Finest Places Around The World.
Bringing you the finest places around the world is what we love to do here at Upscale Living magazine. In keeping with this tradition, we are focusing on introducing you to accommodation establishments that are either brand new or properties with a re-looked lease on life. Grab your travel diary as you want to get to these places as soon as possible! Here are our suggestions for December travel.
Lekkerwater Beach Lodge, De Hoop Reserve, Cape Town
Natural Selection’s first South African property is Lekkerwater Beach Lodge, situated in the untouched De Hoop Nature Reserve. The intimate property sits isolated on a six-kilometer stretch of beach in the glorious De Hoop Reserve, east of Cape Town. Just as the whales arrive in the warm Indian Ocean waters, so Natural Selection opened the doors to their newest property earlier in 2019.
Each year hundreds of southern right whales migrate from the colder Antarctic Ocean to give birth to their young in the warmer Indian Ocean waters in front of Lekkerwater. The rooms at Lekkerwater are perched on a cliff just meters back from the coastline, affording panoramic views of the ocean ahead and dolphin and whale watching right from the bed. The southern right whales are seasonal visitors, but year-round pods of dolphin play in the waves right outside the lodge.
Throughout the lodge, the dramatic views do the talking. Each of the seven rooms has floor to ceiling glass doors that can be opened to let in the coastal breezes. The décor drew its inspiration from the environment and each room has a bespoke piece of art by South African artist Jemima Sargent.
The seven paintings depict a species from De Hoop’s wildlife, both on land and out to sea. Each bedroom has its own original painting and nothing on Jemima’s canvases stands still, from the tiny sugarbirds fluttering across the paper, to the swooping oystercatchers, the bobbing seals or the graceful southern right whales. For cooler evenings there is a wood-burning stove in the room which keeps the bedrooms snug and warm. The main area offers 180-degree views of the coastline with vast, panoramic windows that open up and blur the lines between outside and in. A large communal table dominates the interior space, intended to bring guests together over meals to chat and share stories.
The internal courtyard offers a more secluded space for relaxed meals and to unwind by the swimming pool. Where possible, the furnishings were sourced from local suppliers, with towels from the Barrydale Weavers, ‘Love Seats’ made from recycled wine barrels in Plettenberg Bay and mats from a women’s empowerment project, Thandi Collection, in KwaZulu Natal.
Namiri Plains, Eastern Serengeti, Tanzania
Five years ago, Asilia pioneered safaris into the wild and untouched plains of the Eastern Serengeti. Namiri Plains was a trailblazer, the first camp to venture east of Seronera and half a decade later, Asilia has reopened the property with a luxurious new look.
The creative force behind the redesign is the award-winning Caline Williams-Wynn, the most celebrated designer on the safari circuit following her triumphs with Asilia’s Highlands in Ngorongoro and Jabali Ridge in Ruaha National Park. As with all Asilia builds, the camp is constructed in complete harmony with the environment.
The main area takes its inspiration directly from the Namiri Plains landscape – the walls are built from the white/grey sedimentary rocks formed by millions of years of ash deposits in the eastern Serengeti from the Ngorongoro volcanoes. These are the same rocks that have shaped this region, by limiting tree growth and giving rise to the short grass plains so characteristic of the area. The heart of the main area is The Fossil Bar, which takes its inspiration from the nearby Olduvai Gorge where, in 1959, Mary Leakey made her discovery of the Zinjanthropus boisei, the oldest hominin ever found.
The bar is decorated with an ingenious fossil mural created by mixing soil and paint to create impressions and texture. Stretch canvas awnings create the shade, and the bar and lounge are furnished with comfy leather seating and rattan furniture, adding further texture and a natural element. The swimming pool offers welcome relief from the mid-day heat and the spa offers a range of treatments to soothe tired limbs.
The ten guest tents use the same dry-stone walling technique for the main structure. Inside, natural linens and a palette of grey and saffron mimic the colors of the Serengeti with décor accents sourced from local basket weavers in Dar es Salaam. The spacious tents offer either king-size or twin beds, and there is a family room sleeping four. For lazy afternoons there is a spacious verandah with an al-fresco bath on the deck. The camp has been positioned to face north and sits along the Ngare Nanyuki riverbed which is one of the few places in the area with permanent water.
The Shore Club, Turks & Caicos, Providenciales
Following a successful first year since its debut in January 2017 as the first and only resort on Long Bay Beach in Turks and Caicos, The Shore Club continues to shine even brighter in the years to follow with the unveiling of four new stunningly appointed stand-alone estate villas in January 2018, each offering unparalleled views of Long Bay’s vibrant turquoise water and endless skies. The property’s villa project reached completion in November 2019, with the unveiling of two final villas.
Having completed construction of the entire resort, the villas offer a completely private oceanfront setting framed by a secluded, white-sand beach, with all of the amenities of an exclusive luxury resort including four resort pools, wellness center, three restaurants including Asian-Peruvian fine dining at SUI-REN, daily breakfast, and water sports such as kayaks and paddleboards. Located on 850 feet of beachfront on Long Bay Beach, each of the 8,800 square foot villas offer total privacy in a relaxed atmosphere of a curated Caribbean experience, while a personal concierge is on-hand for every need.
With six bedrooms, five in the main house and one detached, each villa boasts its own heated pool, private courtyard, expansive terraces, spacious guest rooms with large baths and a master suite with enchanting ocean views. Exquisite, hand-crafted tiles and bespoke elements grace the sophisticated villas at this stylish retreat – seemingly in a world of their own, but only steps from the exceptional amenities The Shore Club has to offer.
“Visitors to Turks and Caicos no longer need to choose between staying at a five-star resort or renting a luxurious free-standing private estate. The Villas at The Shore Club offer the best of both,” said Hartling Group’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Karen Whitt. “Villa construction ended at The Shore Club in January 2018 and the property was perfectly poised for an outstanding winter season to welcome new and returning guests alike as we celebrate the success of the resort’s first year. In 2019, the success continued as the final two villas worked their way to completion, totaling six stand-alone luxury villas by the end of this year.”