Global travellers rate South Africa tops in Conde Nast awards

27 October 2014

Londolozi

Guests get a close-up look at a strolling giraffe at South Africa’s Londolozi private game reserve, voted the best of the world’s top 100 resorts and hotels by readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine. (Image: Chris Kane-Berman, Londolozi)

That South Africa punches well above its weight in the global luxury travel market was again confirmed with the release of this year’s prestigious Conde Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards: the country garnered the top spot in the best 100 hotels and resorts, and Cape Town was voted fourth out of the world’s 25 must-see cities.

Londolozi private game reserve at Sabi Sands in Mpumalanga was voted the best place in the world to stay by some 77 000 readers of the luxury travel magazine, who gave the resort a near-perfect score of 98.96 out of 100. The Singita reserve, also at Sabi Sand, came in at fourth on the list, scoring 98.1. The two reserves beat out such iconic global hotels as the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah in Dubai, Palazzo Avino in Ravello, Mystique in Santorini and Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur, India.

“This five-camp preserve in a riverine forest offers the vacation of a lifetime – everything is fabulous,” Conde Nast said of Londolozi when the award results were published on 20 October.

“In a perfect-scoring location on the Sand River, accommodations include Pioneer Camp, with three private suites decorated in Ralph Lauren style, and Varty Camp, where chalets in earth tones have private pools. Enjoy freshly baked muffins on the deck at sunrise while watching the elephants below – an absolutely incredible experience.”

Foreign travellers are coming to South Africa in larger numbers every year, according to Statistics South Africa’s latest tourism report, released on Monday. In 2013, the total number of foreigners visiting the country rose to 12.1-million, up from 13.7-million in 2012.

Altogether, seven South African hotels and resorts made the top 100, including Lion Sands at Sabi Sand, in 24th place, Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve in the Cederberg (41), Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve (54), &Beyond Lodges Sabi Sand (55) and Singita Kruger National Park (69). Including South Africa, 14 African resorts – in Tanzania, Botswana and Rwanda – got the nod in the top 100 list.

South Africa’s coastal city of Cape Town came in at fourth place in Conde Nast readers’ choice of the best 25 cities in the world, ahead of Rome, Barcelona and San Francisco.

Carnival

Flowery performers at the 2014 Cape Town Carnival. (Image: Cape Town World Design Capital )

“Cape Town is the best city in the world for blending urban culture with the great outdoors,” wrote Maria Shollenbarger, the magazine’s editor at large. “They’re literally a five-minute drive from each other. There’s an exploding food scene, with vegetables, wine, and cheese coming from the gorgeous Cape Winelands; and then there’s the top of Table Mountain which, on the right day, can feel as pristine and empty as when the Dutch first pitched up in the early 17th century.”

The city also swept the board for the Conde Nast list of the best 15 hotels in Africa. The One&Only, Ellerman House, Mount Nelson, Twelve Apostles and Cape Cadogan hotels grabbed the first five positions, the Cape Grace ninth place, the Table Bay Hotel 10th and the Victoria & Alfred Hotel 15th. South African hotels in total took up 11 places on the list of 15, including the Saxon Boutique Hotel in Johannesburg (7), and Le Quartier Francais (11) and La Residence (14), both in Franschhoek near Cape Town.

Conde Nast Traveler Best Hotels in Africa: Readers’ Choice Awards 2014

#1 – One&Only Cape Town – Cape Town, South Africa
#2 – Ellerman House – Cape Town, South Africa
#3 – Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel – Cape Town, South Africa
#4 – Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa – Cape Town, South Africa
#5 – Cape Cadogan Hotel – Cape Town, South Africa
#6 – Gibb’s Farm – Ngorongoro, Tanzania
#7 – Saxon Boutique Hotel – Johannesburg, South Africa
#8 – Royal Livingstone Hotel – Livingstone, Zambia
#9 – Cape Grace – Cape Town, South Africa
#10 – Table Bay Hotel – Cape Town, South Africa
#11 – Le Quartier Francais – Franschhoek, South Africa
#12 – Giraffe Manor – Nairobi, Kenya
#13 – The Stanley and Livingstone at Victoria Falls – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
#14 – La Residence – Franschhoek, South Africa
#15 – Victoria & Alfred Hotel – Cape Town, South Africa

Conde Nast Traveler Top 100 Hotels & Resorts in the World 2014

Saxon

The terrace and pool at the Saxon Boutique Hotel in Johannesburg, voted seventh-best in Africa. (Image: Saxon Hotel)

#1 – Londolozi Private Game Reserve and Camps – Sabi Sand, South Africa
#2 – Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch – Saratoga, Wyoming, USA
#3 – The Mulia – Bali, Indonesia
#4 – Singita Sabi Sand – Sabi Sand, South Africa
#5 – Triple Creek Ranch – Darby, Montana, USA
#6 – Nayara Springs – Arenal, Costa Rica
#7 – Singita Grumeti Reserves – Serengeti, Tanzania
#8 – Aro Ha – Queenstown, South Island, New Zealand
#9 – Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle – Chiang Rai, Thailand
#10 – Southern Ocean Lodge – Kangaroo Island, South Australia, Australia
#11 – One&Only The Palm – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
#12 – Gateway Canyons Resort – Gateway, Colorado, USA
#13 – Cal-A-Vie – Vista, California, USA
#14 – Casa Palmero – Pebble Beach, California, USA
#15 – Viceroy Riviera Maya – Playa del Carmen, Mexico
#16 – The Lodge – Sea Island, Georgia, USA
#17 – Qualia – Hamilton Island, Queensland, Australia
#18 – Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens – Arenal, Costa Rica
#19 – Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge – Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda
#20 – Mii Amo – Sedona, Arizona, Arizona
#21 – Lake Austin Spa Resort – Austin, Texas, Texas
#22 – XV Beacon – Boston, Massachusetts, USA
#23 – Il Salviatino – Fiesole, Italy
#24 – Lion Sands, Sabi Sand – Sabi Sand, South Africa
#25 – Rancho Valencia Resort – San Diego, California, USA
#26 – Castello di Casole – Casole D’elsa, Italy
#27 – Fairmont Heritage Place, Franz Klammer Lodge – Telluride, Colorado, USA
#28 – Burj Al Arab Jumeirah – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
#29 – 21c Museum Hotel, Cincinnati – Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
#30 – The Langham, Chicago – Chicago, Illinois, USA
#31 – C Lazy U Ranch – Granby, Colorado, USA
#32 – Palazzo Avino – Ravello, Italy
#33 – Primland Resort – Meadows of Dan, Virginia, USA
#34 – Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan – Bali, Indonesia
#35 – The Point – Upper Saranac Lake, New York, USA
#36 – Rancho La Puerta – Tecate, Mexico
#37 – Jade Mountain – St. Lucia, St. Lucia
#38 – St. Regis Punta Mita Resort – Punta de Mita, Mexico
#39 – Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong – Shanghai, China
#40 – Summer Lodge – Evershot, Dorset, England
#41 – Bushmans Kloof – Cederberg Mountains, South Africa
#42 – Guana Island Resort – Guana Island, British Virgin Islands
#43 – Las Alcobas – Mexico City, D.F., Mexico
#44 – Oberoi Udaivilas – Udaipur, India
#45 – Old Edwards Inn and Spa – Highlands, North Carolina, USA
#46 – Mystique (Luxury Collection) – Santorini, Greece
#47 – Waldorf Astoria Hotel at Shanghai on the Bund – Shanghai, China
#48 – Mombo and Little Mombo Camps – Moremi, Botswana
#49 – Waldorf Astoria Chicago – Chicago, Illinois, USA

La Quartier

La Quartier Francais in Franschhoek in the Western Cape come in at 11th place on the list of top African hotels. (Image: La Quartier Francais)

#50 – Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti – Serengeti, Tanzania
#51 – Wailea Beach Villas – Maui, Hawaii, USA
#52 – Four Seasons Resort Langkawi – Langkawi, Malaysia
#53 – Madden’s on Gull Lake – Brainerd, Minnesota, USA
#54 – Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve – Sabi Sand, South Africa
#55 – &Beyond Lodges – Sabi Sand, South Africa
#56 – Wequassett Resort and Golf Club – Harwich, Massachusetts, USA
#57 – Kings Pool Camp – Linyanti, Botswana
#58 – Raffles Dubai – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
#59 – The Pitcher Inn – Warren, Vermont, USA
#60 – Canoe Bay Resort – Chetek, Wisconsin, USA
#61 – Twin Farms – Barnard, Vermont, USA
#62 – Weekapaug Inn – Weekapaug, Rhode Island, USA
#63 – The Cloister – Sea Island, Georgia, USA
#64 – Taj Lake Palace – Udaipur, India
#65 – The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island Golf Resort – Kiawah Island, South Carolina, USA
#66 – The Wauwinet – Nantucket, Massachusetts, USA
#67 – Hotel Astoria – St. Petersburg, Russia
#68 – Palm Island Resort – Palm Island, St. Vincent & the Grenadines
#69 – Singita Kruger National Park – Kruger National Park, South Africa
#70 – Stein Eriksen Lodge – Park City, Utah, USA
#71 – Hotel Matilda – San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
#72 – Hotel Alfonso XIII (Luxury Collection) – Seville, Spain
#73 – Amandari – Bali, Indonesia
#74 – Hotel Sorella CityCentre – Houston, Texas, USA
#75 – Winvian – Litchfield, Connecticut, USA
#76 – St. Regis Lhasa Resort – Lhasa, China
#77 – Chewton Glen – New Milton, Hampshire, England
#78 – Saffire Freycinet – Coles Bay, Tasmania, Australia
#79 – Curtain Bluff – Antigua, Antigua & Barbuda
#80 – Thompson Chicago – Chicago, Illinois, USA
#81 – Loden Vancouver – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
#82 – Sheen Falls Lodge – Kenmare, Co. Kerry, Ireland
#83 – St. Regis Bora Bora Resort – Bora Bora, French Polynesia
#84 – Colonial Houses – Williamsburg, Virginia, USA
#85 – Chateau du Sureau – Oakhurst, California, USA
#86 – Montage Laguna Beach – Laguna Beach, California, USA
#87 – Lodge at Kauri Cliffs – Matauri Bay, North Island, New Zealand
#88 – Ocean House – Watch Hill, Rhode Island, USA
#89 – Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora – Bora Bora, French Polynesia
#90 – River Inn of Harbor Town – Memphis, Tennessee, USA
#91 – Nisbet Plantation Beach Club – Nevis, St. Kitts & Nevis
#92 – Dunton Hot Springs – Dolores, Colorado, USA
#93 – Esperanza – Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
#94 – Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo – Tokyo, Japan
#95 – Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa – Da Nang, Vietnam
#96 – Excellence Playa Mujeres – Playa Mujeres, Mexico
#97 – Ashford Castle Hotel – Cong, Co. Mayo, Ireland
#98 – Serengeti Migration Camp – Serengeti, Tanzania
#99 – Savute Elephant Camp – Chobe, Botswana
#100 – Four Seasons Hotel Prague – Prague, Czech Republic

Conde Nast Traveler Top 20 Safari Lodges and Camps in Africa 2014

#1 – Londolozi Private Game Reserve and Camps – Sabi Sand, South Africa
#2 – Singita Sabi Sand – Sabi Sand, South Africa
#3 – Singita Grumeti Reserves – Serengeti, Tanzania
#4 – Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge – Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda
#5 – Lion Sands, Sabi Sand – Sabi Sand, South Africa
#6 – Bushmans Kloof – Cederberg Mountains, South Africa
#7 – Mombo and Little Mombo Camps – Moremi, Botswana
#8 – Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti – Serengeti, Tanzania
#9 – Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve – Sabi Sand, South Africa
#10 – &Beyond Lodges – Sabi Sand, South Africa
#11 – Kings Pool Camp – Linyanti, Botswana
#12 – Singita Kruger National Park – Kruger National Park, South Africa
#13 – Savute Elephant Camp – Chobe, Botswana
#14 – Thornybush Game Lodge – Kruger National Park, South Africa
#15 – &Beyond Bateleur and Kichwa Tembo Camps – Masai Mara, Kenya
#16 – ol Donyo Lodge – Mbirikani Group Ranch, Kenya
#17 – MalaMala Game Reserve – Sabi Sand, South Africa
#18 – Camp Okavango – Okavango Delta, Botswana
#19 – &Beyond Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp – Okavango Delta, Botswana
#20 – Little Vumbura Camp – Okavango Delta, Botswana

South African Competitiveness Forum

Brand South Africa will host its second South African Competitiveness Forum in Johannesburg on 4 and 5 November 2014 under the theme “Active citizenship and its role in changing the South African brand reality”. Top minds from business, government, civil society and the academic world will come together to discuss our position in the world, and uncover ways to give South Africa a competitive edge on the global stage. Click here to find out more .

Follow the conversation on Twitter via #CompetitiveSA .