South Africa offers some of the best safari lodges on the planet where you can get close to rare wildlife while staying in five star accommodations. Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula offer spectacular scenery, whale watching, shopping, restaurants and great places to stay. The wine country, Winelands, just a short drive from Cape Town, is the place to sample delicious local wines in a relaxed setting. Johannesburg is the largest city in the country, offering travelers museums, jazz clubs, bars, clubs, theaters and restaurants. For those who like to shop on vacation, there is a wide variety of designer malls. All the properties that made our list offer excellent service, spectacular views and unique guest accommodations.
One of the largest game reserves in Africa, Kruger National Park is part of the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere. The climate is subtropical with hot and humid summer days. The dry winter season is the best time to visit for wildlife viewing because animals have to visit the waterholes to drink.
For some of the most spectacular views in South Africa, head to the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve and visit the stunning God’s Window. This is the third largest canyon in the world and is home to over 1,000 species of flora, incredible waterfalls, birds and wildlife. The Wild Coast, situated along the Eastern Cape province's northern coastline, offers dramatic ocean views, unique beaches and valleys. This area is a paradise for hikers looking for amazing scenery. There are several shipwreck dive sites in the area.
1.Palace of the Lost City at Sun City
Check into the Palace of the Lost City at Sun City in South Africa for a vacation filled with water fun, spa treatments, golf and fine dining.
The resort is a popular holiday destination, bordering the Pilanesberg Game Reserve about two hours from Johannesburg. The resort is an opulent getaway in the middle of the jungle offering five star amenities such as a water adventure park, 50,000-square-foot casino, Olympic size pool, two golf courses, spa and fitness center.
The hotel is built like a fairytale palace overlooking a lush valley. The luxury resort offers 338 guest rooms with an African feel. Ask for a room or suite on a higher floor for best views of the surrounding landscape.
The palace was designed to feel like a "lost city" with surrounding botanical gardens, streams and hidden walking trails.
The Valley of the Waves at Sun City is one of the most advanced water parks in the world. There is an artificial beach and a mechanically-generated wave pool. Sun City's Waterworld offers cruises on a man-made lake, parasailing and wake-boarding. There are two great courses: The Gary Player Course and The Lost City Golf Course, both designed by South Africa's golfing pro Gary Player.
Gary Player Course is an 18-hole par 72 course which hosts the prestigious Nedbank Golf Challenge. The course is famous for its super fast putting surfaces and challenging water hazards. The Lost City Course is a desert-style course surrounded by spectacular views across South Africa's wilderness. On the 13th hole you will find a water hazard full of live Nile crocodiles. In addition to the desert holes, there are stunning mountain and parkland areas.
The resort has six restaurants serving flavors from around the world. The Villa del Palazzo serves gourmet Italian cuisine and is a great idea for a special celebration. If you are looking for a romantic spot to propose, ask to be seated in the outdoor Gazebo. The hotel can provide romantic music on request. Room rates tart at R 2,019 per night.
2.Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve
The award-winning spa at Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve in South Africa is a unique destination for spa goers who want to combine healing with adventure.
Reset your mind and body in natural surroundings while choosing from pampering treatments like massages, facials and body wraps. Let your body rejuvenate surrounded with water in Cederberg's crystalline rock pools, waterfalls and a dam, or swim in the resort's four swimming pools surrounded by botanical gardens. Enjoy Yoga and meditation at sunset and sundown surrounded by ancient wilderness at this unique spa retreat.
The treatment rooms at the spa are spacious enough to accommodate couples massages. The Crystal Steam Room has a central block of pure Quartz Crystal, known for its grounding energy. Soothing music plays in the Tranquillity Lounge while you lounge in plush chairs. Get a treatment in the outdoor Riverside Gazebo with views of the water and reconnect with nature. Spa goers also get to relax in the Rain Showers and next to the Heated Outdoor Pool with spectacular views. Afterwards, head to the Health Bar for a light homemade snack and fresh handpicked Rooibos Tea. The spa is only open to guests which means that it's quiet and serene.
The property can only accommodate 34 guests at a time in its beautiful rooms, suites and a luxury villa. The area offers many one-of-a-kind activities such as scenic mountain biking, canoeing, hiking and walking in the reserve. All-inclusive rates start at R 2,000. The property is a 3-hour drive from Cape Town, or you can arrive by plane since there is a private airstrip (+27 (0) 21 437 9278).
3.POD Boutique Hotel in Camps Bay
© POD Boutique Hotel
POD Boutique Hotel in Camps Bay is a designer beach getaway just 10 minutes from Cape Town city center. Book one of the luxury rooms with a private pool and relax on the outdoor patio with a view of the sandy beach on your honeymoon. The hotel has 15 guest rooms and suites which feature spacious layouts, free Wi-Fi, a 40-inch LED TV and an iPod dock. Camps Bay is an affluent beach community frequented by celebrities. You will find fabulous restaurants and bars right outside your door. Nearby activities include: whale watching, parasailing, sky diving, botanical gardens, wildlife safaris and wine tasting (+27 (0)21 438 8550).
4.Le Quartier Français
© Le Quartier Français
Nestled in the heart of one of the Cape’s most beautiful wine regions, Le Quartier Français is a hidden country inn of captivating charm surrounded by the verdant rolling vineyards of the Franschhoek Valley. Capturing the essence of pure luxury, the beautifully appointed boutique hotel offers unparalleled views of the Franschhoek Mountains and is the perfect setting for a taste of the legendary Cape Wine Routes. Le Quartier Français offers 15 luxurious en-suite bedrooms which overlook a beautifully manicured garden and natural swimming pool. The elegantly furnished rooms are light and airy with Egyptian cotton dressed beds, spacious bathrooms with walk-in showers and baths, and spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. The award-winning Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français is the cream of the crop for dining, serving innovative Cape Provençal cuisine in a beautiful setting, while The Living Room offers sumptuous light meals in a gorgeous garden. Enjoy a variety of activities such as wine, cheese and chocolate tasting, hiking and mountain biking, as well as many food, wine and art festivals held throughout the year. Rooms start at R4,300 per night.
5.One& Only Cape Town
One& Only Cape Town is luxury hotel located in the heart of Cape Town. The hotel offers vacationers luxury service, beautiful accommodations and access to may attractions that the area has to offer.
You will have easy access to exotic adventures like tours to Robben Island, wildlife safaris and wine country excursions.
Dark African woods, modern art and luxury amenities accentuate all the hotel's 131 spacious rooms and suites. Each room offers views of Table Mountain and Signal Hill. Splurge on a luxury suite with a private outdoor patio with great views. Nobu restaurant serves Japanese cuisine using organic ingredients. Local specialties are served Reuben's Restaurant. Isola provides al fresco dining of grilled seafood, wood-fired pizza and gourmet sandwiches beside the pool. At the Vista Bar and Lounge, trendy cocktails, vintage wines and music are offered to hotel guests.
The One& Only Spa is focused on unwinding, restoring and elevating the mind, body and soul with their special spa therapies, body treatments and yoga classes. The spa has a beauty center and a fitness gym equipped with state-of-the-art facilities.
Play at the hotel's preferred golf course, the 18-hole, par-72, 7,380-yard Jack Nicklaus-designed course at the Pearl Valley Golf Estate. It is one of the top golf courses in the area, laid out with a backdrop of mountains and 81 bunkers that makes it a challenging championship course.
The landscaped grounds of the resort provide an ideal backdrop for a garden wedding. There are three unique venues for all kinds of special events. The Marina Room is perfect for 20 to 40 people. The Business Center Boardroom offers accommodation 12 guests. The multi-function ballroom caters to 50 - 200 guests (+ 27 21 431 5888).
Fairmont Zimbali Resort is a stylish vacation gateway set along the eastern coast of the Zimbali area in Durban. The resort has a great beach, luxury spa and gourmet restaurants.
The resort is nestled between the KwaZulu-Natal Dolphin Coast and Zimbali Coastal Reserve which offers vacationers unique safari and game-viewing opportunities. The resort combines urban flair with the region's rich Zulu heritage that suits travelers looking for a natural playground, luxurious living and a cultural wonderland. 154 well-appointed rooms have spacious verandas offering spectacular views of the Indian Ocean. All rooms are elegantly adorned with wood, earth and stone hues inspired by the locale’s natural environment.
Coral Tree Restaurant offers comprehensive breakfast and lunch buffets. At dinner, it serves a la carte international dishes. OSA is an Asian fusion restaurant and classy steakhouse serving prime grain-fed beef complemented by a wide collection of wines. The Ayoba Restaurant provides views of the pool and the Indian Ocean while it showcases a wood-fired pizza oven and grilled foods.
Specialty teas and coffees, including Fairmont teas and African roasts, are served at the Dalchini Lobby Lounge. At the 31 Degrees Lobby Bar, travelers can sip signature cocktails in a lively ambiance. The Vinum Bar has great selections of tapas-style bar foods and offers an array of South African wines. Have a bite to eat from an extensive list of gourmet burgers at the poolside Bite Bar or try its lighter Asian-inspired salads. Ma Khaza is the hotel's beach bar with casual cocktails and meals coming from Ayoba. The Delicacy Cafe features Lavazza coffee and an array of specialty cakes, deli sandwiches, quiches, salads, pies and local delicacies to take home.
Willow Stream Spa has eight-treatment rooms offering a diverse menu of massages, body wraps and other services. The wellness center has fitness facilities, several swimming pools, sauna and steam rooms. Couples can let their stress melt away in one of the spacious couple's suites.
Enjoy a round of golf at the nearby eco-conscious Zimbali Country Club, an 18-hole, par-73, 7,134-yard championship golf course where tee boxes are located in challenging positions to avoid disturbing the environment. Rolling hills with breathtaking views are featured through the first 11 holes, while the rest allows you exploring the indigenous Zimbali forests.
The resort is situated next to natural and rich cultural sights, such as the historical Zulu battlefields and two of UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the uKhahlamba/Drakensburg and iSimangaliso Wetland Parks. Excursions are arranged to these sites, letting couples and families enjoy game-viewing, safari outings, mountain biking, hiking and dolphin sight-seeing tours. Families can also choose from sports and other leisure activities such as rugby, cricket, soccer, polo and rally races. For the youngsters, the hotel offers its exclusive Y Univers, a kids' club filled with fun activities. It includes a kiddies' pool and supervised adventures into the Zimbali Coastal Forest Reserve full of exotic wildlife. Book a Fairmont Zimbali Resort wedding and gain exclusive access to the Platinum Honeymoon Program. The hotel's 280 square meter ballroom provides enough space for any social and business event. It caters to banquets for 180 guests, or 220 people in cinema format. The hotel has full-service business center and an executive meeting room suited for 12 people in boardroom format. Room rates start at 2,799 ZAR per night (+27 (0)32 538 5000).
7.Cape Grace in Cape Town
Cape Grace is a spa vacation getaway located on Cape Town's Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. The hotel offers luxury guest accommodation and attentive service. Guests receive private transfers to the town and nearby beaches, as well as access to wellness facilities such as sauna, steam room and mineral spa bath. The hotel spa is located on the top floor of the hotel, featuring panoramic views of Table Mountain, the city and yacht marina.
The hotel offers special amenities for children, including a welcome basket, children's menu and professional babysitting. Nearby attractions for kids include the Two Oceans Aquarium, the outdoor Amphitheatre and other attractions on the Waterfront. The hotel also offers evening story readings for children, and a homemade gingerbread man served in the childrens' rooms in the evening. While the kids are having fun, treat yourself to a massage on your spa vacation.
The hotel has 122 guest rooms and suites decorated with luxurious fabric and custom furniture. Each room has separate bath, shower and toilet, and French doors with views of the yacht marina or harbor. Fresh flowers, personally selected books, velor robes and slippers are just some of the amenities available to hotel guests. A complimentary tea and coffee tray with fresh milk is delivered every morning.
Dine at the stylish one.waterfront restaurant which serves adventurous South African cuisine and fine wines. Enjoy cocktails on the outdoor pool terrace, and visit the library for complimentary port or sherry on your spa vacation. Doubles start at 3,550 ZAR per night.
8.Singita Ebony Lodge Sabi Sand in the South African Wilderness
Singita's Ebony Lodge is a luxury vacation getaway surrounded by the South African wilderness. There are just nine suites, so you won't have to share your wilderness experience with too many other guests. The lodge has a luxury spa offering a range of European-style massages, Ayurveda treatments, acupuncture, facials and other therapies. Massages can be enjoyed in a spa therapy room, in a guest suite or outside on the suite private deck.
The hotel has nine suites decorated in colonial style.
The restaurant serves a selection offusion dishes. Three meals daily and drinks are included in the daily rate.
Sabi Sand Reserve is located in the wilderness, next to Kruger National Park. Fly to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport or Johannesburg International Airport where you can catch a connecting flight to the Sabi Sand Reserve. From Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport to the lodge, transfers cost R1460 per person round-trip; from Johannesburg International Airport, the cost is R3350 per person round trip. Rates start at R6,800 per person per night with two people sharing a suite. The rate includes breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, transfers and safaris (+27-21-683-3424).
9.Castleton Camp in the Singita Private Game Reserve
Castleton Camp is a private retreat in the Singita Private Game Reserve next to Kruger National Park. The camp can be rented by families or groups of up to 12 guests. The main lodge has a large verandah from which you can enjoy nature views. Every morning, rangers and trackers lead Castleton guests on an early morning game drive where you may spot leopards, elephants and lions. The hotel features six private en suite cottages that overlook a waterhole visited
by local wildlife. The cottages are air-conditioned and appointed
in a comfortable colonial style. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are offered at the camp and included in the daily rate.
Sabi Sand Reserve is located in the northeastern part of South Africa, next to Kruger National Park. Fly to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport or Johannesburg International Airport where you can catch a connecting flight to the Sabi Sand Reserve. From Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport to the lodge, transfers cost R1460 per person round-trip; from Johannesburg International Airport, the cost is R3350 per person round trip.
If you do not want to rent the whole camp, you can stay at the nearby Boulders Lodge (+27 21 683 3424).
10.Boulders Lodge in the Sabi Sand Reserve
Located in the Sabi Sand Reserve private game reserve, the Boulders Lodge is an all-inclusive adventure trip for couples that provides a luxury base for wildlife watching and wilderness tours. Experienced game rangers and trackers lead guests on daily safaris where you may spot a herd of elephant, a leopard or a lion. When you are not wildlife watching, swim in the pool, work out in the fitness room and book a relaxing treatment at the spa to complete your wilderness vacation.
Guest suites offer open-air design with private decks and contemporary African design. Rates at this hotel are all inclusive. Breakfast buffet is served on the main deck overlooking the African plains. Dinner is served in the Boma under a starlit sky or in the dining room. The lodge restaurant offers a fusion of venison dishes, fresh fish from the coast, pastas, soups and vegetables.
The reserve is located in the northeastern part of South Africa, next to Kruger National Park. Fly to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport or Johannesburg International Airport where you can catch a connecting flight to the Sabi Sand Reserve.
From Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport to the lodge, transfers cost R1460 per person round-trip; from Johannesburg International Airport, the cost is R3350 per person round trip. Rates start at R6800 per person per night. The rate includes breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, safaris and airport transfers (+27-21-683-3424).
11.The Twelve Apostles
© The Twelve Apostles
The Twelve Apostles in Cape Town is a relaxing spa resort with with scenic hiking in the surrounding national park. The hotel has a scenic outdoor swimming pool, 55 guest rooms and 15 luxury suites. Accommodation interiors are decorated in a contemporary African style with European touches.
Visit the Spa where you will find a sauna and a hydrotherapy bath, 7 treatment rooms and a choice of treatments. You can get a massage at the spa's secluded open-air gazebo overlooking the ocean.
The hotel offers a choice of restaurants serving innovative Cape fusion cuisine. Azure restaurant offers the best views of the Atlantic Ocean. Dishes are prepared with organic ingredients from the hotel's own herb garden and local markets. The Cafe Grill, open 24 hours a day, offers a selection of delicious eats. While most other hotels offer 24-hour in-room dining, at the Twelve Apostles you have the option of 24-hour dining at the restaurant. The resort has a private movie theater, perfect for watching a classic film after a romantic dinner.
Nightly rates start from ZAR 7,250/night.
Best Luxury Honeymoon Vacations in South Africa