The Plettenberg Hold

This past weekend, my hubby and I were invited to spend the weekend at The Plettenberg in Plettenberg Bay. It has been years since we last visited this beautiful part of the country. We caught a direct, 45-minute flight from Cape Town to Plett with Cem Air – a licensed international and domestic airline. The service on board was fantastic and the flight touched down in no time.

Cem Air 2

Image: Thoban Jappie

The Plettenberg forms part of the Liz McGrath collection (which also includes The Cellars Hohenhort in Constantia, Cape Town and The Marine in Hermanus) and is situated in the heart of Plettenberg Bay, one of South Africa’s most spectacular beach towns.


Our beautifully luxurious suite was a dream. While the weather this past weekend was cold and gloomy, stepping into our elegant, warm and cosy suite was bliss. The chic décor, exquisite sea views and general attention to detail like under floor heating in the en-suite bathroom (which also had great lighting, making it easy for us women to do our make-up properly), walk-in closet and a separate lounge area made this a cocoon of sheer luxury.

The Plettenberg-burger

Image: Thoban Jappie

Our first evening was spent sampling some of the yummiest food I’ve had in ages; think burgers topped with caramelized onion, camembert and feta, mini pita breads stuffed with pulled pork and cabbage dunked in an apricot chutney and crispy and deep fried cheddar cheeseballs. We washed these down with gin infused with strawberries and black pepper and maybe just a little too much red wine…


We had an early start on Saturday, purely because there is so much to see and do in Plett – especially if you’re into wildlife. First, we visited Monkeyland – the world’s first, free-roaming, multi-species primate sanctuary. Set on 12 hectares of magnificent, indigenous forest, I loved that we could wander among the primates. The sanctuary provides ex-captive primates a free-roaming, healthy and natural environment. It is home to over 550 primates including howler monkeys, gibbons, vervet monkeys, langurs, sakis, capuchins, squirrel monkeys, spider monkeys, ring-tailed lemurs and the critically endangered black and white ruffled lemurs. Monkeyland aims to create awareness about the plight of primates and is an eco-tourism experience of a lifetime – one I will never forget.

Birds of Eden 8

Just a short stroll away is Birds of Eden – the largest single span free-flight aviary in the world! When we first walked in, I felt like I was entering Jurassic Park! Encompassing an area of 2.3 hectares of forest and waterways within 1.2 km of walkways, we spotted an abundance of birds like parrots, turaco, waterfowl, flamingos, Scarlet Ibis, black swans (first time I’ve ever seen one), finches, crane, hornbill and many, many more. Some were previously caged birds that now enjoy flying free and natural living.

Chef Antoinette

Image: Thoban Jappie

On Saturday evening we dined at the lovely ‘SeaFood at The Plettenberg‘ in the hotel. I managed to sneak into the (very busy) kitchen and chat with the hotels new chef, the very talented Antoinette Meyer. She told me she loves creating dishes with anything she’s just taken out the ocean – “for me, the fresher the food, the better.” Antoinette says she wishes diners would be a little more adventurous when it comes to trying new dishes, and says the best feeling in the world is when diners call her out her kitchen to compliment her on her dishes. I tried her absolutely delish Thai Scented Fish cakes with pickled cucumber salad and avocado salsa for starters, and enjoyed a West Coast Sole with sauteed new potatoes, steamed green vegetables and with a caper and chive buerre blanc for mains.


Image: Thoban Jappie

On Sunday I had a little sleep-in while the hubby went exploring Robberg Nature Reserve.

Robberg 1

Image: Thoban Jappie

Situated 8km south of Plettenberg bay (a 10 minute drive from the hotel), Robberg is not only a breathtaking nature reserve, but also a national monument and World Heritage Site. Rocks from this region date back 120 million years to the breakup of Gondwanaland and evidence of middle and later Stone Age inhabitation has been found in a few of the caves along the peninsula.

Robberg 3

Image: Thoban Jappie

There is also an abundance of wildlife like the rare blue duiker – the Western Cape’s smallest antelope as well as a variety of bird life. In October, you’re sure to see whales and dolphins. If you’re really lucky you may spot a now protected Pansy Shell (don’t know what a Pansy shell looks like? Then click HERE) While its called a shell, it’s actually the skeleton of a sea Urchin.

Robberg 2

Image: Thoban Jappie

After a leisurely breakfast, I spent my morning at the hotels Fresh Wellness Spa. I opted for the 90 minute ‘5 Senses Signature Massage’. It was sheer and utter bliss to have my whole body massaged using volcanic stones, tropical bamboo sticks and unique massage techniques. I wish I could tell you more about it, but, as with all really good massages, I only managed to stay awake for the first 10 minutes. I awoke in a blissful daze, without a care in the world. I highly, highly recommend this treatment.

Fresh Wellness spa

And then it was time to say goodbye. Plett airport is charmingly laidback, and our return flight to Cape Town with Fly Cem air was quick. I was so engrossed in my book that I didn’t even realize we were descending until touch down. Both my hubby and I returned home feeling relaxed, calm and invigorated.

Cem Air 1

You can read more about The Plettenberg and see their rates at


The Plettenberg is one of my favourite hotels. I love the atmosphere, good food and friendly and helpful staff. There used to be the sweetest black cat that belonged to the hotel who would jump on visitors laps and cuddle for hours.

Hi Barbara, The Plettenberg is a real gem and the staff are incredible. Funny you should mention ‘Andrew’ – that’s the cat’s name! He is still around and actually spent a good half hour snuggling on my lap. My hubby and I even enquired as to whether we could take him to ur room (we could), but decided against it – too much like cheating on our own cats 😉

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