The swing seat overlooking the pool at The Farmstead, the latest addition to the Royal Malewane, is incredibly evocative. As are the seats dipped in the pool. They remind me of being in the Delano in South Beach, Miami, a brilliant touch.
When Studio 54 impresario Ian Schrager and design guru Philippe Starck opened the Art Deco gem, the Delano Hotel, in 1995, it was immediately dubbed the epitome of cool. It revitalised Miami Beach and launched a tsunami of “boutique” hotels that changed how we vacation forever.
The exclusive new Farmstead at The Royal Malewane is certainly no Delano, nor we want it to be. It is, however, much more contemporary in style than the main lodge, with some fabulous touches. And, although it seems as if you are in the middle of nowhere, it’s just a 12-minute drive south of the Main Lodge. The Farmstead has three Luxury Farm Suites, and the main house, The Farmhouse – a three and a half bedroom private villa. Farm chic never felt so good. There is a fabulous blending of the indoors with outdoor living. Curated pockets that nod to heritage travels and treasures, so you feel welcomed and genuinely at home here from the very moment you walk in the front door. You are immersed in the natural surrounding.
To me, the Farmstead oozes cool Ibiza style. Alfresco living with bush views and incredible wildlife. It offers a new updated safari experience, complete with the amazing service we expect from the Royal Portfolio.
It is extravagantly spacious, yet it retains a charming homeliness. Antique doors from Zanzibar welcome you into the Farmstead, fabrics from Ardmore and Clarke & Clarke cover the plush sofas and designer chairs. Light oak, tin roofs, wrought iron, and gentle hues of blue and white define the style with dazzling splashes of emerald and ruby, and notable artworks by Kudzanai Chiurai Zimbabwean James Jana and South African Athi-Patra Ruga, among other works from the AVA Gallery and Smith Studio.
The Farmhouse is a three-and-a-half bedroom private villa that is ideal for families or a group of friends. Like Africa House and the Royal Suites, The Farmhouse has its own personal chef, housekeeper and butler, and private safari vehicle with a dedicated Ranger and Tracker. There is a magnificent deck with a large swimming pool flowing out into the bush.
Voted the best new hostel in Africa and the Middle East in Condé Nast: The Hotel list 2020. The Farmstead is a more contemporary, rustic affair with a more eclectic aesthetic, with pops of colour, ivy-green armchairs, and a bright peacock-blue bar, with a strong focus on outdoor living with hanging daybeds by the infinity pool. It encourages lingering, sipping a glass of something delicious, listening to the sounds of the bush, sitting around the fire, and watching the spectacular star show each evening.
The Farmstead spa has a double spa treatment room offering indulgent treatments as well as a gym. Guests can also use the heated lap pool, steam room, and spa casitas at Royal Malewane.
The Farmstead is a collaboration with the local tribe that owns that piece of land. The Royal Malewane has a 45-year lease in partnership with the local tribe, taking some of the tribe members and training them in hospitality. The Royal Malewane agreed to a long lease of the land from the local Moletele community, paying a monthly rental to the community and a revenue share as additional income. At the end of the lease, there is an option to work with The Royal Portfolio in perpetuity. Throughout the lease, The Royal Portfolio will employ local community members and train them to Royal Portfolio standards while involving the local community in conservation efforts to preserve our precious wildlife and secure the long-term future of tourism in South Africa.
Sign up now for some well-earned R&R, a complete sense of being remote, immersed in nature with access to incredible wildlife. An escape from the real world. A combination of style, comfort and charm, serenity, perfect calm, and complete relaxation.