There is a quote, “What is coming is better than what is gone.” We all know that you can’t exactly start the next chapter in life if you keep re-reading the last one, right? So, let go and trust that what lies ahead is exciting and savour the magic and luxury of new beginnings.
This month we explored what luxury means to us and to our guests. From the luxury of riding horses in jaw-dropping locations and escaping to 15 different exotic islands, to witnessing unexpected wildlife encounters or taking to the skies in an exclusive &Beyond private jet journey, there is so much to discover, learn and experience on an &Beyond journey of the soul. And with the highly anticipated news of our upcoming lodge makeovers, nothing tops the luxury of staying in a brand new lodge.
In celebration of #WanderlustWednesday, today we are officially unveiling the plans and inspiration behind some of the most talked about &Beyond lodge makeovers for 2018. Over the past few years, the winds of change have ushered in some remarkable and elegant transformations among some of our most award-winning safari camps and lodges. Curious? Have a look at our Top 5 ultimate lodge makeovers (plus two more makeovers) that will kick your wanderlust into high gear. But we’re not stopping there … here are 4 (more) makeovers to drool over. Who needs five (or seven) star lodges when you can opt for million-star lodges instead?! This is our kind of luxury.
Home is where the heart is.
As you all know, our beloved sole-use safari villa, &Beyond Phinda Homestead in South Africa, was tragically destroyed in a fire last December. Thankfully no one was hurt, and if any silver lining can be gleaned amongst the devastation we incurred, it’s that we now have the unexpected opportunity to rebuild the Homestead, accentuating its undeniable highlights and improving on any glitches or downfalls it may have had in the past.
Of course Fox Browne Creative – the dynamic and critically-acclaimed duo of Chris Browne and Debra Fox – has been commissioned once again to recreate Phinda Homestead’s chic interior design while retaining its classic simplicity and sophistication. Their flawless vision incorporates raw, earthy materials, combined with their signature and always quirky accents, as well as the area’s local flavours to create an elegant and contemporary bush home away from home.
Traditional Nguni hides, intricate basketwork and colourful crafts will feature throughout the home, paying particular homage to the area’s rich and vibrant Zulu culture. Fun, quirky accents will celebrate the reserve’s past as a pineapple farm and warm, earthy shades of burnt clay and aloe will serve as the accent colours. Signature woven latticework will appear in unexpected places, as will furniture with subtle hints of 1980s retro design, giving the exclusive private home an inviting interior that is both modern and tactile.
The bedrooms will be minimalist yet elegant and the spacious bathrooms will feature marble basins shaped like traditional Zulu pots. The villa’s gym and massage room will be enlivened with quirky accessories in the signature colours, while the library will make use of pineapple motifs to tell the story of the reserve’s past. The spacious outdoor veranda will boast an island bar to encourage family gatherings, while a decorative herb garden will be situated outside the kitchen. Bookings for travel after 01 September 2018 are now open.
The ultimate Mara makeover
Situated on the world-famous plains of the mighty Masai Mara, just below the exact spot where Out of Africa’s famous final scene was filmed, our iconic &Beyond Bateleur Camp is also undergoing a complete rebuild and glamorous makeover. What can you look forward to? Well, the elegant safari tents will be even more spacious (we’re talking 97 m2 of in and outdoor living) with lighter interiors and convenient butler hatches. The ensuite bathrooms will be flanked by private stone courtyards, there will be spacious bathtubs as well as indoor and al fresco showers, and comfy new built-in daybeds on the private verandas will encourage idle afternoons enjoying those breathtaking Mara views
In addition to two new swimming pools with unbeatable views, there will also be a massage sala and tranquil water feature for those seeking some pampering and solitude, and of course a well-equipped fitness centre overlooking the Mara for those wanting to burn off some “lodge podge”.
Perhaps one of the features I’m most looking forward to experiencing is what will certainly be hailed the Mara’s best gin bar by night and coffee bar by day at South Camp. Mixing the best of both worlds!
For those of you that have visited the camp before, not to worry, the new &Beyond Bateleur Camp (reopening in March 2018) will retain the same authenticity, intimacy and classic Out of Africa atmosphere it is renowned for.
A Sabi Sand sneak peek
You might have heard whisperings of a brand new &Beyond lodge in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve … well, it’s true! Set to open its doors to guests in December 2018, here is a little sneak peek of what’s to come. This exquisite new property will share the same traversing rights as its neighbour, &Beyond Kirkman’s Kamp. Fresh, elegant interiors by Anatomy Design will give a slightly more modern twist to the classic and authentic Sabi Sand safari ambience. Warm, comfortable and contemporary, the lodge will intersperse quiet, intimate spaces with pockets of open space designed for group gatherings.
Delicate, Zen-like floating suites will peer out from the dappled shade of a cool forest and out across the lush riverbed. Following the gentle curve of the river bank, each area of the lodge will boast magnificent river views. Raised above ground level, the spacious suites will feature cosy sunken lounges, elegant bedrooms and bathrooms that open out onto the forest.
Cleverly designed living areas can be converted to cater for children’s sleeping arrangements, making each of the airy suites family-friendly. A tranquil spa and fully-equipped gym area offer a haven of tranquillity where guests can spend the entire day relaxing in between action-packed game drives.
Sustainability lies at the heart of this new lodge’s form and function, from environmentally friendly materials that are designed to last longer to automation that is designed to reduce the use of electricity and the combination of solar power with procedures designed to increase efficiency both during the build phase and after.
Be sure to watch this space for the grand unveiling of the lodge’s official name, as well as the highly-anticipated opening date for reservations.