You might think South Africa is exotic enough, without the need to spice up the experience even further with an offbeat hotel, but once you’ve seen some of these beauties you might change your mind:
Daddy Long Legs Hotels, Capetown
There are two Daddy Long Legs Hotels, each delivering a walk on the weird side in Cape Town. The rooms at the Art Hotel are designed along creative themes by different artists, so you can warble your way through a night in the Karaoke Room, mesmerise yourself with the thousands of pictures on the walls of the Photo Booth room, and indulge your medical fantasies in the Emergency Room. On the roof of the Grand Daddy Hotel, you’ll find seven vintage airstream caravans, each with a plumbed bathroom and an individual theme. Choose from a range that includes the Afrofunk caravan, the Polka Dot caravan, and even the Goldilocks and the Three Bears caravan.
Bulungula Lodge, Wild Coast
Fly to East London Airport and hire a car to Bulungula – you’ll be glad you did. Bulungula Lodge is an eco-friendly backpackers’ lodge on the awe-inspiring Wild Coast, where the skies are so clear that if you don’t see a shooting star within half an hour of staring at the night sky, you stay that night for free! The ten individually-themed huts that comprise the accommodation are powered by solar energy, offering impressive rocket showers and wonderful sea and forest views. You will be welcomed into the heart of the community at Bulungula, where the local Nqileni village owns 40% of the lodge, giving you an insight into their vibrant traditions that you could never gain in a conventional hotel.
Sun City, North West Province
The extraordinary Sun City could not be more different to Bulungula Lodge. The ultimate in bling, the resort rises from the wild majesty of South Africa’s North West region of South Africa, encircled by soaring mountains and rugged bushveld, just outside the Pilanesberg National Park. Sun City offers four unique hotels, ranging from the decadence of the Palace of the Lost City and the opulence of the Cascades Hotel to the energy of the Sun City Hotel and the laid-back vibe of the Cabanas.
The Chalkey Treehouse, Mpumalanga
If you still have a little of that inner child, you’ll jump at the chance to stay in a treehouse. At the stunning 500-year-old Leadwood Tree, guests are transported to the treehouse suite at dusk, served dinner, and left to enjoy the evening atmosphere of the African bush. This is no treetop shack cobbled together with plywood: Leadwood is provided with every convenience, including its own toilet (so you don’t have to cross the bush in the middle of the night). Part of the family-run Lion Sands Game Reserve, near Kruger in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province, the treehouse is available to guests at any of Lion Sand’s 3 lodges.
Breakwater Lodge, Cape Town
Once a prison, Breakwater Lodge has been completely made over to deliver budget hotel accommodation as part of the University of Cape Town business school. Sleep where as many as 352 prisoners were once housed, in a building inspired by the Pentonville and Millbank prison in England. Breakwater is a hotel with history, ideally located in the heart of Cape Town’s Waterfront Development. You are within easy reach of the shops, restaurants, bars, and other entertainment options that would have been strictly out of bounds for former residents!