Tranquil and quite lovely, Plettenberg Park gazes out to sea from the top of a cliff. The house is approached by means of a long drive which meanders through the "fynbos" - the South African shrubland which flowers to such stunning effect in September. This is part of the 495-acre private nature reserve that surrounds the hotel. Guests drive past a pretty lake complete with water birds and inviting rowing boat and find themselves at the hotel.
Plettenberg Park has only four guest rooms, and this very real exclusivity allows travellers to be cocooned from the rest of the world. The hotel is stunningly decorated in the clear, clean neutrals that suit its modern architectural style so well. White linens, creams, stones and soft greys reflect the wonderful light outside and highlight the West African artefacts, objets trouves, and beautiful woods in the reception areas and bedrooms. Textural contrasts are made from sea grass matting, palely-simple cotton slip covers on dining chairs, the richly polished wood of the rococo table bases.
Limed-oak gridded screens slide across in front of the huge, glass sliding walls and allow an endlessly changing interplay of light and shade. Decorative touches abound - large glass apothecary's jars are filled with beachcombed shells to form lamp bases and the fine bed linen is hand-embroidered, white on white, with a simple flower from the fynbos. Outside is wonderful silvery-oak decking and a breathtaking landscape of sea and cliffs. An inviting path, with a handrail, winds down to a sand platform at the water's edge. An oblong pool with wooden sun beds tempts those who wish only to idle the afternoon away.
The food at Plettenberg Park is carefully considered. Meals are planned in consultation between guest and chef and the hotel specialises in seafood and other fresh seasonal ingredients, flavourfully yet simply prepared. Presentation is exquisite and meals delight the eye as well as the palate. At breakfast, the magnificent display of home-made breads and muffins and jewel-coloured preserves will tempt even the most hardened breakfast-refuser, whereas the ostrich steak I ate for dinner melted in the mouth.
Whether you come to Plettenberg Park as a couple seeking quality time together or as part of a larger group that take the house exclusively for their own use, you will find this one of the most special holidays you have ever taken.
· Swimming pool
· Seaside sand platform
· Whale watching (mainly July-September)
· Water-skiing, catamaran sailing, snorkelling, golf, riding, rambling, excursions etc. easily arranged
· Four bedrooms
All rooms have:-
· Private bathroom
· Satellite television
· International plug points