South Africa’s tourism industry has been going from strenght to strength in recent months and takes another massive stride forward as two bush lodges claim top ten status in the United states Travel and Leisure Awards.
Luke Bailes picked up a much sought-after best hotel in the world accolade for his lodge, the Singita Grumeti located in Tanzania. This is the second year in a row that he has been awarded the prestigious honor. But the icing on the cake is that Singita Grumeti’s sister lodges in South Africa have now been awarded top ten status in the awards. The Singita Kruger National Park came in at 7th place while the Singita Sabi Sand took 10th place. Some other South African hotels which made it into the top 50 as follows:
- Sabi Sabi private game reserve lodges (13th)
- Cape Town’s One & Only (14th)
- the Saxon boutique hotel in Johannesburg (33rd)
- the Twelve Apostles (41st)
- the Cape Grace (44th)
Bailes attributed his success to his lodges’ authenticity and originality.
“We are always striving for top-notch world standards but have one main objective: to preserve and protect significant tracts of land, pristine wilderness for future generations. I often ask foreign visitors why they consider the service to be such an outstanding feature during their stay and most say it’s because the staff are so warm and embracing. That’s the African way,” said Bailes.
However, those able to enjoy the experience of a few nights staying at the Singita Kruger National Park lodge will pay a steep price. A stay can set you back as much as R13000 per person per night. This means that many South Africans may never have the chance to stay in the country’s best rated hotels. However, chief marketing officer Lindy Rousseau defended the cost, saying, “We acknowledge the high price, driven by the quality of the offering.” She insisted that around 5% of visitors to the Tanzanian lodge and 10% of those visiting the South African locations were in fact South African.