Planning your next festive season vacation to South Africa and wondering which incredible places to visit and breathtaking sights to see? These 34 accommodation establishments (listed below), which walked away with the winning title of Sanlam Top Destination Award in their respective categories and star grading last week may just be what tickles your fancy.
Hosted at The Table Bay Hotel in Camps Bay, it was an incredible evening showing recognition to the local entrepreneurs who are not only pushing the boundaries with what a typical travel experience should be but are also making the South African tourism industry as great as we know it.
Each of the 34 winners who walked away with the prestigious title received R25 000 worth of marketing from Granadilla Media, while the rest of the finalists received up to R10 000’s worth of marketing.
This year, the awards introduced the Water Sustainability Award, created in conjunction with Water 4 Cape Town (created as an informative platform pertaining to Cape Town’s water crisis) and Cape Town Tourism to reward the country’s most water conscious establishment. !Khwa ttu, a unique San Heritage Center which combines culture and heritage with adventure and education, walked away with not only this honorable title but received a 3D Virtual Scan from 3D Virtual Africa to the value of R15 000. Together with the title sponsor, Sanlam, Discount Traveler South Africa pulled out all the stops to ensure a special evening themed #MyHeartBeatsAfrica. Guests were serenaded by the sounds of Ricky Botsis and Danielle Bitton, while the chemistry between television personality Tracey Lange and KFM presenter Mamohau Seseane – both clad in show-stopping gowns by King of Couture, Jacques Lagrange and Project Runway’s Stephen van Eeden – as masters of ceremonies were palpable throughout the evening. Other major sponsors for the evening included Santam, Travel Africa TV, Magic AM, and the Phangela Group.
The broader significance of the Sanlam Top Destination Awards, now in their fourth year running, is to uplift the country’s most influential industries; hospitality and tourism and showcase the best that it has to offer.
The tourism sector is a significant contributor to South Africa’s gross domestic product, contributing R402.2 billion in 2016 according to a report by the World Travel Tourism Council. It was singled out by President Ramaphosa in his inaugural State of the Nation Address as an industry that “provides South Africa with incredible opportunities to shine” ahead of the announcement by the presidential office on Friday that strict visa rules will be loosened in a move aimed at attracting investment and tourists to the country. For more information on the Sanlam Top Destination Awards, visit www.topdestinationawards.com.
Here’s the list of winners for the Sanlam Top Destination Awards 2018:
Ungraded: Strandskloof Caravan Park (Gansbaai, Western Cape)
Ungraded: The BIG Backpackers (Cape Town, Western Cape)
4-star category: Once in Cape Town (Cape Town, Western Cape)
Ungraded: Paulandi (Leeupoort, Limpopo)
3-star Category: Strandfontein Accommodation (Strandfontein, Western Cape)
4-star Category: Petit & Grande Plaisir (Franschhoek, Western Cape)
5-star Category: Orange Grove Farm (Robertson, Western Cape)
Ungraded: Oregon Place Guest House (Middelburg, Mpumalanga)
3-star Category: Sun Bell Lodge (Cape Town, South Africa)
4-star Category: Island Way Villa (Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape)
5-star Category: Tree Fern Guest House with Spa (Fochville, Gauteng)
Ungraded: Edenbrook Country House (Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape)
4-star Category: Blue Gum Country Estate (Stanford, Western Cape)
5-star Category: The Wild Mushroom Luxury Country House (Cape Winelands, Western Cape)
Bed & Breakfast
Ungraded: Leopard Lily Bead & Breakfast (Potchefstroom, North West)
3-star Category: La Teranga Accommodation & Conference Group (Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal)
4-star Category: At the Nest B&B (Aliwal North, Eastern Cape)
5-star Category: Azamare Camps Bay (Cape Town, Western Cape)
Ungraded: Zanchieta Animal Farm (Bloemfontein, Free State)
3-star Category: De Herberg Lodge (De Aar, Northern Cape)
4-star Category: Sunset Beach Lidge & Spa (Cape Town, Western Cape)
5-star Category: Tintswalo Atlantic Boutique Hotel (Cape Town, Western Cape)
4-star Category: Morokolo Game Lodge (Pretoria, Gauteng)
Ungraded: Lindani (Waterberg, Gauteng)
2-star Category: Tented Adventures Pretoriuskop (Kruger National Park, Limpopo)
4-star Category: Letsatsi Private Game Lodge (Vanrhysdorp, Western Cape)
5-star Category: Buffalo Thorn Lodge (Rustenburg, North West)
Ungraded: Holkrans Guest Lodge (Griekwastad, Northern Cape)
4-star Category: Koekais Guest Farm (Griekwastad, Northern Cape)
Ungraded: The Grey Boutique Hotel (Cape Town, Western Cape)
3-star Category: Arendsrus Country Lodge (George, Western Cape)
4-star Category: Krystal Beach Hotel (Gordan’s Bay, Western Cape)
5-star Category: Lakeside Lodge & Spa (Lakeside, Western Cape)