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Conde Nast Gold List 2013

8 Jan 2013

Every year Conde Nast publishes its gold list. Here's the South African resorts on the 2013 Gold List. Warning - if you visit some of these places expect to be sending your wallet on a serious diet! So we've also published a list of places next to the Conde Nast list, which give a value for money experience.

Cond? Nast Gold List
Value for Money Suggestion

Singita Sabi Sand (Kruger Park) is the highest rated South African spot to stay - don't forget your camera when you go, as you'll be snapping away all day. Make sure that you get a river facing room - after spending all that money, you don't want to find yourself facing the bush! After securing the right room, you almost don't need to go on a game drive, as it's common for wildlife to pass in front.

Try Inyati Lodge which overlooks the Sand River in the Sabi Sand area. Book Chalet number 1 or 2, which are both closest to the main building and have the best views. In the evening security walk you to your chalet, as there is no fence so wild animals can roam to your chalet. Keep your room locked so that monkeys don't steal your things!

closeup of a Hornbill in the Kruger National Park

The Cape Grace Hotel at the V&A Waterfront is the second most highly rated spot in South Africa. Choose a room facing Table Mountain, Signal Hill and the Marina. The breakfast is to die for. Ornate break-away lounges (although not child-friendly).

Stay at Mouille Point Village, which is a 20 minute walk from the Waterfront, but close to the Mouille Point Promenade, Green Point Common & Three Anchor Bay (hire a Kayak). Views on top floor of sea or Signal Hill & Green Point golf course. See Cape Town hotels.

view of the marina and Table Mountain from the Cape Grace Hotel

The Mount Nelson Hotel, or Nellie as she is affectionately referred to by locals, offers the classic luxury Cape Colonial experience, within walking distance of Kloof and Long Street. Often frequented by celebrities. The afternoon tea is worth going to. Decide whether you prefer the view overlooking the gardens or Table Mountain.

For a historical feel, try Parker Cottage in Tamboerskloof, Cape Town, the home of John Parker, a Scottish architect in the early 1900's (who was Mayor of Cape Town in 1913). It's close to restaurants, and a short walk from Long Street, the pulse of Cape Town. Splurge on a bigger room for a bit more comfort!

Situated in Constantia, the Steenberg Hotel is about a 20 minute drive from Cape town, and a great spot to stay if you want to play a bit of golf on a course amongst vineyards. Use the spa and enjoy their restaurant. The Champagne Bar is popular, and you can do wine tasting.

We all deserve a 2nd chance, or mulligan as they say in sport. For a golfing holiday in Hermanus, try Mulligans Guest Lodge a couple of minutes walk from the Hermanus Golf Club. It has large rooms with views over the golf club and mountains, and is close to paths from which you can view the whales from July to October.

Staying at the Table Bay Hotel offers wonderful views (so choose a suite high up, preferably on a corner) and is right at the V&A Waterfront, opening into the shopping arcade. This is the hotel we chose as a starting point for most of our day trips from Cape Town. The below photo of the Table Bay Hotel was taken several years ago when we cruised into Cape Town on the MSC Rhapsody (remember her?), in the good old days when we could still disembark right at the V&A Waterfront.

Ask for the loft room at Tranquility Guest House, Fish Hoek (Cape Town), to make the most of its views through Fish hoek to the sea on the front and to the mountain on the back. The mountain is great for walks - take the owners Border Collie with you! You will need to have hired a car if you stay in Tranquility. In our list of south peninsula day trips, we suggested staying at Tranquility Guest House.

The Table Bay Hotel in the morning sunrise

A lasting memory of having dinner at the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa, was a gent using the occasion to propose to his lady - it's that type of place. If you're just going for a meal make sure you do it during daylight hours, as this spot is all about the views of the sea (especially sunsets). Ask for sea-facing room or even better a corner room, so you can see the ocean and part of the mountain (although rooms facing the sea also overlook the main road). Go to the hotel's Leopard Bar for sundowners. It's a good base from which to spend time at Clifton, Camps Bay and Llandudno Beaches; as well as heading to Hout Bay to the World of Birds and go for a boat trip to seal island.

The Bay Atlantic Guest House offers a more reasonably priced Camps Bay accommodation option, and is only a few minutes walk from the Camps Bay beachfront, and its restaurants and bars.

For best views make sure you get either the Atlantic Room, the penthouse suite (has a private balcony) or the Bay Room.

Sunsets are amazing. After completing your day trip, lounge about on the deck chairs at the pool.

Make sure you get a room at the Victoria & Alfred Hotel facing the harbour and Table Mountain. The rooms facing the plaza not only have a worse view, but can be noisier.

The hotel is situated in the heart of the Waterfront, close to a plethora of shops and restaurants. Your biggest risk staying here is that you find it difficult to tear yourself away from the Waterfront!

Waterfront accommodation is so expensive that it pays to stay a bit out of the V&A, and there's then also less chance you'll spend most of your time in a tourist trap. The House on the Hill in Green Point offers the option of a bed and breakfast or self-catering accommodation. Choose the self-catering unit which has 2 large beds, a kitchen, TV & a washing machine - perfect for families. It's in a quiet cul de sac, a couple of minutes drive from the Waterfront. There are a few restaurants around the corner.

Alfred Mall at the V&A Waterfront

If you're into fine dining then Le Quartier Fran?ais in central Franschoek is a great choice, with its award-winning "The Tasting Room" restaurant (not open on Sunday and Monday evenings) - be sure to make a reservation.

Le Quartier Francais was named the best restaurant in Africa and the Middle East as part of the San Pellegrino World's Best Restaurants survey.

You don't have to stay at Le Quartier Fran?ais to eat at The Tasting Room! There are lots of hotels in Franschoek. La Cabri?re?Country House is a bit out of town offering more quiet, but it's only 10 minutes to walk in. Ask for a poolside room, with their views of the mountains.

Day trips from Franschoek can include visiting the Taal Monument in Paarl, Betty's Bay penguin colony, Bikini Beach, the Drakenstein Lion Park and Butterfly World.

Situated on one of the wealthiest suburbs of Johannesburg (Sandhurst), the Saxon Boutique Hotel offers 5 star meals, swimming in a heated pool. luxurious rooms with bookshelves in your suite and a spa. Walk through the lush gardens for relaxation. Book one of the Villas, a 3 minute walk from the hotel, for a more private experience.

For value for money Johannesburg accommodation we recommend trying Rivonia Bed & Breakfast. It has a large garden with lots of birds, in which little cottages are spread about and where Luna, their dog, walks about. There's a shopping mall a few minutes drive away (yes, you have to hire a car to get round in Johannesburg). Families can ask for 2 adjoining rooms (joined by a single entrance).

The rooms at MalaMala all face onto the watering hole or the river, from which monkeys, giraffes and elephants are common sightings. Experienced game drivers mean that there is a high chance of seeing the Big 5. Sable Camp only allows children over 16, Ratrays doesn't allow any children, whilst the Main Camp allows all ages.

Sefapane Lodges and Safari is about a kilometre from the Kruger Park's main gate, which is conducive to early morning game drives. It's also close enough to shops. Grounds have bird life. Ask for a room with a view of the dam.

Singita Kruger National Park.

Lion Sands

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve

Londolozi Reserve

If you're looking for value for money, then the Sunbird Lodge in a residential area in Phalaborwa offers a good base from which to visit the Kruger Park.

As the name suggests, the garden is usually packed with birds. It's situated close to a supermarket to obtain supplies from.

Written by , on the 8th January 2013.

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