It’s no secret that Noel and I love going on mini-getaways and the West Coast definitely holds a special place in our hearts. We try to see a different fishing village each time, but we do have some favourites that have welcomed us back over and over again 😊. We haven’t however been to Elands Bay before and celebrating my birthday there this year, was without a doubt, one of the best gifts I received.
Elands Bay is about 220 kms from Cape Town. Situated right up the West Coast, the small coastal village is the perfect getaway if you are looking for an escape from urban living. It’s about a 2h30 minute drive from Cape Town. This could explain why so few people venture that far up the coast. And, it’s not all coastal either, but don’t let this dissuade you. Driving through the countryside holds its own magic. Golden fields and windmills. Bales of hay and herds. Wild flowers and birds on a wire. The long drive is definitely worth every minute, you just have to find the magic .
After driving for so long, we were in desperate need of a bathroom and a leg stretch. But once we arrived, the fresh sea air and the sound of the seagulls instantly put us is holiday mood and we forgot all about these little niggles 😊.
We stayed at the beautiful Draaihoek Lodge. They only have eight chalets, so you are guaranteed to have a weekend of tranquillity, because you wont have to share your space with loads of people. This is one of the reasons why we will definitely go back.
The chalets are these beautiful, rustic white cottages with thatched roofs. The ones that are synonymous with any fishing village and definitely adds to their character.
The rooms are really spacious and delightfully decorated. It’s the perfect blend of rustic meets luxury. On the one side you have the king size bed, each draped with a beautiful a white net, which is very romantic 😊. On the other end is a cosy lounge area with a beautiful wood fireplace. The wood is stocked up daily so that you won’t run out during the slightly chilly nights. We made full use of the fireplace both nights of our stay. It warmed the entire room until the morning. It was heavenly to lay in bed and just stare at the flames while reminiscing about the day. In addition, the dim lighting in the rooms and the fact that there is no TV in any of the cottages, makes for a peaceful retreat after a busy day.
Each cottage has two French doors. The one is the entrance to the chalet and the other serves as big windows, which are purposefully situated directly over your bed. At dusk, you can experience an awe-inspiring sunset and in the morning, open the doors and allow the crisp sea breeze in as you enjoy your first cup of coffee, all from the comfort of your bed. This is pretty amazing. Are you hooked yet?!
Draaihoek is not a self-catering establishment, but they do have their own restaurant on site. We loved this because we didn’t want the hassle of having to spend time in the kitchen to prepare our meals – we’d much rather be outside enjoying what the resort had to offer.
The Friday night of my birthday, after supper, the owners surprised me with a delicious slice of kitchen baked cheesecake and a birthday candle for me to make a wish. Everyone in the restaurant sang happy birthday to me. This was a very special (and somewhat embarrassing) moment for me, but it just shows how friendly the people there are. We had all of our meals on site and honestly had absolutely nothing to complain about. The menu has a variety of options, not only seafood, although you are guaranteed the freshest fish and the like with it being a coastal village. The breakfast was a scrumptious spread of cold meats and crackers, muffins, pancakes, fruit salad, yoghurt and of course, the hot English breakfast.
The best part of Draaihoek Lodge is that it is situated right on the beach. A wooden path leads you to the most beautiful stretch of the West Coast. There is the build-up of anticipation and curiosity and then you are completely overwhelmed but what you find when you finally reach the last wooden slat. I was in awe of this breath-taking view. The white sand just stretches on and on, forever. I was so grateful to be able to experience this incredible place.
The beach, although absolutely beautiful, may not always be pleasant because of the wind that comes off the Atlantic Ocean at times, so the solar heated pool is an excellent alternative. You don’t even have to swim. Just relax on one of the loungers with a glass of your favourite wine and a good read. This is exactly what I did…
We had planned a beach picnic because the temperatures were set to reach the high twenties (which it did), but the sea breeze was just a tad bit chilly even though it was sunny, so we headed for the dunes instead. Nestled comfortably between the dunes, shielded from the wind, our beach picnic was just perfect. There’s a secret right there – don’t get caught up in how you think something should happen – just relax and it will play out in the best possible way 🙂
If you are not up for a beach picnic, you are spoilt for choice as to where you pitch your picnic blanket, because they have a well-maintained garden. And if you are lucky, like we were, you will even see some Springbok grazing in the nature reserve near by. The colourful flowers also attract beautiful species of birds which were bountiful the entire weekend.
Besides the pool and the beach, there isn’t much else to do there, but, would you really want to? There are other small coastal towns in driving distance, but if you are looking for a place where you can just kick up your heels and relax, then look no further. We took long leisurely walks on the beach, watched the sunset over the ocean, went bird watching and dune climbing.
I read, wrote, went for a massage and spent time alone, just taking in all that surrounded me. I even got to do some yoga on the beach. You may have seen my previous post where I wrote all about my me-time there. I didn’t see any activities for kids, so my guess is that Draaihoek is better suited for couples wanting to enjoy a peaceful (and romantic) getaway.
Elands Bay has something truly magical which is why we will definitely go back. There is an innocence that is still there – it’s secluded, peaceful and undisturbed. Life takes on a slower pace and the ocean provides the perfect antidote for a weary soul. Elands Bay is definitely one of the West Coast’s best kept secrets!
For more information, visit draaihoeklodge.com.
“The ocean, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”- Jacques Cousteau
PS. If you want to experience the tranquillity of Draaihoek Lodge for yourself, leave a comment below with your email address and I will put you in contact with the team over at The Secretgetaway. They are currently running a promotion for Draaihoek Lodge for a limited time only. Although the promotion is not currently up on their website, I will pass your details onto their team and they will definitely be in touch. Although we didn’t book this stay through their platform, we have booked other getaways and I am very pleased with their service.
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored nor have I been asked to write this review. The opinions expressed herein are my own based on my personal experience.
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