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2 South African hotels rank in the top 50 most romantic destinations in the world

Picture: La Residence/Instagram.

Picture: La Residence/Instagram.

Published Feb 4, 2022


Big 7 Travel has officially revealed The 50 Most Romantic Hotels for 2022, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

In their fourth year curating the list, they've taken many different factors into consideration. The hotels were ranked based on a variety of variables, including properties with excellent Tripadvisor review scores from couples, distinctive “romantic” experiences, location, room facilities, and opulence.

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With the likes of coral-fringed beaches and rambling castles on the list, having two South African destinations ranked on the list is quite the achievement. From the bush to the winelands, we’re taking a closer look at the experiences, rooms and views that are on offer, making these hotels stand out from the rest as far as romance goes.

In 29th place is La ResidenceFranschhoek, South Africa

Majestic mountains, rolling hills and crisp countryside air with a charming European atmosphere, the quaint town is hailed for being one of the oldest in the country. About 75km from Cape Town, it is the perfect distance for a day trip or spur of the moment weekend away.

La Residence, situated on a private 30-acre estate, sets the benchmark for luxury accommodation. With a stunning mountain backdrop and breath-taking views of the undulating countryside, the hotel is bordered by Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz vineyards, olive groves, and plum orchards.

The 11 Suites at the hotel are beautifully adorned with artworks, plush materials and a vibrant mix of colours that complements the romantic town – ideal for couples while the five Vineyard suites offer privacy and space for families and groups of friends. For a night in one of their stunning suites, you’ll spend about R16 350 and upwards depending on the room and date.

Part of the visit is also experiencing fine dining. Everyone knows that the way to a person’s heart is actually through their stomach and La Residence experience, the focus is on great food and exquisite wines. For the adventurous ones, the natural beauty of the area lends itself to a variety of activities ranging from hiking and cycling to art galleries, festivals, and automotive museums.

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In 33rd place is Lion Sands Ivory LodgeMpumalanga, South Africa

With the backdrop of game-filled plains and star-studded skies, every activity here is enhanced by the natural beauty of the African bush. Located just an hour-long flight from Joburg and two hours from Cape Town, the lodges can be found in the Mpumalanga province, in the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, and Kruger National Park.

Ivory Lodge has thought of everything, from your favourite champagne in the maxi-bar to one-of-a-kind dining under the stars. Guests staying at Ivory Lodge can also stay in a luxury tree house for a night or two. The Kingston Treehouse is built on stones and is accessible through a small drawbridge lit by lamps.

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As for the accommodation, each suite is situated over the flowing Sabie River, offering guests a real-time view of the incredible wildlife hidden amongst the green and yellow of the bush, all from the comfort of their room.

For breakfast, what could be more romantic than indulging in a meal out on the spacious deck as the bush gradually comes to life with every chirp, buzz and distant roar. For dinner, being wined and dined by candlelight only to return to a relaxing bubble bath is the perfect activity for couples looking to enjoy some down-time.

Rates for the Ivory Lodge start from around R33 000 per person sharing. This includes specialist activities like the tree-house experiences, private open safari vehicle hire, local community experiences (with More Community Foundation), helicopter flights, golf, exclusive bush breakfasts and dinners.

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For more amazing destinations and hotels, check out the latest IOL Travel digital magazine