Self-catering getaways around the country

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Covid-19 and lockdowns have brought about many changes to be sure!  After months of being cooped up at home, many South Africans are wanting to experience something different – a change from working from home, a change of environment and a holiday closer to home.

If you are in search of accommodation for a getaway where you can comply with all the Covid protocols – isolating, social distancing and avoiding crowds and still have a great time then go the self-catering route.

Choosing self-catering accommodation, be it a luxury seaside apartment, house or villa in Knysna and Plett, a unit in a historical town, a budget-wise cottage in a nature reserve or a luxury game lodge out in the bush means that you can avoid confined, enclosed spaces, close-contact settings and crowded places – you can eat, sleep and relax in your own ‘bubble’ – all the while enjoying the fresh air, the peace and quiet, soaking up the sun surrounded by the stunning beauty of the mountains, hills, rivers and the sea.

Here are some top-tier South African hotels offering self-catering accommodation where you can get all this and more.

In the Cape – one of South Africa’s most beautiful regions

De Hoop Collection, a member of Cape Country Routes situated in the De Hoop Nature Reserve and a comfortable three hours’ drive from Cape Town offers pristine land, wide-open spaces, beaches, whale-watching, coastal fynbos and teeming animal and birdlife, plus a wide range of accommodation that includes various self-catering options. The self-catering options comprise the De Hoop Village’s nine fisherman-style Cottages with a kitchen, lounge/dining area and an outdoor braai area – ideal for a family and friends getaway; three thatched two-bedroomed Opstal Vlei Cottages and four well-appointed, three-bedroomed Opstal Houses. The cottages are close to the restaurant, curio shop and reception, there is a tennis court, swimming pool and a boules courtyard and it is a short hike, cycle or drive to many of the interesting locations in the reserve.

On the opposite side of the vlei is the Melkkamer homestead  – this remote and exclusive homestead boasts three cottages dating from the late 1800s that are fully equipped as self-catering units – the old stone four-bedroomed Melkkamer Manor House is perfect for those wanting the privacy of sole-use villa accommodation; the four-bedroomed Melkkamer Vlei Cottage overlooking the De Hoop vlei is ideal for families or small groups, especially keen birders, and the three-bedroomed Melkkamer Foreman’s Cottage, a short walk from the vlei and the Manor House is tucked away amongst the milkwood trees. These three units do not have electricity – all have gas-powered appliances – candlelight and lanterns adding to the romance and charm of this unique area; a generator (switched on at pre-determined times) is available for the Melkkamer Manor House and the Melkkamer Foreman’s Cottage. No facilities are available at Melkkamer – the nearest towns are an hour’s drive away- guests who self-cater are advised to ensure that they have adequate supplies.

Meals are served at The Fig Tree Restaurant in the Opstal area or pre-ordered and collected. Booking a table for dinner is essential. Rates are dependent on length of stay and are available on request. Ts & Cs apply.  Phone 021-422 4522 / res@dehoopcollection.co.za, www.dehoopcollection.com

Centrally located in the heart of Stellenbosch, the elegant 4-star Eendracht Hotel & Apartments, a member of Cape Country Routes, comprises 13 en-suite bedrooms, three recently refurbished self-catering apartments, an intimate conference/meeting facility -The Huddle Room, Senobia’s Restaurant – open for breakfast and lunch daily.

Sundowners can be enjoyed out on the hotel’s garden patio which has a splash pool. The hotel is within walking distance of excellent restaurants and tourist attractions and for guests who enjoy a spot of golf the Stellenbosch Golf Club is 4 kms away. A stone’s throw from the hotel the self-catering apartments, in a restored art deco-styled house comprise a studio bachelor’s unit with a double bed, a one-bedroom unit with twin beds (sleeps max 3) and a two-bedroom unit (sleeps max 5). Guests at the apartments have full use of all the hotel’s facilities, including meals at Senobia’s or alternatively pre-ordered meal packs (not included in the rate) and children of all ages are welcome. Free fibre Wi-Fi (speed/bandwidth high enough for multiple zoom meetings) is available and free limited off-street parking.

Self-catering rates – available on application – exclude breakfast/lunch at Senobia’s and pre-ordered meal packs. Eendracht Hotel & Apartments is a place where guests can immerse themselves in true South African hospitality and comfort. It adheres to all Covid-19 health and safety protocols and all staff are fully vaccinated. Tc & Cs apply. Bookings: +27 21 883 8843, reservations@eendracht-hotel.com, www.eendracht-hotel.com

For luxury self-catering accommodation in Knysna look no further than the fun and funky 5-star Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa, on Thesen Island. The hotel is home to the Island Café Restaurant and the Gastro Pub for classic pub meals.

The Turbine Spa offers a wide range of treatments for day visitors and hotel guests and the hotel’s very own adventure centre, the Turbine Water Club offers a variety of water and land-based activities. Its accommodation comprises luxury hotel rooms, standard rooms, a honeymoon suite and two self-catering suites – the stylish Lagoon and Canal Suites. Situated a small walk away from the hotel, the self-contained, open plan Lagoon Suite with a luxurious double bed, a fully equipped kitchen and a balcony with views of the marina, Knysna Heads and estuary is just secluded enough to offer that extra bit of privacy but near enough to have full access to all the hotel’s facilities and amenities.  Adjacent to the main hotel, the Canal Suite features canal views and the same modern comforts as the hotel, along with an open-plan kitchen complete with microwave, espresso machine and fridge/freezer. Rates vary according to the length of stay. Tc & Cs apply. Bookings: 044 302 5746,  reservations@turbinehotel.co.za, www.turbinehotel.co.za

and from Cape Summer Villas Boutique Collection

A mere two-minute walk from the Cape Summer Villas Boutique Collection’s 5-star Sky Villa Boutique Hotel a world-leading luxury destination, is the new luxurious self-catering Villa One @ Sky. Villa One is a stand-alone house offering an easier-on-the-pocket Garden Route accommodation option with six en-suite and airconditioned rooms, a shared lounge and kitchen (only available if the entire house is booked), a pool and a braai area. There is also a one-bedroom en-suite Cottage with a loft area, a small kitchen, and a lounge.  Guests have access to all Sky Villa’s facilities. Rates are dependent on length of stay and Villa One will be available for short-term rentals. Villa One provides an ideal base for sport enthusiasts, adventure-seeking tour groups, families, team-building and company breakaways. For those who wish to bring their furry family along, Villa One is ‘pet friendly’ (on request) with a few pet-house rules that need to be adhered to. Ts & Cs apply. Contact details: 087 550 2967, info@skyvilla.co.za, www.capesummervillas.co.za

Cape Summer Villas Boutique Collection’s The Bungalow Plett, a luxury 5-star Bed and Breakfast, situated right on the water’s edge at Hobie Beach in Plettenberg Bay is designed for the ultimate experience in beachside living. Its self-catering unit The Spot sleeps six and comes with an open plan lounge, kitchenette, en-suite bathroom and a private outside deck with a braai – perfect for a family holiday. As is its brand-new self-catering Bungalow Beach Villa. With its bright and breezy interior design that blends with the beach and the blue ocean, the Beach Villa’s accommodation comprises three apartments – The Cove, the honeymoon suite with en-suite bathroom and small lounge, the Beach Apartment on the ground floor –  two bedrooms, two bathrooms and an intimate communal lounge with tea and coffee making facilities, and the self-catering Bay Apartment on the first floor – with two bedrooms, a large lounge, a dining room and a fully fitted kitchen.  The entire Villa can be booked as one unit. Rates are dependent on length of stay and the Beach Villa is available for short-term rentals. Ts & Cs apply. Contact: +27 (0) 44 533 1864, info@thebungalowplett.co.za, www.capesummervillas.co.za    

Cape Summer Villas Boutique Collection’s Spanish Farm Guest Lodge in Somerset West is situated on a 4- hectare estate in magnificent indigenous gardens. If it’s self-catering accommodation in Somerset West you’re wanting – look no further. Its accommodation, aside from luxurious bedrooms in the Guest Lodge, includes five self-catering Villas and a self-catering cottage. The 5-star luxury Villas comprise the one-bedroom architecturally designed Honeymoon Villa with stunning sea views; three, two-bedroomed Villas with magnificent sea and mountain views, wooden decks and private gardens with their own nature pools, and the open plan Ground Floor Apartment (Villa 5) which sleeps two and is a distance away from the other Villas. The self-catering Rose Cottage is secluded and private, surrounded by lush gardens with views of the Helderberg Mountain. Rates are dependent of the length of stay. Spanish Farm is a slice of paradise – a place where you can embrace life and find inner peace. Ts & Cs apply. Contact: +27 21 852 7352, info@spanishfarm.co.za, www.capesummervillas.co.za    

For top-of-the-range self-catering accommodation in Stellenbosch, Cape Summer Villas Boutique Collection owns 18 fully furnished, self-catering apartments, of the 60 that make up The Den Apartments. The three two-bedroom apartments with separate bedrooms, en-suite bathroom, kitchen and lounge, and 15 open-plan studio apartments with a fully fitted kitchen, a study nook, large flat-screen TV and ample closet storage plus a balcony with a built-in braai, are elegantly furnished and fitted with only the finest in fixtures, appliances (Smeg) and linen are available as short-term rentals (minimum of two nights).  Although there is no restaurant it is close to many top restaurants. A big plus is the communal ‘sundowner- perfect’ rooftop, a deck area with a braai, a solar-heated pool and stunning views of the Stellenbosch mountains. Being centrally situated with easy access to winelands these affordable self-catering apartments appeal to students and their parents (visiting their children), tourists and holidaymakers and are also perfect for business travel stay-overs. There’s high-speed fibre internet, private parking, closed-circuit cameras, biometrics, round-the-clock security, and ample off-street parking and there is a resident, on-site manager. Rates on application. Ts & Cs apply. Contact: +27 66 297 4358, enquiries@thedenstellenbosch.co.za, www.capesummervillas.co.za

and Cape Country Routes

The Cape Country Routes’ quaint Art Deco-themed 4-star Montagu Country Hotel in Montagu offers comfortable accommodation – 29 en-suite rooms and suites, plus two self-catering units that are ideal for getting away from the madding crowds. Of the two self-catering units one sleeps three, the other four. Both have fully equipped kitchens, a dining area and a patio, and one is wheelchair friendly. Wifi is available, also smart TVs, great for Zoom. The rates (per unit per night) range from R1 250 to R1 650 excluding breakfast and for longer stays discounts are available. Guests have access to all the hotel’s excellent facilities – two swimming pools, a coffee shop and cocktail lounge, an a la carte restaurant, a fully equipped Wellness Centre, an inhouse Art Gallery and the beautiful gardens. The hotel also has its own American Dream Cars fleet (1956 and 1964 Cadillac Sedan De Ville) available for chauffeur-driven tours and good news for families with ‘furry-kids’, it is also pet-friendly – small to medium breeds of socialised/well-behaved dogs are welcome. Ts & Cs apply. Enquiries:  bookings@capecountryroutes.com, www.capecountryroutes.com

The Cape Country Routes’ 3-star New Holme Nature Lodge (formerly New Holme Country House) – a working sheep and game farm in the Karoo Gariep Nature Reserve, Northern Cape, one of the two Khoisan Karoo Conservancy nature reserves – it is known for its traditional Karoo dinners, underground wine cellar and sunset/night drives. Considered by most to be ‘far, far away’, New Holme is actually conveniently situated halfway between Cape Town and Johannesburg, Durban and the Garden Route, making it a good place for family and friends to meet up and spend a holiday together.

The charming Stoffels Rus, a self-catering log cabin situated in the gardens of New Holme offers the perfect accommodation for an extended Karoo visit. This two-bedroom cabin sleeps four guests and is fully equipped for self-catering. There is a restaurant at the main lodge (100 meters away) should you prefer. There are also seven new Stable Rooms (two guests per room) that although not self-catering there is a communal kitchenette/dining room 40 meters from the rooms. Rates vary according to the length of stay. There is free Wifi. Guests are assured of friendly personal service, an easy and relaxed atmosphere and activities like the Karoo Shy 5 night drive and sundowners at the hippo pool and access to the two nature reserves. Ts & Cs apply. Enquiries: bookings@capecountryroutes.com, www.capecountryroutes.com 

Cape Country Routes’ Supertubes Guest House is located 30 meters from the beach – the world-famous surfing beach of Jeffreys Bay in the Eastern Cape. Its accommodation comprises beautifully styled, en-suite Luxury and Standard rooms and two self-catering apartments. Ideal for family getaways Supertubes 11 Pepper has three en suite rooms, a fully equipped kitchen, barbeque facilities, Dstv and free Wi-Fi, a safe and a double garage, and ‘Khaya Zinza’ (Place of Balance) at 16 Pepper offers five en suite bedrooms, three with magnificent sea views, a fully equipped kitchen, fireplaces, outdoor shower, indoor/outdoor barbeque facilities, free Wi-Fi, Dstv and added extras. Both Villas are serviced daily except Sundays and public holidays. Breakfast – in the bright dining room adjacent to the garden – can be enjoyed at an additional charge. Aside from surfing, there are plenty other activities including whale watching, surfing, fishing, horse-riding, Big Five game viewing, excursions and shopping.  Self-catering rates are dependent on length of stay. Ts & Cs apply. Enquiries: bookings@capecountryroutes.com, www.capecountryroutes.com

Nestled in the eastern end of the picturesque Elgin Grabouw Valley surrounded by views of the Kogelberg biosphere, neighbouring orchards and its own vineyards is South Hill Vineyards, part of the Cape Country Routes collection. A short, one-hour drive from Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Hermanus, South Hill with its lush gardens, big skies and expansive lawns is conveniently located for a family ‘change-of-environment’ getaway.

Guests at South Hill are spoilt for choice with its three luxurious ‘farm-stay’ style, self-catering accommodation options: the Guest House, with six en-suite rooms (sleeps 12 adults and 4 children) has an open-plan living area with Dstv, comfortable lounge seating, a fireplace and French doors that open onto the lawns, a fully equipped kitchen and a braai area and pizza oven; the secluded one-bedroom Pumphouse aka the Honeymoon Cottage, with deluxe décor, a fully equipped kitchen, a braai area and stunning views of the farm dam, vineyards and the mountains, and the House Boat ‘Stokies Ark’, set on the banks of the farm’s largest dam, with three cabins (sleeps six adults or two adults and four children), a fully equipped kitchen and an on-shore braai area – perfect for families wanting a water-based holiday.

Free high-speed wifi is available for remote working/zoom meetings and a break-away meeting room is also available. The restaurant offers breakfast and country-style lunches, with suppers on request and is open Fridays to Monday between 08h00 to 16h00 (at present closed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday). The rates for self-catering accommodation are available on request. South Hill Vineyards – all about creating ‘Cool Taste Experiences’ – really is the perfect place to relax with family and friends. Ts & Cs apply. Enquiries: bookings@capecountryroutes.com, www.capecountryroutes.com

A Cape Country Routes property-of-note, the Wildehondekloof Private Game Reserve – a 4 000-hectare private reserve with a luxury game lodge – is located only 50 km from Oudtshoorn, the Ostrich capital of the world.

Aside from nine private, luxurious en-suite bedrooms with stunning views of the mountains and river at the main lodge, there is now a brand new, self-catering Manor House. This family unit which sleeps six (four adults, two children) comprises three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a lounge, dining area, a fully equipped kitchen, an inside fireplace, an outside braai area, shaded private parking, free Wi-Fi and the use of the swimming pool –  only R2 900 per night.

Guests have full use of all facilities including the restaurant (meals must be pre-booked). Activities include guided game drives and hiking trails, mountain biking (bring your own bike), diverse birdlife and other small animals and exploring the beautiful countryside. Wildehondekloof is perfect for a luxurious and tranquil escape to the Klein Karoo – “making wonders true, is what we love to do at Wildehondekloof Private Game Reserve”. Ts & Cs apply. Enquiries: bookings@capecountryroutes.com , www.capecountryroutes.com

…and in Mpumalanga – the land of the rising sun – in the rolling hills of the Mpumalanga highlands just beyond the picturesque hamlet of Dullstroom, the exclusive 5-star Walkersons Hotel & Spa offers beautiful views, unspoiled scenery, well stocked trout dams and a serenity that is hard to beat. Along with two restaurants, a spa and 27 private hotel rooms, Walkersons also offers five fully furnished, self-catering cottages. The Waterfall House with five en suite bedrooms, a spacious entertainment area, fully equipped kitchen, pool table, fireplace and a bar is situated on top of a hill overlooking a waterfall; Riverview Cottage, a double storey with four en-suite bedrooms, with spectacular panoramic views from an upstairs balcony and braai area overlooking the river. Other units include the three-bedroomed Hillside Cottage and the picturesque two-bedroomed Hansel and Gretel Cottages.  A distinctive feature of Walkersons is its seclusion – here you are free to roam, breath in the fresh air and explore the surroundings. Rates for self-catering options are dependent on length of stay. Ts & Cs apply. Reservations: 013 253 7000, reservations@walkersons.co.za, www.walkersons.co.za

In keeping with the protocols regarding the Coronavirus, all these properties adhere to stringent health and safety cleaning protocols – the safety of their guests and staff being of the highest priority.

*This post and content is sponsored and provided by Behind the Scenes Communications

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