Compiled by Naomi Larkin, Raphaella Frame-Tolmie TAKE A BOUGH WHAT: Tsala Treetop Lodge WHERE: 20km from Knysna and 10km from Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route, Western Cape, 044-501-1111, hunterhotels.com WHY WE LOVE IT: Artfully suspended above an indigenous forest floor, Tsala Treetop Lodge achieves a perfect balance between nature and lavish African hospitality. Part of the Relaix & Chateaux stable, its well-appointed stone, wood and glass suites are discreetly hidden in the forest canopy and linked by elevated walkways. Savour the tranquillity of the surrounding woods while catching glimpses of Knysna loeries between sips of bubbly in your private infinity pool… Impeccable service by friendly, dedicated staff rounds off the five-star experience to make it a memorable stay. X-FACTOR: Anyone wanting to tie the knot in this charming setting won’t be disappointed by the delightful Chapel in the Forest with its leafy views, and the tailored wedding packages on offer. PEACEFUL RETREAT WHAT: Karoo View Cottages WHERE: 350m off Kerk St, Prince Albert, Western Cape, 023-541-1929, karooview.co.za WHY WE LOVE IT: Each of the well-equipped self-catering units is tastefully decorated in earthy tones that complement the surrounding landscape, and they all include a bedroom, bathroom, lounge and kitchen. The friendly owners, Julie and Richard, encourage guests to pick their own fresh produce from the vegetable tunnel, and you can add fresh farm milk to your coffee in the morning. X-FACTOR: Enjoy the peace and spectacular Karoo views from the privacy of your own stoep at this prime country location. ALL THINGS NICE WHAT: Sugar Hotel WHERE: 1 Main Rd, Green Point, Cape Town, 021-430-3780, sugarhotel.co.za WHY WE LOVE IT: This boutique hotel is a secret cocoon in the heart of the Mother City. The luxurious comfort of its spacious en-suite bathrooms provides the perfect private indulgence, and the abundance of bath time treats (think large bowls of fragrant bath salts) prompts real rest and relaxation. X-FACTOR: Ask for a hillside suite – each has its own private plunge pool. A BREAK TO SUIT YOUR BUDGET WHAT: Delicious Hotel WHERE: 11 Wilhelmina St, Franschhoek, Western Cape, 021-876-4232, www.delicioushotels.com WHY WE LOVE IT: If you’ve heard of the ‘build your own’ meal concept, why not tailor your holiday accommodation, too? Start with the basics and add on extras, such as breakfast or a daily cleaning service – brilliant for a budget getaway. The Teeny Weeny, Itsy Bitsy and Bigger than a Bikini rooms with their fun, bright designs feature queen-sized beds, quality thread-count linen, fluffy towels and free Wi-Fi. X-FACTOR: The hotel is located behind award-winning restaurant The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français. This article was originally featured in the July 2012 issue of House and Leisure.