The Cape is Waiting for You: 6 Ways to Make the Most of a Mini-Break
“I really need a break”. How many times have you said that? Maybe “need” is a bit of an exaggeration, but holidays really are good for our physical and mental health. And according to Jonathan Alpert, psychotherapist, executive performance coach and author of “Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days,” that’s exactly what we all need from a mid-year, post-winter break: to switch off, relax and unwind.
There’s no denying that international travel can be stressful. From visas and queues to flight delays and luggage nightmares, it can all feel a bit chaotic. It’s no wonder that many people are opting for staycations instead.
But what if we told you that experts believe that short holidays spread throughout the year can be more beneficial to your mental well-being than a single long holiday? That’s right – local mini-breaks can give you the breathing space you need to get through the year.
Alpert says holidays don’t always have to be lengthy, sometimes a short break can be just as refreshing. From a wellbeing perspective, mini-breaks can do wonders because you don’t have to deal with the hassles that come with planning a longer trip. “On a shorter trip, you won’t be expecting an inbox full of emails to check when you get back either, so it’s easier to let go and unwind,” Alpert explains.
Whether you’re stressed, craving time with family or looking for a shot of adventure, we’ve tracked down the best winter mini-breaks to satisfy your needs. Here’s our guide to the best things to do:
1. Supersize Your mini-break with a 2-for-1 deal
South Africa’s ‘shoulder season’ (between winter and summer) is a great time to visit the Cape Helderberg, not only for the beautiful scenery and the chance to relax by a cosy fire, but also for the seasonal deals. “There are some wonderful, valuable travel packages that make this the perfect time of year for a mini-break,” says Debbie-Lee, Cockrell, GM Erinvale Estate Hotel & Spa GM. “Do your homework and shop around.”
The elegant boutique hotel in Somerset West is offering one night in a premium room or suite plus a second night on the house through August 2022. That’s half the price, twice the spoil! The hotel also has some sexy neighbours, so you’ll need more than a one night to explore wineries like Lourensford, Vergelegen, and Morgenster.
2. Banish the boredom with an exciting city break
If you’re looking for a fun, vibey break in the middle of Cape Town, look no further than the Grand Daddy Boutique Hotel by BON Hotels in Long Street, says BON Hotels CEO, Guy Stehlik.
“If you want to be close to the action, be it restaurants, clubs, theatre or shopping, you can’t go wrong with a stay at the Grand Daddy. New to BON’s portfolio, this iconic city centre hotel is one of the most original, conveniently-located and proudly South African places to stay – especially if you want to experience the spirit and vibe of the Mother City,” says Guy.
From its vibrant, stylish and generously proportioned suites to its one-of-a-kind rooftop Airstream Trailer Park, this is one stay you’ll never forget.
“If you’re looking for a weekend break with a twist, the Grand Daddy Boutique Hotel delivers plenty of fun, smiles and excitement. Just the thing to shake-off any post-winter, mid-year blues,” says Guy.
3. Be Spontaneous: the last-minute getaway is here!
If you think you’ll never be able to take a mini break because of work commitments that pop up unexpectedly, you can still lean into the idea of getting away – on your terms. The Erinvale Estate Hotel & Spa has developed the perfect elixir for those who are nervous to have things scheduled to the T.
Not only will you get the breather you need, but you’ll also exercise your ability to make spontaneous decisions. Spontaneous people tend to be more flexible and relaxed – that could be you! Erinvale offers you the opportunity to be delightfully impulsive. Book a weekend stay within seven days of your intended arrival and receive 45% off a premium room or suite.
4. Get outta town together
A family vacation is the perfect opportunity to bond with your loved ones, create cherished memories, and relax and rejuvenate, and Stellenbosch offers an incredible diversity of family friendly accommodation and experiences.
“Families have even more reason to discover the warm heart of Stellenbosch and linger longer,” says Visit Stellenbosch CEO Jeanneret Momberg. “Earn and spend Stellenbucks – a digital currency that you earn when booking two nights’ accommodation at one of our partners – and you can eat, stay and play for free.”
The ’Stay Stellenbucks’ campaign will reward visitors with Stellenbucks coupons to the value of 20% of their accommodation bill. Stellenbucks can be redeemed against meals, wine purchases, experiences and even return accommodation. How to spend them? “Just one example,” says Jeanneret, “take the whole family to Spier! Book for two nights or more and get 15% off your room rate from 1 September to 15 December 2022. Switch off while your children have their own little adventures – and play their hearts out – at the Kids Clubhouse.” Visit visitstellenbosch.org for more information.
5. Invest in a little (or lot) of pampering
There’s nothing better than staying at a hotel with an onsite spa and/or salon. Whether you want to relax with a massage or treat yourself to a mani/pedi, there’s no better way to unwind after a busy year (and let’s be honest, 2022 has been a lot!).
The Lurra Spa at Erinvale has a steam room and heated indoor pool, so you can enjoy a therapeutic treatment (or two) before grabbing a towel and heading to the pool. What’s on the spa’s menu? World-class products like TheraVine and TheraNaka-both locally made pampering products that will help you find your bliss.
“This September, our Lurra Spa has a real ‘top-to-toe’ pamper with a TheraVine Hair & Scalp Treatment PLUS a medi-heel treatment, perfect for getting you summer-sandal ready, all for only R599 per person,” says Debbie-Lee.
6. Venture a little further out …
The Western Cape awaits! Nestled in the foothills of the Overberg mountains in Swellendam, bloomestate is the ideal base from which to experience the region’s highlights: whale-watching on the Indian Ocean, wine-sipping in the Robertson Wine Valley, wandering the trails of the Langeberg Mountain range, communing with the wildlife of the Marloth, the Bontebok National Park and De Hoop Nature reserve.
Even better, bloomestate, is a 6.5-acre eco-friendly refuge, balancing stylish decor and contemporary architecture with open, natural spaces. Think beautiful rooms, walk-in showers, and a private terrace with calming garden views.
Added to that, bloomestate has a lake, a secluded jacuzzi, saltwater pool and strategically-placed hammocks – yes please! It is the perfect place to relax and regroup, ready to tackle the rest of 2022!