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‘Authentic aesthetic’ SA lodge listed in top 5 hotels in the world

‘Authentic aesthetic’ SA lodge listed in top 5 hotels in the world

There’s no shortage of safari camps and lodges in South Africa, but if you’re looking for a luxury experience, the Matador Network suggests you choose Singita Lebombo Lodge. 

The independent travel publisher placed Singita at No 5 on their list of The 25 Most Spectacular Hotels in the World. Their team of writers, editors and videographers travelled extensively during 2019, and after collating their findings, created this shortlist to guide travellers in 2020. 

Singita Lebombo: ‘Refreshingly modern’

Their selection includes remote eco-lodges in South America, opulent castles in Europe, and Singita Lebombo, a private lodge in the Kruger National Park, which they credited for its authentic aesthetic.

“While many luxury safari camps in Africa can lean too hard on the nostalgic (or borderline cringey in their myopic celebration of colonial Africa), Lebombo is refreshingly modern with contemporary, natural-light-filled rooms and airy sculptural touches that celebrate the surrounding wildlife.”

Room with a view

The lodge offers just 13 suites and all of them are situated and designed in a way that enables guests to spot wild animals from their bedrooms just as easily they would on a game drive. 

The reviewers also d an important tip to consider before booking.

 “If you can score a room downstairs overlooking the N’wanetsi River, you’ll lie outside in a private bed and sleep to the sounds of wildlife coming over the water at night.”

Game drives and all the extras

Going on game drives is one of the most popular activities at the lodge, but they also have a swimming pool with a view over the hills. You can also visit their wine studio to sip on South African specialties in the wine studio before taking drinks up to the rooftop viewing area. 

900-year-old Tuscan castle tops the list

Other hotels on the list included Patagonia Camp in Chile at No 4 which offers yurts with a difference. Their accommodation looks conventional on the outside, but once you’re in the yurt don’t be surprised by the private terrace, heated towel racks, high thread-count sheets and even hot tubs.

The top spot on the list goes to a 900-year-old Tuscan castle that features a hotel and winery — Castello di Vicarello, in Italy

Reviewers praised the establishment for being more than just a place to sleep. 

“Experiences are at the heart of every stay at Castello di Vicarello, and they can be as active as you want them to be.” 

Some of the options at the castle include wine tasting which can take place in the organic vineyards or by the fireplace before a mind-blowing dinner. You can also take an intimate, one-on-one cooking class with the chefs in their kitchen or try your hand at harvesting grapes, olives or truffles, depending on the season.