* This article first appeared here in VIEW Magologue.
If you’re looking for an ocean break before winter sets in, here are three of his recent sea-side favourites.
- Caelis Place, West Coast
In search of the most secluded beachfront staycation on the West Coast that I could find, my browsing was rewarded with Caelis Place. For a decade I’ve sought the wild ocean and fynbos-crested beaches of the West Coast to celebrate my birthday. Caelis Place is located almost between Paternoster and Britannia Bay – in a 110-hectare nature reserve home to only a handful of homes.
It is a rustic and gorgeously remote beach house set directly on a two-kilometer of private beach; there’s hardly a more satisfying staycation than when the waves lap at your front door – and the sound of them puts you to sleep every night. With several coves and private beaches to visit, fragrant fynbos, and dunes with views, Caelis Place is a space for the soul to rest and rejuvenate.
The house itself is semi off the grid and sleeps up to 11 people in 4 rooms. There’s a fully stocked kitchen, lounge with dining room table, and then two outside braai areas. For cooler evenings there’s an inside fireplace. And then what would an ocean house be without a hot outdoor shower with the chance to watch the ocean.
Since the sunsets directly over the ocean along South Africa’s West Coast, the daily spectacle is enjoyed from the veranda – or even more spectacular – from the top of the dune that sits adjacent to this remarkable house. weskuskuier.co.za
- Amanzi Island Lodge
The Garden Route is a much-loved South Africa destination, and on a recent trip I discovered that it’s possible to enjoy an island-style vacation in Knysna. Leisure Isle is one of the islands in the lagoon and there, directly on the water with direct views out towards the Knysna Heads, is Amanzi Island Lodge.
The lodge has 15 luxury suites – all beautifully appointed – and spread about the property in a manner that makes you feel more at home than an actual lodge. There are two lounges, garden tables for enjoying the outdoors, and then a large pool. The Kingfisher suite is the premier room offering, with its own infinity pool for languishing away the day.
One of the best ways to explore the island is by bike – and Amanzi has several on offer freely for guests. It’s around 5.5kms around Leisure Island – so an easy ride where you’re constantly rewarded with incredible views of Knysna.
Thomas and Tiny are the two chefs who serve up sublime meals – most of which I ate on my private veranda or the lodge deck. When you have unparalleled views over such a pristine landscape – of course I chose to dine al fresco. amanzilodge.co.za
- Morukuru Beach Lodge
With its rolling hills and breathtaking coastline, the Overberg’s ever-changing landscapes are a unique part of the Western Cape. De Hoop Nature Reserve is a three-hour drive from Cape Town and is undoubtedly one of the best locations to admire these landscapes.
Rising proudly out of the dunes with uninterrupted ocean views, is the 5-star Morukuru Beach Lodge, a 5-bedroom lodge and Ocean House, a four-bedroomed exclusive use home. These two eco-mindful lodges command unparalleled views over the ocean – particularly enhanced during June – December when guests are offered the best land-based viewing of Southern Right whales in the world.
I staying in one of the beautifully appointed large suites at Ocean House, and for the next four days was kept occupied with sand-boarding, nature drives, beach walks, exceptional food, and of course unbelievable ocean views.
As I drove out of Morukuru I posted on social media that Morukuru was my new favourite – and most highly rated – lodge in South Africa. A few days later Condenast Traveller announced that it was their number one choice in South Africa. Whether my statement was prophetic or not, Morukuru should be a firm feature on your ocean-hotel bucket list. www.morukuru.com