Cheetah Plains Lodge in the Sabi Sand Reserve won the Luxury Bush Villa award at the World Luxury Hotel Awards in Finland. Picture: Cheetah Plains Lodge.

South Africa is home to many game lodges, and if you decide to open one, you need to make sure it is one of the best. 

And that is what owner Japie Van Niekerk did when he decided to rebuild Cheetah Plains Lodge in the Sabi Sand Reserve in 2017. 

He desired a unique luxury lodge and an eco-sustainable place that would co-exist harmoniously with nature and a place guests will remember long after they checkout. 

Picture: Cheetah Plains Lodge.

Despite reopening less than a year, Cheetah Plains won the Luxury Bush Villa award at the World Luxury Hotel Awards in Finland. 

The lodge also won best game lodge in South Africa at the 2019 HOSCO Luxury Tourism Awards. 

It is easy to see why their villas, which are known as Plains Houses, emerged the winners. 

The private, exclusive-use villas boast a formal lounge, living room, dining area, expansive sun deck, heated swimming pool, wine gallery, chef’s kitchen and elegant private suites. 

Niekerk decided to implement a new design aesthetic, one that includes modern architecture, curated wine list, private on-site sommelier and a sustainable solar power initiative.

Picture: Cheetah Plains Lodge.
Picture: Cheetah Plains Lodge.

Each villa also offers a fine wine gallery comprising a purely South African wine selection curated to reflect my favourite estates and varietals. 

Niekerk told IOL Travel: “We are incredibly proud to be recognised by the World Luxury Hotel Awards as Best Luxury Bush Villa. We aim to increase tourism and offer an all-inclusive, private, luxury safari experience of the highest standard. This award is confirmation that we are on the right track. 

“My vision for the Cheetah Plains has always been to provide our guests with the perfect layout and design elements for exclusive family and group travel,” he said. 

On plans for the lodge, he said: “We keep moving forward, keep innovating and improving on all aspects from design to service levels. Our art collection is a project that never ends, and we are constantly on the lookout for new pieces to complement the environment.

Picture: Cheetah Plains Lodge.

He said they try to add something new every year. “Our latest innovative angle will have to remain under wraps for now, but we are excited about things to come,” he added. 

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Source: Top Billing.