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  • Grand Cafe & Rooms, Plettenberg, Western Cape, South Africa

    Daniel Fountain
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    Plettenberg is not like any other resort town I’ve been to. It perches on top of the rocks above beaches and a salt water lagoon, giving stupendous views along the coast. It has its season when the population booms, but off season it is largely made up of the empty properties that are the second homes of global travellers as well as wealthy South Africans. In season like any resort it is busy, busy, busy.

    The main street is a mix and at one end sits the café that is the Grand Café & Rooms. Multi-levelled, the entrance is up a steep flight of steps leading to an eclectic set of interiors and a terrace with breathtaking views along the coast . Dining here is a pleasure, the hard worked small kitchen producing marvels and the view, brushed with a glass of excellent local wine, entrancing. The kitchen is a part of the dining room. With only 9 bedrooms the dining room works hard all day and evening as the core of the operation.

    Decor is reasonably sophisticated but spoiled by some tricks like sticking postcards and photographs onto the wall, creating a counter point to the sophistication of the fireplaces and solid wood furniture. White table cloths speak of a desire to be a little upmarket but the posters, post cards and ad hoc additions to the original decor work against this aim pulling in the opposite direction.

    Reception desk works as the hotel reception and the maitre d’ desk for the dining rooms and the entrance lobby is informally stylish, dominated by what appears to be a large wood oven, apparently no longer in use.

    Daniel Fountain / 18.07.2012

    Editor, Hotel Designs

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