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Luxe Lavs: Romantic Getaways in Africa Inspired by Valentine’s Day

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Africa might be as romantic a combination as red wine and dark chocolate. From luxury game reserves to five-star hotels in major cities, our Luxe Lavs contributor Angela Fairhurst found four unique environments in honor of Valentine’s Day.

The Silo Hotel, Cape Town

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Located in the heart of Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, The Silo Hotel is a historic grain silo complex that occupies six floors above what will be a modern art museum. The building was entrusted to designer Thomas Heatherwick of the London-based Heatherwick Studio to convert the elevator house and the adjacent storage annex to create a hotel while still preserving its historic significance. The most creative aspect of the structure is the pillowed glazing panels that have been inserted into the geometry of the hotel floors. When lit at night, the hotel looks like a giant lantern. From the inside, the rooms and bathrooms look out past the walls to arguably the best views of the city. The bathtubs sit on the white marble flooring with black inlays in front of the view and a chaise lounge in the middle. Vanity areas with large mirrors only enhance the environment. The crystal chandelier puts a stamp on this romantic bathroom. The Silo Hotel opens on March 1st of this year.

The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa, Johannesburg

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The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa is located on 10 landscaped acres in Johannesburg’s quiet tree-lined neighborhood of Sandhurst. The locals know this urban retreat for its award-winning spa, restaurant, and wine cellar. The hotel exudes an atmosphere of calm tranquility with three standalone Luxury Villas set within a garden to provide exclusivity and privacy. Our favorite suite is the same one Nelson Mandela chose as his “home” to complete his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom. Aptly named the Nelson Mandela Platinum Suite, the bathroom is massive. Everything is designed for two. Consistent with the design of the suite, and peeking from the bedroom to the master bath with shutters, the earth toned colors and blonde wood continue with black accents.

Angama Mara, Maasai Mara, Kenya

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Some of the most romantic scenes from Out of Africa were filmed at Angama Mara located above the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Its name is inspired by the Swahili word for “suspended in mid-air.” Every morning, guests can see hot air balloons appearing to float 1,000 feet above the Great Rift Valley. With the reserve close to the Equator, warm weather provides outstanding game viewing 12 months a year. The owner-run lodge has two separate and intimate camps, each with 15 tented guest suites. You can feel the love with 30-foot-wide floor-to-ceiling glass fronts allowing a view of the vast Mara. Inspired by the bath scene in Out of Africa, each bathroom has a separate shower and deep galvanized tub with a vanity with double basins, a separate water closet, and Africology amenities. Separating the bathroom from the main room are John Vogel woven screens, reminiscent of another scene in Out of Africa.

Zulu Camp at Shambala Private Game Reserve in South Africa

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The Shambala Zulu Camp is designed in Afro-French Provincial style. “Shambala” is a Tibetan word, meaning “Paradise on Earth.” The camp is appropriately named. The rooms are traditional honeycomb-shaped chalets situated in the natural bush surroundings of the bushveld. Bushveld is a sub-tropical woodland ecoregion of Southern Africa named after the term veld, which means open uncultivated country or grassland. Present here are large mammals and rich bird life typical of African savannas. The luxurious bathroom leads to an outdoor shower on the private deck overlooking the bushveld.

Looking for more ideas for Valentine’s Day? Check out:

By Angela Fairhurst for PeterGreenberg.com

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