What could be more delicious than donning a soft white robe, filling a deep bubble bath and opening the crinkly wrapping of a fragrant new soap. Garnish with candles, a glass of bubbly and some relaxing music, and you have the makings of instant bliss.
Inspired by the fresh Spring House and Leisure Magazine feature on fabulous bathrooms (September 2013), Characterstays selects its favourite South African guesthouse wallows.
The Gorge Game Lodge and Spa (pictured above and below)
For its combination of views and privacy, the breath-catching baths at the Gorge Game Lodge and Spa take first prize. Lying neck deep in bubbles, one can look out onto the vast gorge, watching birds of prey circle as the skies change colour ‘til the stars come out.
Hamilton’s Tented Camp
The award for the ultimate safari bathing experience must go to Hamilton’s Tented Camp in the Kruger National Park. Overlooking a wide river, one hears hippos grunting and can watch Saddle-Billed Storks and Kingfishers catching their breakfast from an 1880's explorer-themed tented bathroom.
Hartford House, Siyabonga Lakeside Suite
The romantic lakeside suite named Siyabonga (gratitude) at Hartford House has wide twin stone baths. Here you may lie alongside your favourite person, looking down onto the lake, feeling your stress seep away into the midlands laid back natural style.
Grand Africa, Plettenberg Bay
The creative Bath House at Grand Africa, and any of the other stunning boudoir baths overlooking the sea, will refresh your artistic spirits. Resplendent with giant candelabra, red roses, red velvet décor, this is a glamour bathe which will leave you feeling the sexiest version of yourself.
Sycamore Avenue Tree-houses
What could be more heavenly than a Jacuzzi at the top floor of a double storey wooden tree-house? Open the doors to the night skies and stars and create your own spa experience.
Petersfield Farm and Country Cottages
The rustic outdoor bath at De Veepos cottage at Petersfield Farm looks out onto Cederberg foothills and pristine fynbos veld. Bathe under open skies and feel your urban stresses evaporate.
Old Mac Daddy Luxury Trailer Park
The Life Before Colour Trailer at Old Mac Daddy in Elgin contains within it a fairytale Victorian bath. Once you are done marvelling at the creative ingenuity of a full scale bathroom in a luxurious Silverstream trailer, lie back and admire the creative black and white decor and silvery painted curved roof above you.
Moonlit marbled elegance is the bathing theme of Welgelen Manor near Balfour, just outside Gauteng. Deep Victoria and Albert baths with chrome Victorian fittings match the timeless beauty of this stately Herbert Baker mansion.
La Petite Dauphine
Bathing overlooking the golden vineyards and mountains of Franschhoek, glass of the good stuff in hand, is no shabby way to spend an afternoon at La Petite Dauphine. High shuttered windows frame the view from a deep and wide bath. Natural stone tiles and contemporary fittings complement one another well in this, one of my all-time favourite bathrooms.
The Roberston Small Hotel
This modern, deep, freestanding bath has been expertly integrated into in an attic-style room with exposed wooden beams. The bath in the Stables Honeymoon Suite at the Robertson Small Hotel wins the prize for plush style, with glossy fittings and a choice of views down the length of the beautifully decorated chocolate and cream suite or out the window onto green trees and dappled blue skies.