Unembeza Boutique Lodge
Luxury boutique lodge
What do you do when your friends invite you to South Africa? You say yes ! All they had to say was the 3 S's : Sunshine, Sea, Safari. As weeks at work feel long, a vacation is always a wonderful way to look forward to life. I didn't want to do any more short "long weekends". I wanted a real holiday and profited by allowing myself 12 days in South Africa. Take the vacation days now; worry about not having any vacation days later !!
As you may have noticed, I enjoy having a quality accommodation during my stays. Looking up the "best hotels" up on Google is kind of like a second job to me. Taken VERY seriously.
I eventually found Unembeza, a luxury boutique hotel located in the corner of the Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate in South Africa’s Limpopo Province. Unembeza provides guest not only with peace and tranquility but also adventure and excitement. The perfect balance for any trip. As the hotel is placed in Kruger National Park, nature is at your doorstep. Would you like to wake up to local birds singing in the distance? Or maybe spend the afternoon on the "lookout " spotting giraffes? Warthogs seemed to by my best friends during my visit.
The hotel has recently been renovated, all is new and very clean. More so than a hotel it is a multitude of lodges. All the lodges being well dispersed from the other to provide a relax and distress zone. The pool and "lookout" are the main attractions located at the middle of the terrain. The pool area has comfy wooden lounge beds and beautiful teak floor panels that blend into its natural surroundings.
I would have to describe the hotel as modern, chic, and high quality. Our bed was masterly draped in mosquito nets and the mattress felt like a cloud. The animal rug and carved chairs are only some of the South African details throughout the space. My favorite escape was to the deck right outside the sliding doors. The comfiest of bean bag chairs, my history/ romance book, and the sounds of jackals was what made the trip for me. I was in complete happiness.
Some additional amenities that the hotel provides: the spa, safari, and rides to the panoramic views of Blyde River Canyon.
In a nutshell, the spa was wonderful. I took the traditional South African full.body massage for 90 min. I typically go for slow and deep massages. This massage was a fast pace and can be described best as a "rub down". I would have not changed one thing. Although it's not what I usually go for if was great and I felt so realized afterwards. The spa was taken place in a little hut on the far left of the premises where you can hear nature sing while waves dance on your back.
The safari was excellent. We went on two safari excursions planned by the hotel. Although we did not see the total big 5 we had a miraculous event happen whilst on the Safari. For about 30 minutes we were in a herd of 15 elephants including 2 babies ! We were really able to observe these massive animals. Eventually we were charged by a young male elephant who was trying to show off to the other elephants. We were not harmed and it was adorable ! Other than that, we saw numerous giraffe, warthogs, impalas, monkeys, zebras... I will have to go back one day to see my lions and rhinos !
The ride to the panoramic view. We decided to do this on our own. We actually had rented out a car for the 4 days ( cheap in SA) and rode back this way when we went to Johannesburg. I highly recommend taking in these views. Nature never seizes to amaze me with its beauty...
I learned that Unembeza is committed to conscious living and helping out the town next door, Hoedspruit. From the renovation of the lodge, to the stocking of the kitchens, they source local goods and services to support the local community. Recycling, their special grey water system, and solar powered lights are only some of the ways Unembeza watches out for the environment.
In addition to the actions listed above, Unembeza partnered with Seeds of Light, a non-profit organisation that works in communities in and around Hoedspruit. In particular, they support the work of young women by providing them with sanitary wear. A young woman may lose up to 5 days a month and is at high risk for teen pregnancy, gender violence and HIV/Aids. 50 Ran per booking goes towards Seeds of Light which will help to improve their life opportunities and reduce the cycle of poverty.
The older I am, the more aware I become. I learned alot by staying here and enjoyed my visit immensely. Please let me know if you have any questions. In the meantime, you can always check out their website at www.unembeza.com.