Earlier this month I visited Plettenberg Bay (a.k.a. Plett), one of South Africa’s most popular beach towns, for the first time. Plett is part of the drop-dead gorgeous piece of coastline east of Cape Town called the Garden Route, near the border between the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape provinces.
The visit was part of a media trip to Plett and Oudtshoorn, a desert town about an hour from the Garden Route. (More on Oudtshoorn in the next post.)
Sky Villa, Plettenberg Bay
I stayed at the Sky Villa Boutique Hotel, a luxurious property at the top of a steep hill overlooking Plett. Sky Villa used to be a private villa (hence the name) and was converted into a hotel a couple of years ago.
I really enjoyed the vibe at Sky Villa, which is quirky and luxurious at the same time. The decor is an interesting combination of whimsical and modern, with really beautiful art, and I like that the place doesn’t take itself too seriously despite being high-end. (Room rates start at R2200, or about $144, for a mountain-facing room and run upward to R4950 for the presidential suite.)
Also, I normally don’t care about TVs in hotels but the rooms at Sky Villa have all-you-can-watch Netflix and Showmax. Maybe this is normal in other parts of the world but I had never experienced such a luxury and thought it was amazing.
Sky Villa has a new chef, Rich Rorich, and the food is fantastic.
Out and About in Plett
As I mentioned, it was winter so laying around the pool or the beach wasn’t in the cards for our group of lady journalists. (Not that winter in Plett is really that cold — just too cold for swimming.) But we certainly enjoyed the outdoors.
On our first afternoon we took a boat cruise up the Keurbooms River with SUP Keurbooms.
SUP stands for Stand-Up Paddling — basically standing upright on a surfboard and paddling around. It looks really fun but I had never SUPed (SUPped?) before, and it felt a bit too cold to risk falling into the water. So I didn’t SUP, a decision I feel a bit ashamed about in hindsight. But I watched a couple of the others do it.
Anyway the cruise was great. The scenery was stunning, we drank champagne, and — insert drum roll — we saw a bushpig! I didn’t get a photo as he was moving swiftly through the forest on the riverbank. But bushpigs are exceedingly rare and super cool-looking. No one in our group, including the boat-driver who spotted the pig running along beside us, had ever seen one before.
The next day we went for a 10-kilometer hike through the Robberg Nature Reserve. I had heard great things about this hike but nothing could have prepared me for how beautiful it was.
The Robberg is a peninsula just south of Plett that sticks straight out into the Indian Ocean. Our hike skirted the peninsula, going up and down cliffs, clambering over boulders, and crossing white, sandy beaches. It was wonderful and exhausting but doable for anyone with a moderate level of fitness. There are a few shorter options for those who don’t want to do the full 10k.
After the hike we had that wonderful high you get upon completing a strenuous physical challenge in impossibly beautiful natural surroundings and knowing you’re on your way to have a delicious meal and won’t have to feel guilty at all about the massive number of calories you’re about to consume.
We went for lunch at the Bungalow, which is right on the beach in Plett.
The Bungalow menu includes sushi, pizza, and all kinds of fun lunch stuff but for some reason I chose to order a plate of chicken nachos. I can’t remember the last time I ordered nachos in a restaurant and I’m not sure what made me do it, but I’m so glad I did.
Maybe my appetite played a role but these were literally the best nachos I’ve ever eaten.
After lunch we went back to Sky Villa. I took a shower while staring out at the sea and spent the rest of the afternoon in a robe watching shitty Netflix shows like a rockstar.
And that, my friends, was a fabulous two days in Plett.
My hotel stay, meals, and activities in Plett were complimentary — courtesy of Sky Villa, the Bungalow, and SUP Keurbooms. Opinions expressed are mine.