Unique & Unusual Hotels To Visit Around South Africa


We don’t realise it, but South Africa has plenty of unique, interesting and breathtaking hotels that just need to be experienced first-hand. From staying in a tepee and roughing it in an ox wagon to fairytale castles brought to life, check out our list of unique and unusual hotels around our beautiful country.

Unique and Unusual Hotels In SA

The Turbine Boutique Hotel & Spa – Knysna, Western Cape

Planning a holiday down in Knysna? If accommodation with a unique and quirky twist is what you’re after, then why not book your stay at The Turbine Boutique Hotel & Spa? What makes this hotel different is the fact that it was an old power station. The station was transformed into a stunning 5-star boutique in 1939/1940 and, to add that little bit of quirkiness, all the old machinery that was once used at the station was restored and now forms part of the hotel’s unique design and personality. Take your pick from 17 standard rooms, six luxury rooms, a honeymoon suite or the optional self-catering Lagoon suite – either way, it’s going to be a luxurious getaway.

The Turbine Boutique Hotel & Spa

Timamoon Lodge – Hazyview, Mpumalanga

For the ultimate honeymoon or romantic getaway, book a room at one of the most seductive lodges in the country – the Timamoon Lodge. This stunning hideaway, close to the Kruger National Park and Blyderiver Canyon, is situated high up in the hills surrounded by lush forests. The décor and design of the lodges are exquisite – think luxurious Moroccan and Zanzibar accents, a romantic ambience, mosquito net-draped four-post beds, roaring fires and massive baths. To top it all off, you have endless forest views of the Sabie River Valley and will be treated to superb cuisine. Each lodge offers its own unique feel and surrounds, so suss out Moon River, Bombay Moon, New Moon, Blue Moon, Amber Moon and Many Moons to pick your favourite.

Timamoon Lodge

Castle In Clarens – Clarens, Free State

Ever wished you were a princess in your own fairy tale? What if we told you that there’s a place, not so far, far away, where you can enjoy a little bit of fantasy, royalty and luxury? If this has piqued your interest, then be sure to take a glimpse at the Castle In Clarens. Step back in time, delight your senses with tapestries from Dubai and handpicked décor and objet d’art from all over the world, and experience the magic of Rapunzel’s Tower. You’ll have access to the entire castle during your stay, which means you can explore the Prince’s Room, Rapunzel’s Room, relax in the beautifully decorated lounge, watch the sun go down at Sunset Corner, and take in the heavenly views from the Chamber of Angels.

Castle In Clarens

Old Mac Daddy & Grand Daddy – Cape Town, Western Cape

It’s important to take a breather from the rush of the city and reconnect with nature, which is why Old Mac Daddy has just the spot where you can explore and be amazed in the great outdoors. And to treat those with a love for all things design and décor, book a stay in one of their interesting Airstream trailers. Each trailer has its own style, design and décor created by a local designer, including the whimsical Birdy, the Mexican mash-up in the Dirkie Sanchez, the Steampunk and the sugar fusion Love Cake… I Do trailer. But if you want a break without leaving the city, the Grandy Daddy Boutique Hotel on Long Street is just the spot for you. They even offer a rooftop Airstream Trailer Park experience!

Old Mac Daddy & Grand Daddy

The Oxwagon Lodge – Hartbeespoort, Gauteng

Ever wondered what it was like to live a few centuries ago, sleeping in ox wagons and enjoying the sounds of nature all around you? It sounds rather peaceful and exciting at the same time… If that’s something you’d like to try, then book a stay at the Oxwagon Lodge in Harties. They have six original and restored ox wagons that have been converted into charming accommodation. Each wagon – the bedroom – is cosy, and has an attached chalet that houses a sitting room or second bedroom, plus a private bathroom.

The Oxwagon Lodge

Emoya Hotel & Spa & Shanty Town – Bloemfontein, Free State

Emoya Hotel & Spa in Bloemfontein is one of South Africa’s best-kept secrets – it offers a luxurious escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life with two different accommodation types to choose from. The Basotho Hotel, complete with stunning African-style rooms, is ideal for relaxing and watching the nyala or giraffe in the distance, while the more traditional South African shacks in Shanty Town are perfect if you’re looking for a local experience you’ll never forget. On top of the interesting accommodation options, you can also enjoy a variety of activities, including a cheetah experience, game drives, sundowners at the Shebeen Pub and some pampering at the Emoya Spa.

Emoya Hotel

Flycatcher Castle – Graskop, Mpumalanga

If you’re an art lover who’s looking for a getaway filled with stunning architecture, sculptures, unique artistry and breathtaking views, then you should pack your bags and pay the Flycatcher Castle in Clarens a visit. Designed and completed by sculptor Manie Connoway, this beautiful castle will delight your senses with its in-house gallery of sculptures, antique furniture, ornaments and art, and unique design and style, which includes entrance doors from Belgium, Art Deco windows, and sandstone corner blocks and old farmhouse yellow wood beams from the Free State. And if that’s not enough, there’s also a variety of attractions to see and experience a short distance away from the castle.

Flycatcher Castle

Farr Out Guesthouse – Paternoster, Western Cape

Seeking a little tranquillity, peace and relaxation? Farr Out Guesthouse on the outskirts of Paternoster in the Western Cape will treat your senses with nature’s gifts. See the tides come in and out in the distance, smell the fynbos in the air, hear the soothing sounds of nature all around you, and feel relaxed while treating yourself to a dip in the wood-fired hot tub. As for the accommodation, you’ll have the opportunity to go glamping in a luxurious Wigwam/Tepee-style tent.

Farr Out

The Rabbit Hole & Restaurant – Krugersdorp, Gauteng

Escape to Wonderland at The Rabbit Hole & Restaurant in Krugersdorp. This surreal and charming setting will make you feel as if you have followed the white rabbit down the rabbit hole and fallen into a magical and enchanted land. Every one of their 17 en-suite rooms is uniquely decorated, and the beautiful gardens offer a lovely spot to relax and get a bit of fresh air. And as Krugersdorp is in the west, there are many attractions in the area: the Cradle of Humankind, the Rhino & Lion Park, Maropeng and the Sterkfontein Caves.

The Rabbit Hole & Restaurant

Leopard Rock Lookout Chalets – Izingolweni, Kwazulu-Natal

Experience Oribi Gorge like never before at Leopard Rock Lookout Chalets in KwaZulu-Natal. What makes this getaway destination unique and magnificent is its amazing views over the Umzimkulu Valley, its modern yet ethnic design, and the décor and art that offers a little bit of artistic flair to your visit. How does taking a relaxing shower while overlooking the beauty of the gorge sound? Just stunning!

Leopard Rock Lookout Chalets

Have you been to any of these stunning places, or have we missed out on an awesome spot we just have to visit in SA? Let us know by commenting below.  

Images sourced from each destinations’ website or Facebook page.

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