The Royal Portfolio’s newest safari lodge, The Farmstead, offers guests an unforgettable experience of luxury, nature, and the finest art and setting possible.

For avid South African travellers, The Royal Portfolio is a well-known name for those seeking adventure, fun, and a taste of luxury and sophistication that brings with it an experience of both the arts and wildlife. For owner Liz Biden, an illustrious career in tourism happened after a spark of inspiration.

“Twenty-one years ago, I sold my fashion business. I wasn’t quite sure what to do next.” Liz elaborates… “After some discussion with my husband, I hit upon the idea of turning our family holiday homes into small, private hotels that we as a family had enjoyed so much. Little did I know the business it would grow into today.”

Today, both Liz and her husband Phil are well-known names in the industry, having created a selection of intimate hotels that are sought after destinations for travellers from around the world.

The Royal Portfolio includes Royal Malewane – situated in the Greater Kruger National Park, La Residence which is situated on a 30-acre wine estate in Franschhoek and voted the Best Hotel in the World, Birkenhead House in the whale watching paradise of Hermanus, and the newly built Silo Hotel atop Cape Town’s Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. 

Now, 20 years after Royal Malewane was built, Liz and Phil Biden have added The Farmstead to their portfolio; a safari lodge built on community land, where the group pay a monthly rent and train staff from the local community as part of a focus on sustainability and conservation. Ultimately the local community will own the land and the lodge.

“We’ve always been passionate about investing in South Africa. Hospitality and conservation go hand-in-hand”, says Liz. “Our guests can go into the community and see the work we’re doing – a lot of our guests are from America and are very philanthropic. Our Foundation is a very important part of our existence and is a way of giving back.”

For guests enjoying their stay at The Farmstead, seeing wildlife up close with the most qualified guiding team in Africa is augmented with a unique art experience. “Every single room in our portfolio is different”, Liz says. “The Farmstead has seven bedrooms in total – each room has original art and wonderful pieces that I’ve collected and had made locally. I’ve tried to ensure everything is made in South Africa – our craftsmen are truly excellent.”

For Liz, the opportunity to develop world-class hotels is built on her style, her eye for fine art, and her ability to share and contribute towards an inimitable stay. “Now if you can add luxury and a bit of fun and colour to their stay… I think you’ve got a good recipe for success”, Liz says.

“Liz’s whole world is about sharing – she really enjoys sharing what she has with others”, adds Edward Morton, General Manager of La Residence. “Liz has a wonderful saying – rather not be stiff and starchy, but rather warm and hearty – and that’s how we treat our wonderful guests from near and far. We really try to give them a complete experience and a perfect stay – that’s our company purpose”

The Royal Portfolio’s new book ‘A Perfect Stay’ is available to purchase on The Royal Portfolio website and includes complimentary delivery in South Africa.