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Small Hotel, Big Break: Explore Some of Our Favourite Local Getaways

We’re hitting rewind on our favourite hotels as we unwind for the summer season

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By House & Garden South Africa | December 12, 2023 | Travel Leisure

Off-the-grid comfort with Cabine Du Cap

Cabine Du Cap accommodates up to 20 people with two primary options where you can stay. Image via Cabine Du Cap.

Need to breathe some fresh, unpolluted air and get out of the city? Well, just outside Montagu off the R62 and only two and a half hours outside of Cape Town in the Poortjieskloof mountains you will find Cabine Du Cap — a beautifully serene luxury retreat on 175 hectares of land in the Klein Karoo, completely isolated and unlike any other.

Cabine Du Cap accommodates up to 20 people with two primary options where you can stay: The Main Camp and Caracal. The Main Camp consists of La Cabine (the original en-suite 2-sleeper cabin), Goshawk’s Nest (a 2-sleeper luxury en-suite safari tent) and Weaver’s Nest, a luxury camping tent. All three of these are in close vicinity to each other and when booking at La Cabine, you have access to the other two options and they can not be booked separately to allow for maximum comfort and privacy.

Soak in the scenery at Danielskraal Farm, Rooiberg mountains

The shaded verandah at Danielskraal Farm is complete with plush sofas and cushions, Photograph: Lana Human.

Cradled by the Rooiberg mountains, the 2 600-hectare farm is a biodiversity hotspot, with an incredible variety and abundance of succulents and fynbos, as well as being home to the Cape leopard, eagle owl and the highly endangered riverine rabbit – all within an hour of George Airport.

The 1836 farmhouse, which sleeps 10 to 12, required extensive updating, with Rosheen restoring many elements of the build, such as rethatching the roof, while the homestead’s interiors take a heady, more-is-more maximalist style. ‘I do not believe in decorating so much as I love beautiful things and collecting things, and all of these parts of my life from my travels have come together here, and it just works,’ says Rosheen.

The Zambezi Grande lodge is filled with beauty

A magnificent bedroom design at the Zambezi Grande. Photograph by Elsa Young

The sounds, sights, and smells of the river and its surroundings define the experience of your stay at Zambezi Grande, as well as its design. From elegant dinners on the deck accompanied by a chorus of hippo grunts to the lantern-lit island and bush dinners around a bonfire and sunset river cruises with elephants silhouetted against the sunset or action-packed tiger fishing under the expansive African sky.

Travel writer Julia Freemantle writes: “It is also in the contrasts – old and new, bold, warm tones and calming, cool greens, the sense of adventure you find out in the wild and on the water countered by the cocooning spaces you retreat to in the lodge – that you find the dynamism that epitomises the spirit of the Zambezi”.

Quaint Sweet Orange Boutique Hotel is a Home Away from Home

An updated outdoor lounge with a terracotta potted plant wall can be seen in the communal area, Photograph: Kleinjan Groenewald

Located in the hustle and bustle of vibey Sea Point, Sweet Orange Boutique Hotel has recently undergone a major renovation, bringing a modern flair to this historic Victorian home and offering a quick escape for the ideal weekend getaway.

When chatting to the new owner Zack Kellerman, he mentions, ‘We wanted the hotel to have a real Cape Town feel. Asking ourselves the question, what is Cape Town? Cape Town is colourful and vibrant, it is friendly, it's beachy, it's inviting- but most importantly, it is your home away from home.’ The focus is to give guests a perfectly personalised and curated experience in Cape Town. There is an easy commute to and from where you need to be with its ideal location, as well as great food tailored to your dietary requirements, not forgetting the endless amounts of activities to choose from whether indoor or outdoor is your style.

The Akademie Street hotel serves local luxury with old-world attitude

It’s not hard to find some peace and quiet in this Franschhoek favourite. Photography by James Lund

Despite being a stone’s throw away from Franschhoek’s main street, with all of its aesthetic and gastronomic delights, you might not want to leave once you step foot into Akademie Street. Its meticulously planned interiors are abundant with handpicked antiques and other delightful details, immersing guests with a blend of historic charm and modern amenities.

The hotel has an impressive amount of history behind it, with its Oortuiging cottage dating back to around 1860, making it one of the earliest structures in Franschhoek, long before it became the town it is today. Thankfully, it embraces these qualities instead of trying to overwrite them, resulting in a much richer and more storied atmosphere to the hotel. The courtyard features a heated pool with plenty of space to lounge and serves as the central hub of the hotel. There’s ample space between each of the 9 suites, or 3 cottages, meaning guests are afforded plenty of privacy, writes James Nash.