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Luxe Lodging: Classic Hotels in South Africa

The country’s hoteliers have been opening amazing new places to stay, with superlative restaurants and impressive wine cellars.

Beloved Classic Hotels

Fairmont Zimbali Lodge

Fairmont just took over this 76-room hotel, set on a 1,000-acre seaside estate in the KwaZulu-Natal province. Chef Dean Uren, a Gordon Ramsay alum, has created a menu that highlights both Indian and South African flavors.

Le Quartier Français

Margot Janse, often called the best chef in South Africa, presides over the three restaurants—including the newly remodeled Tasting Room—that are part of this property in the Franschhoek wine country. This year, she will be teaching cooking courses, with lessons on charcuterie and bread making.

Singita Game Reserve

From the outside, Singita’s five lodges, on the Sabi Sands Reserve and in Kruger National Park, look like a lot of other extravagant game-reserve lodges. The difference is what’s underground: stellar cellars that hold roughly 20,000 bottles, most from South Africa. At the reserve’s new wine boutique, a sommelier guides guests through tastings of bottles from the cellars, which can then be purchased and shipped abroad. Twenty-three-year-old Chris Payne, the new sous-chef at Singita Sweni Lodge, cooks dishes like seared scallops and prawns in a coconut-citrus broth.

Steenberg Hotel

At this historic property in the Constantia Valley wine country, each of the three newly renovated Heritage Suites is decorated with antiques from a distinct South African time period: Cape Colonial, Dutch East India and Khoi Khoi (named after one of the earliest inhabitants of the Cape). Chef Garth Almazan, who uses local ingredients, cooks with guests in their suites.

Published October 2008
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