The quintessential luxury Cape winelands villa, La Rive Franschhoek http://larive.co.za/ has opened for exclusive-use bookings. Tucked away in sprawling private gardens on 2,5 acres of land, the traditional, privately owned Cape manor house offers privacy and security, yet is located in the heart of Franschhoek and within walking distance of its restaurants and other attractions.
Designed with deep verandas and a covered terrace with several lounge and dining areas set around a magnificent swimming pool, La Rive provides a warm and welcome home to families or groups of friends travelling together. Its bespoke, elegant interiors are a marriage of colonial English and traditional Cape Dutch heritage within a contemporary colour palette showcasing collection pieces by artists from across the globe and an alchemy of classic and artistic influences throughout the villa.
La Rive Villa accommodates up to 12 guests in six luxurious suites with private bathrooms. The Manor House includes the spacious master bedroom suite, as well as two loft rooms, one accommodating up to three guests which are ideal for children sharing. In addition, three private garden cottages are individually decorated to each offer a double bedroom with a patio.
The epitome of comfort and unsurpassed quality, the generous living area within the Manor House boasts a high thatched ceiling and doors opening out onto the gardens and the protected pool terrace. An indoor wood-burning fireplace heats up the open plan living area on cosy winter evenings, while in summer, tranquil, shady verandas lend itself perfectly to relaxed dining and entertaining. Other special features include a grand piano, a TV room with flat screen TV and premium TV channels, as well as a fully equipped integrated kitchen staffed by a professional chef, leading to poolside barbeque areas and a pizza oven.
Serviced by a borehole, the beautifully landscaped garden features rolling lawns, Koi Fish ponds, a vegetable garden, interesting water features and lush fairy-tale corners ideal for exclusive weddings, celebrations, small scale special events, and photo shoots.
Mhondoro Safari Lodge & Villa has introduced a guided excursion to the two rock art sites located within Welgevonden Game Reserve in the Waterberg (Limpopo province, South Africa). Both sites contain layers of San Bushman ‘fine-line’ paintings, as well as later finger-painted images. The images date back hundreds of years, with the oldest paintings likely to be thousands of years old. It is suggested that the San moved around the Waterberg around 2500 years ago, followed later by the arrival of Bantu speaking tribes from West Africa, arriving to trade with their cattle and sheep, as well as grains.
The rock art excursion is included in the accommodation rate at Mhondoro, or may be booked by day visitors by prior arrangement (subject to availability), at a cost of R1350 per person, including a bush picnic with cold drinks and house wine.
South African rock art is a precious historical and cultural asset. Visits to the two sites in Welgevonden can be incorporated within the morning and afternoon safari game drives to further enhance and enrich the Mhondoro guest experience. Participants in the interpretive rock art excursion are accompanied by a qualified armed guide from Mhondoro, and will be required to walk about 500m to the rock art sites. Guests will view both rock art sites and learn more about the artists, the state of trance, why the paintings are painted in the different ways, and much more.
The rock art on the overhang of the site referred to as Onverwacht, is located on the banks of the Taaibosspruit. It consists of many different paintings, covering an area of about 30 metres, and includes both finely painted images typically associated with the San, as well as finger paintings and handprints. The latter is considered to be the work of either incoming herder people, or Bushmen whose painting style was influenced as a result of the arrival of herder people in the area.
The antelope figures found in this particular rock art site are typical of San fine-line paintings and their spiritual belief. Bushman paintings are thought to be a medium through which the medicine man, or Shaman, shows the community what he experienced when he went into a trance state, visiting the spiritual world after hours of dancing around a fire to reach this point. Some paintings combine the characteristics of human and antelope, where the Shaman draws upon the power of the antelope to become stronger so that it is believed that he can provide special services to the community, including healing the sick, controlling the movements of game to hunt, and making rain.
Other paintings in this site include at least eight sets of arrows, a human figure, and certain geometric designs. Several handprints in yellow can also be seen. Primarily the Bushman used ochre to paint with, but they also used iron oxides, white clay and crushed ostrich shells, while in the last hundred years, coal was used too. Various binders, such as egg white, plant sap and blood were mixed into the paint to ensure that the paint would stick to the rock surface.
The second rock art site within the Welgevonden Game Reserve is called Vanderwaltsdrift, situated on the western bank of the Sterkstroom. Here the paintings occur in two areas, the largest area includes the remains of several finger-painted human figures. Other images that can be seen here are animal spoor, the hoofprint of an antelope species, as well as an elephant footprint, paying homage to the Welgevonden of today, where wildlife is abundant again and many species of game are protected, including the Big 5.
The Manor House at Tintswalo Safari Lodge has reopened after an extensive refurbishment of the exclusive-use villa, which is situated within the Manyeleti Game Reserve (bordering the Kruger National Park, the Timbavati and Sabi Sand game reserves).
With 5 bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms, spacious lounge and dining areas and deep, shady patios that are ideal for relaxation and entertaining, the traditionally styled safari lodge boasts fresh new interior design, as well as luxurious new bathrooms, including two with outside baths for indulgent soaks under starlit skies.
Welcoming children of all ages, the family-friendly destination is equipped with a swimming pool and rolling lawns protected by game fencing, overlooking a waterhole that offers excellent game viewing 24/7. Tailor-made, age appropriate Kids Programmes are offered with activities that include ranger tracking, paint ball shooting, jewellery making and baking with the chef.
Manor House guests enjoy the services of a private chef and service staff, as well as a dedicated game ranger with safari vehicle for twice daily game drives in the game-rich reserve which is known for excellent sightings. Rates are all inclusive of all meals, drinks and safari activities at R48 500 per night (maximium 10 guests) from 1 March to 30 November 2018.
Designed by Stefan Antoni, world-renowned, Capetonian architect, MOONDANCE villa has opened for exclusive-use bookings after the villa has been revamped and updated to the highest international standards by the Berman Brothers Group.
Located at the foothills of Lions Head in the most exclusive part of wind-free Fresnaye (Cape Town), the exquisite, multi-levelled architectural masterpiece sleeps 8 guests, celebrity-style, and offers complete privacy complete with all modern conveniences and panoramic seascapes across the Atlantic Ocean and Robben Island. Set in a premier location, the villa is available for exclusive-use private rentals, small weddings, launches and functions. Peak season rates are R130 000 per night, whilst low season rates are available from R65 000 per night – inclusive of Butler service, full breakfast and stocked bars on check-in.
With bold, dramatic architectural features that include a statement staircase and private lift above an indoor water feature, the villa is decorated with the finest finishes and top quality furniture throughout. The open-plan design of the living and entertainment areas inter-connects several lounges, bar areas, the dining room and living rooms on the ground floor – leading to spacious terraces with BBQ areas, water features and Koi ponds, as well as a rim-flow swimming pool. Decorated with contemporary South African art, the villa boasts an under-pool bar, in addition to a Smart Lounge and a Cinema Room.
The villa is home to the largest private gym on the Atlantic seaboard, professionally equipped with an on-site steam room and Technogym equipment. Four en-suite bedrooms are luxuriously finished to the highest of standards, including a magnificent master suite of 260m², with walk-in closets, a private lounge and kitchenette.
A manicured, verdant secret garden showcases a formal olive grove of 60-year old olive trees, lining a magical and secluded entertainment space paved in traditional Cape Dutch Klompie clay bricks to present the perfect setting for a champagne brunch celebration or a fairy-lit, outdoor dinner party.
Enjoy a culinary journey of refined and contemporary West Coast cuisine at the newly opened Leeto Restaurant by Chef Proprietor Garth Almazan. Authenticity and local specialities merge with sophistication in both the menu and restaurant design. Leeto (Khoi language: ’journey’) stays true to its unique beach location, capturing local flavours whilst at the same time boasting spectacular views.
Chef Garth Almazan has opened his much anticipated restaurant in Paternoster. LEETO (the name is interpreted as ‘a culinary journey’) overlooks the beach and is located on the north eastern side of the village (driving into Paternoster, on the edge of the village on the extreme right hand side).
Seating 60 diners, but up to 80 for weddings and private events, the restaurant presents refined and contemporary West Coast cuisine showcasing local culinary treasures including sustainable seafood and free range venison, as well as a selection of creative vegan and vegetarian dishes.
LEETO is a welcome addition to the growing ‘foodie-scene’ of Paternoster, and is one of very few restaurants here that are open seven days a week, right through the year – welcoming diners for both lunch and dinner.
The restaurant design and decor is clean and modern with a ‘beachside sophistication’ that pays homage to its unique location. Designed to incorporate the natural elements of authentic Paternoster, LEETO is a tranquil, stylish and modern space in muted natural colours set as backdrop to the surrounding ocean, beach and fynbos. It comes with a fully stocked bar with excellent coffee and a good selection of local craft gins and beers, as well as a wine list that promotes wines from the West Coast region. Dining areas are located on the wind-protected wooden deck overlooking the beach, as well as indoors adjacent to a comfortable lounge with wood burning fireplaces for chilly evenings.
Almazan and his wife Cecile operate LEETO as destination restaurant in partnership with Simone Jacke and Deon Brand. Seasoned hospitality experts and property developers in Paternoster and abroad, the Jacke/Brand couple are also the owners of the award-winning 5-star Strandloper Ocean Boutique Hotel, neighbouring the new restaurant. LEETO is proud to support and help upskill the Paternoster community with employment and in-house training of kitchen and waitron staff.
For Almazan (43) LEETO is a dream come true as some of his earliest food memories include the delicious, spicy seafood family dinners prepared by his Philippine grandmother when he was a young boy. Born and bred in Cape Town, Almazan trained under Garth Stroebel at the Belmond Mount Nelson for three years before working as Head Chef at Shamwari for two years. This was followed by a record 18-year stint as Executive Chef at Catharina’s, the fine dining restaurant at Steenberg in Constantia, where he cooked to great acclaim and raked in several accolades over the years.
He says: ‘It’s been a wonderful culinary journey for me from the Constantia winelands to the wild, natural beauty of the West Coast. Here in Paternoster we live close to nature and in harmony with the ocean. The natural environment has been a great source of inspiration and it has greatly influenced my food concept at LEETO. I’m excited to present fine, contemporary West Coast cuisine using local treasures from the sea, such as oysters and mussels, and sustainable fish including Cape bream, which one will not easily find on menus in the city. West Coast rock lobster is unfortunately on the red endangered list, and therefore we will not serve this local delicacy until its status is not under threat anymore.
LEETO will focus on the specialities of the region, with fresh, seasonal and wherever possible, organic and sustainable produce presented in a compact menu of exciting and delicious, but accessible food that you can eat every day. For lunch and dinner, we offer a choice of about six starters and six mains and a variety of desserts, complemented by daily specials and depending on what is available fresh, and of top quality. I like to support our local producers, farming and fishing communities on a daily basis and promote the culinary highlights of the beautiful West Coast’, he concluded.
RESERVATIONS TEL: 060 927 0403
Bouchard Finlayson’s Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2015 has scored a 5-star rating from Platter’s by Diners Club South African Wine Guide. Debuting in 1980, Platter’s is South Africa’s first and still leading wine annual with information on over 8000 locally produced wines. The 2015 Galpin Peak was one of only four Pinot noirs to receive the coveted 5-star rating this year. Earlier this year the same vintage received international recognition when it won a gold medal and a regional trophy in the 2017 International Wine Challenge in the UK.
Under the leadership of Peter Finlayson, the founder and cellar master of Bouchard Finlayson, the estate has been a pioneer in the production of Pinot noir in the South African market over the past 27 years (since 1991). Winemaker Chris Albrecht, who has celebrated seven vintages at Bouchard Finlayson, says the cultivar is quite unique as it depicts little varietal character of its own, rather expressing the terroir upon which it is grown. ‘Pinot noir carries the crown of being the most terroir-expressive of all grape varieties. We are fortunate in that the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley represents that unique combination of soil and climate that exists in only a handful of places where the exact balance provides the perfect expression of this elusive grape’, he said.
2015 was cited by Peter Finlayson as a vintage of ‘pure luxury’, with perfect weather conditions resulting in excellent winemaking potential from this super crop. Bouchard Finlayson’s Galpin Peak 2015 vintage is medium dark with black-red colour. The wine reveals an explosive nose of red fruits and infused cherry, whilst the palate projects cranberry and plum with smoky strawberry high tones. A great vintage with trophy winning quality, this wine is bright with a good grip and velvety mouthfeel, complete with considerable ageing potential. (Available from the cellar door at R329 per bottle)
Tintswalo Atlantic has introduced a range of wedding and honeymoon packages to ensure the most magical of celebrations at the unique Atlantic Ocean location within Table Mountain National Park.
Options are available to suit all preferences, ranging from an intimate wedding and overnight stay for the bridal couple only (‘Just the Two of Us Package’ at R18 840 for two people staying overnight); to the ‘Intimate Wedding Package’ at R64 840 for up to 18 wedding guests including four people staying overnight. Stylish brunch, lunch or dinner receptions can be arranged for up to 100 guests; and cocktail parties for up to 120 guests; while a magnificent ‘Destination Wedding’ can be arranged hosting 24 in-house guests on an exclusive-use basis over four nights.
The extravagant Four Day Wedding package guarantees the bridal couple a stress-free occasion and includes a designated set up day, décor and staff and a host of culinary treats throughout. The package also includes the all-important wedding ceremony and dinner, comprising a selection of four canapés and an elegantly crafted three-course plated set menu, which Tintswalo Atlantic’s talented Executive Chef Guy Clark will design around the bridal couple’s personal taste and preferences. (From R425 840 for 70 guests)
Hugely popular as honeymoon destination, Tintswalo Atlantic also offers a special 4-night Honeymoon Package that features the ultimate spoils, including breakfast in bed or a champagne brunch, select gourmet lunches and romantic dinners, as well as a couples’ massage. Newlyweds may also enjoy a day at Llandudno beach, a guided mountain walk and sightseeing around Cape Town, with a choice of four itineraries that include a Table Mountain excursion, horse riding on Noordhoek Beach, wine tasting in the area, or a visit to the V&A Waterfront and Robben Island.
A short scenic drive from Cape Town’s CBD, Tintswalo Atlantic presents a breathtaking wedding location right on the edge of the water. Hailed as one of the most romantic destinations in Southern Africa, the lodge setting between the Sentinel mountain peak and the Atlantic Ocean provides a dramatic backdrop for a wedding day or honeymoon that the bride and groom will cherish forever. The Tintswalo team works closely with top wedding coordinators and offers flexibility in the planning of weddings. To ensure the seamless organisation of the big day, all weddings are coordinated by the lodge team of passionate and knowledgeable staff.
* All rates quoted are valid until 31 October 2018.
By: Liesl Venter
29 Sep 2017
The term luxury means different things to different people. For some it is the unequivocally high level of service that luxury establishments provide. For others it is gourmet food, fine décor and exquisite linens and furnishings. Liesl Venter finds out how to impart the luxury feeling.
Delivering luxury means ticking a lot of boxes, says Sue Howells, Sales & Marketing Manager of African Synergy, as it is not defined in just one way.
“For some, it is defined in the opulence and abundance of their surroundings, while for others it is the entrenchment of a memory that will last a lifetime.”
There has been a lot of talk about the ‘new’ luxury in tourism, says Janie van der Spuy, luxury travel and hospitality specialist and Head of Fivestar PR.
“This goes far beyond facilities, gourmet food, room service, free WiFi and high thread-count. Those are a given for top-end travellers. The ‘new’ luxury is all about providing authentic, genuine hospitality and service, and creating unforgettable, sometimes even life-changing experiences for the client or guest.”
And, make no mistake, says Anita Streich, Managing Director of African Travel Concept luxury division, Elite Travel Concept, the luxury offering starts with the very first contact made with a traveller.
Van der Spuy agrees, and says it is essential that the luxury experience is delivered before the trip starts and ends long after the traveller has left.
“The high-end traveller expects exclusivity throughout the service chain. It is therefore important to listen carefully to what guests need and want, anticipate their needs and meet their expectations.”
Streich says luxury is imparted in this personalised service.
“Tailoring services to the client’s specific needs, and delivering exclusive experiences that they would not be able to access anywhere else, is what makes the difference.”
Howells says, more than anything else, luxury is defined when the needs of the tourist can be met at any given time.
“It all depends on the traveller. Some very affluent travellers expect only the best, while others will combine their trip with different experiences of varying standards.”
Ultimately, says Nik Lloyd-Roberts, Commercial Manager of Federal Airlines, in the luxury sector, no request is too big and no detail is ever overlooked.
When service providers are able to meet these standards, they are optimally imparting the luxury feeling and experience.
“Private aviation is, by definition, a luxury offering. Whether guests are booked on a private charter or a shuttle flight, each individual’s needs are carefully considered. For us, it is critical that our service is an extension of the lodges we service. More often than not, we are the first people the guest will meet and the last they say goodbye to,” said Lloyd-Roberts.
According to Chris Anagnostellis, Chief Operations Officer of An African Anthology, another important element in the luxury sector is delivering consistent service.
“This requires that one does not over promise and then under deliver, but rather do the opposite.”
Standing out in the crowd
Thread counts are the same all over the world, says Nicky Coenen, General Manager of The Last Word Intimate Hotels. “People and cultures are different. People with money want to spend it on immersion into a total experience.”
She says delivering luxury the African way has far more impact than trying to deliver what guests can experience elsewhere.
By: Liesl Venter
29 Sep 2017
The Okavango Delta is one of the most sought-after wilderness destinations in the world.
Life in the fast lane takes its toll, and more travellers are wanting to not only get off the grid, but completely off the map when on vacation. But delivering luxury in the middle of nowhere is by no means an easy feat. Liesl Venter spoke to some tourism experts to find out what is entailed in providing luxury in remote locations.
As the world becomes more complex, over populated and polluted, there is an instinctive yearning for more ‘meaningful’ travel.
“Our advantage in Africa is that we are able to connect travellers with nature and present them with unique experiences that they can’t have anywhere else in the world,” says Janie van der Spuy, luxury travel and hospitality expert and Head of FiveStar PR.
“Herein lies the opportunity for the local travel industry – to explore remote locations and make wild and precious destinations accessible to this exclusive market of sophisticated travellers, without their having to compromise on the luxury they are accustomed to.”
Not compromising on luxury, however, isn’t easy, considering where some of these properties are located.
“Most properties take their location into consideration long before they even open the doors,” says Anita Streich, Managing Director of African Travel Concept luxury division, Elite Travel Concept.
“Also luxury is evolving. Where in the past luxury meant luxury goods, staying in the best hotels, seeing and being seen by everyone, it now means experiences that are not run-of-the-mill. Experience versus material offerings.”
This does not mean that these establishments don’t have all the bells and whistles, but it does mean, because of their remoteness, they are able to offer experiences that would not easily be replicated in the rest of a client’s journey.
“That is what people are after more than anything else,” says Streich.
According to Chris Anagnostellis, Chief Operations Officer of An African Anthology, says delivering this very experience nowadays, does have some benefit in delivering luxury.
“One will find that guests getting that luxury experience are far more forgiving in a remote location if they are not getting the luxury goods expected, than they would be if they were in a city five-star establishment, for example.”
This is because, while luxury will always be synonymous with the finer things in life, it has become an interpretation for many.
“If the experience being sought is isolation and remoteness, for example, then luxury could easily be interpreted as being in a tented camp in the middle of the Okavango where the guest can see the stars at night and watch animals close by in the day. It would not necessarily then matter if it was just a standard tent, because the luxury would be found in the richness of the experience,” explains Anagnostellis.
Having said that, he admits that there are very few luxury establishments that don’t deliver pretty extraordinary service and facilities in areas where there is just about nothing else.
“It requires huge organisational skill and exceptional logistics,” he says. “Of course the more remote the location, the more difficult to deliver luxury.”
It also requires building infrastructure with the end goal in mind while at the same time developing good working relationships with the local authorities and communities, says Van der Spuy. “Another important element to the success of a remote luxury location is having an excellent management team on the ground and investing in continuous training and upskilling of service staff.”
Nicky Coenen, General Manager of The Last Word Intimate Hotels, says people are prepared to pay for exclusivity.
“Just as one can fly a guest in, so too you can fly in the décor and personnel to create the luxury.”
Says Anagnostellis: “To deliver luxury in any remote area, one has to be practical and remember there is no corner shop that you can just pop in to. There have to be back-up plans for emergencies and you have to plan every last deliverable in detail.”
He says often when it comes to food it is important to source some of the produce locally and to use local people for the washing of bedding and linen, for example.
“Not any one remote location is the same and it is more challenging to deliver luxury in these areas than in cities, but if one is creative and innovative just about anything is possible.”
At a price, that is.
By: Liesl Venter
29 Sep 2017
Mhondoro Game Lodge is a luxurious private game lodge in the Welgevonden Game Reserve in Limpopo.
The super-rich have always liked Africa. Perceived as dark and dangerous, yet vibrant and colourful, the continent has traditionally been a top choice for the wealthy thanks to its ability to deliver holidays unlike anywhere else in the world. Liesl Venter finds out more about these high-end travellers.
Millionaire tourism in Africa has been on the rise for several years. In 2016 a study by a Johannesburg-based research institution found that in a period of 12 months around 43 000 individuals with nett assets of $10 million or more visited the continent for a holiday.
With the current exchange rate this is hardly surprising, says Chris Anagnostellis, Chief Operations Officer of An African Anthology. “If one considers that in a top luxury establishment in London the super-rich will pay £10 000 for a penthouse per night, then paying R140 000 (£7 700) per night in Africa for a penthouse is not that out of the ordinary.”
While this might sound like a lot of money to the average traveller, for a multi-millionaire, luxury in Africa is relatively cheap – all things considered.
“And our offerings are incredible,” says Anagnostellis.
“Africa has become expert at delivering experiences and this is what the super-rich are craving more than anything else.”
Most people dream of that luxury holiday one day when their ship comes in, but for the average multi-millionaire anything is possible.
“Predominantly these travellers are still from the US, but the Scandinavians, Arabic countries, certain South Americans and Baltic countries have also entered the extreme luxury market in a big way,” says Anita Streich, MD of African Travel Concept luxury division, Elite Travel Concept. “Africa (mainly the southern part) is considered a safe destination. And it is a new experience for many. They have travelled and seen the world and now they are looking for new and different things to do.”
Ranging in age and income, some are born into wealth while others are self-made.
“We are seeing an increasing amount of visitors who have created their own wealth and are rewarding themselves with luxury experiences in Africa,” says Anagnostellis.
“Because the creation of wealth has been so exponential, so has the demand increased.”
“This market also includes multi-generational families on a trip-of-a-lifetime, business travellers extending their trip to add on some leisure time, and wealthy retired couples,” says Janie van der Spuy, luxury travel and hospitality specialist and Head of Fivestar PR.
“The world is also seeing extreme high-end travellers emerging from a new generation of young entrepreneurs and top earners within the technology, finance and investment, media and entertainment and other industries. This brings a younger, and more adventurous high-end traveller into the mix, some of whom are travelling with young children too,” she said.
What are the experiences they are after?
“Safaris, the bush, remote wilderness locations and Africa’s wild animals are all firm favourites,” says Nik Lloyd-Roberts, Commercial Manager of Federal Airlines.
“The Sabi Sand remains top of the bucket list for most high-end safari travellers. There has also been an increase in guests wanting to visit Zimbabwe and this sees an increase in private charters to remote parts of this beautiful country.”
The Sabi Sand remains top of the bucket list for most high-end safari travellers.
According to Streich, demand for countries like Angola and Zambia is increasing. “They want to go to places that are not the obvious countries people travel to and that is part of the attraction. Exclusive is the key word.” She says immersive experiences are also gaining track where the traveller is given the opportunity to live like a local. “It is all about responsible luxury that involves giving back to society. And something that affords them ‘bragging rights’ among their peers to a certain extent.” According to Streich, high-end travellers are prepared to pay for exclusive destinations and experiences.
Says Van der Spuy: “Combined with having all, or most of the comforts they are used to at home, high-end travellers are seeking a sense of mystery and adventure. They want to interact with local people and they care about nature and sustainability. They want to be enriched by their travels, get close to the earth and enjoy fresh and simple food that is beautifully presented.”
She says first-class airline passengers are rarely interested in the gourmet fare and French Champagne on offer at 35 000 feet these days. “They are paying for exclusivity and convenience, more space, less chaos, attentive service and comfort. The same expectations exist for their travel experience on the ground.”