Lekkerwater Beach Lodge, De Hoop Nature Reserve, South Africa
Why we love it:
Lekkerwater Beach Lodge offers a bird’s eye view of the continent’s greatest whale nursery and is situated in total isolation in De Hoop Nature Reserve with it's 51 km of wild beaches and fynbos treasures. It is a coastal wilderness of white dunes, rich birdlife, fynbos and endemic antelope. Built on the site of the original house of President de Klerk the villa has a unique location. Everything is possible – the staff will plan your excursions around your desires and interpret the natural world around you.
What to expect:
The Lodge sleeps 14 people with seven separate double units and one family room. Each room has amazing sea views and the crashing waves will lull you to sleep. The main living area is communal and relaxed and meals are often enjoyed out on the deck or down on the beach. Food is fresh, homemade and local and is intertwined with the stories that exist with the indigenous people of the land. There is a secret wood-fired hot tub in the rocks that is not to be missed, and coupled wth a bottle of bubbly is a real hightlight at sunset.
What to do:
Coastal walks, rock pool rambles, whale watching, the vulture hide, mountain biking, trail running - and the sand dune gin bar - plenty to keep busy. Or, put on your sarong, grab your book and head down to the little private beach and spend the day with the kids exploring the rock pools.
When to visit: De Hoop has something to offer all year round, but August to October is the best whale watching season and offers flowering fynbos. Cold in winter, but often with glorious sunny days and hot and windy in summer.
Kids are welcome at Ocean House from 6 and up and are catered for. The area is a kids playground of little beaches with rock pools and sand boarding on the dunes. I would however only bring kids when booking it as a sole-use villa as the living areas are communal.
How to get there : 3 Hour drive from Cape Town with some of that on good sand roads. It has its own airstrip and helipad.