NEW ON THE SCENE
We hope you had a great Summer and managed some time off relaxing with your families. Extensive research carried out here at Sally and Alice Travel Co. has shown that the best way to get over post-holiday blues is to plan another one, so here is a little taster of what you've missed in the world of travel over the last few months, with some fabulous new hotel openings to whet your appetite for future trips...
THE OLD RECTORY AND THE BEACH HOUSE, SOUTH AFRICA
We love Plettenberg Bay but it has always surprised us how few great beach hotels there are on offer, beyond our old favourite, The Plettenberg. We are now pleased to announce there is a new option on offer, the Old Rectory, which opened just last month. The Old Rectory is a heritage property that dates back to 1777 and has now been beautifully restored to its original state. The biggest drawcard is the proximity to the beach which is a minute's stroll down a path to a small secluded cove, which leads to popular Wedge Beach on one side and a large sandy bay on the other. It's a perfect cove for kids to paddle and the hotel will arrange picnic baskets, beach baskets and set up sun loungers for guests.
Just 30 minutes west of Plettenberg Bay, The Beach House (pictured above) is another beautifully crafted house on Knysna's highly sought after Leisure Isle, set in the middle of the lagoon and reached by a narrow causeway from the mainland. The house itself is French farm-style, with huge fireplaces, thick roof beams, high ceilings, and great hanging lanterns over country tables. This all spills out on to a pool, perfectly manicured garden and indigenous fynbos with the lagoon in the background. It's sunny and peaceful in summer with a white wine by the pool, and cosy and intimate in winter with the fire on and drop blinds down. The whole house is child friendly and includes an enormous family lounge with TV, guitars on the raw brick walls, pool table and huge sofas - a place where the whole family can chill after a day out.
THORNTREE RIVER LODGE, ZAMBIA
The recently re-opened Thorntree River Lodge is set on the banks of the Zambezi River within the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia. Unique in concept, it aims to offer the best of the bush with the feel of a camp whilst being run like a boutique resort. After being greeted with a big smile, the obligatory cold towel and a welcome drink, the wow factor begins to kick in. Each of the eight suites are set amid a canopy of riverine trees on the bank of the Zambezi - Suite 12 is the furthest from the main guest areas making it the most private. Activities included in the nightly rate: game drives in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, bush walks tracking white rhino, canoeing, catch and release fishing, sunset cruises, one visit to the Zambian side of the Falls per stay (in the dry season a tour of the Zimbabwe side is included) and a Livingstone cultural excursion that includes a visit to a Simonga village as well as to the colourful and vibrant Maramba Market and Livingstone Museum.
BISATE LODGE, RWANDA
In July Wilderness Safari's hugely anticipated Bisate Lodge opened in Rwanda. Built in a remnant of an old volcano crater next to the renowned Volcanoes National Park, the lodge has just six spacious forest villas and offers a luxurious base from which to enjoy an extraordinary gorilla conservation experience and life-changing journey to this beautiful region. In creating the chestnut-shaped villas, South Africa-based architect Nick Plewman researched the architecture of the Rukari Palace where the Rwandan king once lived and thus showcase Rwanda’s design heritage. But the real attraction here is obviously the chance to observe and track 12 troops of mountain gorillas passing through Bisate’s 42-hectare grounds and the adjacent Volcanoes National Park. A visit to one of the habituated golden monkey troops is worth doing for a more gentle trek, and for people looking for a more energetic stay, it's possible to hike up to Dian Fossey's grave and former research station at Karisoke, or spend a full day trekking to the top of one of the volcanoes.
CAMELLIA HILLS AND KUMU BEACH, SRI LANKA
We're pleased to announce the opening of another fabulous Sri Lankan property, Camellia Hills - a superb five-bedroom boutique hotel near Dickoya. Sister property to award-winning hotels The Wallawwa and Fort Bazaar it's a contemporary interpretation of a tea planters house, and sits overlooking Castlereigh Reservoir. Surrounded by emerald green tea estates, the hotel’s ample gardens, living and dining areas and five individually designed guest rooms all offering stunning panoramas.
Also new to the Teardrop Hotels collection is Kumu Beach (pictured above) on Sri Lanka’s western sunset coast, set just above a sandy beach in its own palm-shaded garden facing the ocean. The best rooms to choose are the super spacious Ocean View Suites with private lounges. The hotel’s stylish design is largely symmetrical, and it opens onto a large grassy garden with 23-metre swimming pool and long sun deck. Guests can choose to dine alfresco on the long timber deck, by the pool or on the rooftop.
Keep that holiday feeling alive by booking another one...