PICS: What it's like to retire in style - see inside SA's top 5 luxury retirement villages

No fewer than four of the five top retirement villages listed in the 2019 Estate Ratings report by New World Wealth are in the Western Cape.

The report ranks the top residential estates in South Africa. It defines "retirement villages" as generally referring to estates that cater to over 60s, normally with on-site healthcare facilities and offering independent living - cottages and apartments - as well as assisted living and frail care units.

According to the report, the top five retirement villages in South Africa for 2019 are - in alphabetical order - Clé du Cap in Cape Town's southern suburbs, Evergreen at Val de Vie near Paarl, Helderberg Village in Somerset West, Onrus Manor near Hermanus, and Waterfall Hills situated between Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Clé du Cap

Clé du Cap (which means Key to the Cape) is by Faircape Retirement and set near the Constantiaberg mountain in the Cape Town suburb of Kirstenhof. The ocean is only a few kilometres away. It offers a "blend of Cape charm and stylish French design", according to its website.

Facilities include 24-hour camera monitored security; frail care and step down; 24-hour medical care; a restaurant, bar, dining room, daily meals, coffee lounge, health care clinic, indoor heated swimming pool, sport facilities, a club house, a library, laundry and domestic services and a fibre optic network.

cle du

Clé du Cap landscaped gardens. (Supplied)

There is access to support staff for assessment and temporary assistance, which include ER24, an occupational therapist and social worker; a hairdresser and beauty therapist. The healthcare provided is approved by the Department of Health.


Clé du Cap indoor heated pool (Supplied)

Furthermore, a shuttle service offers daily trips to nearby shopping centres.

retirement cle du cap

Clé du Cap clubhouse area (Supplied)

There are 139 two bedroom, two bathroom homes sold on a life right basis. No rentals are offered. Properties start at R2.9m for a unit of 77m².

Val de Vie Evergreen

Val de Vie Evergreen is situated at the Val de Vie estate, which itself is rated as the number one residential estate in SA by the New World Wealth report from 2015 - 2019. It is 35 minutes from Cape Town and its international airport.

The development lifestyle is focused on wellness in a secure environment with views of the Paarl, Drakenstein and Simonsberg mountains.

evergreen retirement at val de vie

Val de Vie Evergreen (Supplied)

Homes are designed with practical living in mind, according to its website, offering open plan living with both indoor and outdoor comfort. The greater Val de Vie Estate offers options like the Pearl Valley Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, polo fields, equestrian and lifestyle activities like a bowls facility.

evergreen retirment

Interieure at Val de Vie Evergreen (Supplied)

Val de Vie Evergreen consists of 400  homes, 200 apartments or assisted living suites, an 80-bed frail care centre; a private club house; a contemporary library; landscaped grounds, including olive groves, orchards and vineyards; a hair salon; a gym with dedicated occupational therapy room; a games and cinema room and a bistro and lounge dining area.

evergreen at val de vie

Healthy lifestyle is the focus at Val de Vie Evergreen (Supplied)

Properties are sold on a life right purchase model, which offers professional management and maintenance of the village. Homes vary in size from 151m² to 233m². Properties at Val de Vie Evergreen start from R3.3m.

Helderberg Village

Already established in 1987, Helderberg Village is situated against the backdrop of the Helderberg Mountain in Somerset West, just 30 minutes from Cape Town. It is close to blue flag beaches at Strand and Gordons Bay and on the doorstep of wine estates.

helderberg village walking

Helderberg Village has four dams (Supplied)

The development offers luxury one, two and three bedroom sectional title apartments and cottages for sale and to rent.

helderberg village golf

Helderberg Village golf course (Supplied)

There is a 9-hole golf course and well maintained gardens. Facilities include four swimming pools (one heated); two tennis courts; two bowling greens and pavilion; a croquet lawn and pavilion; a clubhouse, restaurant, library, gymnasium and pottery studio.

There are four dams, 9kms of paths and roads, a fibre optic network, a shuttle service and a laundry service.

Helderberg Village restaurant

Helderberg Village restaurant (Supplied)

There is a private healthcare facility, which includes a frail care unit and dementia unit. There is a private doctor on call and an occupational therapist, hairdresser and manicure and pedicure services available.

There is a state of the art security system with access control and an on-site control room, 24-hour armed response and a medical team.

Property prices range from R3.2m for a 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom cottage of 118.62m² to R9.9m for a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom home of 286m².

Onrus Manor

Situated on the slopes of the Kleinriver Mountain range in the Overberg, near Hermanus, the mainly indigenous gardens of Onrus Manor Retirement Village are in harmony with its natural environment.

Onrus Manor sea view

A sea view from Onrus Manor (Supplied)

It has 185 units, which are sold on a life right basis. No rentals are offered. There are free-standing and semi-detached homes with one-, two-, or three-bedrooms and one or two bathrooms. There is 24-hour security.

Onrus Manor home

Onrus Manor home (Supplied)

Facilities include 24-hour camera monitored security; frail care and step down; 24-hour medical care; a restaurant,bar, coffee shop and library; Homes have large windows providing light and offering mountain and sea views.

There is a club house with a lounge, dining room, pool table, and a braai area; while laundry and domestic services are available on request.

There are movie evenings, quiz evening, bridge and chess clubs and more activities offered. Residents have regular social activities and outings.

Onrus Manor games room

Onrus Manor activity room (Supplied)

There are shopping, business and medical amenities within easy reach; a shuttle service offering weekly trips to nearby shopping centres and access to support staff for assessment and temporary assistance - including an occupational therapist and social worker. The healthcare provided is approved by the Department of Health.

Units start from R1.6m for a 63m² 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom unit.

Waterfall Hills

The Waterfall Hills Mature Lifestyle Estate, situated between Johannesburg and Pretoria, is the first of three mature lifestyle developments that will be developed within the larger property.

Waterfall Hills retirement

Waterfall Hills Mature Lifestyle Estate (Supplied)

Specific consideration has been given to "a harmonious form of architecture, designed to augment investment value with time", according to its website.

Outdoor facilities include its own horticultural centre, several walking trails and tranquil spots along the Jukskei River to stop and enjoy the natural surroundings and birdlife.

There is a professionally designed chip and putt area and a PGA-affiliated professional is available for private lessons. There is also a tennis court and gymnasium, bowls and croquet.

The Vista Restaurant offers cuisine for various tastes. There is also a library and games room.

waterfall hills pool

Facilities at Waterfall Hills Mature Lifestyle Estate (Supplied)

Even in retirement, it remains business as usual for some, there is a fully-equipped business centre available, while an auditorium hosts a variety of shows, presentations and feature films.

Other facilities include an arts and crafts studio, a billiard room and a cigar lounge. Special workshops are offered for grandparents to enjoy with their grandchildren when they come and visit.

waterfall hills restaurant

Dining options at Waterfall Hills Mature Lifestyle Estate (Supplied)

A medical doctor is available on call and a trained nurse based at the estate is available to residents at all times. Full and part-time care givers can also be arranged for residents in need of assisted living services.

In addition to the availability of 24 hour emergency healthcare, Waterfall Hills (phase 1) boasts a comprehensive frail care facility. The Netcare Waterfall City Hospital is located within the broader estate.

Prices vary from R1.4m for a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom unit of 74m² to R5.95m for a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house of 227m².

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