Ten weekend escapes to experience this autumn: PART 3

In the final instalment of our top picks for ten weekend escapes to experience this autumn, cue Spier Hotel, De Hoop Nature Reserve and Cabine du Cap’s mountaintop eco-property, Caracal.

Spend time at Spier

Pictures supplied

In the Cape Winelands, relaxation and out-of-the-ordinary experiences are a given. At Spier Hotel, for example, a cluster of village-style buildings echo the ambience of Cape Town’s historical Bo-Kaap and pedestrians and cyclists can explore without the intrusion of cars. A total of 80 rooms surround six tranquil courtyards, each with its own swimming pool. Set next to the scenic Eerste River, Spier Hotel guarantees simplicity, quality and comfort, plus adventure and leisure options for the whole family. Tuck into a farm-inspired picnic under a tree, settle in at Spier Hotel Restaurant or Vadas Smokehouse and Bakery, be inspired by the Spier Art Collection, tackle your tension at the spa, visit the farm’s vibrant craft market, meander through Spier’s food garden – or simply breathe.

Good to know: The fourth instalment of Spier Light Art takes place until 18 April 2022. A night-time adventure for the whole family to enjoy, this annual event features an array of interactive artworks scattered around the estate. Created by talented artists and designers from South Africa and beyond, the artworks use light, sound and video to illuminate the present and future.

Amid nature’s blessings

The De Hoop Collection, a member of Cape Country Routes, opened in the De Hoop Nature Reserve in 2007. The reserve, situated in the Overberg region, is a popular holiday destination for families, couples, groups, honeymooners, wedding parties, family reunions and birthday weekends. Synonymous with unparalleled peace and tranquillity, the De Hoop Collection has a wide range of accommodation designed to suit all budgets. Overlooking a vlei with spectacular birdlife, the Fig Tree Restaurant with the adjacent Silo Wine Cellar welcomes diners throughout the day.

The reserve itself, a World Heritage Site, is renowned for world-class whale-watching and is a birdwatchers’ paradise, with more than 260 bird species, including the endangered Cape vulture. As almost 200 of these rare birds roost and nest at Potberg within the reserve, exciting vulture hikes and viewing opportunities are offered. Other activities include interpretive marine walks, hiking and mountain-biking trails, boat cruises and nature drives, as well as tennis and boules.

For accommodation options, call 021 422 4522 or send an email to res@dehoopcollection.co.za.

Escape, relax, focus

A fully serviced, luxurious and off-the-grid private retreat in the heart of the mesmerising Klein Karoo? Yes. Cabine du Cap’s mountaintop eco-property, Caracal, has won rave reviews. And for good reason. Surrounded by 175ha of rolling hills, this four-bedroom masterpiece encompasses 360° Karoo views, a swimming pool, off-the-grid living thanks to reverse osmosis-purified water and solar power, an outdoor bath under the African stars, a professional masseuse and the attention of cabin staff at the touch of a walkie-talkie’s button. All this on the edge of a cliff.

With breathtaking architecture by Drew Architects, landscaping by Tone Alexander and interiors by Malawi Cane, Caracal is one for the books. As one visitor, Daniel Fabre, puts it: “Cabine du Cap is a genuine game-changer. I feel more refreshed after one night there than I do after a long weekend. You guys have put together something spectacular. What an experience!”

Good to know: Rates include breakfast and full catering is available on request. Book online, call 063 627 1399 for more information or send an email to info@cabineducap.com.

Also read PART 1 & PART 2.