The holidays are finally here, and with so many South Africans opting for a local holiday this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, Gumtree has compiled a list of quirky, fun stays to make your December road-trip that much more enjoyable. Whether you’re hitting the long road to travel cross-country from Gauteng to the Western Cape, or looking for a quick staycation closer to home, there’s a spot for you to stay that’s sure to tick all the boxes of supreme comfort, convenience, and most importantly, looking good on the ‘gram.
“Many of the cutest, quirkiest destinations our country has to offer don’t list on the big accommodation platforms, and they’re often best-kept secrets that are shared by word of mouth between friends who travel the country’s most interesting nooks and crannies,” says Estelle Nagel, brand marketing manager at Gumtree South Africa.
While planning the journey is often a huge part of the fun of the trip itself, here’s a great list of ideas to get your creative holiday planning ideas going!
- The Water Tower, Nieu Bethesda
On your way to the Western Cape? The Water Tower is a wonderfully unconventional stayover along your road trip. Sitting in the heart of a quirky marvel itself (Nieu Bethesda), the building was first a water tower and then a Buddhist meditation room.
“The Water Tower sleeps two guests on a queen-size bed in the room upstairs adjoining the sun and star deck,” reads the owners’ description. “Do some stargazing before creeping under your crisp cotton sheets, lamb’s wool duvets and mohair blanket. Pets are welcome by arrangement.”
At R580 per night, this is a must-book.
2. The Santos Express, Mosselbaai
Fancy living in an actual train carriage facing the sea? The Santos Express offers double compartments and single coupés, similar to the Trans Karoo Express.
The Santos Express is five to 10-minute walk from the Dias Museum, the harbour and the town. Simply known as “The Train” by locals and situated in the heart of the famous Garden Route of South Africa, guests can enjoy the unique and romantic experience of staying on a real train only 30 metres from the sea.
Carriages go between R210 to R599 per night, with a “royal suite” at R1300 per night.
5. Tussen-I-Bome Oxwagon Resort, Mamelodi
Situated close to the treasure of a town Cullinan, Tussen-I-bome (between the trees) offers beautiful scenery, a stunning lookout spot for sundowners, and the option of sleeping in authentic Voortrekker era ox wagons.
Every ox wagon is set up in a camp with an open fire and all the amenities.
Warming your own bath water in a ‘donkey kettle’, relaxing around the fire and listening to a jackal howling, or a nightjar calling is priceless are just some of the things to look forward to at a stay here. From R1000 per night.
4. Pablo House, Johannesburg
For those living or visiting family in Johannesburg, Pablo House in Melville makes a hip, architecturally beautiful stay over. Why not style your own personal staycation?
The vibe is relaxed and casual with a touch of luxury. Guests love it because you feel like you are out of the city, yet you are actually right in the middle of things.
Situated in the suburb of Melville with its many restaurants and oddball shops, Pablo House offers 360 degree views of Johannesburg and cocktails to sip on late into the evening. From R1550 a night.
5. Old Mac Daddy, Kleinmond
A 40 minute drive from the Cape Town CBD, The Old Mac Daddy Park is a coveted breakaway for couples, singles, and families alike. Situated on a beautiful private farm in the apple-growing Elgin Valley, you can book yourself into one of their 10 wonderfully decorated trailers, each with a separate lounge, viewing deck and en suite bathroom.
The venue also offers healthy, wholesome meals, “locally sourced, organic and free range,” and trailers can be rented from R1895 a night.
Remember that while you’re on holiday, COVID-19 isn’t! Make sure to socially distance, avoid crowds, wear a mask, and sanitise as much as possible.