Text Naomi Larkin, Jessica Ross Photographs Supplied Pezula Private Castle at Conrad Pezula WHERE: Lagoonview Drive, Eastern Head, Knysna, 044-302-3333, conradhotels3.hilton.com WHY WE LOVE IT: The draw card for this tucked-away property is the secluded, wild setting of Noetzie Beach, of which it looks as if it’s a natural extension. Comprising five suites in three castles, with the option of a personal butler and chef, this private, luxurious experience is ideal for honeymooners or families. X-FACTOR: Visit the Conrad Pezula hotel for dinner by chef Geoffrey Murray. The superb dishes, whose quality are only matched by one of the special vintages on the extensive wine list, are composed largely of local ingredients. Wild Olive House, Bartholomeus Klip Farmhouse WHERE: Near Hermon, Western Cape, 022-448-1087/082-322-1758, bartholomeusklip.com WHY WE LOVE IT: We have written about our love affair with Bartholomeus Klip Farmhouse before – not just about the picturesque rural setting on a working farm, the charming interiors and warm hospitality, but also executive chef Louise Gillett’s amazing cooking. Wild Olive House is separate to the farmhouse and so is perfect for groups and families with all the facilities for self catering (luckily you can also eat at the main homestead). It has three prettily decorated bedrooms, its own swimming pool and garden, and a stand-alone cottage suite. X-FACTOR: Just 115km out of Cape Town, it’s an easy escape and a great chance for the whole family to experience relaxed country living at its best. Cape Grace WHERE: West Quay Rd, Victoria & Albert Waterfront, Cape Town, 021-410-7100, capegrace.com WHY WE LOVE IT: This hotel is elegance personified. The interiors combine all the mod cons we have come to expect from a five-star hotel with a unique mix of antiques and handcrafted items – the hand-painted curtains and bedspreads are works of art. From the corridors with their curated items that depict the history of the region to the views of the marina and the harbour, you really feel immersed in the beauty of Cape Town. X-FACTOR: The revamped Bascule Whisky, Wine & Cocktail Bar is a must, as is sampling the cuisine of Malika van Reenen, executive chef at Signal restaurant. This article was originally featured in the August 2013 issue of House and Leisure.