Saxon, Johannesburg, South Africa

Johannesburg may not be an obvious choice of honeymoon destination, but prepare to be wowed by the Saxon. This city sanctuary sits in South Africa's wealthiest neighbourhood, Sandhurst, its high walls concealing six acres of Jacaranda-filled gardens.

Privacy and comfort are key. No wonder Nelson Mandela chose to finish his autobiography here, and famous faces now hire the entire seven-bedroom villa which, as with all the suites, comes with your own butler.


This feeling of understated yet outstanding luxury is reflected in the sleek decor, with African art and crafts lining the marbled corridors. Bedrooms are cavernous, with nifty touches like homemade mini-bar snacks and an in-room laptop.

With local celebrity chef David Higgs at the helm, the Saxon's three restaurants draw a lively crowd. Book ahead for Five Hundred to sample Instagram-worthy fine dining that uses ingredients from the hotel's organic garden. Then burn it off in the 920 sq metre pool.

A hugely interesting walking tour with Jo'burg Places will challenge any preconceptions of this thriving city, make time for the must-do trips to the Apartheid Museum and historical township of Soweto two-and-a-half hours away. Most guests couple their stay with a safari, and the Saxon's sister hotel, Zulu Camp at Shambala Private Game Reserve, is a handy option.

GO: A double room costs from £276 per night, B&B;

WOW FACTOR: Hippy-dippy as it may be, the signature Sound Therapy in the boutique spa is as good as eight hours' sleep. Tibetan singing bowls, cymbals and giant gongs lull you into a meditative spell as you float on a warm waterbed.

FLIGHT TIME: 11 hours with stopover