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Socotra
TV 2 Denmark called me yesterday for an interview about my journey to every country in the world. One of the topics was less-travelled places I loved. This morning, they published the first article after the interview called Five Cool Places You Never Knew Existed.

Five of the less travelled destinations I recommend are Socotra, Rwanda, Palau, Saba and Turkmenistan, all for different reasons. I could name much more, but that's for other articles.

You can read the article in English via Google Translate, click here



Below is a video I made after my visit to Socotra.






Introduction: Situated on one of the world’s most beautiful mountain passes, Clouds Wine and Guest Estate is a small boutique hotel on top of Helshoogte pass. This private estate is a working farm that produces its own wines. It also offers premium accommodation that blends designer luxury with all the mod-cons. A stylish destination surrounded by incredible views, a stay at Clouds Hotel & Villas is difficult to forget.

The estate came to pass because a Dutch couple holidayed in South Africa back in the year 2000, and fell in love with the wine, the food, the landscape and the historical connections with their homeland… Great lovers of wine and good design, Paul Burema and Jolanda van Haperen dreamed of owning their own wine farm. A dream that finally came true when they were able to purchase a modest estate with vineyards, accommodation and extraordinary views.

They then set about remodeling the old guesthouse into a contemporary hotel that cleverly opened up to the views. They also landscaped the grounds, and brought in Dutch designer pieces and South African art for the interiors. And voila, Clouds as we know it today was born!

Above information is how the hotel presents itself on their website.

Below is my experience based on a one-night stay at the property.

My arrival experience: A warm welcome from the staff with a welcome drink and talk with the owners. After that, the friendly Zimbabwean lady escorted me to the room.
What I loved: The incredible views. 
What about the service: Great, personalised service from the friendly staff. It makes a difference being small. The owner told me they don't accept anyone from outside for their restaurant to respect the privacy of the in-house guest. The attention to detail is impressive for a small hotel and I especially enjoyed the complimentary mini-bar that also included a bottle of Clouds excellent wine.
What about my room: Beautiful contemporary room with rain shower, bathtub and Charlotte Rhys's products in the bathroom. Flat screen Tv and a comfortable bed made the room complete with the stunning views as the highlight.
Number of rooms: 12.
Website: www.cloudsestate.com
Type of property: Country hotel.
Location: Near Stellenborsch, South Africa.
Complimentary internet: Yes, good and unlimited.
My overall impression: Great experience.



Introduction:The hotel is housed in a Cape Dutch style, 100 year old heritage building. An extensive renovation has transformed the original structure into a very modern, trendy place with a distinct international flair. Our guest will immediately recognize the spot as a trendsetter, definitely on par with other leading small design hotels sprinkled around the larger cities of Europe or the States.

The rooms are compact but they are complete. The latest on offer in hotel technology has been incorporated in the design and furnishings. Large walk-in rain showers with thermostatic taps and heated towel rails. State of the art 40″ LED TV screens make for ideal in-room entertainment.

Video-on-demand, international plugs, telephone, electronic safe, a good functioning climate control system and WiFi are hotel standards to be expected. In addition, every room at Cascades on the Promenade has it’s own Apple Mac computer with free internet access, a Bose i-pod docking station, CD player, mini bar and a Nespresso Coffee machine. All Deluxe rooms have an outside balcony with seating arrangement. The Standard rooms have glass doors to the outside but no outside seating arrangement. Nighttime security is provided directly to the guest through automated roller shutters in the rooms and in general through a 24-hour attendance at reception and closed circuit cameras in the public area’s.

Above information is how the hotel presents itself on their website.

Below is my experience based on a one-night stay at the property.

My Arrival Experience: Warm welcome from Els at the reception. One of the staff then escorted me to the room.
What I loved: The design.
What About the Food: Impressive large breakfast buffet that is available until noon. No need to wake up early on weekends.
What About the Service: I found Els to be very friendly. I interacted only a  little with the other staff, but only found them to be friendly. Restaurant staff attentive at breakfast.
What About My Room: Beautiful, contemporary room with a very comfortable bed, rain shower, flat screen Tv and surprisingly, a Mac PC. Cant' recall if I've ever seen that in a hotel room before.
Number of Rooms: 7.
Website: www.cascadescollection.com
Type of Property: City hotel.
Location: Cape Town.
Complimentary Internet: Yes, unlimited and very fast. I was impressed.
My Overall Impression: Great experience.
If you have enjoyed following my journey to every country in the world and would like more travel stories, take a look at the list below. The Best Travelled has made a list of people visiting every country in the world and have a personal website.



Introduction: Erinvale Estate Hotel & Spa offers 56 superbly furnished en-suite bedrooms set amidst tranquil gardens and walkways. Seventeen07 is a tribute to the rich history of the Erinvale Estate and celebrates the spices and cultures that formed and influence our local cuisine. Erinvale Estate Hotel & Spa offers five air-conditioned dividable conference venues which can cater for conferences, product launches, cocktail parties, banquets and gala dinners.


Above information is how the hotel presents itself on their website.

Below is my experience based on a two-night stay at the property.

My arrival experience: Warm welcome from the kind receptionist before being showed around the property and escorted to the room.
What I loved: The beautiful Cape Dutch architecture.
What about the food: I didn't dine here, but the breakfast buffet was a bit basic and should have some high-quality items. The breakfast is the last chance to impress a guest before he leaves.
What about the service: The service is good with well-trained staff at the reception. I found the staff to be a level above similar hotels I have stayed in South Africa. The detail to details could be a little better. The room should have had complimentary bottled water and a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts should do welcome amenities.
What about my room: The rooms are a little old, but still with a kind of old world charm. My bathroom had a bathtub with separate rain shower and Charlotte Rhys products. It would be a good idea to replace the old carpet for a more comfortable feel in the room.
Number of rooms: 56 according to their website. 57 according to their information on Tripadvisor.
Website: www.erinvale.co.za
Type of property: Country hotel.
Location: Somerset West, South Africa.
Facilities: Spa, two pools and business/meeting facilities.
Complimentary Internet: Yes.
Affiliations: Preferred Hotels & Resorts.
My overall impression: Great experience. Despite small issues, this hotel is a lovely place to stay and I enjoyed my two nights.