The Resort: The six guest lodges at the &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa range from a glass-walled house built on stilts to suites perched on the side of a rocky cliff to thatch-roofed bush cottages. Regardless of their chosen quarters, Phinda guests enjoy exclusive access to the 56,800-acre reserve, which sits near the Indian Ocean in northern KwaZulu-Natal and features seven distinct habitats. All of the Big Five game—as well as cheetahs, white rhinos, crocodiles, monitor lizards, and nyalas—are regularly sighted at Phinda during the camp’s twice-daily game drives and canoe trips down the Mzinene River.
The Villa: The Homestead is an 8,600-square-foot, four-bedroom estate serviced by a private butler and chef. Spacious, light-filled bedrooms surround a central indoor/outdoor living space with dining and relaxation areas, an open kitchen, an infinity-edge swimming pool, and a small gym. Interiors forgo colonial references in favor of contemporary furnishings and driftwood sculptures. Windows and doors slide away to reveal mosquito-proof screen panels, and beds face the bush so you need not rise before the game-viewing begins.
The Highlight: A private ranger and safari vehicle are available around the clock, allowing you to eschew the pack-it-all-in mentality of some safaris and instead pursue a more personal—and productive—game-viewing experience.
The Price: From about $4,600 per night, all-inclusive, for as many as eight guests. +27.11.809.4300, www.andbeyond.com