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Snug Seaside Shacks and Something For The Adventurous: Your Winter Weekend Guide
A selection of cosy holiday hotspots to keep you warm during the cold season
Last updated: 29 October 2018
Winter is the perfect time to plan an escape and we’ve got the lowdown on exactly how you can do that. If you fancy a seaside getaway or a visit to a town renowned for its sharks, then use this insider guide which shows you how to beat the gloomy season blues and will have you pouring over a novel or drinking red wine in bed while enjoying fantastic views.
We've picked a few of our favourite unique getaway spots based on location and what makes the accommodation great.
THE OLD PASTORIE – AN 1860S MANOR HOUSE IN DARLING
One hour from Cape Town, Darling is a quaint town in the heart of the wildflower country that makes for a relaxing country escape. Visit the local museum, picnic in the garden or stop by Evita Se Perron for an evening of comedy and cabaret with Pieter Dirk Uys. Visit The Marmalade Cat in the village for breakfast or stop by the monthly Groote Post Country Market.
Accommodation recommendation: Securely situated on 40 hectares of private reserve, The Old Pastorie is ideal for enjoying nature. After a day of exploring the town and surrounds, drift off to sleep in spacious rooms with high ceilings. Wake up to a symphony of birdsong courtesy of herons, spoonbills and geese on the lake. Hosts, Kneale and Robert, are friendly and accommodating and if you’re lucky, you may be treated to an impressive piano solo.
Rates: R1020 per room per night. Valid until the end of 2019.
RELAXING RETREAT JUST OUTSIDE THE CITY
Beautiful Paarl, the pearl of the winelands, may be cold in winter but the hospitality of its people is warm. Escape the winter and head for this charming region in Drakenstein. With awesome eateries and fine wines, Paarl is a great choice for those not wanting to venture too far from the Mother City.
Accommodation recommendation: The 10 La Bella Vita bespoke studios are great hideaways for hibernation. You can draw down the drapes to read by the fireplace, sleep on the plush bed or nap in the bay window. There are plenty of activities you can do such as cycling around the estate, kayaking in the lake across the studios, or being pampered at the spa. Plus, you can take advantage of the current winter special at La Bella Vita.
Rates: R2950 per studio per night. For winter, you’ll pay R2360 per studio if you book for two nights or more, and if you book two nights (Friday and Saturday), you get to check out at 5pm on Sunday.
La Bella Vita Wine Estate | Simonsvlei Road | Paarl | +27 60 997 9081 | https://labellavitastudios.co.za
EXPLORE RUSTIC GANSBAAI, BOND WITH SHARKS TOO
Head up to Gansbaai for a weekend getaway with a twist. Gansbaai as a whole is a rustic, unpretentious village that offers the perfect weekend escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Infamous for the sharks that inhabit the area’s waters, this fishing village offers visitors a special shark cage diving experience.
Accommodation recommendation: The White Shark Guesthouse seems a pretty fitting accommodation choice for your visit to Gansbaai. Pick from five spacious rooms or a family cottage.
Rates: Rates vary depending on room and the amount of people. Rooms range from R550 to R1200, and the cottage costs R2500 per night with breakfast included.
2 Geelbek St | Van Dyks Bay | Gansbaai | +27 82 777 4814 | http://www.whitesharkguesthouse.co.za
A SHACK BY THE SEA
The picturesque fishing village of Paternoster is quaint and offers a variety of eateries which will especially entice foodies. Look out for top-notch seafood and quirky seaside restaurants.
Accommodation recommendation: The Sea Shacks are a pleasant surprise – these 10 cozy cabins situated on the coastline are rustic and solar- and gas-powered. Enjoy a relaxing weekend by the sea with minimal technology and wake up to the sound of crashing waves.
Rates: Rates are between R400 and R750 per night.
Columbine Nature Reserve | Paternoster | 0798206824 | http://www.seashack.co.za
STARGAZE IN PRINCE ALBERT
If you’re willing to drive a little further, Prince Albert is a great place to wind down on a winter weekend. This peaceful village at the foot of the Swartberg Pass is a little oasis and shows off nature in all her glory. Known as a popular stargazing destination, this village in the middle of the Karoo is far away from any light pollution so the stars seem to shine like never before. Stargazing is also better in the colder months because winter air has lower humidity, allowing the stars to shine more brightly.
Accommodation recommendation: The Karoo View cottages offer you the full Karoo experience. Beautifully furnished with large windows overlooking the village of Prince Albert and the Swartberg mountains, all cottages are fully kitted out for winter with a fireplace and electric blankets. Once checking in at Karoo View you’re sorted for the perfect winter weekend away.
Rates: Cottage rates start at R795 per person per night.
Magrieta Prinsloo Rd | Prince Albert | +27 82 882 5342 | http://www.karooview.co.za
WINE, A FIREPLACE AND ROMANCE
Whether you're a local or just passing through, you don’t always need to leave the city for a weekend treat. Cape Town has some of the most luxurious and unique accommodation options, so why not take advantage of this convenience?
Accommodation recommendation: Nestled in the vibey area of De Waterkant is a gorgeous Victorian building just begging to be taken advantage of during the rainy season. Everything in The Grey Hotel has been custom-created and fitted for the unique space. Downstairs is one of the Cape Town’s coolest live music, The Piano Bar. Head downstairs for a New York-style dining experience. The fireplace will heat up your body and your soul will be warmed by the live music performances at The Piano Bar.
Rates: Start from R988 per room per night.
Winter special: Two-night stay for two, with bubbly on arrival, wine and complimentary tapas dinner and live music at Cape Town's Piano Bar for R2500. Use booking code CAPETOWNMAG to book this exciting winter getaway deal.
See what the big fuss about glamping is with AfriCamps luxurious camping.
Experience one of the most popular spots on the Garden Route in sophisticated luxury and home-feel comfort at aha The Rex Hotel.
Wood-fired hot tubs to 65-degree natural springs, dip into these heated pools and steamy springs.
Looking for another way to beat the cold season blues? Enjoy a hearty hot meal at one of these restaurants offering sizzling winter specials or snuggle up at these restaurants with fireplaces.
Also check out these cool kids and family activities during the winter holidays.