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SSouth Africa offers a range of accommodation options to suit just about every budget and style. Enjoy 5-star luxury hotels, boutique hotels & guest houses, game lodges, nature lodges, tented safari camps, bed & breakfasts and self-catering accommodation. Here are some quirky hotels if you enjoy an experience with a difference...
Take seven American Airstream trailers and transport them to the present-day in the city of Cape Town, then invite local artists to design the interiors according to a South African vibe. Upstairs from the city’s most popular night-time street, the Grand Daddy’s Airstream Rooftop Trailer Park also has serene views of Table Mountain. While there, dine at the fantastic restaurant, see a movie or have a sundowner at the rooftop sky bar.
After a day of quad biking, visiting Ancient San sites or hiking the Cederberg Mountains, why not stay in the actual mountain? Luxury cave rooms are nestled between iconic sandstone formations and yet it’s the height of luxury. You can also choose the Open-Air suite for a comfortable night under the stars or stay over in a traditional South African hut.
Opulent and luxurious, with the best linen and excellent service, this is what staying in a castle should be like. The Castle in Clarens has a Rapunzel Tower for those who want to let down their hair, and a Prince’s Room for those who like their luxury with more of a masculine touch. The interiors have been designed by local artist Petro Uys, so you’re sure to find something unique around every corner.
TTsala Treetop Lodge, Harkerville
From the entrance of formidable stone and water features to the foyer flanked by blackwoods, this setting in the trees is unlike any house you’ve ever stayed in. With the forest treetops enveloping you and the clatter of monkeys calling, Tsala is a place of comfort and high-end design. Choose from treetop villas or suites, indulge in delicious food and enjoy the wonderful service.
This is a budget accommodation known for its awesome design and friendly, helpful staff. Situated in Long Street, the Daddy Long Legs Art Hotel is like sleeping in an art gallery. Each room was created by an interior design team that included an artist, poet, photographer and musician.
In 1976, the first-ever luxury tented safari camp was set up in the Timbavati Game Reserve. The Tanda Tula Field Camp is made up of just four tents. In the old style of East African game safaris, there is also a communal lounge tent where guests gather to share stories at the end of the day. The specific location is a prime game-spotting area, so be prepared for the sound of grunting lions and laughing hyenas late at night.
Get on board a train that won’t be leaving the station. Just 30m from the Mossel Bay beach, the Santos Express is a train that offers backpacker-style accommodation in private cabooses. With the most incredible view, you’ll be glad to stay put. If you can, book the Royal Ladies caboose and settle into style.
This budget hotel chronicles 12 decades of the Joburg story with rooms designed by some of the city’s most prominent artists and designers. Situated in the Maboneng Precinct, it’s the perfect place to explore the neighbourhood of galleries, restaurants and shops. Make sure you’re there for the weekend Market on Main to see why Joburgers are known as such cool, friendly people.
If you’re in the Hartbeespoort Dam area, you could relive the trekboer experience and spend the night in an ossewa (ox-wagon). Though truthfully, this isn’t the same as the olden days. Kitted with comfortable beds and a small house on the side for you to change and keep your bags in, you’ll be sleeping much better than the trekkers ever did. You’ll also start the day with a champagne breakfast. For backpackers, there is also a double-decker bus on site.