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Which is the best town to stay at in Cape Winelands???

Which is the best town to stay at in Cape Winelands???

Feb 24th, 2003, 04:20 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Which is the best town to stay at in Cape Winelands???

Is the best place to stay Stellenbosch???
Is the best place to stay Franschhoek???
Is the best place to stay Paarl???

Once there, I would like to do minimal driving and maximum winetasting. Which town has the most activities to do within a concentrated area??? Which town is the most upscale???

Lastly, I am only allowing two nights. Is this enough???

So far my trip is shaping up as:

Four nights in Cape Town at the Twelve Apostles

Two nights in the Cape Winelands at an undecided B&B or hotel

Three nights at (Djuma) Vuyatela

Three nights at Savanna (borders Singita at about just over 1/4 the price)

3.5 nights at Michelangelo in Joburg (will likely have a late departure from Joburg and just use 0.5 of my last paid day of hotel).

Still looking for good recommendations for Cape Winelands accomodations. (Thanks Selwyn...already received your recommendation and I am researching it)
Roccco is offline  
Feb 25th, 2003, 12:35 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 16
After you have decided where to stay in the Winelands, you can contact the Winelands Tourism and ask them to post you the relevant maps and information to await you on arrival at the Twelve Apostles. This information will include a map on 'Feast your senses', 'Winelands Adventures' and maps and information on the Winefarms and where they are located. This will help you a great deal to make the best of your 2 days in the Winelands. They have a website:www.capewinelands.org Savanna - I do like the feel of the luxury tents, but what I did not like was the fact that the camp is at the gate of the Sabi Sands (when I visited 2 years ago) and you can see the informal settlement from the camp. Therefore I never felt I was in the middle of the bush. Have a great trip
Stienie is offline  
Feb 25th, 2003, 02:12 AM
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Wow...In the Sabi Sand I never expected a squatters camp, er, I mean "informal settlement" (I read 'Ways Of Dying' by Zakes Mda and I am familiar with the some of the political correctness of South Africa).

Anyway, I have modified my trip and it will now be as follows. This is just about closed out 100%:

June 5 - Depart LAX. Evening flight.

June 6 - En Route

June 7 - Arrive Cape Town. 4 Nights at Twelve Apostles Hotel. Price $570 for a deluxe king bed seafacing room. www.luxurylink.com. High bid on auction.

June 8 - Twelve Apostles

June 9 - Twelve Apostles

June 10 - Twelve Apostles

June 11 - 1 Night Cape Winelands. Cathbert Country Inn. $115.

June 12 - Depart Cape Town - Kruger Mpumalanga. Transfer to Inyati Private Game Reserve. 3 Nights. I chose this over Savanna because it is right on the Sand River and is a little less expensive than Savanna.

June 13 - Inyati

June 14 - Inyati

June 15 - Transfer to Djuma Vuyatela. 3 Nights.

June 16 - Vuyatela

June 17 - Vuyatela
Total package price of air (Cape Town - Kruger Mpumalanga - Johannesburg), transfers from airports to game reserves and back, 3 Nights Inyati, 3 Nights Vuyatela = 3,000 ZAR. I really shopped this price around and I could have easily went with a couple companies that were charging 4,000 ZAR for this package.

June 18 - Transfer to Hoedspruit for flight to Johannesburg. Transfer to Michelangelo Hotel. 4 Nights in a junior suite and includes transfers from and back to airport, all breakfasts, one dinner, and fresh fruit, flowers and champagne in room. Total price is $620 on www.luxurylink.com. High bidder on an auction.

June 19 - Johannesburg

June 20 - Johannesburg

June 21 - 1/2 Day Johannesburg. I will try to get a late flight back to LAX. I don't mind only spending a few extra hours in my hotel room and paying for the whole night, as most departures from Joburg - USA are late night and I don't want to be stuck in the airport.

June 22 - Arrive LAX

The total price that I am projecting for this trip is about $7,750. I make no apologies for not having more tact regarding the discussion of prices / money, as I think this may really benefit others who are considering spending upwards of $10,000 for a similar trip.

If I were to substitute the Cape Grace, Mount Nelson or Table Bay instead of the Twelve Apostles, there alone I would have spent an additional $1,000 USD. Granted, I saved a tremendous amount of money by getting my trip on luxurylink.com, as the Twelve Apostles is possibly within 10% of the price as the aforementioned hotels.

If I insisted on Singita again this year for one of my lodges and possibly Londolozi or Royal Malewane as the other lodge, I would have easily spent an additional $5,000 for my six night stay in Sabi Sand.

Lastly, between the Cape Winelands and Johannesburg, I could have easily spent another $500 if not for luxurylink.com and the advice of our favorite Capetonian, Selwyn, for his advice on the Cathbert Country Inn.

My trip would be upwards of $14,000 if I stayed in the same type of places that I did last year, and guess what??? I would not be able to get to South Africa until 2004 at that rate!

Instead, I will gladly take the Twelve Apostles, the Cathbert Country Inn, Inyati Private Game Reserve, Vuyatela Private Game Reserve and the Michelangelo and enjoy every minute of it THIS YEAR.

Thanks to everybody for all the feedback and I hope that I may continue to help others, likewise.

South Africa here I come!!!
Roccco is offline  
Feb 25th, 2003, 02:18 AM
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Oops, that total package price for the air from Cape Town - Kruger Mpumalanga - Johannesburg, all transfers within game lodges, three nights at Inyati, three nights at Vuyatela should read 30,000 ZAR ($3,715 USD). The first couple quotes I got before I started shopping around were closer to 40,000 ZAR.

What surprised me most was the cost of the transfers between the airports and the lodges and from lodge to lodge.

Anyway, the price has come way down since I started sharing my knowledge and my demands with agents that were first quoting me American prices but ended up, hopefully, giving me South African prices.
Roccco is offline  
Feb 25th, 2003, 04:12 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,220
Dear Rocco
I'm really enjoying being a spectator to your planning and booking process and want to thank you for sharing it. I also want to thank you for sharing the prices you have been able to obtain.
When I first started posting here I remember being asked how much a trip cost me only to be castigated via email about the fact that this price could feed the third world and other similar trite accusations.
I want to say that I feel that no-one has the right to judge another's spending habits and choices - they have no idea of what other spending choices the person makes in any case.
Thanks again for sharing and being so open and have a GREAT trip!
Kavey is offline  
Feb 25th, 2003, 05:11 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 16

Just remember to take out travel insurance. If a flight is delayed/cancelled or if something happens it can be a big pain if you do not have cover. Your trip can end up to be more expensive than all your savings together. Enjoy the African sun shining on your face.
Stienie is offline  
Feb 25th, 2003, 05:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 251
I think it's great that you've published the costs. One of the first considerations people have in deciding on a holiday is cost, and your detailed info will definitely be useful. I have commented before about the prices some posters have been quoted, and your research shows that you don't need to just accept prices. I want to add that you will also not be staying in accommodations that are at all "budget". Someone on a tighter budget can still have a lovely trip to SA.
traci_local_in_sa is offline  
Feb 25th, 2003, 05:09 PM
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I couldn't agree more regarding being judged for the amount of money spent on vacations, etc.

While I have yet to encounter this behaivour on this board, other than the occasional jealous, anonymous remark, I encounter it frequently on a personal level in real life.

I don't tell anybody that they shouldn't have kids, should have stayed in school for an advanced degree, should work harder in their given profession to earn more money, should NOT save every single penny so they can die wealthy and have their estates taxed heavily, etc.

I live my life with the philosophy that I can be struck dead by a bus tomorrow, so I am going to enjoy my life today. Other than some equity in some real estate, I am content to live on the edge and mostly just brush off the commentary and judgment of others and enjoy my life, even if these same people choose not to enjoy their own lives.

I love to travel and I make many sacrifices to do so. While I may not exactly be roughing it, I sure don't have a $60,000 dollar Sports Utility Vehicle in the driveway, belong to any country club, or own a sailboat. What I do have is a natural curiosity to see the world and all of God's creations within it, at the sacrifice of other things, even if it means working 50-60 hours a week (90+ if you count my travel research!).

While I cannot wear my world travels on my wrist the same way that a guy who wants to be noticed can wear a Rolex on his wrist, I have yet to hear of someone saying "I Dreamed Of Rolex."
Roccco is offline  
Feb 25th, 2003, 11:50 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I'm with you Rocco and understand where you are coming from.

Several years ago there was a thread on Fodors Europe forum where some of us talked about this issue (with surprisingly little trolling and nastiness).

Most travellers had the same story - friends and aquaintances would harp on about the cost of the trips and how "it must be nice" without considering that it was a matter of their own priorities.

New sofa or travelling? Travelling!
Conservatory or travelling? Travelling!
Posh car or travelling? Travelling!
Rolex or travelling? Travelling!
£300 pair of shoes or a £30 pair of shoes and travelling? £30 pair of shoes and travelling!
Beautiful things for the house or travelling? Travelling!
A mega pension plan or travelling? Travelling!

Etc etc.

I've either ignored them or very quietly and briefly pointed out that what one of these critics spends on clothes and shoes in a year could take me on at least two week long trips instead and then drop it...

Anyway, it's very helpful of you to post prices, and more importantly, how you got them - also to post about how you are making choices between accommodations e.g. a $500 room in XYZ hotel which has this advantage or a $200 room in ABC which is like this - we can see what you're trading off for what saving... very useful.

Kind Regards
Kavey is offline  

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