Looking for a romantic getaway close to Johannesburg? Say no more: the Cradle Boutique Hotel meets all expectations.
Crickets ring the night, while the driver navigates the golf cart skilfully over the gravel road. We are on our way to one of the Executive Rooms of the Cradle Boutique Hotel (Lanseria, South Africa), where we will spend the next couple of days. The rooms, or cottages, are at a considerable distance from each other. That’s great for people who love a good hike, but not so much for exhausted travelers with too much luggage. Hurray for the shuttle!
World Luxury Hotel Award 2018 Luxury Eco
The Cradle Boutique Hotel has already won various prizes, including the World Luxury Hotel Award 2018 in the Luxury Eco/Green Hotel category. Rightly so, as it is a real good stay under the thatched roof of the cottages. Carefully arranged cushions of finely woven textiles, wooden attributes and a woolen rug are providing a warm contrast with the concrete floor. The spacious bathroom is pure luxury. And when you’re getting bored by the amazing view from your private sun deck, then there is always the Handy Mobile, to make sure that you have internet at any time.
Moreover, the Cradle Boutique Hotel understands the art of providing a sustainable stay. They implemented the green aspect in the smallest details. You’ll drink from a paper straw. The salt and pepper on the table is from sustainable brand Oryx Salt. And the chef cooks exclusively with local and seasonal ingredients.
We taste the advantage of the latter after experiencing a refreshing dive in the natural pool. While having a white chocolate and rose water cheesecake with a mango glace, mango puree and mango sorbet for dessert, our enthusiasm lures chef Patrick out of the kitchen. “It’s mango season,” he laughs. “And mangoes are my favorite.”
Unesco: a tour through the Cradle of Humankind
A visit to Cradle is not a must for watching big game. For a private tour on two of the world’s most unique fossil sites, however, you are at the very right place. The boutique hotel is located right at nature’s heart, which is listed for preservation by Unesco. The remains of the oldest man in the world have been found right here in the valley, with in the background the first mountains in the world. We prefer a safari, instead. As we hope for a more lively experience.
We spot zebras, wildebeest and a lonely jackal. Grant gives us a grand tour of the estate, which once served as film set for A Few Good Men (1992) and a Top Gear Special. “Do you see those older trees?” He asks. “That’s how you can recognize sinkholes and caves here. Trees usually don’t get old, because of the hard surface.”
Our safari continues in the Cradle Art Gallery, where we enjoy a little tour after dinner. “Do you know the difference between a male and feminine eland?” Asks Cyprian, the waiter, while we find ourselves staring at the work of John Moore. Moore’s work is inspired by spirituality and natural heritage. In most of his work you will see elements from the heritage of South Africa’s Khoi-San. “It’s in the size. A male eland can weigh up to nine hundred kilos.”
Review Cradle Boutique Hotel
Cradle Boutique Hotel is close to perfect, but since the devil is in the detail there are a few points of improvement. In the context of sustainability, we would choose not to replace the soap every day. Furthermore, the pick-up service didn’t show up at the day of departure. Last little consideration: don’t call the rooms one by one in the middle of the night, when someone leaves his car lights on. That’s something one can complain about, or interpret it as an enthusiastic service. Because the service is extraordinary – proven by the nightly tour through the Art Gallery, which is normally only open by appointment. So: looking for a romantic getaway close to Jo’burg? Say no more: the Cradle Boutique Hotel meets all expectations.