Driving into the Forum Homini Hotel, in the Cradle of Humankind, you’d be forgiven for wondering, well, where it is. The hotel is quite literally built into the landscape, with the subtle entrance drawing visitors down into the site, and into the story of evolution that awaits them. The award-winning structure, which was built close to seven years ago by Activate Architects, prides itself in its integration with the natural surrounds and in its telling of the story of evolution, which runs through the entire project.
‘The narrative ties the concept of the buildings, the landscape and the interiors together to make the dramatic story of the evolution of man accessible, the aim being to create a think park rather than a theme park,’ say the architects. This is evident throughout the hotel, with art and murals inviting viewers to contemplate their relation to ancient man. But while the hotel is steeped in history, it is extremely modern in every other way. The structure of the hotel incorporates myriad architectural trends, such as the green roofs under which all the rooms are built, sustainable landscaping and the concept of ‘luxury caves’ instead of standard rooms, for which Forum Homini has become so famous.
Each of the 14 rooms is luxurious in its own, unique way, with a sexy and unusual aesthetic tying the freestanding ‘caves’ together. Sunken baths, glass-roofed showers, fireplaces and spectacular views make this the perfect hotel for a romantic getaway. To add to the romance, Forum Homini has recently introduced a decadent Bath Menu. The perfect winter warmer, it includes a set of Matsimela bath products in a scent of your choice (I chose Rooibos and Honey) containing exfoliating salts, a bath soak and body butter. Added to the menu is a bottle of sparkling wine, scented candles, romantic music and a Turkish delight to indulge your sweet tooth.
Speaking of sweet tooth, a meal at the award-winning Roots restaurant is a must. The renowned tasting menu has ensured Roots constantly secures a spot in South Africa’s top 10 restaurant lists, while the superb wine pairing option is guaranteed to introduce you to some of the best new wines on the market. Roots serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, but it’s the Sunday lunch that draws the biggest crowds.
Over the last seven years, Forum Homini has evolved into exactly what owner Hendrik Marais intended it to be: a ‘purple cow’ in the hotel industry, something which would as different as possible to other hotels. A ‘think park’, a romantic getaway, a renowned culinary destination and an architectural feat, this hotel is a testament to the creative genius and the cultural richness South Africa has to offer.
Forum Homini Hotel is situated on Letamo Game Estate, Kromdraai Road, Kromdraai. To book or for more info, call 011-668-7000, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at forumhomini.com
Text: Roberta Coci