Extra-special romancing this Valentine’s


Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and for some extra-special together time, a romantic time at one of SA’s top hotels and lodges will be the perfect check-in for you and your loved one and … it comes at a special rate valid for the month of love!

Check out the Romantic specials at one of these top-tier independent hotels:

De Hoop Collection in the De Hoop Nature Reserve – one of the Western Cape’s largest and most beautiful nature reserves – offers not only world-class whale-watching, accommodation options designed to suit all budgets and outdoor activities in abundance, but also a great ‘Valentine’s Day’ Special.

Spend Valentine’s with your loved one at De Hoop in a suite for two nights, enjoy romantic dinners at The Fig Tree Restaurant and breakfasts on the verandah watching the birds on the vlei at only R4 760 per couple per night (R2 380 per person per night) on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis, and a complimentary bird walk is included.

This special is valid from 10 to 16 February 2023. De Hoop Collection is a member of Cape Country Routes. Ts & Cs apply. Booking is essential – phone 021 422 4522 or email [email protected] or www.dehoopcollection.com.

Gonana Collection’s premier eco-conscious Gonana Guesthouse located in the fishing village of Paternoster, with its luxury accommodation – six double rooms, one triple room and one studio, provides the perfect option for those seeking privacy for a romantic Valentine’s getaway.

Gonana Collection’s ‘Loved Up’ Special, starting from R2 750 per room per night for two, includes daily breakfast, solar-heated poolside lounging, direct access to Bekbaai Beach, complimentary Wi-Fi and interruption-free stays, plus – in celebration of Valentine’s Day and valid from Friday 10 to Friday 17 February for couples at Gonana Guesthouse only – there is the addition of a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine to each room on check-in.

Other accommodation comprises two pet-friendly self-catering houses, three Studios and the Coral Villa – all are, to all intents and purposes, off the grid and fully environmentally ethical. Ts & Cs apply. Reservations: [email protected], www.gonanaguesthouse.com

La Petite Ferme in Franschhoek offers luxurious accommodation in its recently revamped Manor House Suites and the equally luxurious contemporary and upmarket Vineyard Suites.

Blessed with the most breath taking views of the Franschhoek valley and the surrounding mountains, it is a favourite romantic venue of many for an overnight getaway or a delicious lunch or dinner – perfect for Valentine’s. La Petite Ferme’s award-winning Restaurant, where the kitchen team – expressing its creative freedom – takes pleasure experimenting with various flavours, ingredients and textures to create authentic ‘country cuisine with a fresh contemporary touch’ menus that showcase seasonal produce from the area.

Book your Valentine’s Day lunch – Tuesday 14 February now, and you and your special someone will enjoy a complimentary glass of La Petite Ferme Estate wine, great company and conversation, and friendly, professional service for a relaxing, romantic and memorable experience. La Petite Ferme Summer menu – two-course R580 per person/three-course R620 per person. Lunch – from 12:00 until 15:30.

La Petite Ferme wishes you an exquisite Valentine’s culinary day at its restaurant – Bon appétit! Ts & Cs apply. Enquiries/Reservations: [email protected], www.lapetiteferme.co.za

Samara Karoo Reserve – founded as a conservation journey on 67,000 acres of born-again wilderness in the heart-stoppingly beautiful Great Karoo – is a reserve where every guest plays a role in safeguarding the landscape in perpetuity, yet its magic extends beyond its conservation importance.

To immerse oneself in this soulful landscape of infinite horizons is to experience a recalibration of the frantic modern mindset, a deep reconnection with nature and a heart-lifting vision of hope for the future. And Samara is undeniably romantic – there is no better place to appreciate the stillness of the Karoo than from its ‘star bed’ – a raised platform overlooking an amphitheatre of mountains.

Samara offers this Valentine’s Day, a Romantic Retreat ‘under the stars.’ Book a two-night stay at SADC rates during the period 10 – 15 February inclusive and enjoy a complimentary night in the star bed (valued at R5 000). Inclusions: luxury accommodation, twice-daily game drives, all meals, romantic turndown with sparkling wine, private romantic dinner; exclusions: conservation contribution of R170 per person per night, all beverages and gratuities.

Star bed subject to availability (first come, first served). Ts & Cs apply. To book contact 031-262 0324 or [email protected]; www.samara.co.za

The 5-star Thanda Safari in KwaZulu-Natal, with its commitment to conservation, community upliftment and award-winning wildlife experiences and ’Thanda’ meaning love in isiZulu, is the perfect place for couples wanting a romantic Valentine’s getaway in the African bush.

Thanda Safari has the perfect 2023 Valentine’s Mid-Week (Sunday – Thursday) Romance Package on offer for all romantics – young and old! Valid for the whole romantic month of February 2023, the Valentine’s Package – starting from R13 460 – includes:

  • Two unforgettable nights at Thanda Tented Camp with its spacious luxury safari-style tents, each with private viewing deck and en-suite bathroom
  • All game drives, meals and selected local beverages
  • A complimentary bottle of Cap Classique
  • A 30-minute couple’s massage

Package excludes conservation levy of R220 per person per stay, gratuities and all items of a personal nature. There’s always something special at Thanda Safari – a proud member of The Leading Hotels of the World and a multiple award-winner – most recently at the World Travel Awards for World’s Leading Luxury Private Villa 2022 (Villa iZulu) and World’s Leading Safari Lodge 2022 (Thanda Safari Lodge). Ts & Cs apply. Thanda Safari – [email protected], +27 (0) 32 586 0149, www.thandasafari.co.za.

The 5-star Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa situated on Thesen Islands, Knysna – one of the country’s most unusual hotels housed in what was once an old power station, offers luxury and standard hotel rooms, self-catering and semi-self-catering suites, a honeymoon suite, exceptional facilities – the elegant Island Café restaurant, the cosy Gastro Pub, the Turbine Spa and the Turbine Water Club which offers various water-based activities.

One-Night Special at R3 500 per room – valid for Valentine’s Day, Tuesday 14 February only – includes breakfast and a 45min Couples back, neck and shoulder Massage. Pamper your SPECIAL person with the Spa Special – valid from 1 – 28 February 2023 – R699 per person – enjoy a Chocolate Foot Scrub, followed by a 60min relaxing Hot Stone Massage, plus a complimentary ‘Love Potion’ beverage. Ts & Cs apply.

Booking is essential. To book call Reservations on 044 050 3500 or email [email protected] and for further information visit www.turbinehotel.co.za

Walkersons Hotel & Spa – the exclusive, 5-star, 27-room boutique hotel located on 800 hectares of peaceful countryside near Dullstroom in Mpumalanga, with pristine scenery, famous fly-fishing trout dams, and delicious cuisine, one of its biggest attractions (both its restaurants, The Flying Scotsman and The Terrace cater for guests and day visitors) – is the perfect place for Valentine’s.

You and your Valentine are invited to take advantage of a great 50% discount offered for a romantic stay-over on Valentine’s Day, Tuesday 14 February 2023 – enjoy a special Valentine’s menu, a complimentary glass of champagne at dinner and a small gift, to celebrate the romantic occasion.

The Valentine’s Day discount is valid only for Tuesday 14 February 2023. Ts & Cs apply. Bookings: [email protected] or 013 253 7000,  www.walkersons.co.za

And at Raw Africa Boutique Collection – a privately-owned hotel group with a collection of exclusive Western Cape properties along the Cape Coast…

Offering world-leading luxury accommodation in Plettenberg Bay Raw Africa Boutique Collection’s luxurious 5-star Sky Villa Boutique Hotel is the place to be! Perched on a hilltop with breathtaking views of ocean, mountains and lagoon this boutique hotel is known for its lush indigenous gardens, cutting-edge design and warm hospitality.

For a premium Valentine’s celebration of love book Sky Villa’s Perfect Date Package – R5 200 per couple – includes a two- night stay, a complimentary bottle of Bramon Blanc de Blanc MCC on arrival, a R1 000 Sky Villa Food & Beverage voucher and a 60min Massage from Beauty@Sky.

Valid for 1 to 28 February 2023. Subject to availability. Ts & Cs apply. Booking is essential. Contact:  +27 87 550 2967, [email protected]www.rawafricaboutiquecollection.co.za

The Bungalow, Raw Africa Boutique Collection’s beachside haven in Plettenberg Bay is perfect for a romantic getaway. A stone’s throw from the water’s edge at Hobie Beach and with expansive sea views it provides the ultimate experience in beachside living.

For the ultimate in romantic treats book The Bungalow’s Perfect Date Package – R5 200 per couple – includes a two-night stay, a complimentary bottle of Bramon Blanc de Blanc MCC on arrival, a R1 000 Bungalow Food & Beverage Voucher and a 60min massage from Beauty @Bungalow.

Valid 1 to 28 February 2023 Subject to availability. Ts & Cs apply. Booking is essential. Contact:  +27 44 533 1864, [email protected], www.rawafricaboutiquecollection.co.za

Raw Africa Boutique Collection’s distinctive Spanish Farm Guest Lodge in Somerset West with a peaceful ambience and typical warm South African hospitality is a slice of paradise. It offers luxury air-conditioned Guesthouse bedrooms, self-catering Villas with lush indigenous gardens, stunning scenery and panoramic views of False Bay and the surrounding mountains.

For your Valentine’s getaway take advantage of Spanish Farm’s Romantic Escape Package – two nights at the Spanish Farm Guest Lodge – R6 800 for the Honeymoon Villa – includes breakfast, a complimentary bottle of wine/bubbly and a 60min Thai massage for two. Valid for 1 to 28 February 2023.

Spanish Farm Guest Lodge is the recipient of the Hotels Combined’s 2020 Recognition of Excellence Award in recognition for consistently achieving the highest standards of customer satisfaction worldwide. Ts & Cs apply. Contact: +27 21 852 7352,  [email protected], www.rawafricaboutiquecollection.co.za

The elegantly furnished, self-catering apartments at The Den Apartments by Raw Africa Boutique Collection in Stellenbosch are fitted with the finest in fixtures, appliances and linen and feature interior design by Clara’s Interiors, a communal rooftop deck with pool, a braai area and views of the nearby mountain range.

Centrally situated, it is close to many of Stellenbosch’s top restaurants, and with easy access to all roads through the winelands it is perfect for tourists, holidaymakers and those wanting a romantic hideaway for Valentine’s. The Den Apartments by Raw Africa Boutique Collection’s Romantic Hideaway Special – a two-night stay at R3 000 for a Studio apartment includes a cheese board with a complimentary bottle of wine/bubbly and an hour-long in-room massage for two.

Valid for 1 to 28 February 2023. Ts & Cs apply. Contact: +27 66 297 4358, [email protected], www.rawafricaboutiquecollection.co.za

And take a look at the Cape Country Routes’ collection of privately owned hotels, lodges and guest houses, tours on the scenic and historic routes of the Cape…

Cape Country Routes 4-star De Zeekoe Guest Farm – a stylish lucerne farm situated just 7 kms outside Oudtshoorn offers a choice of various accommodation types – from luxurious en suite rooms at the main house to luxurious private self-catering options, plus a variety of great activities – from hiking, biking and swimming to De Zeekoe’s exclusive Five Shy Meerkat tours – making it is an ideal destination for a getaway for families, and of course, Valentine’s couples. Surprise your loved one/significant other with a romantic getaway – De Zeekoe is offering rates for a ‘pre-Valentine’s Weekend’ – Sunday 12 to Tuesday 14 February 2023 – from R800 per person per night for luxury rooms in the Main House (rates include breakfast), plus a complimentary welcome drink on arrival, cheese platter and free biking. Ts & Cs apply. Enquiries: [email protected], www.capecountryroutes.com

Book a two-night Valentine’s stay at Eendracht Hotel & Apartments – the elegant and luxurious establishment situated in the heart of the oldest part of Stellenbosch – your stay includes two nights’ accommodation in one double room, plus a platter, bubbly, rose petals, chocolates and dinner for one night for two. The ‘Pre-Valentine’s Day Special’ – all-inclusive for two nights at R6 026 is valid for the weekend of the 10 – 12 February 2023. Ts &Cs apply. Eendracht is a member of Cape Country Routes. Ts & Cs apply. Enquiries: [email protected], www.capecountryroutes.com

Cape Country Routes’ 4-star Hippo Boutique Hotel, conveniently set in the heart of Cape Town within walking distance of some amazing Kloof Street Restaurants, offers contemporary accommodation, iconic views of the Mother City and a fabulous Valentine’s Day Spoil for you and your loved one this February. Enjoy an Accommodation Package inclusive of a bottle of Bubbly on arrival, two giant heart cookies from the world-renowned Charlie’s Bakery and a breakfast voucher valid at a local nearby Café from R2 045 per person per night. Ts & Cs apply. Enquiries: [email protected], www.capecountryroutes.com

Supertubes Guest House, just 30 meters from the world-famous surfing beach of Jeffreys Bay in the Eastern Cape, offers accommodation comprising standard and luxury rooms, and self-catering apartments – 11 Pepper with three en suite rooms, and 16 Pepper/‘Khaya Zinza’ with five en suite rooms, three with magnificent sea views. Aside from surfing there are plenty other activities including whale watching, surfing, fishing, Big Five game viewing, excursions and shopping. Supertubes special offer for Valentine’s is a cheese platter for two and a bottle of sparkling wine free of charge with every room booked for Valentine’s Day Tuesday 14 February 2023. Ts & Cs apply. Enquiries: [email protected]www.capecountryroutes.com


Part of the Cape Country Routes collection, Wildehondekloof Private Game Reserve – 4 000-hectare, family-owned, privately-operated and malaria-free game reserve, 40 minutes from Oudtshoorn – is home to a luxury game lodge with nine en-suite, air-conditioned luxurious bedrooms, a variety of animals – buck species including cape mountain zebra, giraffe and wildebeest – and diverse birdlife. There are many activities and things to do, from guided game drives to hiking, swimming, mountain biking and exploring the beautiful countryside. This is the perfect spot to celebrate Valentines’ Day (Tuesday 14 February 2023) – book the weekend before or after – rates for a Single-Night Package (Dinner, Bed and Breakfast) start from R2 000 per person per night – plus there’s a special Valentine’s treat of a free picnic basket for each couple staying over. This offer is valid for all bookings during February. Other packages that include game drives are available. Ts & Cs apply. Booking is essential. Enquiries: [email protected], www.capecountryroutes.com

And for something completely different try these Cape Country Routes activities…

The award-winning shark cage diving and viewing company and boat-based whale watching based in Kleinbaai, Western Cape, the Marine Dynamics’/Dyer Island Cruises’ fabulous 40% discount Valentine offer is valid for the month of February 2023.

There is no better or healthier way to celebrate love, romance and Valentine’s than outside and on the sea! See sharks, whales, dolphins, seals and penguins, explore the world-famous Dyer Island ecosystem with an onboard marine biologist who will tell you all about the magnificent marine wildlife and enjoy a (free) visit to the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary (a Dyer Island Conservation Trust project). Ts & Cs apply.

To book: Marine Dynamics: 082 380 3405, [email protected]www.marinedynamics.co.za; Dyer Island Cruises (whale watching): 082 801 8014, [email protected]www.dyerislandcruises.co.za

Enquiries: [email protected], www.capecountryroutes.com

A ‘must-see, must do’ Cape Country Routes activity is the Safari Ostrich Farm, a working Ostrich farm close to Oudtshoorn, the Ostrich capital of the world.

Get ‘up close and personal’ with the world’s largest birds on a guided tour – the one and only tractor tour on an ostrich farm in South Africa. Learn how eggs are carved, how ostrich feather products are made and see, touch and feel ostrich leather Tours are offered daily, every hour between 08:00 – 16:00.

Valid for the Valentine’s month of February 2023 there is a 20% discount on the R180 entry fee. This is an online special and tickets must be bought via the website – www.safariostrichfarm.co.za.

Enquiries: [email protected], www.capecountryroutes.com