With so many terrains, traditions and heritage legacies a part of its world, there is endless scope in South Africa for a diverse array of imaginative and unusual hotels and lodges. We list some of the great builds in the hotel and lodge industry, where inventive, out of the ordinary, traditional or highly sustainable forms of architecture and design have been applied to create fabulous holiday accommodation options in the wilderness and in the towns and cities.
In the Kruger National Park, Singita Lebombo’s loft-style suites benchmark luxury in the wilderness. The design of the lodge has capitalized on the majesty of the area’s cliff face, the design concept inspired by the structure of nests, eyries and dens. Exquisite living spaces bring the outside in, using glass, wood, steel and stunning natural fabrics. Light suffuses the place and creates a special intimacy with the surroundings. It’s a dream destination for romantics, each suite a sublime private sanctuary opening out onto an elevated wooden deck where guests may sleep out, should they wish. Sensitivity to and care for the natural word undergirded the design and construction of the lodge. Mail us.
Sabi Sabi’s Earth Lodge moved right away from conventional safari lodge design, taking its inspiration instead from the ‘earth shelter’ type dwellings of the Middle Ages, that were built into slopes and vegetation returned to the roofs. As a result Earth Lodge blends beautifully with its wild landscape and allows nature to take precedence. Organic design does not detract from luxury in the slightest. Living spaces are abundantly luxurious and very private, and unite effortlessly with the wilderness. Nature-inspired decor incorporates flashes of gold and silver and simple nature forms. Even the wall paint includes tufts of grass. Earth Lodge has been named one of the Unique Lodges of the World by National Geographic Society. Mail us.
Designed in the the grand style of the Italian Renaissance, The Michelangelo lords it over Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton, providing opulent holiday and executive accommodation in the bustling heart of Gauteng. This is a vibrant space of lavish living with superior shopping experiences close to hand. The Michelangelo’s opulence extends over six levels that look out over the Square. An impressive circular atrium is a focal feature of the hotel, which has 5-star comforts aplenty in well over 200 rooms, and a world-class spa. You couldn’t be blamed for imagining you’re in Italy! Mail us.
At Kagga Kamma rooms have been built into massive rock formations amid the Cederberg Mountains. These make unusual and appealing hideouts on a stunning nature getaway. In addition to cave rooms there are circular huts and a unique outcrop room – without walls! – which offers a luxurious open-air sleepout. The structures blend well with the rugged landscape and keep guests close to nature. Invigorating nature activities are part of the experience. Mail us.
The Silo is scheduled to open in March 2017 at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Innovative and luxurious, the hotel is being built in a historic grain silo complex that existed from 1924 – 2001. The hotel will occupy six floors, as a majestic transformation of the original elevator house and adjacent storage annex of six rows of seven silos. Beneath it The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa will offer a contemporary art experience comparable with the Tate Modern in London and other iconic galleries. Mail us.
Situated close to Cape Town International Airport, Hotel Verde is known as Africa’s greenest hotel, offering luxurious accommodation and a carbon-neutral stay. In the design of the hotel a number of creative sustainability solutions have been implemented and these include elevators with regenerative braking, 154 roof solar panels, a grey water recycling plant, sub-soil drainage and rain water harvesting, advanced systems for heating, air-conditioning and lighting, and substitution of an amount of concrete in the building with void formers. Mail us.
The funky Turbine Hotel and Spa on Knysna’s Thesen Island is a dazzling remake of an obsolete power station. Modern finishes and decor are offset by some of the former power station’s old equipment. Turbines, operating panels and sections of piping have been retained and transformed as unique showpieces that form part of the hotel. Smaller items including gauges, switches, buttons and dials, have also been used creatively. Mail us.
A beehive suite at the top of a wild nature reserve in Zululand makes a fabulous hideout. There are six of these appealing thatched suites at Isibindi Zulu Lodge, and they reflect the local style of architecture found in nearby Zulu villages. Unobtrusive, the suites merge well with the bush and offer great wide views. They are en-suite and well equipped for comfort. Mail us.
Mail us to book a stay at one of these unusual hotels and lodges, or call +27 21 797-7122 (international) or 0860 102 907 (local).