Lions and luxury in SA’s top resort

IF the job of a hotel is to make guests feel at home, then you can’t really beat the Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa. When the French football team arrive there this summer they will be greeted with a barrage of “bonjours” from the staff, who are all taking French lessons, just to ensure that they can meet their whims between matches.

Even if the staff don’t learn a skill especially for your visit, the resort is certain to relax and revitalise you. Located just a 40-minute flight from Cape Town, on the Eastern Head of Knysna on the famous Garden Route coast route, this is a truly beautiful resort, with views of the Indian Ocean and the Knysna Lagoon chucked in for free.

The resort consists of 78 stylish suites, including two presidential suites, in detached villas decorated in an elegant African style. All mod-cons are here, from underfloor heating in the bathrooms to walk-in wardrobes and a real log fire in every room.

Food is also high on the agenda at Pezula. The main hotel building has a stunning restaurant named Zachary’s – after the resort chairman’s Labrador – which uses produce from the resort’s own 5,000sq m garden, reflecting the chef’s commitment to being a “locavore”, meaning that he tries to source as much food as possible as locally as possible. There is also a cigar lounge, as well as champagne and whisky bars.

If you need more relaxing (or detoxing), then you can head along to the resort’s modern and swanky spa – twice voted the best in Africa – with its 12m heated indoor pool, sauna, steam room and heated water beds.

Those whose idea of a relaxing time involves activity are also well catered-for; the Field of Dreams sporting complex has world-class tennis courts, a multi-purpose sports oval and 300m golf practice range.

Of course, when you are in such a beautiful part of the world, it would be a shame not to take advantage of the host of activities on offer that help you make the most of it, including taking a canoe trip around the cliffs that ends on the stunning beach.

The beautiful woodlands also offer themselves to hiking, and the resort’s guide will take you on a trip through the region to take in the flora and fauna, or even special bird-watching trips. Horse-riding is also popular with many guests.

Sumptuous as the resort might be, one of the best things about staying here is the activities that it offers close by, such as a game drive at the Botlierskop Private Game Reserve, a 3,000 hectare reserve with 26 animals species, including lions, rhinos, giraffes, blue wilderbeest, cape buffalo, zebras and Africa’s largest antelope (they weigh in at over 700kg).

While you are there you can take high tea in the reserve, with elephants wandering around you, and those staying there overnight can enjoy a meal at the tented restaurant, being entertained by local musicians.

For those who truly need some tranquility, the newest addition to the Pezula Resort is the Private Castle, a stunning complex of crenulated buildings that gives you direct access right on to the beautiful sandy beaches by the glorious ocean. The Castle provides guests with every luxury imaginable including a dedicated executive butler and chef.

If your team gets knocked out of the World Cup early, there are plenty of ways to make sure that your trip to South Africa is memorable, and Pezula offers more tham most. And you can even practice your French.

Five nights for the cost of four package at Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa from £1,777 per person sharing. Includes suite accommodation with breakfast, flights in economy class, transfers, taxes, one round of golf or spa treatment.

Contact Tailormade Holidays Tel 0208 3984464 or