Cosy spots for a romantic break in SA

Posted on 14 August 2020

Now that you may travel country-wide again, rekindle the romance with time away. These 12 old Getaway favourites are ready to welcome you for a post-lockdown winter break (maybe just for two?).

THE CAVE HOUSE, MAGALIESBURG, GAUTENG

 

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Repurposed Grain Silos made into cabins for the Sky Terrace#cabins #glamping #spuknikpods #repurposed #cabinporn

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Leaving Joburg by late afternoon, you could be sprawled out on the swinging daybed at The Cave House little more than an hour later, watching sunset hues over the mountains. The Cave House is just one of Sima-Kade’s bush retreats, constructed using rocks from the surrounding hills. Off-the-grid, it caters for up to six people, but it’s best suited for one couple at a time. It has an enormous concrete bath, set in a gorgeous stone-walled bathroom, or you can step outside to share the shower, which has open views to the valley below. Sima-Kade is in the Cradle of Humankind and close to Sterkfontein Caves. Just the other side of Krugersdorp, Sima-Kade (which means ‘tree of life’) is a 60-kilometre drive from the centre of Sandton and has several other bush venues. 082-902-4060, sima-kade.co.za

DE HOEK COUNTRY HOTEL, MAGALIESBURG, GAUTENG

Leave the kids at home for this one (no under 12s allowed). For five-star pampering De Hoek Country Hotel is your destination, just an hour from the city. The old stone mansion is straight out of a romantic Emily Bronte novel, particularly on cold misty nights. Manicured lawns run down to the Magalies River and there’s croquet and high tea to complete the olde world feel. Expect French-inspired fine cuisine as you linger over candlelit, three-course affair dinners in the Conservatory Restaurant. De Hoek is close to Sterkfontein Caves and the Cradle of Humankind. This boutique hotel has an on-site spa and two restaurants. 014-5779600, dehoek.com

SAAMRUS GUEST FARM, MAGALIESBURG, GAUTENG

Even the name is romantic – ‘rest together’ – in a woodland valley at the foot of the Magaliesburg Mountains. Add a cosy fireplace and a romantic bath for two and you’ve got a perfect farm break in a self-catering cottage. Each cottage has its own character and all are situated far apart for privacy. The added attraction here is that is that you can take your dog along too, to enjoy walks, as you breathe in the solitude and reconnect with nature after a long lockdown in the city. There are river-front walks and hiking in indigenous forest and grasslands on the 500-hectare property. Each cottage has a fenced garden for dogs and a private braai. 072-487-1733, saamrus.co.za

LITTLE FOREST GUEST HOUSE, PARKHURST, JOBURG

Tired of your home surrounds but don’t really want to travel out of the city just yet? Then let Little Forest Guest House be your peaceful oasis in the leafy northern suburbs of Joburg for a night or two. Although it’s within walking distance of good restaurants in Parkhurst, you’ll feel like you are stepping out of the city into a ‘parkland’ of trees and abundant birds. There are just four luxury suites, privately located in the garden and each one has its own entrance. Find it at 41 Fifth Street Street, Parklands. 084-503-8979, littleforestguesthouse.co.za

WESKUS HOKKIE, LAMBERT’S BAY, WESTERN CAPE

 

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Crunch your way down the shell-strewn path to your cottage, passing a sign that says ‘Private’. And it certainly is, with the whole landscape to yourselves. The outdoor hot tub for night-time stargazing is an added romantic element. This little surf cottage looks out over textured fynbos towards the ocean and is banked up against a wide semi-circle of rocks. Those same rocks have been incorporated into a cave-like outdoor shower and bath area shaded by a stretcher tent. The sun sets right in front of the cottage – bring enough firewood to last you long into the night. Self-catering Weskus Hokkie is on Steenbokfontein Farm, eight kilometres from Lambert’s Bay. westcoastwonder.com

LEKKERWATER BEACH LODGE DE HOOP RESERVE, WESTERN CAPE

This erstwhile holiday cottage to former President FW De Klerk is now a stunning and luxurious lodge where you won’t encounter anyone but your own party. The lodge is set on dunes overlooking a wild, six-kilometre stretch of beach on the eastern coast of De Hoop Nature Reserve. For locals, this is your opportunity to experience the place at a fraction of the usual cost, and for winter and spring it’s being offered on an exclusive-use basis. Now until the end of November is prime whale season in De Hoop – watch them from your bed at Lekkerwater. The current special (until December) is from R12 000 a night for the whole lodge, fully catered. It has seven bedrooms and sleeps a maximum of 12 guests. 021-001-1574, naturalselection.travel

STROOI KOOI, CALITZDORP, WESTERN CAPE

Stretch out on the king-sized bed of crisp white linen, while watching sunlight flicker over the fabric shades dancing in the wind outside – if complete relaxation is your objective, you’ll achieve just that at rustic and eclectic Strawbale Eco Cottage 1, constructed from straw, river stones, clay sand and river reeds. There’s a small plunge pool with views over vineyards stretching out to the stony Besemkop mountain. Be warned though, the tranquillity of this earthy cottage with its billowing drapes and dreamy light, in the solitude of the Klein Karoo, is hard to leave. Strooi Kooi eco-cottage is less than two kilometres from delightful the village of Calitzdorp (which is famous for its port), airbnb.com/rooms/4620304

JUST FOR TWO COTTAGE, BAVIAANSKLOOF, EASTERN CAPE

It’s called ‘Just For Two’ but this heavenly cottage in Cedar Falls Base Camp in the Baviaanskloof World Heritage Site it’s also perfectly lovely for someone needing solitary R&R. The outdoor bathtub is set under the gaze of age-old mountains. There’s a 10-minute walk to a stone labyrinth and besides exploring this, the 11-kilometre return hike to the waterfall is a must. Cedar Falls Base Camp is an hour and a half from Uniondale along dirt roads passable with a sedan. The cottage is totally off the grid, with gas and paraffin to light your way, cook your food and heat your water. 074-939-4395, gobaviaans.co.za

BURLINGTON BUSH COTTAGES, GRAHAMSTOWN, EASTERN CAPE

Burlington, on a private game farm, is a great hideaway for a few couples who want to spend time together over meals but also have the option to escape for some couple time. There are only four cottages, all with ultrta-luxe and generous facilities, and set apart for privacy. Each has a king-size bed with percale linen, a balcony that overlooks the euphorbia and aloe-filled thicket, and a gas braai to cook in privacy. But then there’s the Boat House – a communal structure over-looking a bass-stocked dam (catch and release fishing). The Boat House is kitted with everything you need, from modern appliances to a 16-seater dining table. You’ll almost certainly encounter game such as herds of springbok and solitary waterbuck (no dangerous species though) on the three-kilometre Yellow hiking trail that circles the circled the dam in front of the cottages.
021-876-2112, burlingtonbushcottages.com

DUMBE CHALETS, NORTHERN DRAKENSBERG, KWAZULU-NATAL

Posted by Dumbe selfcatering Chalets on Sunday, 31 July 2016

Perched on the edge of the escarpment along Retief Pass, these cottages have views onto the valley below – arguably some of the best in South Africa. They are private and great for couples, with self-catering facilities and a host of activities such as fishing, 4x4ing and hiking. 082-779-0723, dumbe.co.za

THE LOFT AT GLENOGLE FARM, MAGOEBASKLOOF, LIMPOPO

 

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The Loft @ Glenogle…

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Tucked away in a forest and over-looking a dam, this chic stay for two is a cosy hideaway with scented candles and swish linen. Go for long romantic walks, pick fresh blueberries at the next-door farm in summer, or curl up and relax on the sumptuous rugs in front of the fire in winter. 083-259-8321, glenogle.co.za

WOOLLY BUGGER, DULLSTROOM, MPUMALANGA

 

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New Sedgehog cottage!

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This farm is serious about fly fishing and has two trout dams. The two things we loved about it, though, were the 4×4 drives to find a rocky outcrop where we could watch the sunset. And having our dogs with us for the weekend. Woolly Bugger has six self-catering cottages, three of which are great for couples. 079-103-0949, woollybuggerfarm.co.za

 

Words: Teagan Cunniffe, Melanie van Zyl and Catherine Hofmeyr

Image credit: Facebook/Dumbe Selfcatering Chalets






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