As the last of summer stretches itself out over the southern hemisphere, savor sunny shores and long days with your family at some of these seaside spots.
There are few things in this life more luxurious than time, stillness, natural spaces and endless barefoot days on the beach. And there’s nothing like a dose of sun, salt and sand to invigorate you mentally and physically. As the last of summer stretches itself out over the southern hemisphere, savor sunny shores and long days with your family at some of these seaside spots…
Tintswalo Boulders, Cape Town
Little African penguins bask on boulders, beach-goers sun on a small, sheltered patch of beach and the ocean feels crisp on the skin. And once the day decides to call it quits, all you need to do is wander back along the boardwalk from Boulders Beach and up the stairs to your room at Tintswalo Boulders.
Inside this boutique villa, you’ll stay in one of the theme-inspired luxury suites each named after well-known ships. With names like Mayflower, Water Witch and Bounty, they each tell a story of their functions such as floating greenhouses, English explorer vessels or carriers of Jan van Riebeeck and his crew.
If you need a beach break, it’s the indoor penguin room’s time to shine with its toys, books and games for younger guests. Breakfast is served each morning (lunch and dinner upon request) and in case you’re wondering, the rooftop pool is where the best sunset views over the False Bay Peninsula and boulder-packed coastline are. The villa can be booked exclusively for families and friends or booked per room.
The Oysterbox, Durban
Somewhere between candyfloss sunsets, the pool tucked away beneath the tropical palms and delicious complimentary treats of milkshakes and ice cream lies a certain balance of bliss for both parents and kids at the iconic Oysterbox.
What started out as a tea room in 1952 and rebuilt as a hotel two years later, stands steadfast today on the Umhlanga beach front right behind it’s iconic lighthouse built in the same year. While some things are nice-to-haves, their curry buffet and high tea in the Palm Court are non-negotiables.
Savour moments of togetherness on the beach with fishing nets and beach balls gifted to your children upon arrival or slip away for a much-needed poolside break or a romantic meal while the kids are at the supervised holiday club. In times of sub-tropical downpour, head to the hotel’s cinema – and best of all, children under 12 stay free!
De Hoop Collection, Cape Agulhas
With bontebok and ostrich wandering around just outside the cottages, shrieks of delight from the young ones will not be uncommon. When it comes to De Hoop Nature and Marine Reserve, outdoor-loving families will not find a greater wilderness to explore this side of the continent.
As one of the largest marine protected areas in Africa and located at its Southernmost tip, adventurers can delight in Eco boat tours, coastal marine walks and snorkeling in rock pools and nature drives with one of their wonderful guides.
While on the eco-boat tour, we spotted just a fraction of the 260 species here, sipped coffee and hot chocolate and eyed a giant hanging beehive. Pack in the binoculars, snorkel kits and mountain bikes for full days of bird watching, pedaling along trails and exploring large rock pools in some of the province’s richest intertidal ecosystems.
Blue Crest Villa, West Coast
Pack the kids and the grandparents (to help mind the kids, of course) in the car and move into this self-catering four-bedroom villa in the Shelley Point Golf Estate along South Africa’s rugged West Coast. Come first light, the children (and grownups) will be bounding past the aloes, spekboom and pathway of shells right onto the white sand beach for a morning dip, walk or run.
Sip sundowners on the balcony as the sun masquerades in pink or spend the evening around the fire braaing for supper and roasting marshmallows beneath the calls of the gulls. With an ocean view from every bedroom and ample space for the family to retreat to their own corners, you’ll awake and fall asleep to the sound of the ocean.
Only 8kms from the popular seaside town of Paternoster, you can book your table for dinner at one of these popular restaurants. A romantic outdoor (undercover) dinner beside the fire pits of the Noisy Oyster, the winning combination of sushi, seafront and sunset at Die Seekat and the award-winning Wolfgat with Kobus van der Merwe’s signature Strandveld food menu (only seating for 20, you need to book well in advance).
Mosaic Lagoon Lodge, Stanford
All the wonders of the Cape Whale Coast, Cape Floral Kingdom and pristine ecological haven all tucked beneath ancient milkwoods and beside the Hermanus lagoon.
Just outside of Stanford, families can grab the one family-friendly suite while couples can bag one of the other luxury safari-style suites with full immersion views of surrounding nature. Waking up in the morning, feast your eyes on the forest, the mountains and the ocean and discover that the wild is inescapable here.
A walk around Mosaic, means close encounters with The Cape Floral Kingdom (and all its resident birds) which has the greatest diversity of plant life per geographic area on earth (almost 9,000 species). A walk up the Walker Bay dunes between June and October may yield the surprise of Southern Right Whale sightings.
Migrating from Antarctica to our warmer waters to mate and calf, this region of Hermanus and Walker Bay is renowned worldwide for its land-based whale-watching. The best part is giving your land legs a rest and floating out onto the lagoon in a kayak. Come morning or sunset, there’s no calm quite like it.
The Plettenberg, Garden Route
If you’re going to be woken up by excited children at 6am, it may as well be at a luxury hotel with panoramic views of two Plettenberg beaches, a heated pool and a sunrise to marvel at. In fact, this early morning spectacle is not one you want to miss.
Four-legged family members are welcome here too and pet-friendly rooms come ready with bowls, beds and treats. Beyond the pool, you can take a walk right down to either beach and bring the beach toys gifted upon arrival. Families traveling together will love the Lookout Villa and Beach House each with their own private pools and options to enjoy the hotel too.
The Plettenburg is perfectly positioned close to Monkeyland (The world’s first free roaming multi-species primate sanctuary), Birds of Eden (free-flight bird sanctuary) and Jukani (wildlife sanctuary) all within Plettenberg Bay. Next door is also the outdoor adventure haven of the Tsitsikamma forest where older children and teenagers can enjoy ziplining, tubing, kayaking and trails.