Getting into hot water

I like luxury and I like simplicity.

I love the no-frills experience of hiking the Otter Trail or camping in Botswana with bucket showers and bush toilets, and I love being pampered at boutique hotels with fine linen and luxury bathrooms.

On the Otter trail, after we hiked for hours, the outdoor showers were cold but invigorating, and we jumped around shrieking and laughing.

In Botswana, we were dusty from our game adventures and the bush shower hooked on the branch of a local Acacia tree was warmly welcoming – thanks to camp staff who heated precious water in kettles over open fires for our comfort.

Then we stayed at a boutique hotel in the Cape winelands. The weather was icy and we just needed to warm up. Unfortunately, the room had stone floors, an ineffectual heater, a bed with a thin duvet, and no hot water. Too many guests, too few geysers. Forget the pillow treats and the view, no hot water is a deal-breaker – We witnessed a procession of unwashed, grumpy guests packing up and moving out.

So what makes a good experience? Its about expectations, but don’t chance it with the hot water.