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Our top retreats to escape to in SA

Compiled by Sven Alberding

IN GOOD COMPANY

WHAT Upton Hall

WHERE 16 Eastbourne Road, Morningside, Durban, 031-303-7987, uptonhall.co.za.

WHY WE LOVE IT This luxurious boutique hotel is certainly suitable for royalty or a head of state, which is rather apt since it’s set directly opposite Kings House – the SA President’s residence in Durban. It boasts some of the best views of the sea and city, top-notch service and a fine-dining restaurant worth a visit in itself.

THE X-FACTOR Every one of its 10 suites is individually themed and decorated. We especially love the Beaches suite with its tranquil atmosphere and natural-toned palette. It’s the sort of space you just won’t want to leave.

THE ROYAL TREATMENT

WHAT The Royal Marang Hotel

WHERE Bafokeng Sports Campus, R566, Phokeng, theroyalmarang.co.za.

WHY WE LOVE IT This glamorous but earthy oasis in the middle of North West Province is perfectly placed for sorties to Sun City and the Pilanesberg Game Reserve. Its buffet breakfasts get our thumbs up, as does its friendly and attentive staff.

THE X-FACTOR With its sports fields and high performance gym, it’s as fit for sports celebs and holiday-makers as it is for business types wanting a great venue for team building.

SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON

WHAT The Treehouse at Anna’s Country Accommodation

WHERE Cross Market Street, Greyton, Western Cape, 087-808-2612, greyton-accommodation.com.

WHY WE LOVE IT The sleepy hollow of Greyton, easily one of our favourite weekend getaway spots, reminds us of Tim Burton’s Big
Fish – a sleepy, magical spot that’s literally at the end of the road. So a stay in a self-catering treehouse there, where you can spend
an entire weekend up a tree, is a fun and unusual way to chill.

THE X-FACTOR A lovely slipper bath, positioned in front of the floor-to-ceiling window, is a delightful place to finish a novel, or simply to spend an hour or three watching birds flit among the trees outside.

CHIC TRAVELLER

CT fitness guru Johnny Eagleton tells HL how to travel healthy…

Tips for long-haul flights? At least once every hour stand up, stretch hamstrings and neck, reach above you, stretch from side to side and walk around to improve blood circulation and keep muscles loose.

How do you maintain an exercise routine while travelling? Book into a hotel with a gym on the premises or nearby, or somewhere where you can go for a run or walk first thing in the morning.

Tip for keeping your diet in check? I recommend seeing a nutritionist to teach you to make the right choices when you’re standing in front of that tempting hotel buffet – and in life generally!

How best to overcome jet lag? As soon as you take off, set your watch to the time of your destination and live accordingly. When the Springboks travel to Australia  the first thing they do on arrival is play a round of golf, no matter how much they want to sleep.

Three essential travel accessories? Resistance band, skipping rope and running shoes.

This article was originally featured in the January/February 2011 issue of House and Leisure.