There’s masses of luxury on offer in South Africa’s hospitality world, so much so that the benchmarks for luxury are continually being raised.  At one time, having a spa on site defined a lodge as extraordinary; nowadays – within a certain range, it’s commonplace, and perhaps for some, a minimum expectation.  Expectations, actually, are key, and much of the time luxury boils down to one’s own particular expectations, and the different things that we all regard as spoils, indulgences and rare treats. 

For some luxury means gilt-edged opulence and having a personal butler on hand 24/7. For others it could mean a setting in an exceptional protected environment that relatively few people are privileged enough to visit. But rest assured that for each of us, luxury means something quite different. So let’s think a little about what luxury can be, beyond the more conventional glam & glitz assumptions.

Luxury can mean remote and unpeopled – an experience reserved for just a handful of guests. It could be an experience that brings that shivers-down-the-spine, Im-the-only-one-on-the-planet feeling. Like the feeling you get when you glance backwards on a beach and see no footprints but your own.

Luxuriously remote, Prana Lodge on the Wild Coast

Prana Lodge is a remote hideaway on the Wild Coast where you could have just this experience. There are no more than 7 suites at this five-star hideaway that basks beside an exquisite beach. Spend your time walking on an unpeopled beach, hiking, fishing, scuba diving, surfing and kite-boarding. There’s also a private game reserve nearby. Restore connection with your own deepest rhythms through yoga, meditation and treatments at a beautiful Thai Spa and Wellness Centre.  More about Prana Lodge.

Fabulously off the beaten track in Kzn, Thonga Beach Lodge

A fabulous off-the beaten-track option in KwaZulu-Natal is Thonga Beach Lodge. You park your car at a safe zone some distance from the lodge, and the staff come and whisk you away to a remote stretch of shoreline – so remote and tranquil that this where giant turtles come to lay their eggs every year between November and February.  You’ll stay in a roomy thatched forest suite, just a few steps away from the beach. No crowds, no crush and no noise – save for cicadas soprano-ing in the trees. More about Thonga Beach Lodge.

Butler service in a sole-use 6-suite villa in celebrity-status Llandudno: 26 Sunset Avenue

Often, luxury implies the kind of opulence that manifests in very tangible luxuries that cater to almost any conceivable need. This is about having everything that opens and shuts on hand and enjoying the laudable benefits of mod cons. In Cape Town, 26 Sunset Avenue Llandudno is a plush seaside villa high up in the celebrity-status residential enclave of Llandudno. Ultra-luxurious and butler-serviced, the villa is situated beside the Sandy Bay Nature Reserve and a prime beach. Luxurious accommodation is on tap in 6 identical suites with spectacular sea and mountain views. Champagne breakfasts are served daily, and, and, and …   More about 26 Sunset Ave

Sole-use Motswari Private Lodge, Timbavati

In our densely filled-up world with all its sensory overload, spaces of uninterrupted privacy can be very luxurious.  If even just a handful of other guests feels too cluttered and claustrophobic for you, you could select an exclusive-use lodge for just your party. That way, you have your own luxurious home in the wilderness, complete with dedicated ranger and chef. View some exclusive-use options.

A river bathtub at stunning Londolozi, Mpumalanga

Many private safari lodges are real maestros when it comes to providing luxury. And there’s something about luxury in the wilderness that is just so tantalising. See for yourself at Chitwa Chitwa, Londolozi, MalaMala, Singita Sabi Sands, Singita Kruger Park or Ulusaba. There are may more safari lodges that brim with luxury, so please ask us.

Another kind of luxury, is the luxury of not having too much laid on for you, but having full liberty to decide how much to do, and when. Taking things at one’s own pace without the pressure of a “programme” can be divinely luxurious. At Garonga Safari Lodge in Limpopo, the philosophy is very much about having the experience tailored to suit you.

Whatever luxury means to you, we will more than likely be able to point you in the best direction. Mail us for ideas, or call +27 21 797-7122.