*disclaimer: this review forms part of a paid-for media trip with The De Hoop Collection. A nature lover’s paradise! The De Hoop Collection (the first private/public partnership in the hospitality industry in South Africa), offers a wide variety of accommodation at the De Hoop Nature Reserve (a World Heritage site). A short three hours drive from Cape Town this conservation area, one of South Africa’s last remaining natural areas, is the perfect holiday destination for families, couples, groups, honeymooners and wedding parties and an ideal stop over along the Garden Route. The Cape Nature’s flagship Reserve, offers world-class whale- watching and is a paradise for bird enthusiasts. And for the ultimate escape in understated luxury in beautiful surroundings you can treat yourself to a variety of revitalising Beauty and Body treatments at the SPA @ De Hoop. www.dehoopcollection.com*
On day one…
We were at the beautiful De Hoop Collection Nature Reserve (3hrs from Cape Town) for four days. Once landed at Cape Town airport, we drove through to Peregrines for a quick healthy lunch.
We arrived at the reserve after the drive, dropped off our bags and immediately hopped on for a mellow afternoon/evening slow boat cruise. They provided snacks and drinks on the cruise, pointed out unique birds and gave us a little history of the area. (Snacks and drinks are included in the boat cruise).
Dinner was in the boma area for a lamb and vegetable potjkie, salad and wine and cheese for dessert. We sat around the fire after dinner chatting till late.
Later that I night, I woke up to the sound of Zebras munching grass outside my window!
On day two…
The morning started with a fresh breakfast, a 5km walk and bus ride within the De Hoop Nature Reserve to the Cape Vulture Colony.
Here, we climbed 40mins up to the viewing deck to see as much of this endangered animal as possible – and picnicked for lunch on our way down. So yummy! (Lunch is included in the price of the vulture walk).
The afternoon was filled with a tour of the spa as well some treatments. I had a massage because I’ve reviewed too many facials lately and my skin needed a break (poor ol me and my surplus of facials). Something to note about the spa is they offer facials (including anti-ageing), de-stressing massages and other beauty treatments such as waxes, tinting, nails etc. The spa also offers a beautiful area to relax by the pool (it super seriously looks like it could be Greece) overlooking the river below.
Dinner was had in The Fig Tree Restaurant. I love that the food is sourced from farms arounds the area (meat, cheeses, produce etc). William Stephens, owner of De Hoop, is an avid wine lover (twinsies!) and took me through how he picks his wines.
The morning started off with another fresh breakfast and coffee. Hopped into the open roof safari truck and headed toward the seaside of the nature reserve for a guided marine walk.
This marine protected area was at low tide which allowed us to walk along the rocky area and view beautiful rock formations, starfish, octopi and other fishies. True ecotourism with all visitors being super respectful to the area around them.
A packed lunch of salads and homemade quiche was served in the picnic area overlooking the sea.
The afternoon was filled with more spa treatments for the other ladies, laying back by the pool chatting, followed by a light dinner and wine in the original manor house of the property.
I had also witnessed an attempted entry to my room by naughty baboons. They managed to snag the towel drying outside of my neighbour’s cottage.
The morning started with a site inspection at De Hoop of their various accommodation options including rondavels, campsites, cottages for two, cottages for four or more and families – there is truly a price option to suit budgets whether low or high. We also managed to locate the towel taken hostage by baboons on one of the cottage roofs further down the road.
The site inspection was followed by a quick yum breakfast, pack up and drive to the picture-perfect village of Stanford (1.5 hour from De Hoop). Here we took a two-hour slow boat ride on the Lady Stanford (+27 028 341 0358) along the Kleinrivier with a fresh lunch, drinks and snacks (also included in the price of the boat cruise).
Stanford is a heritage village and is one of the fastest growing tourism areas in the western cape. With cheese, wine, cute shops, guest lodges, quaint pathways for walks, old-style lamp posts, quiet roads, views for days and a river to overlook and boat rides, it truly offers local and international visitors a unique experience in South Africa more info about Stanford on their website www.stanfordinfo.co.za.
All in all, a super-cool way to end off the trip and see a bit more of the surrounding areas.
Watch the video of our trip…
Showcasing this property through A2 Aesthetic & Anti-Ageing Magazine is perfect for not only our local readers looking to add relaxing destinations with spas to their getaways list, but also for our international readers travelling to South Africa for treatments and procedures and want to do some exploring and pampering while in South Africa.
For pricing on accommodation, spa treatments and activities, please contact De Hoop directly below for correct and up to date prices.
Get in touch with The De Hoop Collection
Phone: +27 (0)21 4224522
Western Cape, South Africa