Our 10 year anniversary is coming up in January. I can’t believe it has almost been a decade! Phew. Well done us!
So, we’ve been chatting a bit about how we should celebrate & what type of getaway or holiday we should have.
My first thought is that we should go to an island! We’ve been to Zanzibar before & it was absolute bliss. Cocktail in hand, just lounging by the pool, snorkelling, walks on the beach & chilling in a luxury island villa. Get the picture?
Back to the anniversary getaway: we are always faced with the question of how long & if we can leave our little guy behind. This might sound silly to some of you but we have only ever left him for a night or two. So all things considered: we will probably choose a really comfy, romantic local spot that is easy to get to.
What is your idea of a romantic break away? We have friends who love a rustic adventure or hiking trip on their own. Others love to send their kids away & just have a chilled (& quiet) time in their own home. How fun.
For me, a just-the-two-of-us break means that we really get to rest, so we don’t want to be in a super busy or must-go-out-&-see-things location. Also, when I go into relax mode, I get sleepy & want as little as possible on my to do list.
My non-negotiables for a short romantic break are:
- A beautiful white bed with luxurious quality linen.
- A spa treatment (or two or three).
- Delicious food that I ideally don’t have to prepare.
- Beautiful, simple décor.
- Excellent, but unintrusive service.
- Available (but optional) activities. It’s a bonus if it is something that we can do together or something that is very unusual.
As I’m sitting here & brainstorming ideas, I thought of all the marvellous romantic getaways that we’ve had as a couple. So, I’ve lined up my personal top three local romantic getaways that we been on over the years. Plus I’m sharing three local romantic retreats that are on my short list for this anniversary or maybe just for a random weekend alone…
TRIED, TESTED & HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:
Forum Homini Boutique Hotel, Mogale City, Gauteng:
The Formun Homini concept is evolutionary – everything from the luxury cave style rooms to the award-winning restaurant & the location (in a private nature reserve located in the Cradle of Humankind).
It has all the luxuries that you’d expect from a 5-star boutique hotel & is only an hour’s drive from Johannesburg or Cape Town. The history of mankind is weaved into the architecture, walls, the artwork, the layout & décor.
You can also pre-book a massage which will be done right in the comfort of your gorgeous suite. For me, the restaurant – Roots – is the highlight of a visit. Expect a five course breakfast & a six-course dinner with matched wine teasers. This is contemporarty, modern cuisine, but with a South African Twist.
Brookdale Health Hydro, Midlands, Kwa-Zulu Natal:
This is totally my happy place. I’ve been twice & I would go back at least once a year if I could. Sure, this is not your usual romantic getaway. It is also not your usual health hydro. Anything but. What makes it romantic is that you will both leave Brookdale feeling healthier & much more rested. They recommend that you take a digital break during your time at Brookdale & take in the gorgeous surrounds of the Natal Midlands. You could enjoy massages, treatments, nature walks, Pilates or other fitness classes. Also guided relaxation & talks on stress management will help you to kick-start a much healthier routine when you get home. If you’re concerned that you might be starving, think again. Brookdale has an in house chef who prepares the most delicious & gorgeous meals three times a day.
Just be warned: no alcohol or caffeine is served at Brookdale, but the gorgeous, delicious meals & the flavoured waters & delicious herbal teas make up for it.
Auberge Claremont, Franschoek, Western Cape:
Auberge Clermont was one of our stops on our honeymoon, so I have wonderful memories of this gorgeous country guesthouse in the beautiful Franschhoek Valley. As a historic wine & fruit farm it is surrounded by magnificent mountains. It is only a few minutes from the centre of the quaint Franschhoek villages, so a typical day at Auberge Claremont is likely to go something like this: delicious breakfast, off to the village to shop, sip wine at wine farms until you get tired & then return for some reading by the pool or in your comfy bed… And end the day with a lazy dinner at one of Franschoek’s many eateries.
MUST VISIT (VERY SOON!) LIST:
Clouds Estate, Stellenbosch, Western Cape:
Clouds is a Wine & Guest Estate at the top of the Helshoogte-pas with breathtaking views overlooking Banhoek Valley, the majestic Drakenstein & Simonsberg mountains. The boutique hotel is an old guesthouse remodelled by Dutch owners.
You can choose between a beautiful semi-detached villa or a luxury hotel room – all with panoramic views of the landscape via floor-to-ceiling windows. The décor is gorgeous & so my style. You can also expect original South African art & top-of-the-range technology.
From here you can explore the Cape wine region at your heart’s desire (neighbouring wine farms include: Thelema & Tokara). Choose between luxury self-catering accommodation or a luxury room in the guest house. Make sure you visit the bar – which has the best view in the house, so if you’re to lazy to venture out, then this is a perfect spot to relax.
There are amazing day trips or activities in the area like mountain biking in Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, art galleries, golf or hiking.
Abalone House & Spa, Paternoster, West Coast:
I lost my heart on the West Coast when we visited during our honeymoon & I often dream of a little West Coast home. But until then, I will happily make Abalone House my West Coast home. It is situated in one of my favourite little dorpies in South Africa (Paternoster) & is also home to a restaurant by one of my favourite local chefs, Reuben Riffel!
With only 10 five star suites, Reuben’s restaurants & a jacuzzi on your deck overlooking the sea, this is as good as it gets. Please excuse this comment, but the fact that children under 12 years are not allowed at Abalone House is music to my ears.
Oh yes, & they have a spa! Just p.e.r.f.e.c.t!
The Oyster Box, Umglanga, Kwa-Zulu Natal
This gem is right on Umhlanga’s Beach & those who have been cannot stop raving about it. The list of the awards that The Oyster Box has won is too long to include here, but one worth mentioning is it being named “No 1 Top Hotel In SA” (in the TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Awards 2017). It literally has so much to offer, that I can feel myself typing quicker & quicker because I’m getting so excited. It has views, great weather (Durbs is a great year round holiday spot), two pools, various restaurants & bars within the hotel to choose from, a magnificent spa, a library room, a cinema & a tea room with high tea offering a spread of note! And if you are lucky enough to stay in one of the private villas, then you will also have your own heated plunge pool… aaahhhh….
So, what is your idea of a romantic breakaway? Leave a comment – I’d love to know.
This post was brought to you in collaboration with AccommoDirect.com – a fab website where you can book accommodation that will suit singles, couples, families & groups with all kinds of tastes & budgets. You can even make your wish list on the site & send it to your other half to hint him in the right direction. Clever, hey?
Image credits: Forumhomini; Brookdale Health Hydro; Auberge Claremont; Abalone House; Clouds Estate + featured image; Oyster Box.