Drakenstein Lion Park (see to-do tip on this page) also offers a very unique accommodation to its guests. They have a small camping ground with a few safari tents within the lion park, where you can spend your night surrounded by lions, obviously separated by a secure fence!
The tents were lovely and had en-suite bathrooms. There is also a dining room with BBQ facilities at the campsite, where a staff member will prepare a braai dinner for you. There is also a well-stocked fridge in the dining room, from which you can buy cold drinks. From sunset to sunrise the campsite is locked for security reasons, but a staff member will also stay on site for the night.
The night at Drakenstein was one of the highlights of our trip. After they day-guests had left at 5pm we were still free to roam around the park and watch the lions at our leisure. At around 7pm were served a delicious BBQ-dinner, after which we just sat outside our tent to watch the sunset and then fell asleep to the sounds of lions grunting and roaring just a few metres away.
When the lions started roaring competition at 6am the next morning I was up and dressed in no time, and with the gates being open again I rambled around the park to watch the lions wake up and bask in the early morning sunshine. It was so peaceful to sit there and just watch them, without the hustle and bustle of the day visitors.
Back at the tent we were served coffee and some very yummie koeksisters, before going over to the main building for our breakfast.
This was one of the most unique and amazing places that we had stayed in during our holidays, and I highly recommend making time for an overnight stay there.
Have just returned - renewed and revitalised - from a long weekend at gorgeous Pontac Manor in Paarl. Nestled at the base of Paarl Rock, Pontac is a gorgeous old manor house that has been tastefully and lovingly restored to its full splendour. Set amid beautiful English country style gardens complete with oak trees and resident squirrels, the hotel's atmosphere is reminiscent of a turn-of-the-centry English country house, and a delightful place to unwind for a few days.
Pontac has struck a good balance between elegance and unpretentiousness, and is surprisingly well priced for what it offers. The hotel is excellently located to serve as a base for exploring the neighbouring winelands and the surrounding Overberg mountains, and there are lots of things to keep you busy within Paarl itself.
The hotel facilities are good, and make Pontac an excellent location for smaller gatherings - we were there for a 50th birthday party, and the venue was ideal, with enough space in the restaurant for 30 to enjoy a scrumptious sit down meal, and children to be kept happy with kiddy-friendly fare in adjoining dining room. Apparently the hotel has catered a number of overseas weddings, and it would be an ideal 'one stop' location for service, reception and guest accommodation. They even have a vintage horse carriage (which is usually in residence on the stoep) which can be pressed into service should you so wish!
The restaurant is lovely, with a small but well selected menu. Everything that we ate was good and used local produce where possible. Don't miss the vegetarian mushroom and rosti starter and vegetable Tarte Tatin for main course - almost enough to convert a lifelong carnivore! The stubby little British-style pork sausages served at breakfast were also divine!
Santé Winelands Hotel & Wellness Centre, situated in the Winelands of the Fairest Cape. Flanked by the majestic Simonsberg Mountain range and surrounded by the quaint villages of Paarl, Franschoek, Stellenbosch, and Wellington, 30 minutes drive from Cape Town International Airport and 45 Minute drive from Cape Town Waterfront - .
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