Situated 12 miles east of the coastal town of Plettenberg Bay, Hog Hollow Country Lodge sits in a private nature reserve on the edge of indigenous forest, with wonderful views of the surrounding valleys and Tsitsikamma Mountains.
The 16 individual suites are situated in lush gardens surrounding the main house, and each room is decorated using natural woven fabrics, artefacts from around Africa and local handcrafted woods. The comfortable, stylish suites offer private wooden decks, hammocks for sunny afternoon naps, king-sized beds, a lounge area, en-suite bathrooms and most have cosy fireplaces for those chilly winter nights. There are also special family rooms available.
Excellent breakfasts are served on the boma deck in the warmth of the morning sunshine, or inside by the fire on chillier days, while high quality communal dinners are served in the candle-lit main house.
There is a swimming pool and sauna at the lodge, and further afield, guests can enjoy a lovely walk from the lodge through the ancient indigenous forests to either Monkey Land primate sanctuary, the Birds of Eden or the Elephant Sanctuary. Other attractions include over 50 charted walks, horse riding, golf, canoeing, abseiling, bungee jumping (the world's highest - a mere 216 metres), whale and dolphin watching, a treetop canopy walk or a scenic glider flight around the bay.
Why We Love It
Owners Andy and Debbie Fermor are a pretty laidback pair, and Hogg Hollow's friendly feel is testament to their charm.
Oyster Bay Lodge
Located between Knysna and Port Elizabeth lies Oyster Bay Lodge, a beautiful Coastal Reserve which is set on 235 hectares and incorporates magnificent dunes, woods, river deltas, beaches, wetlands, lagoons, free roaming horses and an extensive birdlife.
This 4 star lodge is strategically located for excursions to Tsitsikamma National Park, Baviaanskloof, St Francis Bay and Addo Elephant National Park. However, we prefer to recommend it for a two or three night stay en route to the game parks in the Eastern Cape or as part of your journey along the Garden Route.
A variety of activities like horse back riding on the beach, hiking trails on the Coastal Reserve, sundowners on one of the decks & bird watching will give you the opportunity to experience the Coastal Reserve. The private and unspoiled sandy beachfront of 3.5 kilometers makes Oyster Bay Lodge a little paradise in the Eastern Cape.
Why We Love It
If you are drawn to wild and rugged coastlines, Oyster Bay will no disappoint.
Home to Peter and Dianne Behr, owners of the Kurland Hotel Polo Estate, Kurland Villa has been in the family for three generations. Set in park like surroundings in a secluded location, it is ideal for families and friends looking for a private and exclusive getaway.
There are eight bedrooms at Kurland Villa, including a master suite with adjoining dressing room, spread across two floors and a separate west wing. Following a recent refurbishment, all of the rooms are elegantly decorated and there is Wi-Fi and satellite telly in the main living areas. The views also deserve a mention, as all rooms look out over the surrounding countryside, and there is a polo field practically outside the front door.
Facilities at Kurland Villa include a steam room, sauna and swimming pool. Guests at the private villa also have access to the facilities at Kurland Hotel, including use of the spa, the horses and the tennis court. There are also two restaurants at the main hotel, one of which is an informal bistro called Caterinas - keeping it in the family, it was opened by Peter's sister-in-law.
Why We Love It
Don't want to lift a finger while on holiday (and who can blame you?) A private butler and chef can be arranged.
Settler's Drift is a 5-star luxury tented lodge set amidst the Kariega Nature Reserve - a big five reserve - on South Africa's Eastern Cape. Dotted with lanterns and roaring fires this unique camp is as welcoming to guests now as the land was to the original settlers in 1820.
Nine heated suites make up the lodge and all boast opulent living areas with ensuite bathrooms, indoor / outdoor showers and private viewing decks. Modern amenities like hairdryers are provided and WIFI is available in the main lodge.
The restaurant serves high quality local produce complemented by a fine range of South African vintages from the onsite wine cellar, while the bar and the library are perfect evening spots to regale fellow guests with the safari sightings of the day.
Facilities at Settler's include a spacious deck to observe sunset, a curio shop to purchase memorable gifts and access to the nearby Keriega Wellness Centre which offers an array of treatments and therapies, perfect for post safari relaxation.
The lodge's infinity pool has wonderful views across the valley where game roams, but for closer encounters, enjoy a 4x4 safari with an expert guide to explore the 10,000 hectares that make up the malaria-free Kariega Game Reserve.
Why We Love It
Returning to the lodge after a hard day's adventure, choosing a book from the library and curling up in front of the fire is really quite special.