Lodges & HotelsHere are some of my favourite places to stay, from the gorgeous game lodges in South Africa to city hotels from around the world. If I had a better memory I'd list more of the places I've stayed in over the last few years. But I didn't take notes in the past, so I'll just have to visit them all again! I'll add to it every time I go somewhere, so keep checking back.
I won't put the rack rates up, because they constantly change.
Alt Hotel, OttawaIt felt a little voyeuristic, watching a couple arguing then amorously making up in a hotel bedroom.
It’s bad enough if you hear that through the walls, but you don’t normally get to see it. But this was art, not real life, with the funky Alt Hotel in Ottawa taking part in a dance weekend.
That’s the sort of stuff that makes it a far more fun place to stay then the average city centre hotel. Read review:
Etali Safari Lodge, MadikweI love Etali Safari Lodge, partly because it managed to impress and look after my elderly mother so well during her first ever trip to Africa. This five-star lodge is in Madikwe Game Reserve, four hours from Johannesburg, with the last 30 minutes spent in Madikwe itself.
Read full review:
Leobo Lodge, The WaterbergYou usually know what to expect at a game lodge, with twice-daily game drives and perhaps a guided bushwalk. But Leobo Lodge in the Waterberg doesn’t have enough wildlife to make game drives exciting. It’s also the holiday home for a geek who made oodles of money in the technology business, and he’s still a boy at heart. Read full review:
David Livingstone Safari Lodge, ZambiaAs befits its name, the David Livingstone Safari Lodge is built in gorgeous old colonial style. It’s close to the town of Livingstone in Zambia and has an elegant reception leading to a large dining area, a bar and terrace by the Zambezi River, and an invitingly warm infinity pool right on the riverbank. Read Full Review:
Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, ZimbabweThis massive wood and stone building is perfect for viewing the Vic Falls. It’s a short drive away, with a regular free shuttle service to take you there and back, or to drop you off in the town of Victoria Falls itself. The hotel has been voted the best Safari Lodge in Zimbabwe for 18 years running. Read full review:
Ngoma Safari Lodge, BotswanaThe 5-star Ngoma Safari Lodge in Kasane is on the edge of the Chobe National Park.
Its eight stand-alone suites are beautifully decorated and equipped with a plunge pool and an outdoor shower, a lovely large bathroom and panoramic windows overlooking the Chobe River. Read full review:
De Hoek Country Hotel, MagaliesburgOn a rainy day, the imposing stone mansion De Hoek standing in misty isolation looks like a scene from Wuthering Heights. Fortunately all eerie images are dispelled the moment you step through its heavy wooden doors. Warmth envelopes you, friendly staff materialise, and the only evil spirits are those waiting in the cosy bar. Read full review:
De Hoop, Garden RouteWindswept De Hoop Nature Reserve is a place for rugged types who like the smaller aspects of form of nature, rather than big five thrills.
It’s perfect for bracing walks through the fynbos or on the beach, watching out for the whales or whizzing about on quad bikes past bontebok and kudo. Read full review:
Kloppenheim, MpumalangaShort breaks to the country can be disappointing if you end up in an overcrowded village like Dullstroom. But if you drive a little further you’ll find Kloppenheim Country Estate Hotel, promising long rambles in open countryside, horse riding, clay pigeon shooting and trout fishing in its six dams, all in splendid isolation. Read full review
Ivory Lodge, Lions Sands, MpumalangaIf you have pots of money, blow some of it on the gorgeous Ivory Lodge at Lion Sands, a private unfenced reserve bordering the Kruger.
The landscape at Lion Sands seems a little lusher than in the Kruger proper, and animals, just like humans, gravitate to where the living is easy. Read full review:
Carryblaire Guesthouse, ParysWalking down the main street of Parys is rather like walking through a film set. It’s scenery fit for a genteel romance where the heroine owns an antique bookstore and is wooed by the owner of an art gallery. A nice, affordable place to stay is the Carryblaire Guesthouse, 14km from the town itself. Read review:
Molori, Madikwe Game ReserveIf you’re looking for brilliant safari lodge where luxury is as important as the game viewing, you need Molori. Don’t read on if your budget is…. well, if you ever use the word budget, really, because this place will blow it in a flash. Molori’s five suites are sumptuous yet bush, which is a quite an achievement. Read review:
Hyatt Regency, JohannesburgIn my previous life as a serious business journalist, the Hyatt in Rosebank was my favourite meeting place.
It was a three-minute walk from the office, with a nice lounge or a sunny patio for interviews, and it served the biggest glasses of wine. They were pricy, for a cash-strapped journalist, but someone else was usually paying. Read review:
The Clarendon, Banty BayUsually on a Cape Town trip I stay in a city centre hotel, and I may as well be in Joburg for all I see of the sea.
Now I’ve discovered the Clarendon at 158 Kloof Road in Bantry Bay, with knockout views of the ocean every time you lift your eyes up from your laptop. Ask for a room with a view, because a couple of rooms at the back don’t benefit from this mesmerising scenery. Read Review: