Digging up some of South Africa best hidden gems in December

As the festive fiesta that is December approaches, South Africans and tourists across the country will be wondering what cool places will be worth a visit.

For those looking for something more interesting than the usual hot spots, South Africa is filled with hidden gems – and these treasures will help make this festive season a month to remember.

JOBURG

Pantry by Marble

If you can imagine a petrol station designed by Coco Chanel, then you are probably thinking about The Pantry. Tucked under one of the city’s best-known restaurants, this garage is so much more than a place to fill up your tank. Offering a smorgasbord of luxury foods, The Pantry caters to those with a taste for opulence. From dainty breakfast treats to exquisite on-the-go dinners, this garage is where to be when you’re feeling a little fancy.

SEVEN Villa Hotel and Spa

Need to get away, escape the hustle and bustle of the city without leaving town? Finding solace is as easy as popping into SEVEN Villa Hotel. Imagine a boutique carefully curated to ensure all seven senses of the human experience are fully ignited – SEVEN Villa Hotel and Spa in Sandton is just that. A feast for eyes with Anton Smit sculptures scattered throughout the gardens, this sumptuously designed retreat is the closest you will get to nirvana without leaving South Africa.

Katy’s Palace Bar

Perched on top of a hill overlooking Sandton, Katy’s Palace Bar offers an eclectic mix of old- and new-school influences. This hidden gem is a blend of sophistication and whimsy that allows you to spend your day shopping at Amatuli and then watch the sunset while sipping a craft cocktail.

Victoria Yards

Billed as a vibrant ecosystem that prioritises both social development and business growth, Victoria Yards is an artisanal space where visitors can quench their thirst for visual arts and sumptuous food, while helping support local businesses. The venue also hosts a popular monthly First Sundays event, featuring a beautiful market, live music and so much more.

PRETORIA

16th by KOI

This exclusive rooftop venue on the 16th floor of The Capital Trilogy in the heart of Pretoria is the best place in the capital to find exquisite Japanese cuisine with a sophisticated ambience. The fusion of flavours on offer, combined with impeccable service, makes 16th by KOI the perfect place to take your December date.

CAPE TOWN

The Athletic Club & Social

This trendy hot spot gives guests the chance to share a meal over candlelight, enjoy a cocktail on the terrace and end your night grooving to good tunes in the hidden basement bar. With South Africa’s sporting history decorating the walls, this three-storey bar and restaurant perfectly pairs casual ambience with indulgent design to create a truly unforgettable experience.

The Grotto Spa at The Capital 15 on Orange

Indulge in a sensual and relaxing experience at Cape Town’s best-kept secret, The Grotto Spa at The Capital 15 on Orange. Combining opulence and discretion to create a sultry and inviting environment, this hidden gem offers a serene escape and allows visitors to unwind against the backdrop of Table Mountain and let the stress from the city melt away.

DURBAN

MindGame Escape Room

Channel your inner Sherlock Holmes in this immersive experience that will see you solving puzzles, deciphering secret messages, and triggering hidden mechanisms. This is the perfect way to keep your wits sharp during the silly season.

Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve

Take in some of South Africa’s stunning natural beauty at the Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve in Durban. This gem is a lush peaceful retreat where guests can take strolls, enjoy birdwatching or simply bask in the tranquillity of this natural haven.

The Capital Zimbali Resort

Set in a tropical forest, this magnet for fun seekers, families, couples, solo explorers and business travellers is the perfect place to power down after a long year. Whether you are trying to tie the knot or rejuvenate your body and soul, this coastal wonder is the perfect place to get festive this December.

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