Tourism Month: 4 fantastic places to relax and unwind in Eastern Cape
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If you are itching to take a break from your busy life and just travel this tourism month, the Eastern Cape is the perfect getaway to escape to for a day or two.
Whether you would like to laze around by the beach or treat your mind and body to a relaxing retreat, the Eastern Cape has accommodation perfect for your ideal staycation.
This beach paradise is not only famous for its birdlife and marine life but for its luxurious hotels as well that will make you want to never leave the place.
From well-decorated rooms to five-star restaurants, luxury villas, and world-class poolside decks, there is plenty to keep you on your toes at these heavenly stays. Sounds like exactly what you have been searching for? We thought so!
Here are fantastic places to stay in the Eastern Cape.
Bellevue Forest Reserve (Paterson)
Their lodges, all in a beautiful and natural setting inside Bellevue Forest Reserve, guarantee you breathtaking views of rolling hills, landscapes, and the most majestic sunrises and sunsets. For nature lovers, the lodges offer the opportunity to see wild animals from very close or from viewing decks.
Their ‘elephants lodge’, offers large, beautifully appointed rooms which can accommodate a maximum of twelve people. Perfect for families, the focus is on comfort, convenience and pampering. Each unit has a king-size bed (or twin ¾ beds), en-suite shower, and toilet with glass walls, inviting the views and sunlight inside. Sliding doors lead off each room onto a wide patio and indigenous gardens, offering sweeping views over dense misty forests.
If you are keen on spending a night or two under the open sky in a cocoon of luxuriously soft bedding, they offer the stargazing camp, where walls and roofs are replaced by trees strung with twinkling lights.
This is exclusively for adult guests and includes delicious African cuisine served under the boughs of majestic trees along with chef and butler service. A genuine five-star guest adventure.
Drostdy Hotel (Graaff-Reinet)
In the heart of a town with a rich history and immense character, Drostdy Hotel, the finest Karoo gem is a place you should not miss.
It comprises forty-eight stylish rooms which have been decorated with crisp whites, wooden elements, and bold Karoo art.
Drostdy Hotel was initially built in the early 1800s and has its own fascinating story, having been refined over the years into one of SA’s top hotels.
Although it bears modern touches and a contemporary atmosphere, it remains true to its roots with furnishings and antiques that point to the past.
Ikwanitsha Lodge (Paterson)
Ikwanitsha Lodge is just an hour’s drive from Port Elizabeth and boasts its own wildlife including zebras, ostriches, and various types of antelope.
This popular lodge located near Addo Elephant Park offers guest accommodation in charming chalets overlooking the Bushmans River and valley. Every chalet is elevated on wooden poles and offers a spectacular view over the adjoining valley, the Bushmans River, and the foothills of the Zuurberg mountains and beyond.
The chalets have a small kitchen, bathroom with shower and toilet, a covered porch, and an outside patio ideal for relaxation and appreciating the views.
Besides observing the wildlife, you can explore the extensive vegetation of the 300-hectare property and enjoy spectacular sunsets in a private atmosphere - away from everyday stress.
Die Tuishuise and Victoria Manor (Cradock)
Each tuishuis is decorated in its own distinctive theme of period prints and antique furniture to reflect an atmosphere of understated elegance, reminiscent of the lifestyles of the Settlers at the turn of the last century.
As a guest, you are assigned to your own house with a lounge, kitchen and bathroom. The size of the accommodation varies from one to four-bedroom houses. Victoria Manor serves as the reception area for both Die Tuishuise and Victoria Manor.
The hotel, built-in 1848, is one of the oldest hotels in SA. It was graced by many of South Africa’s legends such as Olive Schreiner and Cecil John Rhodes.
The cellar was reportedly used as a prison cell in the South African war; they have now converted this into a charming pub.
*Lutho Pasiya was in the Eastern Cape for three days during a trip hosted by Eastern Cape Parks and the tourism agency.
Read the September 2021 issue of IOL Travel digital magazine here.