Alternative Lodging provision in the Western Cape, South Africa

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
    • 0

    In Europe finding places to stay between Review hotels has led to finds of interesting operations and interiors – for example the Noma Residences in Poland or the refurbished Kyriad chain in France.

    In South Africa there are similar discoveries to be made. In travelling around this country it is quite possible to look ahead on the web to find intermediate stops as one does in Europe – distances are great and if you don’t want to spend your entire holiday in a car then sensible breaks in choice spots are needed. In Africa driving can be more challenging – starting with the unfamiliar hire car, but continuing through unsurfaced tracks and infinitely variable driving skills (on the part of other drivers of course). The cost of an average B&B is around R400 per person a night (about £33 in 2012) for bed and breakfast but this can be very variable.Paying more does not mean that the standard will be better. It is also sensible to find a rental as a base if you are visiting for any length of time. I am fortunate to have relations in Hout Bay, a suburb of Cape Town (although it calls itself the Independent Republic of Hout Bay) where I can leave the main bulk of my luggage and travel light, returning to write up experiences or to change clothing.

    Travelling over 500 miles to visit an hotel necessarily involves intermediate stops, and the hotels I want to see often do not lend themselves to any other form of transport than the car. The base rental of course can become the whole holiday if you do not want to be touring, and there are plenty of vacation properties available to rent if you know where you want to go. In some seaside towns 80% of the properties are holiday homes.

    As an example I took a couple of weekend breaks at Sanderling Beach House on the beach at Dwarskerbos, St Helena Bay on the West Coast about 100 miles north of Cape Town. This three bedroom three bathroom house sits on the beach with a spectacular view of the ocean, where I have seen whales and dolphins, and is just down the road from a major bird reserve. Fairly isolated it is still just a short drive to a selection of restaurants, and there is a major supermarket down the road in the fishing port of Velddriff. Nearly all the surrounding properties are second homes, giving isolation during the week, miles of empty beaches.

    B&B’s examples here include the Mymering winery near Ladismith (no, that’s a different Ladysmith – relieved?) and a spectacular B&B Wildlife reserve in Outsdhoorn where I saw African Clawless Otters at close range, as well as a more traditional B&B in Riversdale.

    Continued on page two

    Daniel Fountain / 02.04.2012

    Editor, Hotel Designs


    • 0