Many of us are looking for the perfect escape, a place where we can switch off and marvel at nature. Miarestate Hotel and Spa in Haga Haga in the Eastern Cape, I found, is one of those places.
Just an hour away from East London, Miarestate offers travellers a place to gather their thoughts while they are waited on hand and foot.
The five- star hotel is set on a 740 hectare wildlife estate where various species of antelope, Cape Mountain Zebra and over 300 types of birds roam freely.
Owner Nonkqubela Mayatula started the hotel in 2013 in honour of her late daughter, Mia.
Mayatula, who drew her inspiration from Raffles Hotel in Singapore, wanted to create a hotel that offers a luxury and wildlife experience.
Travellers will be captivated once they drive into the property, especially after driving along a 13 kilometer stretch of gravel road to get there.
After a refreshing welcome drink at reception, Terrence, one of the front desk managers, escourts our group of 12 to our rooms. The hotel offers deluxe, superior and executive suites for travelling groups, couples or solo travellers. The Retreat with two interlinked cabins are perfect for families. The suites can be described as antique with a touch of contemporary. Each suite comes equipped with air con, double or king size beds, tea and coffee making facilities, satellite television, wifi, luxury bathroom amenities and a patio.
The superior and executive suite have a private garden with outdoor shower. It is the attention to details in the suites that makes this place so special.
Once settled, I headed to the restaurant for a three course dinner. The restaurant was cosy. We chose a table inside due to heavy rainfall and thunder that evening. A fireplace burned brightly near our table, which was decorated with fragrant candles and silver cutlery.
The three-course feast was executed well. For starters, we tucked into spicy cajun prawns with a garlic butter sauce, followed by a main of a tender lamb rack, served with whole grain mash potatoes, roasted onion and a red wine jus. I opted for the line fish with mash and veggies. We finished off the meal with a well plated and equally delicious creme brulee.
After a restful sleep, we went on a game drive the next morning. During the drive, we saw Sable antelope and warthogs. Sadly, the zebra and giraffes were nowhere to be seen.
Travellers can also choose to enjoy a picnic, take nature walks, guided horse rides or get pampered at the spa.
Parents who want an afternoon off can send their children to Zebra Zone, a dedicated kids area that offer children treasure hunts, bush walks, arts and crafts and baking.
Miarestate, who won the Lap of Luxury category at last year's National Lilizela Awards, hopes to win more accolades when they launch two types of accommodation offerings this year.
Their exclusive Tuscan Villa is a high-end 5 sleeper with a private pool and seaview, while their luxury tents offers stunning views of the ocean and the estate. Call 043 841 1152.