Perivoli Lagoon House, Hermanus, Western Cape

Why we love it

You cannot get more magical than this nature-lovers paradise set in 140 hactares of private land between the sea and the Keinrivier Lagoon. Once inside this extraordinary villa there is almost no reason or inclination to leave. The design of the villa is long and low with a roof that undulates like the waves of the sea. Easy-living happens out on the deck, where the folds of the mountains and tumbling waterfalls feel close enough to touch. We loved the sense of peace watching the flocks of flamingoes at dusk flying across the lake. It's everything you dream of in a private villa, and heaps more.

What to expect

Brilliant management and the warmest of staff make for exceptional comfort. There are 4 bedrooms all en suite, sleeping 8 in view-filled rooms. A light bright living area with doors that disappear magically and open on to the deck. All the bells and whistles and kitchen mod-cons that you would expect – including sparkling water out of the tap! Wonderful coffee, and local cheeses, olives and breads. You can choose to cook yourself, or their chef/manager can whip up either a kid’s snack or a three course meal. Pizza oven and gas braai on the deck makes for eating elfresco.The open living area has wonderful fireplaces for winter, and doors opening on to the heated pool for summer.

What to do:

You will arrive with all sorts of intentions, and soon find yourself on the swing seat watching the mountains and sipping a superb coffee. But for a longer stays, certainly consider the mountain bikes and do the dune sundowner experience, where 18km of completely pristine beach will be all yours. Kayaking and fishing on the lake is a must, and there are boating activities and water skiing available. The nearby quaint town of Stanford offers all sort of artisanal offerings from cheese and olives to wine and craft beer, and the boat trip up the Standford river is a treat for birders. With whale watching, shark cage diving and wine tasting right on your doorstep – you could easily stay for weeks!

When to visit

Winter is glorious when the rain stays away, as it is wind-free and the quality of light is wonderful, and of course July to November the whales are a treat in Hermanus. Summer means long lazy evenings around the pool and the nearby beaches.

Kids: Yes, kids are welcomed here, and there is plenty to keep them busy. My choice however might be to come without them - it’s the sort of place that begs warm midnight swims, lazy meals, Chardonay from the Hemel & Aarde valley and late sleep ins. There is open water so not ideal for toddlers.

Giving back:

There is an ongoing alien vegetation clearing project that is seeing great results. All staff are employed from the local community and a portion of all profits are channelled back to this community in the form of educational and environmental projects. This owner of this villa is behind the Perivoli School Trust and his commitment to development in Africa is the ‘Why’ behind this project.

How to get there

A scenic 90 minute drive from Cape Town either via the stunning coastal road or the Hemel and Aarde wine valley. Suggest stop for lunch at Creation wine estate for their wine pairing 6 course lunch. The last 10km is a dirt road that is best done in a high clearance vehicle or 4x4 when raining.

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