Four private spaces to stay in South Africa

The great escapes

For many, travel has been put on pause. But for those planning future trips abroad, qualities like privacy and seclusion in a holiday destination have all jumped to the top of the list as a means to travel safely while still enjoying the wider world. South Africa has no shortage of such venues – here are four private villas or suites to bookmark for your next foray.

Villa Kersbos in Dwarskersbos, Cape West Coast

Photography: Henrique Wilding

Best for: the solitude seeker
Villa Kersbos is a nonchalantly informal but beautifully curated cottage on South Africa’s wild West Coast, on a remote stretch just outside a small town called Velddrif (about two hours from Cape Town). The quintessential barefoot beach house is set amongst the dunes and coastal scrub typical of this area and opens right onto the sand.

Photography: Henrique Wilding

Designed primarily for outdoor living – something South Africans excel at – the outdoor area, with its comfortable lounge, woodfired hot tub, barbecue, and pool forms the nexus of summer getaway.

Villa Kersbos is as easy to live in as it is lovely to look at. Four en-suite bedrooms all have sea views, a constant reminder of its proximity to the ocean. Natural textures and unfussy décor create a grounding and relaxing environment without detracting from the idyllic setting.
Via Perfect Hideaways.

The Aven in Camps Bay, Atlantic Seaboard

Photography: The Aven

Best for: the sensual minimalist
Set on what’s arguably Cape Town’s most sought-after stretch of coastline, the Atlantic Seaboard, The Aven occupies a site high up in Camps Bay, overlooking the ocean. A bright, white, clean-lined exclusive-use villa made up of airy open-plan spaces and incredible views, The Aven makes a striking first impression.

This modern and minimalist 16-sleeper is incredibly spacious. Each room has a small living area or little verandah making it an ideal destination to spend time as a group while still having some breathing room.

Photography: The Aven

The two standout spaces are the ‘apartment’ (a self-contained two-suite space on the top floor with its own kitchen and pool) and the Atlantic Deluxe Suite (with a spacious balcony, 180-degree views and knockout bathroom), but each room has a unique appeal.

Décor is uncluttered but layered via bed linens, natural textures, contemporary artwork, and elegantly curated accessories that culminate in a calming and refreshing atmosphere. Special details like eco-friendly bathroom products from a local farm and recyclable coffee pods also point to the owners’ considered approach.
Available to book directly.

Akademie Street Boutique Hotel & Guesthouse in Franschhoek, Western Cape

Photography: Emma Jackson

Best for: the old-fashioned romantic
Akademie Street Boutique Hotel & Guesthouse is one of Franschhoek’s most acclaimed hospitality destinations, and its three private cottages are the epitome of escapism. With a focus on personal but unpretentious hospitality, its ethos is one of ease and enjoyment – something reflected both in the service and the layered and glamorous but comfortable interiors.

It revels in celebrating a sense of occasion – wine tasting and cocktail hour is held in the lounge each evening accompanied by a pianist, and breakfast is served in the beautiful plant-filled conservatory – but also fosters solo time courtesy of the numerous quiet spaces where you can relax and read a book or enjoy a coffee or conversation.

Photography: Emma Jackson

Thoughtful touches, like pre-laid fireplaces and a complimentary minibar, and features such as small private plunge pools, woodfired hot tubs, and princess-level four posters make it a fool-proof romantic getaway.

Every element has been considered, down to the restored vintage bicycles on hand for guests to explore the picturesque village streets.
Available to book directly.

Villa Verte in Hout Bay, Atlantic Seaboard

Photography: Henrique Wilding

Best for: the design and craft fundi
Villa Verte boasts some serious design credibility. The Hout Bay property is owned by Jim Brett (of Anthropology and West Elm fame) and Ed Gray (who founded luxury furniture store Bruges Home), with architecture by Thomas Leach Architects and interiors custom designed in collaboration with the Guild Group.

The Hout Bay property is an ode to design and South African craft as a whole. Moreover, it’s a celebration of context and location with the striking structure designed to showcase the incredible setting and views (the property borders a nature reserve).

Photography: Henrique Wilding

Villa Verte’s clever combination of cocooning and open spaces creates a balance of exposure and privacy, with foliage and floral-inspired suites lining one side of the house, and a dramatic sinuous open-plan living, kitchen and dining area on the other spilling out onto an outdoor entertaining and pool deck.

A profusion of curved, organic shapes, a warm, vibrant palette and masterfully layered texture come together in spaces that are artfully composed as well as welcoming – making it both a perfect retreat as well as an entertainer’s ideal.
Via Perfect Hideaways.

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