By Jenna Berndt
Nothing beats that Friday feeling after a long week in the office. A staycation, or holistay to some, is a holiday spent in one’s home country, rather than abroad, or day trips that make the most of local attractions. Make the most of your weekend off or treat yourself to a mid-week break, by checking in at one of these popular local hotels for a cosy winter staycation.
If you’re in the Western Cape…
The Lord Charles, Somerset West
Head out of the Mother City and slow down in Somerset West at the historic Lord Charles hotel. Overlooking the Helderberg Mountains, the property is a stone’s throw from the Paarl, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch Winelands. Relax on the manicured lawns and take day trips out to wine and dine next to warming fireplaces on award-winning estates.
Lagoon Beach Hotel, Milnerton
Looking onto Table Mountain and, on a clear day, Robben Island, check-in to Milnerton’s Lagoon Beach Hotel for a wintery beachside break.
Embrace the mild South African winter days at the hotel’s beach bar, enjoy the direct beach access and take in the mountain views from the rooftop swimming pool. If it’s a little too chilly outdoors, make use of the free shuttle transportation to the V&A Waterfront to shop up a storm.
If you’re on the Garden Route…
The Rex Hotel, Knysna
Make The Rex Hotel your base to explore Knysna and the surrounding Garden Route, one of South Africans’ best-loved local getaways.
Close to bustling local shops, restaurants and the Knysna Waterfront’s festive atmosphere, The Rex Hotel’s self-catering accommodation includes all the amenities and creature comforts you could want from a hotel stay. Plus, you can feast on fresh seafood at the on-site O Bar & Eatery, and board the famous Featherbed boat cruise.
Whalesong Hotel and Hydro, Plettenberg Bay
With sweeping views over the bay and Tsitsikamma Mountains, Whalesong Hotel and Hydro in Plettenberg Bay is the ideal place to relax and recharge away from the bustle. Take in the views from your private wooden viewing deck (every room has one) or soak up the winter sun from the pool deck. There’s also an on-site health and wellness centre.
If you’re in KZN…
Fairmont Zimbali Resort, Ballito
Plan a luxury escape along the KwaZulu-Natal north coast at the Fairmont Zimbali Resort. Five minutes from Ballito, travellers can enjoy world-class on-site culinary experiences from dining at OSA, an Indian fusion restaurant, soak up the sun at the pool bar and savour afternoon tea overlooking the Indian Ocean. Soak up the warm winter sun around the magnificent pools surrounded by lush tropical greenery.
Alpine Heath Resort, Drakensberg
Check-in to Alpine Heath Resort in the Drakensberg for a charming winter’s staycation in the fresh mountain air and a dreamy location. It looks and feels like the Swiss Alps!
The resort sits almost halfway between Durban and Johannesburg, making it the ideal road trip destination from either city. Self-catering six-sleeper chalets are perfect for families or groups. Get active in the kids’ zone and make use of the kids’ entertainment programme. There are also 150 km of marked trails for horse riding, hiking and mountain biking suitable for all ages and levels of experience.
If you’re in or near Limpopo…
Mabula Game Lodge
In under two-and-a-half hours from Johannesburg by car, escape the busyness of the city for the sights and sounds of the bush.
Cosy up in the luxury thatched-roof suites and enjoy hearty local dishes such as impala casserole and a kudu and red wine potjie. And, on morning and evening game drives, spot the Big Five!
If you’re in the North West…
Thakadu River Camp
If getting away from it all is what you need, then Thakadu River Camp nestled in the eastern portion of the Madikwe Game Reserve is just what the doctor ordered. One of South Africa’s lesser known parks, Madikwe is unspoilt and tranquil.
Snuggle up in one of the 12 tented suites set in the treetops overlooking the Marico River and, come nightfall, enjoy a dinner under the stars in the outdoor boma. There are also family suites.
With these staycation options, enjoy a holiday that’s easy to plan and just a hop, skip and a jump away from home.
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