Top 4 Luxury Hotels in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sep03

Top 4 Luxury Hotels in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro is famous for its vibrant culture, sought after beaches and iconic landmarks. The Rio carnival brings in hoards of visitors during the sunny February months, and is considered to be the largest carnival in the world. The city pulsates with activity and there’s an overall atmosphere of absolute happiness washing over Rio! There’s a lot more to Rio than carnivals and parties. The city is home to the endless white beaches of Copacabana flanked by the famous towering Sugar Loaf mountain. Another popular beach region in Rio is the Ipanema beach and coastline, a place that draws in a hippie surfer crowd. The contrasting hilly region of Santa Teresa, a remote village defined by cobbled streets and magnificent views. These are our top 4 uxury hotels in the most popular regions in Rio de Janeiro. Belmond Copacabana Palace This classic landmark of a hotel is steeped in history, and lords over it surrounds. Resting on the shores of Copacabana Beach, the Belmond Copacabana Palace is most certainly a timeless hotel. The 239 roomed hotel opened its doors in 1923 and has certainly aged gracefully. It’s a glamorous destination once frequented by the Hollywood elite of the 1950s. It’s still home to an elite crowd in Brazil and is the perfect place to kick back and enjoy a caipirinha or two. This art deco masterpiece is home to a Michelin-starred restaurant and a massive swimming pool – two perfect places to unwind ! Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro Fasano is vastly different to Copacabana Palace in that it’s a modern, designer hotel with designer brands and stylish finishings everywhere you turn. Ideally located on the exquisite Ipanema Beach, Hotel Fasana is nothing short of exceptional. Ipanema Beach sees scores of surfers, sun worshippers and beach-goers lapping up the pristine beach lifestyle. This 89 roomed hotel is Philippe Starck’s first hotel in Brazil and is designed to reflect the 1950s and 60s era, where  bossa nova was in its heyday. Not only is Hotel Fasano located in one of Rio’s most coveted addresses, but it’s also an absolute design masterpiece created with flair. Each room has a balcony with sweeping views of Ipanema and when guests aren’t taking in the vistas of Brazil, they can enjoy indulgent spa treatments. Marina All Suites This is a luxury boutique designer hotel located in the Leblon area of Rio. Rumoured to be a favourite of supermodel Gisele Bundchen, the Marina All Suites is certainly aesthetically pleasing so we’re not surprised that it attracts a wealth of interest. The restaurant is the place to be and the be seen, and you’ll be...

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Up for a Challenge? Try Spot the Little 5 on Safari
Sep02

Up for a Challenge? Try Spot the Little 5 on Safari

It goes without saying that first-time safari goers to Africa head to wildlife rich destinations in search of the big 5. The big 5 are probably the most well-marketed group of animals in Africa, and there really is nothing better than coming across these giants while traversing unfettered savannah landscapes. The big cats, bovids and pachyderms that make up the famous big 5 have 5 tiny “cousins” with the same name. We refer to these as the Little 5 because of physical attributes resembling the big five. So, when you’re not tracking the big five we encourage you to try spot the little 5 on safari (you’ll need to first find out if each of these species is endemic to your chosen safari region). Leopard Tortoise The leopard tortoise is a commonly spotted species of tortoise, and is rather attractively marked. Leopard’s have exquisite rosette patterned markings on their tawny fur, and the leopard tortoise has similar markings on its shell. Native to southern and east Africa, this reptile enjoys a range of habitat, which includes sandy coastal regions to grasslands and arid scrub. They typically enjoy a bushveld environment with easy access to nutritious grasses and a variety of plants and succulents. Like most hardy reptiles, the leopard tortoise is a solitary animal quite capable of enduring robust conditions. The single biggest threat to leopard tortoises is man, which is why these tortoises have reached “Vulnerable” status in certain bands of its natural range. Unlike its big 5 cousin, the leopard tortoise enjoys a rather lengthy lifespan akin to that of a human – up to 100 yrs of age. Rhino Beetle  The rhino beetle derives its name from the rhinoceros. This beetle has a massive horn-like protrusion on its face  that looks just like a rhino’s horn. Only thing is, the rhino beetle is not critically endangered ! Belonging to the scarab beetle family, the rhino beetle is a small armoured beetle always ready for battle. Beetles have two horns, one on the top of its head and the other set slightly backwards, but facing forwards. The horns are used to burrow into the ground to avoid predators, and males use their horns in battle to fight for mates. Rhino beetles are considered to possess one of the strongest head-weapons, just like its big 5 “cousin”. Antlion The ant lion really is one of nature’s most industrious little creatures, and is actually quite tricky to spot. You’ll need to spend plenty of time at ground-level in sandy areas. Antlions set traps in loose particles of sand and dig massive funnels that act as a trap – they...

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3 Sun Destinations Properties Offering a Conscious Safari Experience
Sep02

3 Sun Destinations Properties Offering a Conscious Safari Experience

Those who travel are redefining how they travel. A new generation of travellers are seeking out destinations offering them a closer connection to the simple life, and opting to stay in places that respect their environment.  This change in mindset has infiltrated the types of holiday people are booking, with a shift towards earth-conscious people wanting to stay in places that are eco-friendly, tread carefully on the environment or tightly partnered with charities. When it comes to luxury holidays, environmentally aware holidaymakers want to ensure that they’re giving back in some small way. Most safari lodges and camps in South Africa do help, but there are a few where you can become actively involved in the safari experience. These are not volunteer programs but rather safaris that make a difference, while still offering a signature safari experience. The following 3 camps/lodges within the Sun Destinations portfolio offer a safari with an impact. Roam Private Game Reserve in the Western Cape’s Great Karoo Roam Private Game Reserve is located on 5000 hectares of malaria-free scrubveld in the Great Karoo, an ancient and endless semi-desert landscape covering 400,000 square kilometres in its entirety.  The focus at Roam is on eco-tourism and providing visitors with the opportunity to experience the remote wilderness of the Karoo. There are 3 accommodation options, each catering for a different type of guests. The Manor House is an exclusive use house ideal for families, the Explorer Camp is ideal for adventurers and the Roam Safari Lodge is perfect for couples. Roam has an incredible conservation program that affords guests an opportunity to become involved and help with various conservation initiatives on the reserve. Guests can help tag and band birds for research purposes, help with veld monitoring, track cheetah, and learn about the day-to-day running of a reserve. The idea at Roam is to offer a conscious safari experience; one where guests enjoy the activities synonymous with a typical safari experience, but also help to conserve their “holiday” environment. Ugebezi Explorer Camp in the Blue Canyon Conservancy Located in the heart of the uncrowded Blue Canyon Nature Conservancy on 10 000 ha of mixed savanna, acacia and mopane thickets; lies the intimate and rustic Ugebezi Explorer Camp. This discreet tented camp offers an immersive, hands-on safari experience where the focus is on conservation, walking safaris and getting to know the Kruger wilderness. There are only 4 tents, which means an intimate and personalised safari experience. A main bedouin tent houses a classic and tastefully decorated lounge area, complete with chocolate colour leather couches and wooden artefacts and games.  Ugebezi is actually an extension of Nkombe Rhino, an...

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Should You Bring Children on Safari to South Africa?
Sep02

Should You Bring Children on Safari to South Africa?

Today’s fast-paced modern world is littered with devices and technology. There’s a constant need for instant gratification and an expectation to always be online and available. Immersing yourself in nature provides an opportunity to break-free from the need to be plugged-in constantly. A safari provides the ultimate wilderness escape where you are surrounded by endless savannah, big game and mind-blowing night skies. It’s important to introduce children to the beauty of the outdoors, and let them disconnect from the pressure of the modern world. This is why you should bring your children on safari to South Africa! It’s the type of holiday designed to keep the family connected to nature, and ensure your soul follows the rhythm of nature. Today, we’re sharing 5 lodges catering for children on safari to South Africa to help you prep for the ultimate holiday to Africa. The below 5 safari lodges cater for children and even have their own have specific programs for kids. Madikwe Safari Lodge in Madikwe Private Game Reserve Madikwe is located in the Malaria-free Madikwe Private Game Reserve bordering the North West Province. Madikwe Safari Lodge has a choice of a few lodges, one of which is the family-friendly Lelapa Lodge. It’s a lodge that’s luxuriously laid-back and caters for both adults and kids. The Eco House is where all the children’s activities happen, with a highlight being the “Mack and Madi Kids’ Adventure Safari Club”. A qualified host of childminders, field guides and excursion managers have created the perfect kids safari package. Children learn everything from identifying animal tracks, discovering plants, baking, arts and crafts, outdoor movies and interacting with the local pet – a bearded dragon. Babysitting services are available for the young toddlers, while the older kids have the option of joining gentle meanders in the surrounding bushveld. There are 12 suites at Lelapa Lodge ideally set-up for families. The children’s bedrooms are full to the brim with all the creature comforts from home. We’re talking hoards of toys, books and bunk beds. For the more mature family members, there is a private lounge, viewing deck and plunge pool. Across the way is the waterhole, which makes for ideal evening entertainment. Families often sit together, observing wildlife filtering down to the water’s edge. Londolozi in the Famous Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve The team at Londolozi have approached the family safari with a unique mindset. Instead of a set itinerary and cast-in-stone children’s program, Londolozi have a philosophy and understanding that each child has individual needs, as do the families. There are a host of activities available, and team members are on hand to maximise children’s...

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5 Funky Instagram Worthy Hotels in Cape Town Central
Sep01

5 Funky Instagram Worthy Hotels in Cape Town Central

There are hotels and then there are hotels. Most hotels in Cape Town offer something unique, but then there are a handful of hotels that are simply picturesque in the most quirky of ways. some hotels just deserve to be celebrate on – dare we say it – Instagram. These are our 5 funky Instagram worthy hotels in Cape Town Central. The George Hotel They refer to the George Hotel as the “Gorgeous George” – and for good reason ! This hotel is a design masterpiece incorporating modern decor with a taste of Cape history. The hotel is located in two heritage buildings that have been restored to their former glory. The George is now THE place to be seen. The 32 luxurious industrial chic rooms are kitted out with eclectic and Victorian decor, ensuring a classic yet modern ambience. Plenty of deep greens, plant walls and plush colours provide a sense of relaxing depth to the hotel. Did anyone say indoor jungle? Not only is the Gorgeous George a must-see inner city hotel, but it also offers a rather remarkable restaurant area with a view. There’s a rooftop bar and pool area giving rise to sweeping views of city ‘scapes, and provides the ideal space for a funky crowd to enjoy a bit of New York living in the heart of Cape Town. Gorgeous George is energetic and vibrant; and certainly making waves in the hotel world! Location : The George Hotel is located in the heart of Cape Town’s bustling city centre, on Greenmarket Square in the St Georges Mall. Best Instagram Spots :  Choose any corner on the rooftop bar. There’s also the swimming pool with views of the city. The winding marble staircase makes for unique photos. There’s plenty of colourful greenery indoors, lounge areas and long arty hallways. The Silo Hotel The Silo Hotel is a modern and contemporary hotel located in the famous VA Waterfront area. The towering hotel overlooks the yacht basin and no expense has been spared when it comes to the design of the hotel. The Silo sits neatly above the Zeitz Mocca art gallery and museum, and actually looks like a work of art itself with its bevelled pillowed windows. This is elite living at its finest and sets the standard in terms of five star hotels in Cape Town. This bold hotel is built in a towering old grain elevator, and offers various rooms types all decorated in an eclectic style. There are actually 6 categories of rooms, with one presidential Rooftop pool, restaurants, bar area and spa treatment room offer a number of perfect places to unwind...

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