Every pursuer of the best-ever romantic getaway has a pearl or two of wisdom to share, so we sent round the basket to our getaway enthusiasts and collected up some good gleaming pearls of guidance about choosing a Getaway for the Smitten.
Secluded rooms were high on our romantics’ list of must-haves. What comes up trumps here is Timamoon Lodge, a truly sublime sanctuary for romance tucked away in the hills of the Sabie area in Mpumalanga. It’s arguably the most seductive lodge on the planet, where you’ll be swept away by its beautiful sensual lodges concealed in sub-tropical forest. Each lodge is a feast for the senses, oozing the evocative moods of the Sahara, Morocco and Zanzibar. The four-poster beds are divine, and best of all are the enormous baths – can’t imaging how a bath experience could get any better than this. Timamoon is also a dreamed-of destination for romantic dinners. Meander through the forests at nightfall and you’ll come upon a candle-lit feasting place built on stilts, where you’ll dine on irresistable delights.
Several of our romantics love a good combo of nature and nurture. Look no further than Garonga Safari Camp, a soulful and exclusive tented sanctuary in Makalali to the west of the Kruger Park. Earthy textures, draped beds, beckoning hammocks, bush baths by candle-glow under big African skies, and lusciously tantalising al fresco meals are all part of the scene at Garonga. The bush-view sala is just the place to ease into an aromatherapy or reflexology spoil. Garonga offers all the adventure of a safari, but without any pressure to partake in any of the guided activities available (such as game drives, foot safaris & sleepouts).
Another great kindler of romance is The Phantom Forest Eco Reserve in Knysna. It’s a secret world of tree-suites under dense forest canopy where monkeys play and exotic birds call. Ensconced close to nature, the demands of the world simply dissolve as you yield to the invitation of watching the sun slip away over the edge of the Knysna lagoon, or a treatment or two in the Body Boma, or a memorable feasting experience at the North-African-inspired Chutzpah. Seeing is believing.
For many of our romantics, private dinners are one of the drawcards. Fancy a dinner-for-two where the water laps the shoreline of an unpeopled beach? Thonga Beach Lodge is a romantic’s haven on the Maputaland coast of KwaZulu-Natal. Exclusive barefoot luxury is the key at this idyllic getaway. For couples who enjoy sharing outdoor activities, Thonga has it all: snorkelling, diving with launches, kayaking and seasonal turtle tracking. Bed down in a sublime reed-fringed suite with the vast ocean just out there.
Many of the luxury safari lodges offer private dinners. One of the top picks you could make is a Singita lodge (Boulders or Ebony in the Sabi Sand, Sweni or Lebombo in the Kruger Park), where the staff will set up romantic private dinners on your deck. These experiences are utterly fantastic!
If upbeat urban living is more your thing, come to the Mother City and head for the red-carpet suburb of Bantry Bay, where you’ll find the superlative 52 De Wet – sleek, sophisticated, up-to-the-minute, with vast, vast views of the ocean. Dinners out on the deck are events to be cherished, and the sunsets are nothing short of spectacular.
And then there were the 10 Worst Ideas for Romantic Getaways we came across too. Won’t go into them all, but suffice it say most romantics aren’t keen on sleezy motels, moth-eaten linen, DIY catering, volunteer vacations, and too many historic sites. Not to worry, there’s definitely none of that around here.
But when in doubt, ask us. There are many more we could recommend.