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When a posh safari lodge decides to reinvent itself as an even posher safari lodge, you know you’re in for a treat. Such is the case for Singita Ebony Lodge in South Africa. The first of the Singita properties (it first opened 22 years ago), it just reopened after a complete renovation.
Private plunge pools for each of the 12 suites. Bling new leopard and zebra print fabrics. And, the biggest change - walls of, well, wall, replaced by those of glass and canvas, putting guests right in the bush.
Virgin Limited Edition / Cape Town Hotels / South Africa Hotels / Virgin Limited Hotels / → All Tags
Mont Rochelle, the latest addition to the Virgin Limited Edition family, is showing off its sexy new look, as evidenced by these photos we just got our hands on. In seemingly record time, the VLE team pulled out all the stops to open their doors last month in time for the peak travel season in South Africa's Cape.
Mont Rochelle is only about an hour's drive from Cape Town to the vineyard town of Franschhoek, so that's a plus right there. Franschhoek is considered the "French Corner" of the Cape. (that is actually literally what it means in Dutch) so expect to wine and dine as well as chill. The combination of 100-acre setting in the Klein Dassenberg Mountain Range, a French-inspired manor house, and a flag bearing the name Virgin Limited Edition, should translate nicely to a great escape.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Cape Town Hotels / Kove Collection Hotels / Boutique Hotels / South Africa Hotels / → All Tags
Based right on the promenade in Camps Bay, with the Twelve Apostles mountains behind it, it has 11 rooms – or, technically, suites. The hotel is named after the French Chateau de Marly (a 17th-century palace for Louis XIV), which is slightly random, given its location and all, but does at least give you an idea of its lux factor.
Because these are seriously swish rooms. We’re talking huge, marble-clad bathrooms with rolltop tubs and walk-in showers. Floor-to-ceiling windows opening out onto balconies overlooking either the mountains or the sea. Ceiling height coffered headboards and modern chandeliers overhead.
Virgin Limited Hotels / Sir Richard Branson / South Africa Hotels / Captetowm Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
While we're still high from the news of a new Virgin Hotel coming to Nashville (even though there have been some "launch" issues), Virgin's luxury retreat brand, Virgin Limited Edition, is preparing to open its 8th property this August. That's right, this August. Mont Rochelle Hotel and Mountain Vineyards, located about an hour's drive from Cape Town, will be the second South African destination (the other one being Ulusaba Private Gaming Retreat) of Sir Richard Branson's exclusive luxury collection.
We've lusted after the exotic and luxurious safari hotels found in Africa for quite some time now. But if you're seriously considering a trip to Africa, you might be overwhelmed by the different places to go and things to do.
Here comes followme2AFRICA to the rescue. followme2AFRICA is staffed with travel experts who are dedicated to helping you decide on the best itinerary for your trip. Want to go on safari? They can tell you which one is best and book it for you. Same goes for luxury train travel in South Africa, road trips through the winelands and hotel accommodations.
You can peruse all the destinations in Africa that followme2AFRICA serves here. In the meantime, the folks at followme2AFRICA have given us a Top Ten Travel Tips for Africa with a majority of the advice focusing on travel to South Africa. Hopefully, this should help in your planning. And remember, wherever you end up, let us know about it!
Shark Week fans, this one’s for you. Not only is the best nature show on TV returning this weekend, but we also bring you a killer package that will let you get up close and personal with those toothy fish we have all grown to love, hate or just be fascinated with. If you happen to have a strong sense of adventure, South Africa might already be high on your list of ultimate destinations. Going on safari is probably the first thing that comes to mind, ripe with danger from angry hippos, charging rhinos and velociraptor-like ostriches (look it up, we dare you). But lets not forget what is lurking where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Rebranding / Hotel Renovations / South Africa Hotels / Hotel Design / Cape Town Hotels / Hilton Hotels / DoubleTree Hotels / → All Tags
Last week, Hilton Worldwide opened the 183-room DoubleTree by Hilton Cape Town - Upper Eastside, the brands first DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in South Africa. Yes, the name is a mouthful, but we can swallow that if it means a new affordable option for Cape Town.
We’ve noticed lately Hilton’s been stylifying (yeah, made that word up) their DoubleTree brand, and this newly reno’ed, upscale property is no exception. The lobby is filled with white latticework and vibrant nature colors of green and blue. Rooms are a mix of earthy browns, greys and whites. The Rooms range from executive and suites to two-story loft rooms located on the penthouse floor with sweet views of the city’s skyline.
The duo haven't starred in anything together since 2004's 50 First Dates. In that one, Barrymore's character suffered from a short-term memory disorder, meaning every date was technically a "first date." And according to the WSJ, this new movie will center around "a couple who, after surviving a dreadful first date, find themselves at a family resort with the kids from their respective previous marriages."
Which tells us two things: one, they clearly have a theme going here. Second, they'll be filming at a resort.
Sure enough, an insider confirms that the entire cast and crew will be heading to Sun City Resort in six weeks to begin shooting the film. The resort, which is two hours from Johannesburg, is made up of four hotels totaling 1,301 rooms, with botanical gardens, outdoor pool, hiking trails, golf course, man-made lake, and a casino.
The Palace of the Lost City Hotel (pictured above) is modeled after a "fairytale African palace," while the Cabanas Hotel is the top choice for families (so we're guessing that's where the actors will end up doing their thing.)
Concerning the three-month shoot, Barrymore told the WSJ that she's "a little worried" about the long-haul flight and "making sure there's medevac if anything happens." We can't say we blame her—when you're that far away from home, the last thing you want to deal with is an injury. How else are you supposed to enjoy the zip slides?
Rates at the Cabanas Hotel from $165/night.
Hotel Openings / South Africa Hotels / Johannesburg Hotels / Boutique Hotels / Business Hotels / → All Tags
Tucked away in the heart of Johannesburg's Sandton district, The Maslowis a new hotel that's changing the face of travel to the largest city in South Africa. It's so fresh to the scene that when we were at the New York Times Travel Show last week, the country's own tourism reps didn't know about it!
Tempting world business travelers, the hotel pays respect to the world's most famous entrepenuers by naming each of their 12 conference rooms after the inspirational business people from the past. We're talking about Rockefeller, Astor, Edison, Venderbilt and Carnegie; the movers and shakers of modern day business. Even the namesake is from famous physcologist Abraham Maslow.
All 281 rooms are outfitted with calming contemporary design and free in-room WiFi. Since we have even asked how much hotel-room bathtubs get used, The Maslow offers guests the option to stay in rooms with 'power showers' or the full tub and shower set-up. With 135 of the standard rooms boasting the shower only, we know where The Maslow stands in the argument.
At first glance, you’re not sure what to look at when you go out onto the gorgeous patio of this suite at the Lion Sands Game Reserve at Sabi Sand in South Africa. The infinity pool is sure inviting, and during this time of the year when the temperatures can reach up to 90 degrees, you’d want to shed your khakis and take a quick dip.
But, what’s that lurking in the midst? It seems all is too quiet on the western front and you best keep your eyes peeled. After all, this is one of the most high-end safari experiences in Kruger National Park area and you didn't come here for nothing. In fact, this is the best time of the year to be on safari—the dry winter season.
So, this view is great and all, but surely there’s more to it than just grass?
Lots of hotels have presidential suites. Though we can't manage to get a video camera into all of them, we can sometimes get excited when we learn of a particular guest that has stayed in one.
Back in June, in the days leading up to Mandela Day, Michelle Obama visited Cape Town, where she reportedly toured the District 6 Museum and lunched at the Kitchen, a small deli on Sir Lowry Road Woodstock. Her hotel of choice? The Table Bay Hotel, where she, Sasha, and Malia slept in the Table Mountain Presidential Suite.
There was trouble brewing in the Monegasque paradise between Prince Albert of Monaco and his bride Princess Charlene, long before they tied the knot on July 1. But you would think that they could at least try and enjoy their honeymoon in South Africa?
After all, they were staying in the presidential suite of the Oyster Box Hotel on the beach in Umhlanga Rocks. The suite alone spans two floors, with its own private elevator, two bedrooms, two marble bathrooms with views of the ocean, a study, a lounge, a dining room that seats 10 and a fully equipped kitchen. Oh and its own swimming pool.
But sadly the strain of the allegations that Prince Albert fathered yet another child out of wedlock may have forced him to seek out his own less luxurious hotel room at the Hilton in Durban, ten miles away from the Oyster Box.