Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey
Photo Credit: AP

The talk show host recalls her two favourite hotels around the globe - Ellerman House in Bantry Bay and Richard Branson's Necker Island

Aarti Kapur Singh
November 19 , 2014
02 Min Read

OT: Favourite hotel?
Oprah Winfrey: I am the kind of person who can never make up her mind about any one thing if it gives happiness. So allow me to pick two. Of all the places I have stayed in, I have enjoyed Ellerman House in Bantry Bay, Cape Town (from 5,200 rand, Richard’s [Branson] Necker Island the most. And since India has been my most recent trip — that completely swept me off my feet too.

OT: Favourite aspect of Ellerman House?
Oprah Winfrey:The fact that it has its own identity — right from the way it is constructed to the way it is decorated. I am told that the brief to its interior designer was to not destroy the view but to keep the space open and uncomplicated. The result is that it blends perfectly with the blue of the Atlantic Ocean and the glow of sunrises and sunsets that are visible from each room. The dramatic setting — it is on a mountainside with a panoramic view of the ocean — is almost as if lifted from a painting. Also, the pampering by the staff is almost unreal. The butlers were always ready to pour us a glass of wine, book restaurant tables and make sure we wanted to go nowhere else!

OT: Any meal that you remember?
Oprah Winfrey:The menu is never ever the same. It is astonishing how much innovation chefs can display when it comes to food. I had the best grills there!

OT: What else did you like?
Oprah Winfrey:Their spa is great. It has been designed so that guests never need to wait and can be gratified at virtually any time of the day. Also, their art collection is spectacular — it spans 100 years of South African art. The hotel has a no-rules rule: everything is available at any time, and meals — from brunch to late-night snacks — can be ordered on a whim. But their hospitality is only second to the hospitality I experienced in India. That was phenomenal.

OT: Describe your India experience.
Oprah Winfrey:India experience — yes, that’s the way to put it. Because India is so complex that you cannot see it in a day or a week; you need a lifetime for it. And I have to say that it is the greatest show on earth. It is so mind-expanding as well as heart-expanding. What impressed me the most is its diversity. You can see cars and oxen pulling a cart on the same road. You can be at a Bollywood party and you can be in the slums the next moment and they are both real. But the sense of honour for that which is bigger, older, wiser than yourself is something that I will take away. If I have to borrow from you, it would be your sense of tradition and your principled way of living. For me, India is a paradox. It has been my greatest life experience.


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