The UNESCO-designated Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve in the Western Cape of South Africa lies just over an hour’s drive outside of Cape Town and is an essential destination for travellers the world over. What makes this region of South Africa unique is that it is one of the most biodiverse places on earth. Coupled with the area’s rare plant species, this is a destination known for its wonderful mountain and sea views, beautiful pristine beaches, and regular visits by huge but gentle Southern Right Whales.
It is also the location of one of South Africa’s most beautiful resorts, the African Pride Arabella Hotel & Spa, Autograph Collection. Set on the tranquil Bot River lagoon, surrounded by the sweeping greens of its signature golf course – ranked as one of the top 10 in South Africa – it is a venue for everyone. For the traveller who appreciates the grandeur of a leading high-end hotel, the newly refurbished rooms with stunning lagoon and garden views will delight. It is also perfect for a memorable family holiday, a couples retreat or a wedding. And for those lucky enough to head here for business, it ticks all the boxes.
There is a vast number of activities on offer both at the hotel and in the surrounding area, or you can simply relax and enjoy the beautiful setting. With a range of swimming pools and a high quality gym, fitness lovers and sun-seekers will be in their element. The hotel’s pools offer a relaxing experience for adults, as well as safe areas for the little ones to splash around. The local area also teems with numerous treats for swimmers – from refreshing river swims, to basking in the nearby Indian Ocean and enjoying the many pristine, white-sanded beaches that abound. These are great spots for lazing in the sun, paddling in a kayak, or taking it easy on a lilo while floating down a river.
Adrenaline and relaxation
For the adventurous, there is tree-top zip lining – the highest in the Southern Hemisphere – quad bike trail rides, sand-boarding, paintballing, horse-riding and shark-cave diving, all within easy reach of the hotel. With its many mountains, covered in unique local fynbos plants, a range of scenic hikes can be enjoyed by both serious hikers and families looking for a more leisurely mountain stroll. Particularly popular is the waterfall walk in the world-renowned Harold Porter National Botanical Garden. A treat for plant-lovers is to spot the magnificent red disa flower en route, while bird-lovers will be spoilt for choice. And, during the June to December period, the local area attracts many sightseers hoping to spot the gentle giants of the seas – Southern Right Whales that swim into the
safe haven of Walker Bay to enjoy the warmer waters and to calve.
Most of these visitors make their way to the area’s biggest town, Hermanus, a buzzing centre renowned for its street markets, museums, historic cliff-side walkways and beaches. Nearby wine estates make for leisurely afternoons with stunning sea views, the finest wines and great meals. Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate, with its incredible vista of the vineyards that run down to the lagoon, is a particular treat for hotel guests, who can easily pop over to this upmarket estate to enjoy its many pleasures.
A treat for everyone
At the hotel itself, guests are spoilt for the finer things in life: dining out at the hotel’s Jamani Restaurant, savouring the delights of a high tea in the Laguna Lounge, where you can meet with friends and family for an enjoyable game of backgammon, or warming up on a cold winter’s day in front of the roaring fire in the Laguna Lounge.
For many, a huge treat is the luxury of a world-quality spa treatment at the hotel’s much-loved Arabella Spa. Most talked about is the spa’s African Rainforest Experience. A world-first, this two-hour sensory water and steam treatment uses African products and is inspired by African rains – pampering at its very best and popular with couples looking for a unique and intimate experience.
Catering immaculately to families and leisure travellers, you might think that this is not a hotel for the business traveller – but you would be wrong. The hotels extensive conference facilities offer the best of Marriott International conferencing services, making it the perfect location for a corporate conference or business meeting. Conferences of up to 300 delegates can be catered for, who can then enjoy the pleasures of this unique location after their work is done.
So when you visit South Africa to experience the many sights and sounds of Cape Town, make sure you also check in at the African Pride Arabella Hotel & Spa, Autograph Collection – you will be glad you did. Θ