Here's our monthly update to all the latest on cool new hotels, enticing specials and trends that will change how we travel in 2021.
IHG's voco The Bank now taking bookings from June 2021
The official opening of Rosebank's newest hotel voco Johannesburg Rosebank at the new Bank building (opposite Starbucks) in central Rosebank has been set back from February to June 2021. The 131 room hotel is IHG's first voco property to launch in Africa. The voco brand promises a more 'boutique' look and feel than the classic business hotel.
Second Black Brick Sandton under construction
Construction is well underway on the second Sandton property by Black Brick on Fredman Drive, which is expected to open later this year. An innovative new 'vertical village' concept, Black Brick is transforming empty office space in South African business districts into stylish residential buildings that combine studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, as well as a full lifestyle concept boutique hotel. The Black Brick brand emphasises seamless travel, multi-functional spaces, co-working and a sense of being at home, anywhere. In 2021 Black Brick will also be opening in Umhlanga, Durban and in Cape Town CBD (officially launching Jan 29). Read our review of Sandton's first Black Brick property (opened Nov 2020) here.
Welcome aboard the ultra-luxurious Kruger Shalati
One of Africa's most remarkable new luxury safari destinations, Kruger Shalati, is now officially open. Occupying an old railway bridge crossing the vast Sabie river in the lower Kruger National Park, this luxurious hotel has been cleverly transformed from a collection of historic railway carriages, into an exclusive 24-suite hotel. Wake up to the most incredible views across the river from the comfort of your luxurious open-fronted room, and dip your feet in one of the most stunning statement splash pools, perched on a deck above the river. Find out more and book a stay at www.krugershalati.com.
Valentine's special at The Fairway Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort
Love is in the air at The Fairway Hotel in Randpark (west Joburg) with romantic Valentine's packages on offer. Romantic couples packages include 'A Night of Luxury' stay in a luxury room with full romantic turndown and breakfast (R2,000 per couple) and the 'Make Your Beloved Feel Luxurious' package which also includes a three-course dinner at the Balata restaurant and couples spa treatments (R4,500 per couple). If you just want to visit for the day there's a special romantic Valentine's Spa Package for two (valid in February 2021) which includes a 90min Full Body Massage and a 60mins candlelight Hydro Bath. Find out more and book online here on The Fairway's website.
2021 travel trend predictionsTravel and the way think about 'holidays' has changed entirely and it's difficult to imagine things will ever be the same again. Here's a brief look at some new trends the experts predict will change the way we travel in 2021.
Work from anywhere
For a lot of industries, a full-time return to the office is likely to be off the cards for the foreseeable future, making extended working holidays in scenic locations a very desirable prospect for new digital nomads. Long stays in well-equipped self-catering properties that offer strong wifi connection are going to be even more popular in 2021, and as owners seek out more stable longer-term rentals we are hoping pricing will become more competitive too.
The new-look family holiday
Schools are likely to be disrupted again this year and many institutions may well continue with online learning, meaning the nature of the 'family holiday' is becoming ever more flexible. With mom and dad working from home and the kids going to school online, uprooting out of season to live in a holiday home is becoming a more realistic option for families normally restricted to peak season school holiday pricing.
Road tripping and the great outdoors
South Africa is an incredible place for a road trip and with many local travellers still feeling apprehensive about flying, we look forward to a renewed appreciation for road trip holidays in 2021. Hitting the road is also one of the best ways to enjoy South Africa's spectacular countryside. Outdoor pursuits such as walking and hiking have exploded in popularity in the past 12 months and we expect remote holiday destinations that are centred around spectacular natural attractions are going to be top of many travellers' 2021 wish lists.
2020 saw many of South Africa's upmarket tourism properties, particularly in the safari sector, finally show a real commitment to offering compelling and transparent discounts for local travellers. Discounted accommodation rates for South Africans travelling domestically are becoming an expectation rather than a hope, and in 2021 it looks like the 'local's rate' might just be here to stay.