Lonely Planet Writer

South Africa’s latest luxury lodge takes its inspiration from Southeast Asia

Travellers planning a trip to South Africa are now able to stay in a new luxurious and stylish cabin on an unspoilt game reserve, as the Phinda Vlei Lodge has just been unveiled with a refreshed, modern look.

The guest area of the Phinda Vlei Lodge.
The guest area of the Phinda Vlei Lodge. Image by andBeyond

Unveiled by andBeyond, the lodge is situated on the company’s Phinda Private Game Reserve in the east of the country. Originally built in 1996 and inspired by the plantation houses of Southeast Asia, the lodge recently underwent a complete overhaul and renovation, being updated with a contemporary feel. New features include a cosy outdoor fire pit built on sand and surrounded by furniture, allowing guests to sit back, relax and watch the sunset over the rolling African plains.

The outdoor fire pit at the lodge. Image by andBeyond

A separate outdoor dining area provides room for guests to dine al fresco, while bedrooms include four-poster beds and spacious en-suite bathrooms with antique mirrored walls and standalone bathtubs. An adjoining veranda has also been extended, offering sweeping views of the adjoining wetland.

The en-suite bathroom of the newly designed Phinda Vlei Lodge. Image by andBeyond

“We always felt that the interiors were lacking a strong identity, so we wanted to maintain the good bones of the buildings and set about creating a fresh, new KwaZulu-Natal plantation narrative, giving it a more local sense of place,” said designer Chris Browne of Fox Browne Creative.

The new and improved dining room at the Phinda Vlei Lodge. Image by andBeyond

A number of experiences are available to visitors staying at the lodge, including game drives, bush walks, Zulu village tours, night turtle drives, scuba and ocean safaris and on-foot black rhino tracking. In-room massages are also available to travellers wishing to relax and unwind fully in the tranquil setting.

More information on visiting the Phinda Vlei Lodge is available on the official andBeyond website.