Want to stay in a treehouse or castle? 10 quirky SA stays for your next escape

2018-10-29 12:00 - Saara Mowlana
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turbine hotel

Find your escape at one of these quirky Saffa stays. (Photo: Supplied)

What if I told you that you could sleep in the sycamore trees of KZN or live like an elf in the Eastern Cape?

In South Africa, there is certainly no lack of interesting or quirky places to stay that also offer luxury experiences. 

From our rugged mountains to our refreshing and thriving coasts, from our bustling cities to our quaint and niche towns - there are a plethora of intriguing accommodations.

Freckling our nation, across all nine provinces, you needn't look far to find excellent accommodation that's both budget-friendly and offers you a truly one of a kind experience. 

ICYMI: Farms, caves and houseboats: 10 Quirky SA stays and why they're perfect for your next break 

Plan your next quirky SA escape at one of these picks below:

Sleep with the engines running

If you're looking for something with a little bit of an industrial-chic atmosphere - The Turbine Boutique Hotel & Spa is your best bet. This accommodation is where the classic machinery meets modern luxury. The remnants from when the building was a functioning wood-fired power station, has been stylishly restored and woven into the décor of this Garden Route getaway.

  • Location: Knysna, Western Cape
  • Grading: 4.4-star hotel

READ: Into the Woods: Eco-adventures from the heart of Knysna at Turbine Boutique Hotel & Spa 

Rock-a-bye as you rock a boat

Knysna Houseboat Myrtle offers you the perfect opportunity to become one with your inner sailor. This self-contained cottage on the water is anchored in the Knysna Lagoon and bobs a comfy two-minute dinghy ride away from the Knysna Waterfront. The houseboat sleeps four guests on two double beds and the second bed is a convertible bed in the living area, next to a toasty fire place. The main bedroom features its own private deck and the boat is kitted out with a kitchen, a hot shower and a toilet. 

  • Location: Knysna, Western Cape 
  • Grading: 4-star houseboat 

WATCH: 11 Unusual stays around the globe  

Don't shy away from this precious Lord of the Rings experience

"You shall not pass!" is, ironically, not the slogan of this welcoming lodge. The Shire Eco Lodge in Stutterheim, Eastern Cape, is set on the edge of the indigenous Xholora Forest in the Amatola Mountains. These elfin wooden chalets promise to offer pure comfort - giving you a precious experience. The lodge is also just a stream’s hop from the enchanted home of many rare species of plants, birds and butterflies.

  • Location: Stutterheim, Eastern Cape
  • Grading: 4.5-star eco-lodge

ALSO WATCH: Top 10 Weird and Wonderful Restaurants from around the world 

Get retro with these caravan-style trailers

Get retro - like 1930s retro - with this caravan-themed accommodation. Back to when these sweet rides were crafted from curvy, polished chunks of metal. Old Mac Daddy in the beloved Elgin Valley blends the classic American trailers of a bygone era with a the beauty of an operational farm nestled near some of the best wine estates the Western Cape has to offer. 

  • Location: Elgin, Western Cape
  • Grading: 4.5-star self-catering Airstream trailers

SEE PICS: Choo choo your way to a new train market in Elgin & other train trips to explore around SA 

Jump on the Oxwagon for your next escape

Why join the bandwagon when you can hitch a stay at this quirky Saffa lodge? The Oxwagon Lodge is a special lodge offering guests a rather unusual and yet incredible experience to stay in the comfy embrace of an Oxwagon bedroom. Other things you'll find on site include a lapa, restaurant, braai area, dance floor, outdoor amphitheatre and conference centre. You can also shake your oxtail in the party room near the pool - which offers fantastic views of the Hartbeespoort Dam.  

  • Location: Hartbeespoort Dam, North West
  • Grading: 4-star lodge

CHECK OUT: If cities had a unique perfume, what would SA's smell like? 

Cave in to this unique starlit stay

When is a mesmerising stay in the magical Cederberg Mountains ever a bad idea? Well, since it never is, you might want to consider this epic accommodation experience over at Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve.  Stay in one of the five warm thatched chalets or one of the 10 more rugged cave suites that is carved straight into the vibrant sandstone. The best experience, surely, has to go to the open-air suite - should you book at the right seasonal time. This 'room' features its own natural rock pool and, well, no ceiling - allowing you to fully soak in the glory of the unfiltered starlit sky. 

  • Location: Citrusdal, Western Cape
  • Grading: 4.5-star lodge

ALSO SEE: The nicest damn cave I’ve ever slept in! 

Get artsy at this vibrant guesthouse

If you're looking for a more artsy experience, you might be in luck at the colourful Art Guesthouse also on the shores of the Hartbeespoort Dam. Experience the unique energy of aura of the place as it washes over you upon entry. You can select one of the six private rooms, which are each artistically expressive with their Frida Kahlo inspired décor.

  • Location: Schoemansville, North West
  • Grading: 4.5-star hotel

ALSO READ: Road tripping for the hops: Craft breweries of North West 

Take a hop into the Rabbit Hole to this wonderland

Unleash your inner Alice, or Mad Hatter, at this quirky stay down The Rabbit Hole. Find yourself entranced by the whimsical and brightly coloured décor as you wander through the land. Choose one of the 12 en-suite room options which are all kitted out with their own private entrances, patios and gardens.

  • Location: Krugersdorp, Gauteng
  • Grading: 4.4-star hotel

BE SURE TO WATCH: Whoa! Sand boarding in Krugersdorp looks bad ass 

Nest under the the thick of KZN Sycamores 

Unleash your inner kid dreams with this treehouse experience in KZN. Nestled deep within a thick of sycamore trees, you'll find the fairy-worthy collection of Sycamore Avenue Treehouses. These cosy natural nooks are fitted with private jacuzzis and a spectacular view of the Drakensberg - bringing you a little bit of romance and luxury in your own lovely nest.

  • Location: Mooi River, KwaZulu Natal
  • Grading: 4.5-star treehouses

ALSO CHECK OUT: Leaf your worries behind at this eco-friendly Italian apartment complex 

Get the royal treatment at this castle stay

Play royal house with this grand accommodation - Flycatcher Castle. This ideal fantasy escape sits snug on the Lowveld with the castle perched delicately on the rugged edge of the Drakensberg escarpment. Select one of six uniquely decorated suites named after classical composers and swing by several of SA's natural marvels that are just on Flycatcher's doorstep - from God's Window to the Pinnacle. 

  • Location: Graskop, Mpumalanga
  • Grading: 4-star guesthouse

ALSO SEE: #FindYourEscape: Explore the Garden Route's luxury castle on a beach + 7 exclusive beaches in SA 

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