5 incredible holiday homes in South Africa which cost more than R100,000 a night

Holiday season is picking up, and the short-term holiday rental business is changing.

This is according to Andreas Wassenaar of Seeff Zimbali, who said that the emergence of online booking platforms such as Airbnb and Bookings.com has created the opportunity for homeowners to efficiently connect with end-users and rent out rooms or complete homes or apartments to holiday guests or visitors.

There are, however, major problems that are emerging that have raised questions regarding control of the behaviour of the guests, and who to hold accountable and how, he said.

“In a traditional hotel environment badly behaved guests are removed from the premises either by hotel management, their security or the local police services. In an environment serviced by traditional realtors managing the bookings, a level of accountability remains with the realtor – and these agents would often intervene to resolve on-site problems.

“In a world without hotel management and agents involved, the homeowner is the only accountable party. With many homeowners typically being absent and not close at hand, or simply unwilling and unable to deal with problems on site, this impacts on the immediate neighbours.”

He added that because many property owners rely on the flow of income generated by short-term bookings to defray the holding costs of their properties, strong resistance can be expected within an existing community that are using these platforms.

“Having been involved in Zimbali’s development since 1997, and having owned a holiday rentals business for the past 15 years, we have seen the change in the industry recently and have experienced first-hand the incredible (not in a good way) behaviour of some holiday guests.

“It is true that over 90% of the guests we service are well behaved and enjoy their holidays without causing problems or breakages.”

Wassenaar said that problems on site are dealt with as they arise when an agency is involved since they have a vested interest in protecting their homeowners’ properties and their future flow of business.

However, when problems do arise with poorly behaved tenants, the reactions are often severe and the temptation is to paint all rental guests with the same brush, he said.

“For an estate such as Zimbali, by far the most popular holiday rental opportunity along the KZN coast, a couple of key lessons have already been learnt.

“The first is that holiday guests cannot be permitted to have guests. As a holiday rental guest you are the guest, and only your immediate party or family can and should be permitted access to the estate.

“Disregard for the estate’s rules has to be dealt with quickly and efficiently by removing the guests from the property and estate. The second is that technology should be leveraged and embraced to control access.

“Remotes are old school and easily abused; biometrics is the way to go, with the level of sophistication improving continuously. The third important lesson is that the holiday booking activity has to have a ‘ground handler’ involved on site – the homeowner has to employ agents, or similar, to be on hand to take the after-hours call and attend to any issues that arise.”

Wassenaar said that larger homes offering 5-7 bedrooms are very popular as holiday rentals and those with prime positions – overlooking the ocean or golf course from an elevated position – seemed to attract the most attention.

Below BusinessTech looked at 5 of these larger homes across the country – all of which cost more than R100,000 a night.

Pezula Private Castle, Noetsie – R110,000 per night

  • 10 guests
  • 5 bedrooms
  • 5 beds
  • 5 baths

In Residence Luxus, Cape Town – R120,000 per night

  • 10 guests
  • 5 bedrooms
  • 5 beds
  • 5.5 baths

The River Lodge at Thornybush – R134,000 per night

  • 12 guests
  • 6 bedrooms
  • 6 beds
  • 6.5 private baths

In Residence Sea Lion, Cape Town – R105,000 per night

  • 8 guests
  • 4 bedrooms
  • 4 beds
  • 4 baths

In Residence Beyond, Cape Town – R180,000 per night

  • 10 guests
  • 6 bedrooms
  • 6 beds
  • 6 baths

Read: This modular bamboo house takes only 4 hours to build – and is 8 times cheaper than a house in South Africa

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5 incredible holiday homes in South Africa which cost more than R100,000 a night