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Luxury in South Africa – Some of the best small hotels & lodges offering something special

Updated Wednesday, 3 April 2024

Luxury in South Africa ~ Some of the best* luxury hotels and lodges in South Africa … Go on – treat yourself! (*best as rated by our guests who have been).

Here we’ve only chosen to show smaller boutique lodges and hotels that offer something special to guests.

No hotels that cater to large numbers, or group booking type venues, but rather, the smaller boutique lodges and hotels who take time to spoil their guests with something special.

These luxury venues are perfect for couples wanting a bonding experience or singles needing some precious “me-time”.

Luxury in South Africa in EASTERN CAPE

Prana Lodge in Cintsa

This private beach lodge and spa lies on 21 km of unspoilt beachfront on the Wild Coast, your immediate surrounds a series of indigenous gardens, whilst a walkway takes you down to the beach.

Luxury in South Africa doesn’t get much better than this.

Think supping on local oysters whilst sipping champagne as you watch the sun set, your nights spent in suites that feature Persian rugs, luxury linens and oversize bathrooms.


Rhino Sands Safari Camp in Mkuze

Luxury at Rhino Sands Safari Camp in South Africa

Rhino Sands Safari Camp offers five-star luxury in a tented, luxury safari destination, that is designed to bring an authentic safari experience.

Expect a bespoke safari experience at this 8 sleeper 5 Star lodge, with only 4 rooms you are guaranteed exemplary service and peace.

It’s beautiful, relaxing and perfect for a honeymoon, anniversary or just plain indulgence! Enjoy!

Thonga Beach Lodge in Mabibi

Luxury in South Africa at Thonga Beach Lodge

This intimate coastal lodge, nestled into a coastal sand dune, lies within the iSimangaliso World Heritage Park with access to wilderness beaches, coastal forests and lakes.

It’s snorkelling and scuba diving heaven.

Sleeps 38 in 12 thatched units in amongst dune forest on raised wooden stilts based on traditional Thonga fishing villages.

Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge in Hluhluwe

Luxury in South Africa

This contemporary lodge is part-owned by the local Mpembeni community and the first private facility in the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Reserve, established to protect the once endangered white rhino.

It’s a wildlife enthusiast’s heaven. Sleeps 44 in 18 rooms high up on a ridge with views out over the reserve. Two of these are honeymoon suites.

Luxury in South Africa doesn’t get much better than this.

Madwaleni Safari Lodge in Dundee

Madwaleni is located in the Babanango Game Reserve offering an ultra-luxury experience in the heart of Zululand, KwaZulu Natal.

The lodge is nestled into the banks of the iconic White Umfolozi River offering guests spectacular views of the valleys and wilderness area.

Only twelve, luxury furnished units, each has a lounge area, a drinks and coffee station, opening onto a patio with outdoor sun loungers and a plunge pool overlooking the beautiful surroundings…

Luxury in South Africa in the WESTERN CAPE

Monument House in Franschhoek

Nestled behind the famous Huguenot Monument only 5 minutes from Franschhoek High-street, Monument House is settled over 4 acres of manicured gardens and indigenous meadows.

Developed by international designer Wendy Smith, the estate offers 5 unique luxury experiences.

The homestead comprises of a main house, two suites and two cottages that may be rented exclusively or independently from each other.

Read the reviews … you will soon see why our guests favour this exceptional boutique hotel! This is how we do Luxury in South Africa.

The Alphen Boutique Hotel in Constantia

The Alphen Boutique Hotel Luxury in South Africa

The Alphen Boutique Hotel & Spa is located in the heart of Constantia, a Cape Town hotel rich in heritage and filled with modernity.

As is required of all great things, this iconic property nods to the past in order to look toward the future.

The Alphen is home to three restaurants (extremely popular with visitors and locals) that cater to a variety of dining experiences.

Slip away to this iconic 5-star hideaway set in a sprawling garden for brunch, a lavish dinner or a nightcap or spend the afternoon luxuriating in the spa … the choice is yours.

The Silo Hotel in V&A Waterfront

Luxury in South Africa at The Silo Hotel

“Location, location, location.”

This beautiful hotel fills six floors atop a former grain silo overlooking the V&A Waterfront, which also houses Zeitz MOCAA, the celebrated Museum of Contemporary African Art.

Highlights include the rooftop swimming pool, with 360-degree views of the city.

Take full advantage of the hotel’s proximity to Zeitz MOCAA—the nightly rates include entrance to the museum, and private tours of the museum can be arranged via the secret entrance on the hotel’s fourth floor.

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve in Barrydale

This Karoo wildlife reserve is 54 000 hectares of mountains, plains, rock formations and rock art.

Its stark beauty, and promise of a complete escape from it all, is made all the more tantalising by the presence of the only free self sustaining white lions in the world.

Details: a tented lodge in a horseshoe bend, a lodge with views over the Anysberg Mountains, and Tilney Manor sleep 66 guests in 33 units.

Luxury in South Africa in GAUTENG

The Peech Hotel in Johannesburg

The Peech Hotel Luxury in Jozi, South Africa

This small hotel in Johannesburg describes itself as ‘swish and sexy’ and we couldn’t agree more.

It’s aimed at trendy travellers after a contemporary style space, so don’t expect too much frills and fluff.

Do expect iPod docking stations and a bistro restaurant. Details: 13 bedrooms and 3 suites, a champagne bar, and access to Planet Fitness gym.

The Residence Boutique Hotel in Johannesburg

This boutique hotel is meticulously owned and managed and located in the prestigious neighborhood of Houghton.

The surrounding streets are adorned with charming jacaranda trees, complementing the grand suburban residences, including the historic Nelson Mandela Houghton Estate, once the home of the revered leader himself.

Every aspect of the hotel’s decor has been thoughtfully curated, with each piece hand-selected by the owners. Expect luxury and pampering.

Luxury in the GARDEN ROUTE

Kanonkop House in Knysna

This 5-star guest house lies in an indigenous forest with views of the Knysna lagoon and Heads.

It’s Paradise room was rated the ‘best room in Knysna’ in Frommer’s, Luxury in South Africa.

Sleeps 12 in 5 bedrooms, each furnished by an award-winning local designer. The penthouse suite has a private wooden deck and view of the forest.

Hog Hollow Country Lodge in Plettenberg Bay

You will feel a little as if you’ve died and gone to heaven in this private nature reserve on the edge of indigenous forest, with incredible views over the Tsitsikamma Mountains and surrounding valleys.

Details: sleeps 44 in 16 different African themed suites accented with bright fabrics, African artifacts and local wood.

The Villa lies on the edge of a forest verge.

Lairds Lodge Country Estate in Plettenberg Bay

This Cape Dutch homestead lies on a 24-acre estate with mountain views, koi ponds, verandas and courtyards.

Details: sleeps 34 in 17 en-suite rooms – four of them through a small courtyard, and two in the original stables.

They plan daily outings along the Garden Route for you (if you want it). Superb dining, accommodation and service!

Castle On The Heads, Knysna

Luxury in South Africa

A stunning small, intimate guest house offering only 5 rooms, gives guest an opportunity to feel like royalty!

Expect the most amazing views, service and laid back atmosphere!

Highlights: Without doubt the views and swimming in that pool have to be highlights of a stay at Castle on The Heads, but we hear the service is out of this world too!

Luxury in South Africa in LIMPOPO

Shumbalala Game Lodge in Thornybush

Think soft leather couches, warm fireside evenings in winter, a unique underground cellar in full view of the waterhole – come home to the welcome of this luxurious lodge after an uplifting experience in the bush, your senses inspired by all that is nature.

Details: Only 12 guests in 5 luxury suites, all in a setting designed by nature and pampering designed by man.

This is the ultimate in Luxury in South Africa.

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