From urban sophistication to tropical island getaways and wilderness experiences, we’ve got the best new spots for you.
By: Biddi Rorke
Best for a city escape
Hitting the Mother City? Drink in the views and connect with the pulse of the streets when you check in at the Onyx. This apartment-style hotel combines the best of both worlds – your own private kitchenette if you’re not in the mood for meals at the ground-floor restaurant – and all the little extras you’d expect from a new addition to the Convention Centre area. Don’t expect any chintz or doilies though: with their hues of charcoal, snow and dramatic black, the apartments are a study in monochromatic elegance, and a welcome antidote to the bustle of Heerengracht Street. Add an indoor-outdoor pool, day spa, top-class gym and daily shuttles to the V&A Waterfront, and you’ll no doubt want to extend your stay. You’re forgiven.
BUSHMANS KLOOF WILDERNESS RESERVE & WELLNESS RETREAT
Best for privacy
This reserve just three hours from Cape Town is all about yawning plains and 10 000-year-old San rock-art sites that invite you to lose track of time. While Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat is already top of mind with smart travellers who appreciate the sounds of nature without sacrificing creature comforts, a new addition to this much-loved destination offers the option of a truly secluded getaway. The two ultra-luxe master suites at Cederberg House are big enough to get lost in – and come complete with superlative views, private outdoor showers and world-class service from a caring team. Intriguing sandstone formations and vast tracts of fynbos add to the experience. In short, this Cape Dutch-inspired villa is 100% the place to call home when you’re looking for some ultra-luxe R&R.
Best for playtime
Remember the simple pleasures of childhood summers, when every day meant sticky ice cream, sandy feet and mini adventures? C Mauritius Palmar understands how brilliant those feelings were – and its mission is to get you to liberate your inner child when you stay. To help you along, 12 original guest experiences (known as Cignatures), include swings for grown-ups, a giant musical shower on the beach in the shape of a jellyfish, an activity centre with endless games and a giant floating mattress, and party nights featuring guest DJs. Adding to the relaxed holiday vibe, the interiors reflect a splash of Indian Ocean inspiration and lashings of contemporary style. This C Resort, overlooking a lagoon on the eastern coast of Mauritius, is the first of at least 10 cool spin-offs expected from Constance Resorts, Hotels & Golf.
Best for the eco-conscious
Perched on the banks of the Kunene River, in one of the most remote stretches of Namibian desert, Serra Cafema tented camp is a necessary refuge from the spartan, otherworldly landscape that surrounds it. After a recent environmentally sensitive rebuild, this special spot incorporates natural materials from the area and reflects aspects of the Himba people in its authentic interiors. Making it easier for you to stop, reflect and re-imagine, each of the eight guest rooms includes a sunken seating area, an extra-large bed and an expansive deck for private dining. But it’s not just about starlit cocktails, memorable meals and laid-back lie-ins: guests are invited to learn more about the Otjihimba-speaking Himba who live on the conservancy and are some of the last semi-nomadic people on the planet.
Best for meet-ups
Say goodbye to sterile hotel bars where the atmosphere is about as inviting as a boardroom. The fully refurbished San Deck at the iconic Sandton Sun is the perfect spot to absorb a spectacular Highveld sunset. Metal lattice screens, foliage and trees provide useful private spaces – and in the evenings, resident DJs can be relied on to deliver a pulsating Afrocentric beat. No more having to scratch your head to think of a suitable meeting place for business colleagues, friends or family in the epicentre of Egoli.
WORDS Biddi Rorke