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A powerful and irrefutable feeling surges through you, when you walk through the hearty timber door and languidly climb the stairs into The Ark. It’s one of the ‘I’ve been here before’, déjà-vu-kind-of-feelings. Yes, I’ve been standing in this very spot. With you and you and you around me, appreciating the open space, the light bouncing off every surface, and that view of the lagoon. Familiarity flaps its wings around your belly with excitement, gradually dispersing into a comforting wave of calm. No, I haven’t been here before, but it sure feels like I have. Whether it’s the butterscotch scent from the pine timber, or the pungent wafts of the fynbos shrub bursting its way through the open glass doors, you are reminded of bliss. It’s not the place, but rather the feeling the place gives you, that you know so well.

On the quiet, secluded river-side stretch of the much-loved Lookout Beach in Plettenberg Bay, The Ark summons you, two-by-two, into its vessel for some plain-sailing, laid-back living. Set on two levels with its four capacious bedrooms, anchored by the elevated, open kitchen and living space, this hideaway stops the clocks, wipes the slates and puts everything onto charge. From the downstairs den – where the bunk beds and FatSaks coax you towards the wood-burning stove, and the surfboards and ping pong table insist you get active – all the way up to the living areas and additional bedrooms, The Ark oozes style, simplicity and soul. Rough leather seating, white, grey and blue linens, reclaimed wood beams, tables and cabinetry, all pivot from the polished concrete kitchen counter with its exposed shelving.  Commissioned artwork by Andrew Cooper, a Banksy print all the way from Amsterdam and paintings by Donna McKellar hang from the soft white walls that are sporadically chiselled by circular lookout windows. A luscious tropical garden thriving around the swimming pool carries its theme upstairs to the main bathroom where Iroko wood floors meet framed glass windows, separating the ferns from the shower’s spray.

When you’re not listening out for the clock that’s stopped, there are enough boogie boards, surfboards, and even a SUP to grab and head out to the water, which is literally across the road. Hop in the little blue rowing boat and paddle all the way across the river to the break on the other side, and hit the waves. After which, a well-earned beer will be waiting for you back at bliss. Where the grill’s been lit, the outdoor showers are rinsing that saltwater, the breeze is breathless and you’re once again all too familiar with that feeling.

What we love!

  • Baba, the wonderful housekeeper who’s there to welcome you and assist with any holiday tips on the area, and the property itself.
  • Overlooking the river from the massive master bedroom that opens onto a deck, over the shrub below and into nature.
  • Having outdoor showers – whatever time of day – and grabbing one of the multi-coloured kikois afterwards, that’s hanging from the hooks. Nothing says beach holiday quite like it.
  • Stocking up on all of the best bakes you could muster from Le Fournil de Plett, the famous bakery 5-minutes’ drive away from The Ark.
  • The charming community of laid-back residents that the property sits within.

What you need to know…

  • There is a supermarket only 500 metres away, for all groceries and household supplies.
  • The Ark information folder will provide all of the extra details and tips you’ll need to know about the property and the area.
  • This is a strictly no smoking hideaway.
  • The Deli Factory and Robberg Fisheries, situated at the Shell service station as you enter Plettenberg Bay, stocks the freshest fish and artisanal delights.
  • If you’re not up for a swim every day, but want some form of activity, there are some beautiful, scenic walks within the region that won’t leave you too shattered for the evening antics.
  • Lookout Beach is accessible via the Lagoon at low tide… though it involves a bit of wading and you will get wet up to your thighs!  Driving to the Lookout Beach takes 5 mins and you can park at either the beach or Lookout Deck restaurant.  If you fancy a stroll it takes around 20 minutes.

Reviewed by Colleen Ogilvie


Sleeps 12

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Plettenberg Bay, Garden Route

One of South Africa’s most beloved beach holiday destinations, Plett evokes nostalgic memories of beach time with family as kids, fun times relaxing, surfing and partying with friends as students or returning here as parents with their own kids. There’s definitely a laid-back glamour to Plettenberg Bay with its beautiful beaches, the warm waters of

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R9 000 – R25 000
*rates subject to change