Travellers around the world are relishing in the thrill of adventuring once more following two pandemic-ridden years of looking at bucket list destinations longingly. Excursions far and wide have populated our social media feeds, but those of us who haven’t had the luxury of venturing to distant lands might not need to travel quite so far to experience a taste of the world’s finest.
Recently, Travel + Leisure, the acclaimed publication known for ranking the world’s best jet-setting spots, designated three Southern African resorts as the best on the continent. Music to the ears of the Western Cape follows, as two of these havens are only a road trip away.
This was no biased list from one or two explorers either. Travel + Leisure chose Southern Africa as their hotspot as deemed by their readers.
“Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels (including safari lodges) were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value,” says the publication.
The top three resorts included a coastal haven in Hermanus, a beloved Franschhoek Cape Dutch farm and a Zambian getaway boasting unforgettable views of Vic Falls.
Here’s a little more about the crowned spots we’ll be packing up to enjoy in the Western Cape:
Birkenhead House, Hermanus
Birkenhead House claimed the number one spot on the list. Its score stands proudly at 95.73, and if you’ve ever had the pleasure of staying at Birkenhead, you know why. Not only is the resort the epitome of style, but it’s also in prime positioning for some of the best views in Hermanus – of which there are many. Teeming with art and coastal luxury, Birkenhead is nothing if not the Hermanus experience in one spot.
Hosting only 11 rooms, Birkenhead is known for its charm and hospitality all a coin’s throw from the ocean where the Southern Right Humpback Whales can often be spotted.
Fabulous perk: The rates are all-inclusive, meaning that mouthwatering meals and drinks are included.
Diving in at number 2 on the list, is the Franschhoek Valley Eden, Babylonstoren. The old Cape Dutch farm at the floor of Simonsberg has long been a local and international favourite – whether in pursuit of a day adventure, or a much-needed getaway nestled in greenery.
Set in the Wine Valley, Babylonstoren sits basking in some of the most sought-after views in the country. Babylonstoren offers more than one way to enjoy its magic for a stay, including hotel and garden cottage options. Both of these were described as firm favourites by T+L, topped with Babylonstoren’s other whimsical adventures that those visiting just for the day can enjoy too.
Think freshly baked goods from its bakery, gorgeous gardens and a greenhouse restaurant to explore, the famous Babel Restaurant serving up dishes straight from the farm, and of course the Garden spa housed in a bamboo ‘forest’.
The last winner of the list is the Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls Hotel by Anatara in Zambia. It was chosen as one of the most creative stays to enjoy the enchantment and thrill of one of the most iconic natural wonders of the world – the Vic falls. Described as classic and luxurious, it’s also been dubbed one of the best sunset spots on the planet.