HOTEL REVIEW: Arabella Hotel, Golf & Spa, South Africa
Arabella Hotel, Golf and Spa is one of Africa’s best kept open secrets. Set among fynbos and scenic mountain ranges in the Western Cape Region of South Africa, this 5-Star property is a fusion of sophisticated luxury, fine arts, and stunning ecosystem.
As part of my itinerary for the 52nd Annual General Assembly of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa in October, I spent three nights at Arabella Hotel, Golf and Spa in Hermanus, South Africa, from 13 to 16 October, 2022. It was my first time ever at this luxury property, and I wasn't disappointed.
Arrival and Check-in
Hermanus is located about 85 kilometres from the Cape Town International Airport. So, the drive from the airport to Arabella Hotel, Golf and Spa was a bit of a stretch, but also very scenic and even adventurous. After two back-to-back flights and a long drive from the airport, I and other delegates (I met at the airport) arrived at Arabella Hotel tired and worn-out.
Due to a mix-up in the attendees list, check-in was a little delayed. But that was quickly sorted out. Although delayed, check-in was smart and technology-driven. And with that done, I made my way to the elevator, but not without having a quick feel of the nature-inspired architecture of the hotel’s lobby.
After leaving the hotel’s front desk, I spent some more time in the reception area to soak in the abundant allure and the abounding beauty. The beauty that met my eyes was intensely woody, yet essentially modern, it was sophisticated, yet simple. It was very African, yet very contemporary. It was irresistible.
Not even my tired body could stand in the way. I took a long time to observe and appreciate the nature-inspired aesthetics. Even eternity wouldn't have been enough for me to soak in all that beauty. And by the time I got to my room, my luggage was already there, thanks to the hotel's intuitive concierge team.
Arabella Hotel, Golf and Spa offers a range of contemporary accommodations, including Deluxe Rooms, in one of which I stayed. As I stepped into the room, I fell in love at first sight. I couldn't resist it. My first impression was that of style, class, and modern comfort. I was greeted by elegance, luxury, and a certain kind of sophistication, wrapped in simplicity. I was swept off my feet.
My Deluxe Room featured a bath and shower in en-suite bathrooms with sleek marble accents, twin beds, free unlimited WiFi, flatscreen satellite TV, coffee and tea facilities, spacious workspace, and an electronic safe.
The room also had a mini-fridge, 24-hour room service, a nightly turndown, iron and ironing board, lighted makeup mirror, and international plug adaptors. To make good things even better, I could step out from my elegant room onto my private balcony and soak in the scenic Kogelberg views and the hotel’s lush environment.
After taking a visual tour of my room, I quickly set up my laptop on the workspace and checked out the Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi speed was impressive and I couldn't resist the temptation of going to work. I must have forgotten I was tired.
Oh, how can I forget? Very much to my pleasant surprise, a knock on my door and a 'come in' response from me saw a hotel’s staff come in with a welcome platter, on the house. The platter had some exotic fruits, pastries, some delicious nuts, cheese, chocolate, bacon, and a bottle of premium red wine. There couldn’t have been a better way to start my stay.
Having worked myself into a state of more fatigue, it was time to refresh and discover more luxury. The amount of luxury encapsulated in the bathroom was remarkable. Modern, sparkling clean, and very spacious, the bathroom was lavishly appointed, it had more luxury sanitary products and amenities than I could use.
The bathroom featured a separate bathtub, a separate toilet, a separate urinary, and a separate shower room, all in one closet. The towels, which were changed regularly, were so luxurious and absorbent that, weeks after leaving Arabella Hotel, I'm still relishing the resplendent luxury of being enveloped in the softness of those towels. In fact, the bathroom came across to me as luxury redefined.
Other accommodation options available at Arabella Hotel include Deluxe Premium Rooms with views overlooking the stunning Overberg vistas. All rooms are exquisitely appointed. But if you want to step up your game a little, there are also Deluxe Suites and Presidential Suites which are characterised by rich-wood accents, soft furnishings, and the finest luxury found in Hermanus.
To offer guests the opportunity to effortlessly commune with nature, all accommodations feature private balcony, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, and a scenic view.
For space constraints, I presume, not many dining options are available at Arabella Hotel. But Jamani Restaurant is really all you need, whether you want it fresh, local, or continental. In the course of my three-night stay at Arabella Hotel, I had several breakfasts, lunches, and dinners at the all-day Jamani Restaurant, and I totally enjoyed every bit of the gastronomic experience.
At Jamani Restaurant, I enjoyed menus curated from locally-grown fresh produce, featuring a selection of farm-to-table dishes, as well as classic favourites from around the world. I enjoyed a choice of hearty and delicious contemporary South African dishes. And all of that, while enjoying stunning views of the magnificent golf course and breathtaking views of the Bot River Lagoon.
Weather you want a private dining or with a group of friends and colleagues, Jamani Restaurant offers excellent buffet and a la carte dining options for a rewarding gastronomic experience, in a relaxed ambience.
Driven by Technology
Right from the main access gate to guest rooms through the reception, Arabella Hotel, Golf and Spa is extensively driven by modern technology, in a way that ensures the safety and security of guests and their property.
Access to guest rooms as well as in-room lights are controlled by personalised smart cards. The hotel also operates a cashless policy, with all major debit and credit cards accepted.
When it comes to what makes a resorty hotel appealing, location is key and environment is everything. Arabella Hotel, Golf & Spa perfectly combines the two with a certain hedonistic impression and a suburban feel.
Located in the heart of Kogelberg Biosphere, one of the world’s richest floral reserves, the Arabella Hotel, Golf & Spa is one of Africa’s best kept secrets. Whether it is for a quick weekend getaway or for an extended staycation, Arabella Hotel invites guests to indulge in hospitality luxury while exploring lush natural surroundings.
Much unlike most suburban hotels and resorts, Arabella Hotel is just a 90-minute drive from the Cape Town International Airport. And I found that to be a huge added advantage.
Fairway and Green
By far, the most attractive facility at Arabella Hotel, Golf and Spa is the stunning golf course. Well, I'm not into Golf, at least, not yet. But I've had more than one stints with golf and golfers. So, I know a great golf course when I see one. Arabella Hotel Golf course is ONE.
The 72-par 18-hole golf course is ranked as a top 10 golf course in South Africa. Throughout my stay at Arabella, I found the golf course irresistibly alluring. But since I don't even know the ropes in golf, the stunning golf course only provided me the perfect backdrop for a memorable staycation.
If golf or golfing is your sort of thing, then Arabella Hotel, Golf and Spa is your go-to destination for golfy adventures in the Western Cape. You will love it here. Not only because it has world-class facilities, but also because you get to play your golf on the edge of the Bot River Lagoon. You can't have it better anywhere else.
At Arabella Hotel, Golf and Spa, you can be sure to have an exceptionally rewarding golfing experience while being surrounded by fynbos and mountains. From the tee box to the rough and hazards through the green and the fairway, Arabella golf course will challenge and reward you at the same time.
Deeply steeped in and sorrounded by exotic nature, Arabella Hotel, Golf and Spa is a true 5-Star property in a 5-Star environment. At the risk of sounding overconfident, I dare say that I found the services at the hotel impeccable. The staff were friendly and went out of their way to help, without a noticeable sense of entitlement.
At Arabella Hotel, Golf and Spa, you will experience finest luxury, exquisite gastronomy, and excellent service. Whether you are here for business or for leisure or for both, you will never be able to soak in all the pleasure. If I have the opportunity, I will stay at Arabella Hotel again. Absolutely!
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