30 July 2013
Six South African hotels feature in the 50 “world’s best hotels 2013” list of US magazine Travel + Leisure, with three of them ranking in the top 10 – all three located within the world-famous Kruger National Park, and two belonging to South African hospitality group Singita.
“A commitment to providing access to some of Africa’s best game-viewing, while minimizing environmental impact and maximizing comfort, has earned Singita’s properties repeat appearances in the World’s Best Awards,” Travel + Leisure says in its July 2013 issue.
The Singita Kruger National Park, comprising two lodges with treetop suites and riverside rooms in the southeastern reaches of the Kruger National Park, on South Africa’s border with Mozambique, was voted third best in the hotels category of the magazine’s annual “world’s best” readers’ survey.
Singita’s flagship Sabi Sand, also located within the greater boundaries of the Kruger National Park, came in at number 10. “Private outdoor showers and well-stocked wine cellars come standard,” Travel + Leisure says of Sabi Sand, “while photography-focused safaris and cultural outings to a nearby village let you appreciate Kruger’s landscape and the local community”.
At ninth on the list is the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, at whose flagship Bush Lodge “twice-daily game drives, firelight boma dinners, and spa treatments using marula tree, African potato, and aloe vera extracts keep parents occupied, while kids can enroll in the EleFun Centre, offering conservation activities and outdoor fun”.
The Cape Grace in Cape Town was ranked 26th. “A movable pedestrian bascule bridge provides access from Cape Town’s bustling waterfront to this quiet, mansard-roofed hotel on its own private quay,” notes Travel + Leisure, while “fourth-floor rooftop terrace rooms and penthouse suites come with views of Table Mountain”.
At 39th place, and returning to the Kruger National Park and its surrounds, is the Londolozi Game Reserve, a Kruger camp comprising five family-run lodges on 42 000 acres of South African wilderness that is renowned for its frequent sightings of the elusive leopard.
And at 50 on the list is the Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa, a 200-year-old manse in the posh Sandhurst suburbs of Johannesburg that has been converted into a “fashionable 53-room boutique hideaway” where “the expansive pool, 10-acre gardens and koi pond make the Saxon feel like a resort, with private plunge pools in many rooms and latticed shutters opening to garden views”.