At the helm of every Luxury Gold journey is your Travel Concierge. The ultimate destination experts, they offer flawless service 24/7, ensuring your tour is tailored to you. We spoke with Travel Concierge Jameel to find out more about the delights that await you on Spectacular South Africa, and how he makes this tour exceptional.
Jameel and his love for South Africa
A 7th generation Capetonian, with an enduring love for his country, Travel Concierge Jameel is the perfect person to show you around this extraordinary country. “South Africa is amazing. It moves people in so many different ways,” he tells us.
“I absolutely love the Spectacular South Africa itinerary. Cape Town is a very captivating city, and the safari is spellbinding. This tour is full of luxurious hotels, world-class dining and breath-taking scenery. But it’s also a journey into the real heart, soul and history of South Africa.”
The personal touch of a Travel Concierge
“My goal is to make each journey the trip of a lifetime, so I add an extra personal touch,” Jameel says. “Every opportunity that I have, I try and do something unique for our guests.
“For example, I like to make my own way to the airport to meet guests, even if it is not the official arrival day of the tour. I like to welcome them personally. I also try to arrange a small surprise treat for when they arrive. It’s my way of saying welcome to South Africa.”
Cape Town and the 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa
From the iconic Table Mountain to the pristine beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay, Cape Town is bursting with upscale boutiques, gourmet restaurants and acclaimed wineries. And, poised above the Atlantic Ocean and flanked by the majestic Twelve Apostles Mountain range and Table Mountain National Park, lies the 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa. Hand-picked for its unique 5-star experience, this stunning hotel is your home for the first five nights of our Spectacular South Africa tour.
“The first evening we host a welcome drinks reception which is an amazing way to start the tour. We sit out on the balcony and enjoy the sunset, before continuing to dinner,” Jameel says. “This is a great opportunity for me to meet the guests and find out what they are most looking forward to seeing. We wouldn’t get into too many details about itinerary at this time, but I will highlight a few things of what they can expect.”
Close to the heart of the vibrant city, the 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa features beautifully appointed rooms, dramatic ocean views, acclaimed restaurants and an award-winning spa. “It’s quite a spectacular property, very relaxing. It’s the perfect hotel for an extended stay, to see the best of Cape Town,” Jameel says. “And the views are sublime.”
Fine dining and a chance to connect
The welcome dinner on the first day of the tour is at Azure, an in-house restaurant of the 12 Apostles Hotel. This is an opportunity for guests to get to know each other and the Travel Concierge. Executive chef Christo Pretorius combines international inspiration with home-grown flavors on a menu that celebrates seasonality, sustainability and the bountiful fresh produce of the Cape. “They serve what’s called the Cape Malay cuisine,” says Jameel. “It’s a very unique cuisine, aromatic and flavorful.”
“Once we get into dinner, I take time to ask the guests what they’re looking forward to and their likes and dislikes, on an individual one-on-one basis. Then as the tour continues, every chance that I have for conversation with guests, I will use this to learn more about their preferences. This enables me, as a Travel Concierge, to tailor their experience at every opportunity.”
A choice of curated experiences
“Whilst in Cape Town, there are two opportunities for guests to choose between two curated experiences,” Jameel explains. “Carefully chosen for Luxury Gold guests, this allows you to personalize your day, with two quite different experiences on offer.
“The District Six Museum offers a deeper insight into the history of South Africa. The museum tells a very poignant story, about an area where 60,000 people were forcibly removed from their homes, based on the color of their skin. It’s a remarkable museum which used to be a Methodist Church – a remnant of District Six.
“The Old Biscuit Mill also has a lovely history behind it. It used to be a biscuit grain silo and they turned that into this vibrant shopping area. For people who want to do some boutique exclusive shopping, you’ll find very unique items at the Old Biscuit Mill. And there’s some lovely eateries there also.
“Guests can also of course decide to remain at the hotel and enjoy its facilities or maybe explore more of Cape Town, and I would help them tailor this time.”
A national icon – Table Mountain
The flat-topped Table Mountain is the most iconic landmark of Cape Town, and probably of the whole of South Africa. It’s certainly one of the most photographed. “I think every Capetonian has their own relationship with Table Mountain,” Jameel says. “Some days I’ll just go and watch the sunset up there. It’s like this energy center of the world.”
Guests rise to the summit of Table Mountain in the famous cable car to enjoy 360-degree views across Cape Town, Lion’s Head and the Atlantic Ocean. They then bask in sunset with a mountaintop drinks reception. “The views from the top are gorgeous. You can see across the whole peninsula, through the city and across the bay,” Jameel says.
Personalizing your dining experience
“Cape Town is well known as a world leader in gastronomy, so there are many great eateries to choose from,” Jameel says. “In my role as a luxury Travel Concierge, it is my job to ensure the guests’ culinary experience is not only second to none, but also reflects their personal tastes and preferences.”
Whether you love vibrant food markets, romantic rooftop restaurants or gourmet winery cuisine, you’ll be treated to fresh, local ingredients and the city’s blend of cultures offering exciting and diverse dishes.
“When I send out my Travel Concierge welcome letter to guests a few weeks before the trip starts, I will include a hand-selected list of restaurants that I recommend,” Jameel explains. “This enables guests to do some research if they wish. Some guests request reservations at this time and, when guests arrive and throughout the trip I will also assist with recommendations and reservations.”
“La Colombe is currently the number one restaurant in South Africa, offering contemporary French-Asian fusion fine dining. They do an 8-course tasting menu, quite an extravagant dinner. FYN is another fine dining restaurant in the city, offering a Japanese African fusion, that I recommend to Luxury Gold guests. All the food is divine.
“We also enjoy the most exquisite farm-to-table lunch at The Werf on the Boschendal wine estate. It really is a spectacular day of the tour.” This unique dining establishment focuses on presenting contemporary soil-to-fork cuisine using only the best available local, seasonal and ethically sourced ingredients.”
Read more: In the kitchen with Allistaire Lawrence, Head Chef at the Werf
Discovering history at Robben Island
“I have too many favorite parts of this trip. I am such a big fan of Cape Town and South Africa,” Jameel explains. “But one of the clear highlights is our visit to the Amy Foundation.”
The Amy Foundation offers programmes which develop and empower youngsters from challenged and vulnerable communities. The Foundation was named after American student, Amy Biehl, and founded by her parents. Amy tragically lost her life in 1993 near to Cape Town, through an act of political mob violence. The men convicted of her murder were granted amnesty through Amy’s parents and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Amy’s parents were determined to honor her love of South Africa and her belief in the truth and reconciliation process.
“On this visit to the Amy Foundation we have lunch with Christo Brand, Nelson Mandela’s former prison warden.,” Jameel says. “It really brings back a lot of emotion for me, thinking back to what it was like growing up. The way that Mandela used peace and forgiveness to unite the country, Christo Brand really tells that story. He then wraps it into the story of Amy Biehl, how the foundation was started and how today it helps children in underprivileged areas.
“The Amy Foundation actually places students at the 12 Apostles hotel. There are a few students currently working there. So it’s nice to meet them at the hotel and tie that story back to the Amy Foundation.”
Read more: Meet Christo Brand, former prison guard to Nelson Mandela
A spectacular safari
Following your sensational time in Cape Town, venture deep into the heart of one of the world’s largest game reserves on a thrilling three-day safari. Concluding your Spectacular South Africa tour, experience six game drives in a private, open-air safari vehicle, keeping a look out for the Big Five.
“Throughout the safari I will be with the guests, to ensure everything goes smoothly,” Jameel explains. “Even though, as a Travel Concierge I’ve done it for so many times, it never gets old. Every time I learn new things. It is such an exhilarating experience to see these animals in their natural habitat. If you are going to visit South Africa, you must experience a safari. And when it is your first time it’s absolutely incredible. You learn so much from the guides on each outing.”
The exquisite Lion Sands Lodge welcomes you with luxury suites with private decks and plunge pools. “The safari camp is superb. It’s like tranquil luxury,” Jameel says. “They see to your every need and I’m also there to ensure that everything is just perfect.”
Read more: Step inside the Lion Sands Game Reserve
My network of contacts makes holiday dreams come true
“South Africa is my home, and I know and love the city,” says Jameel. “This passion and knowledge, combined with my connections and contacts means I am uniquely placed to assist with guests’ requests. Maybe that is reservations at a restaurant, or tickets to a particular show or event. Or knowing the best place to celebrate a special anniversary. If a guest has a request, I try my utmost best to make it happen.
“When people tell you things like ‘you’ve made my childhood dreams come true’, that’s what makes me really smile. I want guests to not only have an amazing vacation, but a complete experience from which lifelong memories are made.”
To enjoy the very best of South Africa and benefit from the personal service of your Travel Concierge, take a look at our Spectacular South Africa limited edition luxury tour.
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