Over the years, we have published articles on a number of ‘In’ holiday destinations, and, if you ask me, a popular place is only truly ‘In’ if it remains popular and stands the test of time.
Absolutely great and at the coast is Birkenhead, from Royal Portfolio, where the ambiance is focused on relaxing with great meals on the deck looking over the breakers – as luxurious as La Residence (Franschhoek), yet totally different with a soothing and relaxing atmosphere enhanced by the ever-present sound of breaking waves, and, of course, of whales. This is probably the best site in the world to do whale watching from, and then around the corner you can go watch great white sharks from a very, very strong cage.
Tswalu Lodge (Kalahari)
Thinking off-the-cuff holiday destinations, I find the following immediately coming to mind: Tswalu Lodge in the Kalahari, where you can see forever, the service is second to none and the memories stay forever. In a word, Tswalu is the epitome of green excellence and preservation. It is such a great learning experience while enjoying the wilderness and the wild animals, including very active lions, that you not only experience the greatness of the wilderness, but also fall in love with nature.
At Tswalu, you can enjoy
- game drives in open-sided, canopied safari vehicles
- horse riding accompanied by an equestrian guide, with tuition offered in an enclosed post-and-rail arena, if necessary – and all riding equipment is available at Tswalu
- bush walks led by experienced guides offering the opportunity to get close to nature and to experience the uniqueness of the Kalahari vegetation
- a variety of dining experiences, including sundowners on lantern-lit dunes, boma dining, and mountain-lookout dining under the umbrella-thorn acacias
- an awesome stargazing experience under the Kalahari’s ‘diamond skies’, with your guide pointing out all the major constellations in the southern skies
- sleep-outs on the Kalahari dunes with just the stars as your canopy
- archaeological sites in the Korannaberg Mountains, allowing you to see, firsthand, the rock engravings of the San people
- meerkat colonies, which are often encountered – but a habituated group allows viewing at close range (Children under the age of 6 years must be accompanied by an adult.)
- hot-air ballooning over the Kalahari landscape, but prior booking is essential.
La Residence (Franschhoek)
La Residence in Franschhoek is a magnificent private hotel and country estate that is the epitome of private luxury enjoyed by the rich, the not so rich and surely the famous. You are left in awe of the baronial grandeur of the whole entrance hall, which extends to include the dining room, lounge areas and library with its great chandeliers, marble floors and works of art. Individuality is what you get here, as each of the 11 suites is totally different in its character, furnishings and ambiances.
To illustrate the uniqueness, I should mention that the Maharani Suite, being one of the superior suites, was influenced by Sir Elton John, who, incidentally, also stayed in the suite. Other suites have the names of Honey Suckle, Armani, Nomatemba and seven more, all as different as day is from night and all with their own unique influences and character that add to the splendid experience. No expense has been spared in ensuring that guests are treated as royalty and experience it through the quality of the furniture, layout and art in this establishment. The activities at La Residence are too many to mention – from the best wine farms and wine tasting in the world to Reuben’s cuisine that is world-renowned.
Now, I must also include the Mantis Collection in the ‘In’ holiday destinations. If you have not experienced Shamwari Game Reserve, you have not experienced the total sum of service excellence, pampering and pure enjoyment. Include Oceana near Port Alfred and you have a total package of Game Reserve and Sea. Mantis is renowned for walking away with the most coveted international tourism awards, and only by experiencing its international portfolio would you realise the exceptional quality of this collection.
Cape Town itself has some of the greatest ‘In’ holiday destinations. I shall touch on only a few of them – those where I have been and where I was treated as royalty. All of them are hotels, with the Mount Nelson being the oldest and most famous as it nestles against Table Mountain and provides a haven for the many international and local guests who frequent it annually. If you want to see the ‘who’s who’ of the international world, you have got to be there. The lovely Cape Grace at the Waterfront is second to none, and, again, has a special vibe that, even with some hustle and bustle around you, makes it an excellent holiday destination. Service and the enjoyment of its guests are foremost. The Twelve Apostles on the drive to the world-famous Llandudno is also an establishment that is not only unique in its setting, but is also balm to the soul of those who stay there and experience the might of the Atlantic Ocean in all of its splendour.
The ‘In’ holiday destination has to be reached somehow or other, and that is where another interesting concept of traveling comes to the fore. You can drive, you can fly, you can go by train or you can even go by ship. The question, however, is: we are talking ‘holiday’ and we are talking ‘relax and enjoy’, so get someone else to take the hassles out of planning and get you there.
Now, combined with ‘In’ holiday destinations, Cardinal Leisure is a privately owned leisure and corporate travel company that celebrates the exceptional – in other words, the ‘In’. Richard and Viviene Kloeck design travel packages around their clients, which include Safari Rail’s tours, conferences and events, and air charters to your preferred destination – or even a combination of all of the above. They will whisk you all over Africa in their 8- to 10-seater PC12 Caravan 208, King Air 200, Citation or even their flagship, a Gulfstream V corporate jet. As you can see, they operate at world-class standards, and that is ‘In’. You dream it; they make it come true. The Editor will not allow the whole magazine to be dedicated to ‘In’ holiday destinations, and thus I must call it a day.
PS: South Africa is really a gem when it comes to ‘In’ holiday destinations, and you only have to look around you to find these gems.
I am young and I need life around me with lots of stuff to do. Give the same theme to my parents, and they go gaga thinking of tranquility, good service and luxury. Give it to my brother, and he will be packing his diving equipment and rock-climbing gear.
So, is it easy to determine the ‘In’ holiday destinations? No! For this reason, I will concentrate on only a few ‘In’ destinations, and, since this is a business magazine for businesspeople, I won’t cover those exciting, upbeat, heart-stopping, 24-hour-thrill holiday destinations.
Since the majority of our readers are in South Africa, we will concentrate on what we have available in our lovely country. Now, again, do you holiday at the coast, or in the bush, the city or the wilderness?
WIMSICAL | The "In" Holiday Destinations