Ten weekend escapes to experience this autumn: PART 2

We bring you some of our best-loved weekend destinations to recharge, replenish and relax: The Robertson Small Hotel, Steenberg Farm and Tintswalo Safari Lodge.

Good things come in small packages

Picture by Paris Brummer

Located along the longest wine route in the world, The Robertson Small Hotel was established in 2011 and is Robertson’s only five-star hotel. In the winter of 2016, owner Tim Rands entrusted his daughter, Abigail, with the task of renovating the hotel from top to bottom. Curated by Studio Ashby in London, the redesign saw local designers and collaborators tasked with creating bespoke items to form part of a brand-new look while enhancing this country gem. Renovations to the manor house (built in 1909 and now a national monument), the Stable and Poolside suites, gardens and wellness room, were carried out by a team of local designers and artists, including Alexis Barrel, Michael Chandler, Renée Rossouw, House of Gozdawa, Lisa Firer and René Botes.

Elements of the renewed design can be found in every detail of the hotel: artistic textiles, a carefully curated in-room publication called The Small Guide, fine wine, signature perfume for rooms and halls, hand-selected decor and even unique room key chains. Legendary chef Chris Erasmus, of Foliage fame in Franschhoek, is head chef at The Small Restaurant.

Good to know: In 2021, The Robertson Small Hotel formed a partnership with Art Gazette and Norval Foundation in supporting and celebrating contemporary South African art. The hotel’s latest collection is curated by South African artist and Art Gazette co-founder Morné Visagie.

Spectacular Steenberg

Did you know that Steenberg Farm, established in 1682, was originally named Swaaneweide, meaning ‘the feeding place of swans’? Today, the five-star destination, comprising a hotel and spa, two fine restaurants, an award-winning winery and a championship 18-hole golf course, is still home to birds – but spur-winged geese, not swans. Set in the picturesque Constantia Valley, Steenberg Hotel is an art lover’s heaven, with an inspirational art collection that includes sculptures by Edoardo Villa in the garden and contemporary South African art in the restaurants and reception areas. In its 24 rooms guests enjoy understated luxury, spectacular views and discreet, personalised service.

Until 31 March 2022, Steenberg offers South African residents an exclusive one-night Urban Escape Package from R5,050 per couple sharing. The package, valid from Tuesdays to Saturdays only, includes: a one-night stay for two guests in a classic room; three-course dinner at Tryn (excluding drinks and gratuity); breakfast at Bistro Sixteen82, Tryn, or in-room; cheese and charcuterie platter and artichoke salad lunch served as a picnic or enjoyed poolside; wine tasting; complimentary Wi-Fi across the hotel property; and the use of mountain bikes to explore the 300ha farm. Book online, call +27 21 713 2222 or send an email to reservations@steenberghotel.com.

Good to know: Recently refreshed and revitalised, Steenberg’s tasting lounge is open daily from 10:00 to 18:00, with last wine tastings conducted at 16:30.

Quick escape to Kruger

Five-star Tintswalo Safari Lodge and CemAir have joined forces to offer fly-in safaris from Cape Town to Hoedspruit with a 45-minute road transfer to the lodge. Effectively, this gets travellers from Cape Town to the lodge – in the heart of the Greater Kruger National Park – in less than 3½ hours. For Joburg folk, the same fly-in safari packages are available from OR Tambo, with non-stop flights to Hoedspruit in under an hour. Sharing an unfenced boundary with the Kruger National Park, the pristine and privately owned Manyeleti Game Reserve is home to Tintswalo Safari Lodge, recently named one of the Top 20 Resorts in South Africa in the 2021 Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards.

From Cape Town, a three-night fly-in safari costs R22,999 per adult sharing an Explorer Suite, and R13,999 per child aged 6–15. From Johannesburg, the three-night safari costs R20,899 per adult sharing and R11,899 per child aged 6–15. Located on a riverbank, Tintswalo Safari Lodge radiates safari with soul: expect thrilling Big Five viewing, warm hospitality and understated luxury. For groups of between six and 10 guests, book the Manor House at Tintswalo Safari Lodge. This private villa boasts five bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a private chef and a guide, and an exclusive game-viewing vehicle. From Cape Town, the three-night fly-in safari with exclusive use of the Manor House costs R18,399 per person sharing; from Johannesburg it costs R15,999.

Good to know: The special offer is available to South African residents only for travel up to 30 April 2022. Rates include non-stop return flights, return road transfers between Hoedspruit and Tintswalo Safari Lodge, three nights’ accommodation with all meals and two game drives per day.

ALSO READ: Ten weekend escapes to experience this autumn (PART 1)