RELAIS & CHATEAUX Southern Africa & Indian Ocean destinations are offering irresistible winter fare, from theatre for the cultured guests to childrenå‘s programmes in the wilderness, collectorå‘s wines, award-winning cuisine, dedicated conservation of wildlife, child-feeding projects and wellness programmes at award-winning spas!
Panoramic Zimbabwe: Pamushana - Situated in the South East LowveldÊ amidst 105,000 acres of pristine veld with understated luxury and tranquillity, game viewing is most productive, with recent visitors getting to see the Big Five on their first evening drive. The Malilangwe Trust is dedicated to conservation of wildlife and with the drought and extreme food shortages in the region over the past few years, has together with government and the local community, created the Child Supplementary Feeding Programme (MCSFP), focusing on malnutrition and poor school attendances.
Mpumalanga Safari County: Cybele Forest Lodge & Spa - Situated in 300 acres of forest, mountain and meadow, Cybele is closed during July for its 2003 refurbishment and planning major improvements and additions to its already charming facilities. From August, the usual luxurious Cybele fare would again include winter and honeymoon escapes at this romantic destination in the forest.Ê Honeymoon packages, ranging from R695 per person sharing to a Suite at R1395 per person to Luxury Suite at R1860 per person, all depending on your choice of accommodation. Rates include dinner, bed and breakfast plus a complimentary half-hour massage per person as well as a late night candle-lit private Jacuzzi under the stars in the Spa. This tempting reduced rate applies from May to September.
Get Cosy in the Cape:
Ellerman House: Situated in Bantry Bay, renowned for its Edwardian style and elegance, with breathtaking ocean views, closes during June for its annual refurbishments. Excellent seafood and local vintages can be savoured in colonial luxury and calm.
Le Quartier Francais : Take a leisurely drive to the vineyards of historical Franschhoek, dine and overnight at this charming Auberge. Winter attractions include bread making during June (fully booked) and the hotel is closed during July for annual improvements. Enjoy a show at the region’s new Barnyard Theatre. Honeymooners are well-catered for and chef Margot’s award-winning cuisine is well worth the visit. The gourmet and wine evenings are true delights.
The Marine in Hermanus, The Plettenberg in Plettenberg Bay, The Cellars-Hohenort in Constantia: These three exquisite hotels are part of The Collection by Liz McGrath, the only woman in the world to own three Relais & Ch‰teaux hotels and celebrated for her business acumen, offer architectural delights, charming décor and scrumptious cuisine. The views of the Garden Route hotels are breathtaking, from the mountains of the Cape in the historic Constantia Valley to the azure of the Indian Ocean with its dolphins and whales. All three these luxurious hotels have spas, with the latest addition being the Carchel Spa at The Marine, headed by Carryn Todd, a somatologist with three years of psychology, anatomy, physiology and nutrition under her six-foot belt!
Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve : Travel to the Cederberg Mountains, where the superb cuisine, game drives, San rock-art sites and the award-winning Spa at Bushmans Kloof will not disappoint you. Winter offers range from special rates on 2 to 3 night visits, a botanical programme and Family Fun packages during the July school holidays. The 4-day, 3-night Family Fun packages is part of their child-friendly programme, offering a myriad projects to delight and stimulate children between the ages of 6 and 12 years. Bird-lovers will not be disappointed. Spotted Eagle Owls are still resident in the giant ficus trees, while several new species arrived recently, including the Ludwig’s Bustard and the Secretary Bird. The new manager and his wife, Marius and Lorraine Malherbe, and their team of top class chefs, rangers and staff ensure that guests’ every need is met with their usual courtesy.
Grande Roche: The grand Cape Dutch manor, is internationally celebrated for its character and the only hotel/restaurant in Africa awarded the Relais Gourmand shield for its excellent cuisine. And its winelist is a living legend, as it should be, situated in the wine valley of Paarl. Theme evenings and stimulating speakers on topics ranging from vintage South African wines to French wine collections and auctions are on offer throughout the seasons. Closed for its annual winter refurbishments and opening September 1.