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20 HIDDEN GEMS

November 15, 2017
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Everyday life is so speedy, tiring, exhausting. Sometimes we even question ourselves, what is this all for? Once in a while, we all need a little magic, a taste of the adventure that makes us feel alive for real. Which adventure could be greater than to travel or to be in love? To put these two pieces together that would be for the best. It doesn’t take so much effort, so don’t forget to be…Happy! 

LA PETITE DAUPHINE GUEST FARM - FRANSCHHOEK, CAPE TOWN
La Petite Dauphine is one of those Western Cape accommodation venues that truly astounds. Situated on a working fruit and wine farm in the verdant Franschhoek valley, this inimitable five-star destination delivers on all fronts - the scenery is out of this world, your every whim is catered for and there is nothing more you could want when it comes to absolute luxury and comfort. 

Best of all? It's located a mere 2km from the heart of Franschhoek village - a delightful town that is commonly referred to as the gourmet capital of South Africa. When staying at La Petite Dauphine 5-star guest farm, visitors have the option of staying in one of 9 suites, which includes 3 luxury suites; 2 luxury two-bedroom suites that sleep four; 1 luxury suite that sleeps three; 2 exclusive villa suites; and a junior studio suite. 

Breakfast is included in the rate of your stay and can be enjoyed on the on-site restaurant, Café BonBon. This beautiful eatery is situated in a 200-year-old renovated wine cellar on the premises, and also features Veruska's Wine Bar, where diners can enjoy Haut Espoir wines in rustic comfort. Visit their website for more information.

MENLYN BOUTIQUE HOTEL - PRETORIA
Menlyn Boutique Hotel is one of those rare Pretoria accommodation venues that succeeds in combining luxury and tranquillity with an inimitably artful approach to its overall look and feel. Here, discerning visitors can look forward to detailed and personalised service and truly stunning surroundings that have been curated with an expert eye. 

Conveniently located at the heart of Tshwane, right across the way from the famous Menlyn Shopping Mall, this sought-after hotel is easily accessible from Johannesburg and the OR Tambo International airport, making it the ideal option for both business and leisure travellers. The venue comprises 6 Express Rooms, 10 Standard Rooms, 2 self-catering units, 8 Executive Rooms and 1 Presidential Room. 

The Menlyn Boutique Hotel luxury collection also includes Fifty Seven Waterberg, a five-star lodge in the Welgevonden private game reserve. Guests can also look forward to an on-site restaurant and spa at the hotel. The Black Bamboo offers five-star South African fine dining at its best; while the Beauty Within Salon & Spa provides a full range of wellness treatments. 

The venue is also available for exclusive hire to host boutique weddings of up to 100 guests. For more information, visit their website.

BLAAUWVILLAGE LUXURY BOUTIQUE GUEST HOUSE - BLOUBERGSTRAND, CAPE TOWN
BlaauwVillage Luxury Boutique Guest House is an exceptional getaway destination in Bloubergstrand, situated along the picturesque western sweep of the Cape Peninsula. Suitable for discerning guests from all walks of life, including honeymooners, families, loved-up couples and business travellers, this luxurious guest house offers everything you need for a comfortable stay in South Africa's inimitable Mother City. 

BlaauwVillage comprises an array of elegantly decorated units to suit a variety of tastes. This includes sea-facing suites, family rooms, garden-facing units and more. Bloubergstrand is a mere 30-minute drive from Cape Town CBD, but also enjoys the restful ambience of a quiet seaside town. Enjoy the best of both worlds at BlaauwVillage Luxury Boutique Guest House, where impeccable hospitality is a way of life. Visit their website for more information.

GRANDE PROVENCE - THE RESTAURANT - FRANSCHHOEK - CAPE TOWN
Grande Provence Estate wears her 300-year history with dignity. Sitting in the magnificent Franschhoek Valley in South Africa’s Western Cape, her lush vines spread across 47-acres with gentle vistas over the valley floor, with the rugged mountains beyond. This is heartland South African wine country at its very finest. Visit their website for more information.

MORGAN BAY HOTEL - 45 MIN DRIVE FROM EAST LONDON
Experience the majestic beauty of South Africa's Wild Coast at the Morgan Bay Hotel. This sought-after, family-friendly destination is situated less than an hour's drive from East London and is a restful haven overlooking the ocean, against a dramatic backdrop of breathtaking cliffs. Morgan Bay Hotel offers comfortable, relaxing dinner, bed & breakfast accommodation that is tailor-made for couples on romantic getaways, families with children, as well as groups of friends. 

The hotel also hosts weddings and private functions and boasts an on-site beauty spa, restaurant, pub and beach boutique - everything you need to enjoy a fun-filled holiday from start to finish. Keep an eye out for their midweek specials and winter promos! Now is the time to create lasting memories at Morgan Bay Hotel! Visit their website for more information.

ROVOS RAIL - SUB-CONTINENT OF AFRICA
Rovos Rail is a luxury South African train safari operator that covers the sub-continent of Africa with a variety of journeys. This includes trips between Cape Town and Pretoria; Pretoria and Durban; Pretoria and the Victoria Falls; Pretoria and Namibia; Cape Town and Dar es Salaam; the African Golf Collage between Pretoria, Kruger Park, Durban and Cape Town; and more. 

The train is also available for private hire, subject to availability, and for hunting safaris. Recapture the romance and atmosphere of a bygone era as you step aboard reconditioned wood-panelled coaches and enjoy fine cuisine in five-star luxury. 

A Rovos Rail journey is the perfect option for honeymooners in search of an elegant getaway, and could also be a very unique destination for a proposal. Accommodation is available in various configurations, including Royal Suites (±16 sqm), Deluxe Suites (±10 sqm), and Pullman Suites (±7 sqm). Revel in the atmosphere of an era when elegance reigned supreme with Rovos Rail. Visit their a very unique destination for a proposal. Accommodation is available in various configurations, including Royal Suites (±16 sqm), Deluxe Suites (±10 sqm), and Pullman Suites (±7 sqm). Revel in the atmosphere of an era when elegance reigned supreme with Rovos Rail. Visit their website for more information.

MONTAGU SPRINGS - MONTAGU, WESTERN CAPE
Are you on the lookout for your next fun-filled family getaway destination? Or perhaps you and your partner enjoy uncovering new and exciting places to get closer to nature in the Western Cape? Look no further than Montagu Springs – an ideal holiday destination within two hours’ drive from Cape Town. 

In short, it’s the ideal place to relax and unwind with your family, a group of friends or even just your partner. The area is absolutely gorgeous, so try to make a long weekend of it so you can drink in the many sights along the famous Route 62 that leads to Montagu Springs. There are many wonderful wine farms to visit and quaint stopovers to enjoy. 

For more information regarding the accommodation and activities available at Montagu Springs, visit their website.

HOUTBOSCH BAY SELF CATERING - JEFFREYS BAY, EASTERN CAPE
Houtbosch Bay Honeymoon Suite with Jacuzzi is the perfect option for honeymooners and couples who want to enjoy a romantic getaway far from the noise and distractions of the inner-city bustle. Situated in the midst of a nature reserve along South Africa's picturesque southern coast, this hidden gem is a nature lover's dream. 

Houtbosch Bay is approximately 5km from Jeffreys Bay and 75km from Port Elizabeth airport on the N2 and Route 62, and 120km from the world-famous Addo Elephant Park that is home to the sought-after Big 5. As such, it can be reached with ease, but once you're there, you can revel in utter seclusion. 

The suite features everything you'll need for a comfortable self-catering stay, including an indoor jacuzzi that overlooks the ocean! Best of all, when you feel like some company, you can simply stroll along the beach to one of the rustic, oceanside restaurants nearby. In short - the perfect honeymoon set-up for travellers who want to get off the grid. Visit their website for more information.

CAPE TOWN MARRIOTT HOTEL CRYSTAL TOWERS - CENTURY CITY, CAPE TOWN
If you're a traveller with a keen taste for sophisticated luxury, yet also want to enjoy a convenient location in the cities you visit, the Cape Town Marriott Hotel Crystal Towers should be at the top of your list. 

Tailormade for romantic getaways, business events and even weddings, this singular Cape Town destination is an exclusive accommodation option that ticks all of our boxes. Think chic, modern luxury in a location that allows you to enjoy the Mother City's best shopping and outings, and also happens to be conveniently situated for business dealings of every sort.

For more information on the accommodation options available for romantic getaways and family holidays at the Cape Town Marriott Crystal Towers Hotel, visit their user-friendly website.

BAKUBUNG BUSH LODGE - PILANSBERG
Situated in the pristine Pilanesberg region, a mere two hours' drive from bustling CBD of Johannesburg and yet enveloped in a tranquil ambience all its own, Bakubung Bush Lodge is a luxurious retreat in a place of breath-taking beauty.

'Bakubung' means 'people of the hippo' and refers to the lodge's close proximity to a much-frequented hippo pool, where guests can view these gentle giants in their natural habitat from a safe distance. Located within the vast expanses of the world-renowned Pilanesberg National Park (one of the largest conserves in South Africa), Bakubung is the perfect destination for nature lovers who want to experience African wildlife in an environmentally friendly way.

THE OUTPOST LODGE - KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
If a visit to the Kruger National Park has always been on your bucket list, The Outpost should be your first port of call when it comes to secluded, luxury accommodation. 

Situated in the wildest and most remote part of the renowned Kruger Park, The Outpost offers exclusive luxury accommodation in a wilderness area that is known for abundant wildlife species that aren't always evident in other regions of the park. 

Here, guests can look forward to sightings of large elephant- and buffalo herds, Nyala and diverse flora that ranges from Mopane Woodlands to Fever Tree Forests. Visit their website for more information.

TSHWENE LODGE - WATERBERG, LIMPOPO
If it is unbridled luxury in a stunning African location you want, Tshwene Lodge is the place to be. It's very seldom that you find such a beautifully-appointed getaway destination that ticks all the luxury travel boxes, but Tshwene Lodge delivers on all fronts: location, accommodation, amenities, cuisine, wildlife proximity and more!

First of all, let's talk location. It's an exclusive lodge comprising five standard suites and one ridiculously romantic honeymoon suite, set among a verdant canopy of trees overlooking the stunning vistas afforded by the rugged Taaibos River valley below. Visit their website for more information.

CHITWA CHITWA - KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
There are very few wildlife lodges in South Africa that manage to combine absolutely luxurious accommodation with a respectful approach to nature conservation and holistic wildlife experiences. This is why we were absolutely thrilled to come across Chitwa Chitwa

This remarkable destination, situated on the sunny banks of one the largest dams in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve within the confines of the greater Kruger National Park, manages to tick all of the ‘stunning accommodation’ boxes without imposing on the incredibly scenic environment that surrounds it.

HOUW HOEK HOTEL - GRABOUW, WESTERN CAPE
Houw Hoek Hotel near Grabouw in the Western Cape is a spellbinding destination where the romance of yesteryear meets the seamless conveniences of a modern-day retreat. It is only 80 km from Cape Town. 

Here, guests can look forward to comfortable family-friendly accommodation in an array of configurations, as well as romantic units tailor-made for a couple’s getaway back to nature. There’s also plenty to see and do! Aside from the many wine farms and adventure activities that can be explored in the vicinity, the hotel itself has many onsite entertainment options that range from putt-putt, volleyball, tennis, and squash, to a boules court, foosball, a pool table and board games for when it's rainy out. 

Houw Hoek is also a renowned wedding destination, with many different indoor and al fresco ceremony and reception venues to choose from, and serves a wonderful array of proudly South African and fusion-inspired meals that can be enjoyed throughout the day by guests and visitors alike. Keen on dancing? The hotel hosts a dinner dance every Saturday, so whip out those dancing shoes and get ready for an old-school date night like no other!

BELGRACE BOUTIQUE HOTEL - WHITE RIVER, MPUMALANGA
It is very seldom that one comes across a getaway destination that truly transports you from your everyday life, to a place of opulence and tranquillity where your cares melt away and you are able to drink in life’s finer moments. 

This is why Belgrace Boutique Hotel – the Hotel with Heart is such a wonderful find –  five minutes from the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport and 45 minutes’ drive from Kruger National Park, this gorgeous bespoke accommodation venue is truly something remarkable.

Perfect for celebrating engagements, wedding nights, honeymoons, anniversaries and other romantic special occasions, the luxury suites at Belgrace Boutique Hotel have been designed with sheer opulence in mind. 

For more information regarding the accommodation options and wedding packages offered at Belgrace Boutique Hotel – The Hotel with Heart, visit their website.

HEAVEN ON EARTH SPA - DURBAN, KWA-ZULU NATAL
There is nothing quite like a spa getaway to revitalise and rejuvenate a hard-working couple. At Date Night Ideas, we are always on the lookout for beautiful spas to share with our discerning readership, which is why we were thrilled when we came across the Heaven on Earth Day Spa in Durban. This lovely pampering destination is one of those rare gems that tick all of our self-care boxes.
 
Situated at 262 John Zikhali, just off Essenwood Road and directly across the way from Essenwood Fleamarket, Heaven on Earth Day Spa boasts a wonderfully tranquil setting that is tailormade for a break from the bustle of everyday life. Here, guests can enjoy a full range of treatments at the hands of highly qualified therapists. 

This includes manicures, pedicures, facials, hair removal and cosmetic treatments, as well as massages, wraps and comprehensive spa packages.

MOLEDI GORGE - MAGALIESBURG, NORTH-WEST
Looking for a scenic sanctuary for your next getaway? Moledi should be at the top of your list. This exceptionally well-appointed destination in the North-West Province of South Africa is situated just north of Magaliesburg. 

Here, guests can look forward to sumptuous accommodation in a gorgeous bush villa that overlooks an expansive gorge. This singular 8-suite venue is tailormade for discerning travellers who value privacy and relaxation in a luxurious environment. 

Moledi boasts everything couples, groups of friends and families will require for a delightful stay, including an on-site wine cellar with private dining room, a games room with DStv, a spa with steam room, two bomas and even a hammock picnic garden!

GARONGA SAFARI CAMP - KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, LIMPOPO
Are you yearning for a getaway to the wild, far from the madding crowds, where you can revel in the quiet and tranquillity of nature at its undisturbed finest? 

Look no further than Garonga Safari Camp and Little Garonga - exclusive camps located in the Greater Makalali Private Nature Reserve, west of the world-famous Kruger National Park. 

The Makalali Conservancy is the perfect option for wildlife enthusiasts who want to enjoy a holistic safari experience that will allow them to drink in the beauty if this singular region in an intimate setting. Visit their website for more information.

KHAYA NDLOVU MANOR HOUSE - HOEDSPRUIT
Khaya Ndlovu Manor House is a breath-taking destination outside of the quaint town of Hoedspruit in the Lowveld. Here, guests can look forward to exceptional accommodation in the midst of the 15000-hectare Blue Canyon Conservancy that is home to four out of the famed Big Five. 

This exclusive retreat is a wonderful option for couples, families and group of friends who require polished service, exceptional attention to detail and plenty to see and do throughout their stay. Khaya Ndlovu offers game drives and walks, as well as Kruger Park day tours. 

Guests can also book pampering treatments at an on-site spa and families may make use of childcare services if required. The establishment is tailor-made for weddings, and honeymooning couples enjoy the ultimate indulgence. In short - everything you need for a gorgeous bushveld getaway. Visit their website for more information.

WESTIN SOMA BAY GOLF RESORT AND SPA - HURGHADA, EGYPT
Are you in the mood for a far-flung getaway that will introduce you to one of the most intriguing cultures in the world? Look no further than the Westin Soma Bay Golf Resort and Spa in Hurghada, Egypt. Situated in scenic splendour on the coastline of the renowned Red Sea, this remarkable resort is a haven of tranquillity where guests can look forward to a truly extraordinary travel and accommodation experience.

At Westin Soma Bay the lifestyle approach is to eat well, sleep well, play well, work well, move well and feel well. The resort’s impressive 18-hole championship golf course that overlooks the Soma Bay peninsula was designed by golfing legend Gary Player, and is the very first of its kind in the Middle East.

The Westin Soma Bay Golf Resort and Spa also boasts private beach access and a gorgeous pool where guests can soak up the sun. Indoor and al fresco dining is offered at Seasonal Taste, the on-site restaurant that overlooks the golf course and Red Sea; while the Eagle's Nest pub provides a casual space to enjoy drinks and conversation; and the Seashell Beach Restaurant is tailormade for cosy dinners with a sea view. Visit their website for more information.

SHERATON SOMA BAY RESORT - SOMA BAY PENINSULA, EGYPT
Located along the serene Soma Bay Peninsula on the eastern shores of the world-famous Red Sea, the Sheraton Soma Bay enjoys a spectacular location that accentuates its singular, dramatic architecture, which was inspired by the Karnak Temple in Luxor. 

However, that’s where the similarities with this ancient structure end. Once you walk through the doors of the Sheraton, you are in the lap of luxury, with every whim catered for and every need satisfied. Think large, spacious rooms and suites in a variety of configurations to suit every lifestyle requirement. 

For more information regarding accommodation options at Sheraton Soma Bay Resort, and how you can book your next romantic getaway or family holiday at this outstanding Egyptian destination, visit the user-friendly Sheraton Soma Bay Resort website.

TENIQUA TREETOPS - KNYSNA, WESTERN CAPE
Sleeping among the treetops right up in the canopy of a forest may seem like a childhood dream, but thanks to Teniqua Treetops in Knysna this accommodation experience is now a reality. Nature-loving couples, assemble! 

We have yet to come across a destination that is more beautifully appointed, eco-friendly and absolutely tailormade for adventurers with a thirst for all things al fresco. 

At Teniqua Treetops, guests spend the night in treehouses that boast exceptional views, comfortable interiors and everything you need for a sustainable, self-catering stay. 

This includes honeymoon units with large romantic baths and cosy tented bedrooms; secure family units that are suitable for groups with younger children; as well as multi-bedroom units perfect for groups of friends who want to enjoy a tandem getaway. Visit their website for more information.

UURPAN LODGE - SCHEIZER-RENEKE, NORTH-WEST
Uurpan Lodge is a 4-star accommodation venue 10km outside of the small town of Schweizer-Reneke in the North West Province. Here, guests can look forward to a tranquil environment, with buffalos grazing nearby as the sun sets on yet another wonderful day. 

The lodge comprises 13 beautifully appointed bedrooms that overlook the fields where game roam freely and features all the amenities required for a comfortable, catered stay. Uurpan also has an on-site restaurant where guests can enjoy their meals, and a full range of activities to partake in throughout their stay. 

This includes everything from game drives and bass fishing, to hiking trails and bird-watching. Not to mention the on-site wedding venue, chapel, function hall and conference facilities that complete the picture. In short - a dream destination in a stunning, off-the-grid location.

MOYEN SKIN AND WELLNESS - MIDSTREAM, GAUTENG
There are certain wellness destinations that stand out from the rest – stunningly tranquil wellness centres with a restful, serene atmosphere where you can step away from the rigours of your day-to-day life to enjoy a few hours of well-deserved rest and recuperation. Moyen Skin & Wellness is one of these remarkable wellness centres.
 
Couples are invited to book double treatments in their signature double suite, and groups can indulge in convivial pedicure and manicure sessions in a specially tailored lounge. Naturally, there are also completely private treatment rooms for visitors who prefer to enjoy their treatments alone.
 
For more information regarding Moyen Skin & Wellness, visit their website or get in touch with their reservations team directly. Selfcare is such an important part of taking care of your relationship – remember to take the time to indulge in some pampering; it’s more important than you think.

KOLOLO GAME RESERVE - VAALWATER, LIMPOPO
Tailormade for romantic getaways and family holidays, Kololo offers accommodation in a range of upmarket villas and chalets positioned in pristine bushveld surroundings that offer plenty of cycling and hiking opportunities among 'small' wildlife that are allowed to roam free on the reserve. 

Excursions are offered to nearby areas, where the toothier animals enjoy spacious, yet secure, living quarters. At Kololo you can enjoy the wildlife from the comfort of your private terrace or view it from the decks at the restaurant. 

Guests can also look forward to a range of leisure options that include everything from swimming sparkling pools to partaking in guided horse safaris!

STONECUTTERS LODGE - DULLSTROOM, MPUMALANGA
Stonecutters Lodge is a luxuriously appointed country accommodation venue situated between Dullstroom and Lydenburg. Here, guests are invited to shrug off the slog of everyday life to relax and emerge rejuvenated. 

The lodge features an array of self-catering accommodation units that can sleep two, four or seven guests – so it’s tailormade for couples, families and groups of friends who want to reconnect and enjoy the unfettered beauty of natural abundance. 

For more information on this spellbinding destination, visit the Stonecutters Lodge website or get in touch with their reservations team directly. 

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