1. Babylonstoren Farm Hotel
What started as one of the winelands’ most elegant private homes became one of their most elegant hotels in December. Media mogul Koos Bekker’s wife, Karen Roos, former editor of Elle Decoration in South Africa, turned their 692-acre farm between Franschhoek and Paarl into a peerless Dutch wineland estate hotel. The headliner is the 18th-century Dutch-style manor house with a library, a kitchen and five bedrooms, where modern, airy rooms are combined with contemporary pieces by Agape and Philippe Starck. There are also 12 rural cottages, seven with kitchens looking over the vineyards or the eight-acre garden; inside are fresh produce, like lawns of thyme and patches of lettuce, all of which eventually finds its way onto the table at Babel, Babylonstoren’s restaurant. Rooms start at $575; Klapmuts-Simondium Rd.; 27-21/863-3852; babylonstoren.com.