The Vineyard Hotel is an elegant white property that is rather misleadingly described as a lodge, but it’s not exactly the wooden cabin style building that the word brings to mind. Grand and with a pervading sense of history, it transports you back to the 1920s, or thereabouts, looking out across six acres of parkland and the Aquila Game Reserve – just enough of a hint to give rise to excited anticipation of the safari to come.
Inside, the hotel is warm and welcoming but stylish as well. It’s a family friendly hotel, but to our mind it’s more the sort of place you want to head off on honeymoon. It is pretty much in the shadow of Table Mountain, a country cottage, built among vineyards by legendary Georgian, Lady Anne Barnard, and that sense of historic elegance continues today as you explore the beautiful riverside gardens and take in the views. On safari, the lodge rooms remain stylish (as does everything) and completely magic looking out onto the conservancy – it’s really like a scene from Out of Africa.
As we’ve already said, the Vineyard Hotel is close to Cape Town. In its own vineyard it offers all the best elements of South African hospitality and gives you a tantalising wildlife to come on your safari. With Table Mountain in the background and the game reserve ahead, there’s much to fall in love with.
Moving on, the whole point of being by the Aquila Game Reserve is to add a completely unique dimension to the leisure experience by going on safari. Spa packages give you four days at the Cape Town hotel before heading off to the magnificent Aquila Private Game Reserve and Spa. Here you can head off on game drives or even a horseback safari, and learn about the magnificent wildlife in the area from majestic elephants to the Cape Mountain Leopard – it’s an awe-inspiring experience that can’t really be conveyed unless you go there.
The Aquila Game Reserve sets the scene for peace and quiet and the views are very much part of the experience. Treatments incorporate indigenous plants, flowers and herbs and there’s plenty of space with two large swimming pools and 10 treatment rooms amongst the facilities. Despite being in the ‘wilderness’ you have every facility you need to relax and unwind.
The Vineyard Hotel has two restaurants, both of which come highly recommended in stylishly presented surroundings that fuse classic style and modern design. The Square is open for breakfast and dinner and has. Particularly popular sushi bar, while Myoga Restaurant offers contemporary fusion style of cooking at lunch and dinner. While on safari the experience is full board with all meals provided in the Aquila Restaurant, offering South African cuisine as the sun sets behind the magnificent Karoo Mountains.
Wow, wow, wow. If you have ever imagined going on safari and conveniently forgotten anything that might resemble camping then this is exactly what you’re looking for – wildlife, natural beauty and an unending supply of luxury – it’s idyllic.