SA’s rich bargain for cheaper luxury holidays as foreigners cancel

Villas range from R25,000 to R70,000 per night on average

12 December 2021 - 00:00
The Residence, a six-bedroom luxury villa at the Vrede & Lust wine estate in Franschhoek, is fully booked for December.
The Residence, a six-bedroom luxury villa at the Vrede & Lust wine estate in Franschhoek, is fully booked for December.
Image: Supplied

Wealthy South Africans are capitalising on international travel bans by pressing for discounted rates at luxurious holiday accommodation spots.

Property experts said the travel bans by several countries due to the Omicron variant has had luxury property owners scrambling to fill their units with South Africans who can afford the rates.

It’s also paved the way for locals to negotiate for discounts.

Ross Levin, licensee for Seeff Atlantic seaboard, said the fourth wave and Omicron have “had a sudden impact on the luxury holiday market, with massive cancellations and property owners needing to quickly scramble to offer the accommodation to locals. While there may well be standout high rates achieved for super-luxury villas, this is likely to be the exception and not the rule.”

Levin said South Africans are often willing to pay good money for a fabulous villa on the Atlantic seaboard.

“The challenge for property owners is that they are probably going to have to offer discounts to fill their units, but for South Africans it gives the opportunity to enjoy a fabulous holiday in Cape Town.”

Levin said local holidaymakers are likely to bring in lower revenue than international tourists who pay in dollars, euros and pounds.

“The luxury villa market is naturally affected, but it provides the opportunity to enjoy a fabulous resort lifestyle in a beautiful property — often very stylish for holiday rental purposes — which they might not otherwise have enjoyed.”

He said the minimum stay for luxury villas and accommodation during the high season between December 15 and January 15 is usually 10 nights.

“Prices depend on location, views and the amenities on offer. While apartments range from about R5,000-R13,000 per night for two beds, and R13,000-R25,000 per night for three to four beds, houses and villas range from R25,000-R70,000 per night on average.

“Only a few standout super-luxury homes usually fetch well above R100,000 per day. Camps Bay villas are renting out at about R30,000-R40,000 per day.”

Levin said the Atlantic seaboard is a “high-demand area” for luxury holiday rentals, mainly for location, views, beaches, amenities and restaurants.

Despite a few cancellations by international guests, The Residence, a six-bedroom luxury villa on the 330-year-old Vrede & Lust wine estate in Franschhoek, is fully booked for December.

IN NUMBERS:

• Up to R100,000 per night: The cost of renting a super-luxurious home in Cape Town

• Up to R30,000 per weekend night: The cost of renting The Residence in Franschhoek

General manager Corné Yzel said rates during the peak season ranged between R25,000 per night for a weeknight and R30,000 for a weekend night, with a minimum three-night stay policy.  

The villa has a gym and treatment room for massages.

“The Residence is popular with South Africans, more so than I thought initially.

“It is completely separate from the rest of the facilities at Vrede & Lust and unlike a guesthouse or hotel, we don’t rent out rooms, only the villa as a whole unit. This means that your exposure is very limited.”

In Umhlanga, luxury villas are going for up to R35,000 a day.

Property agent Anni Eisele said: “While there will be an impact as a result of overseas cancellations, we anticipate an influx of local holidaymakers to Umhlanga and surrounding areas.”

In Knysna, on the Garden Route, the forest, waterfalls and white beaches are attracting moneyed South Africans.

Local property expert Gail Rimbault said luxury homes in Thesen Islands and at the Simola and Pezula estates go for up to R25,000 per day.

“We’re definitely expecting an influx of South Africans and cancellations can certainly be filled with local tourists from upcountry, though these late bookings are now pressing for discounts as they know we have cancellations from the overseas market.”


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