following the smell of freshly baked bread to your breakfast at île de païn, a spa day at Le Spa Tranquill with glorious lagoon views or strolling around the waterfront with its bustling shops and marina, then enjoying sundowners at the martini bar lounge while watching the sun set on a perfect day in the Garden Route.
When we first decided to create this list of the 10 sexiest hotels in South Africa, we decided not to include any game lodges, as we’d previously done a list of 10 Amazing Game Lodges, but this next hotel though offering a wildlife experience, just had to be included in our list of the sexiest. From the dreamy seclusion of your individually decorated villa to the pampering of Africa’s largest spa and the freedom of 3,500 hectares of bountiful terrain abundant with wildlife, Karkloof Spa is a super-sexy destination for couples. Tucked away in the majestic natal midlands, cocooned in a wilderness long forgotten, lies this naturally lavish haven – a place where time slows to a near standstill and intimacy can be rediscovered.
Hartford House is a luxury boutique hotel with a host of awards under its belt: National Top Ten Delux Restaurants 2008, voted in Top Billing’s Top Six Boutique Hotels in 2008, Gold Achiever Award winner at Indaba International Travel Show, voted KwaZulu Natal’s Number One Restaurant by Federation of Hotels South Africa, to name but a few. It is also the only world-class hotel on a world-class racehorse stud farm in the world. The suites are perfectly positioned around a picturesque lake and each is unique in character and offers the ultimate in luxury, the Wellness Centre offers a wide range of treatments, and, as you can tell by its many awards, the dining is simply sublime.
In the hotspot of Umhlanga Rocks, Durban, with romantic sea views, breathtaking architecture and exquisite décor, this beautiful 5 star hotel oozes luxury and opulence. You can expect gorgeous rooms designed for comfort and warm welcoming hospitality to go along with it. Slip off to the spa for a sensational treatment or to sensual Roman style bathing retreat for ultimate respite and relaxation. Sip on a cocktail or two at the lighthouse bar, where stunning sea views lie before you and allow your mouth a taste sensation at the grill room where you can enjoy multi culture cuisines in this fine dining haven.
Nominated as South Africa’s leading boutique hotel for the last three consecutive years (World Travel Awards), The Peech Hotel is an obvious choice. Situated in Melrose, Johannesburg, the hotel has 16 uniquely designed bedrooms spread over a one acre garden, featuring conveniences including iPod docks, complimentary WiFi and espresso machines and the en-suite bathrooms boast “raindance” showers and Hans Grohe fittings. With its understated sophistication, its chic bistro and champagne bar and its green policy – including but not limited to solar water heating and grey water irrigation – lovers will agree, this hotel really is a peach.
7. Airstream Penthouse Trailer Park at the Grand Daddy Hotel
Uniquely different to the other hotels on this list, we couldn’t resist including the plush and playful Grand Daddy Hotel – a city hotel with a creative soul. Take the vintage elevator to the 3rd floor, then take the rooftop exit and find your inner “Brittany” at this penthouse trailer park with its views of Table Mountain and Cape Town City. Each of the 7 luxury caravans have been uniquely conceptualised by a South African artist and has its own appeal (with hot and cold running water, flushing toilets and showers, just in case some of you were worried that luxury may be compromised). Enjoy live sundowner concerts every Friday night for foot tapping tunes in the trailer park – trailer flash not trailer trash – or rub shoulders with Cape Town’s trendiest at the Daddy Cool Bar. By day, grab a cup of coffee at the vibey Vida ‘bar’ at The Café before setting off to explore the shops, galleries, museums and other attractions of Cape Town city.
Finalist in the 2009 World Travel Awards for Africa’s leading Boutique Hotel and for South Africa’s Leading Boutique Hotel, The Constantia is a wonderfully romantic retreat, where pampering is the order of the day. From arrival to departure the team is at hand to ensure a memorable experience. Seven elegant suites with stylish bathrooms open onto private patios leading to the garden and pool, which creates a serene ambience and offers the opportunity to flirt a little with nature (or each other). On your doorstep, the distinctive wines of the Constantia Valley combine with world-renown restaurants such as La Colombe, and provide the ultimate in candlelit dining.
Nova Constantia Boutique Residence embraces the best of the South African al-fresco lifestyle and offers a uniquely personalised experience overlooking the vineyards of Constantia – Cape Town’s first wine producing region and an ideal location for lovers. With luxury finishes and a contemporary “African chic” design theme, each of the eight exceptionally large suites has been created with your comfort in mind and feature an en-suite bathroom, a dressing room, kitchenette and private terrace or balcony (the Premier Suites also share a Jacuzzi with a magnificent view of the Constantiaberg mountains). The solar heated swimming pool, flood-lit tennis court and turn-down service are just a few of the extras which add to the luxurious experience, but perhaps the most valued by visitors is the free personal concierge service which helps guests with their holiday planning before their arrival (your pleasure is theirs).
The Vineyard is larger than most of the hotels on this list with 207 rooms, but the facilities on offer and its gorgeous location in park-like surrounds on the banks of the Liesbeeck River with views of the forested slopes of Table Mountain, make it ideal for some “together” time. With the perfect meld of history and modern convenience, the hotel features two heated swimming pools (one indoor and one outdoor), a contemporary Health & Fitness Centre, two award-winning restaurants and, more importantly for couples, the sublime Angsana Spa. After a day of pampering and perhaps a private Yoga Class for 2 in the 6 acres of landscaped gardens, enjoy cocktails at the Lounge Bar, then an intimate dinner at The Square Restaurant (the sushi bar is a wonderful option) or fine-dining at Myoga Restaurant, before retreating to the comfort of your room.