A mere 15 minutes from Durban is a haven offering what no city break can - 30 acres of indigenous and exotic botanical gardens. The luscious flora of Makaranga sets the scene for a tranquil escape along with the type of ‘mind reset’ that only nature can bring. What makes this peaceful space even more impressive is the hotel, which offers excellent cuisine, wine tastings and a restful place to catch up on sleep. The building recently underwent renovations and the architectural changes have given the hotel and restaurant a more luxurious feel. These modern design touches are finely punctuated with bright visual elements allowing for an almost lived-in atmosphere. The Library Bar is the perfect example of this; intimate spaces and details like photos and second-hand books create a personal and homely interior which makes relaxation an easy feat. Each hotel room is also individually decorated for sumptuous ease. Of course, design can never compete with nature and the introduction of a viewing deck is complete with café-style seating to make the most of the view. A Sunday carvery or a la carte menu are available or visitors can try The Deli, which prepares picnic baskets ideal for finding your own spot for an alfresco lunch. Makaranga offers luxury aptly paired with nature. A day trip or longer stay will do wonders for your mind and soul. Book via phone at 031-764-3316 or visit their website at makaranga.com. Text: Nadia van der Mescht Nadia is a creative consultant who has a passion for locally crafted products. She works with fellow creatives to build their brand, online presence and press portfolio. Creativity with integrity is her motto. Read her blog at lovecupcakecouture.co.za.