By Stef Terblanche
It’s the ultimate encounter with luxury above the 5-star level, watertight privacy and flawless service in some of the most beautiful settings in the world.
It also offers businesspeople and wealthy leisure travellers a unique and secure high-end temporary accommodation option in this Covid-19 world.
I am talking of some fifty beautifully designed, superbly appointed and equipped, and professionally maintained and serviced luxury villas and apartments that can be rented for short or longer terms around the Cape Peninsula and in some other sought-after South African locations.
The encounter starts when your aircraft touches down – whether a commercial plane, chartered or your own – and you are whisked away in a private helicopter or in your chauffeured luxury vehicle, yours for the duration of your stay. Your stay can be for a few days for business, or a few weeks for a family holiday, or anything in-between or longer.
You are quickly taken, with VIP protection if you so wish, to your accommodation – one of 50 of the most acclaimed residences in South Africa, all architectural masterpieces set in exquisite surroundings. In fact, you will struggle to find anything better anywhere on the continent or in the world.
World-famous, sought-after locations
You can choose your location. The spectacular ocean and mountain views along Cape Town’s Atlantic seaboard high above its world-famous beaches where the beautiful, the young, the global travellers and the wealthy come to play. Or you can opt for the elegant tranquillity of a Cape wine estate with more than 300 years of history behind it.
Or you can choose to be surrounded by spicy African bushveld smells, the awesome sounds of nature, and wild animals just meters away from your pool on a famous private game reserve. Or you may prefer being tucked away within the regal beauty of the Garden Route with views of its ageless mountains, lakes, forests and the ocean.
Each villa is a work of architectural excellence with interiors that incorporate the best in design, finishings, furniture and artwork. The full range of amenities differ from property to property but may include anything from curated private art collections, to a wine cellar, a bar, pools, billiards room, private cinema, gym, sauna and more.
Superbly appointed & serviced
Awaiting you at your villa are premier in-house concierge services, a personal chef and your own sommelier (both optional) to provide mouth-watering cuisine washed down with the best Cape and international wines, a personal butler (also optional), plus 24-hours security and full service attendance.
Everything is taken care of for the guests, from travel and event bookings, to flower arrangements, cleaning, linen services, driving, shopping, real-time monitoring of water flow, electricity use, pool levels and inside temperatures and almost anything else that comes to mind.
And your daily itinerary may include – apart from your own business or leisure activities – a tour of the winelands, scenic helicopter flips, visits to top-class restaurants or art galleries, private game viewing drives, chartered yacht cruises, attending major concerts or sports events, or simply relaxing around your villa with every possible need taken care of.
Why would one want to stay anywhere else?
Accommodation of choice
“Our exceptional top-50 collection of villas and other luxurious properties have certainly increasingly become the accommodation of choice for discerning, affluent travellers,” says Pieter Brundyn, CEO of In Residence, the company he founded in 2015 to manage and let these superb properties on behalf of their owners.
And due to the Covid-19 lockdown travel restrictions, with only domestic travel allowed for the remainder of 2020 in South Africa, Pieter anticipates that the luxury villa rental market will experience something of a boom among domestic tourists.
He says even before the pandemic, but especially also since it brought with it the health risks associated with public spaces and crowds, more and more affluent travellers are opting out of hotel stays in favour of leisure or business accommodation offering exclusivity, privacy, and convenience. And now also safety when it comes to sanitised, virus-free hospitality away from the crowds.
Pieter believes the risks now associated with Covid-19 adds a unique new feature to why people will rather opt to stay in one of his villas than a hotel. It’s simply much easier to clean and sanitise and to keep it that way, he says, giving guests peace of mind. You also don’t come into close contact with high numbers of hotel staff, residents and visitors. Your villa space is a safe space, just like your own home.
Architecture & art
“Our signature villas are nothing short of extraordinary, while our investment in people, skills, technology, and infrastructure is unrivalled in the exclusive villa rental market. Our services are rendered through smart technology to ensure maximum privacy and discreet interactions. Elegant simplicity is at the heart of our success,” he says.
Many of these properties have been designed by award-winning architecture firm, SAOTA, who, says Pieter, believe in the strength of contemporary, aesthetic design. Showcasing their talents through sculpture on a grand scale, these properties are built to be noticed through the use of featured concrete, glass and other bold aspects that make them attractive and sought after.
A valuable partnership evolved when Pieter and his varsity sweetheart, Elana, got married, as she shared his interest in the fine arts, design and architecture. In 2004 Elana established the BRUNDYN gallery in Cape Town, before spearheading the establishment of the world-class Zeitz MOCAA gallery in the Silo District at the Waterfront – billed as Africa’s answer to the Tate Modern in London. Currently she is the CEO of another exceptional South African art enterprise, the Norval Foundation located on the outskirts of Cape Town.
This shared love of art is found as a fundamental theme running through all the residences managed by Pieter’s company and absolutely enriches the experience of spending time in one of them.
Working in such a high-powered, big-monied environment and interacting personally with the who’s-who of the world, Pieter’s humble beginnings in business seem to be surprisingly unlikely. After studying accounting at Stellenbosch University, he joined his father in the family meat business – Cape Town’s iconic Libertas Meats in Goodwood – and became a butcher. But the entrepreneurial spirit ran strong in the family, and together they built the business into one of the most prominent wholesale meat suppliers in the Western Cape. A few other entrepreneurial ventures followed until eventually in 2015 In Residence came into being.
What makes these villas so exceptional? I ask Pieter to list one or two of the most sought-after of the properties on his books, and he immediately points me to a villa named Beyond in Clifton and another named Villa 196 in Bantry Bay, both on Cape Town’s upmarket Atlantic seaboard. The descriptions of these two on the In Residence website say it all:
Suspended over the highest point in Clifton, Cape Town, and with breath-taking views of the Atlantic Ocean, you’ll find Beyond, a six-level luxury villa, designed as a timeless wonder by leading South African architecture firm SAOTA. This incredible property is beyond anything you have ever seen before, with its six en-suite bedrooms, multiple, open-plan entertainment areas, including a bar on a glass floor, gym, sauna, steam room and rim-flow pool. Step into luxury and be amazed.
As you step onto the marble pool deck, the crisp sea air rises off the Atlantic, fills your nostrils, and invigorates your soul. The sun shines on your face as you soak up the uninterrupted views stretching across the ocean, towards the distant horizon.
Entertain your guests in style with a state-of-the-art cinema-styled media room, private Jacuzzi and full-size billiards table. With 5 en-suite bedrooms, a gym and much, much more, this is one luxury villa that you really can call home.
But some of the other properties are equally delicious in appeal and indulgence in ways that please the senses and invigorate the imagination. Take a look at these:
Epitomizing the very mountain upon which this magnificent property has been built, Sea Lion Villa rests at the foot of Lion’s Head in Fresnaye. Protected from the wind in one of Cape Town’s most prestigious neighbourhoods, Sea Lion is positioned for discerning guests to appreciate unparalleled views of the Atlantic Ocean and Robben Island from every single room. Superb attention to every aspect of its interior detail, ensures that each and every area of the home and its en-suite bedrooms are individually distinct & luxurious.
The luxurious design and smart use of space inside Pentagon luxury villa, by world-renowned architecture firm, SAOTA, takes your breath away as you marvel at the split-level layout that confronts you as you arrive. The open plan design allows for unobstructed views of the ocean from its contemporary interior. Step out onto the expansive pool deck where you can enjoy ultimate privacy and top-notch security from this highly desirable location.
Beau is a boutique, contemporary-styled villa, just off the crest of Constantia Neck in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, with splendorous views out over False Bay. The villa is situated on the Beau Constantia wine farm, where you’ll find a wine tasting room and the 5-star Chef’s Warehouse Restaurant. The villa’s open-plan design with wood-panelled finishes, swimming pool, garden area, tennis court and 24/7 security, provides guests with all they’ll need to enjoy a comfortable stay in true luxury.
Quoin Rock Manor House
Quoin Rock Manor House with a commanding view of Table Mountain and the Simonsberg Mountain as a backdrop, is situated on Quoin Rock Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, offering guests complete privacy with tranquil, manicured gardens, indigenous fynbos, a sauna and a swimming pool. At the Manor house, the interiors have been entirely overhauled to create a modern country escape with one of the most decadent accommodation experiences in the Winelands.
Cheetah Plains, in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, is the ultimate South African luxury safari destination. Each property boasts a formal lounge, living room, dining area, expansive sun deck, heated swimming pool, wine gallery, chef’s kitchen and private suites. Cheetah Plains runs entirely ‘off-grid’, harnessing solar power to provide reliable, renewable energy and has a grey-water recycling system in place. Cheetah Plains is a sophisticated eco-luxe safari experience for the discerning traveller.
Because Pieter is bound by his confidentiality commitment to his clients, I cannot reveal who they are. But the list of global and local celebrities in their various fields who have enjoyed staying in these villas, reads like a Who’s Who of the rich, the famous, the successful, presidents, tech entrepreneurs, industrialists, business moguls, performers and others.
These are people used to travelling, luxury and 5-star treatment, and yet their stay in one of In Residence’s luxury villas in South Africa is frequently considered as one of the highlights of their lives. Their encounters with luxurious living in the beautiful splendour of South Africa, is the stuff that brings life to their dinner table conversations for many years thereafter.
- For more information about In Residence, go to https://inresidence.co.za/.