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When considering all of the abounding attributes Plettenberg Bay has to offer as a destination, one might think of its long, dreamy beaches with warm waters, its burgeoning wilderness, the clusters of communities that spill out from the beach cafés, delicatessens and bevy of bakeries, bars and restaurants; fit for the whole crew. You might also consider its access to nature and the slower-pace of living, the bird and wildlife, the scenic cruises and walks along the cliffs. The thrills, as well as the calm. What you might not consider, however, is the possibility of escaping to this haven along the Garden Route, and residing in your very own urban retreat that’s tucked away from the more obvious beachside bungalows. A north and east African inspired home, all dressed up as a luxury lodge. A vestige of a traveller’s voyage that beckons you in, engaging all senses, and whisks you away to a whole other world of tranquility, that this revered holiday destination has to offer.

Nestled within the wilderness of the wetlands, sitting on the periphery of the bird sanctuary, and a short wander from the waves of Robberg Beach, The Urban Safari opens its original, robust Zanzibar doors into a secluded oasis of tropical bliss. With its rescued king and Madagascan palms, tree aloes and ferns, all occupying the north-facing courtyard, this hideaway instantly captivates the cockles of an escapist’s heart and lures you in to its vast open spaces that flow seamlessly from the inside out. A collaboration of design between architect Paul Oosthuizen and the owners – both haling from life-long careers in five-star hospitality – The Urban Safari is a tribute to the couple’s years of travel, to their family, to love, to unity and eternity. As seen in the mosaic symbols and their deeper meaning, that are glistening from the bottom of the swimming pool, embedded as bronze inlays in front of the three indoor fireplaces, and up on the rooftop terraces.

Endless hours of soft light flood the courtyard with its low-slung day beds and armchairs, scattered cushions and chunky antique tables, adjacent the trickling fountain and swimming pool that laps the edges of the verandah. The elements bounce off the mirrors and flow through the open, retractable glass doors, into the living spaces – around the lounge with its comfy velvet furnishings that swallow you up – into the kitchen – that’s fit for every chef – onto the intimate, private dining space and out onto a large deck overlooking the reeds of the vlei. Leading out down a path that meanders the exposed milkwoods, beneath the wild fig trees – that are all lit up at night – into the cactus garden, with its fever trees, Eastern Cape aloes, Watsonia and stralitzia palms that cocoon the boma. A perfect spot for those still, summer nights, gathered around the fire, cackling away with the cormorants.

All of the glorious five bedrooms are ensuite, draped in luxury, soft linens, and open out to nature. Each with their own view of the courtyard, or out over the wetlands. The main ensuite sits upon the rooftop, entirely secluded and intimate, opening out onto the terrace where the herb and salad gardens thrive. The morning sun creeps into the main ensuite bathroom, saluting the start of each new day with dapples of golden light, colouring the steam from the his and hers showers. It’s a space where rituals are upheld and the chit-chat treasured.

As the days drift by at The Urban Safari, there’s an ongoing sense of the exotic, the intrepid and the affluent. Yet at the same time, the nurturing of familiarity, the ingenuous and the comfort. A wondrous hideaway, hidden in the notorious Plett. 

What we love!

  • Although the property is connected by the central courtyard, there’s an abundance of intimate and secluded spaces to slip off to with that book, that tipple, that fresh fig, to enjoy the quiet all on your own, if you so wish.
  • The beautiful light that doesn’t pierce every surface ferociously like the summer sun can – thanks to the north-facing courtyard, that’s perfectly protected from the hard south-easter winds.
  • Enough fireplaces – there are five in total – jotted around the property to allow for cosy and entertaining gatherings, endlessly.
  • It’s still within close proximity to everything Plettenberg Bay has to offer for all active and eager sport and social enthusiasts.
  • The little touches that are all placed with intention. There is no artwork to distract from the nature and the build, and the elements.

What you need to know…

  • Though you will be able to hear the ocean, the property does not offer any views of the beaches – only the wetlands / vlei area.
  • The Deli Factory and Robberg Fisheries, situated at the Shell service station as you enter Plettenberg Bay, stocks the freshest fish and artisanal delights.

Reviewed by Colleen Ogilvie

Children's policy

No kids under 8 (uncovered pool)
Babies in arms are welcome

Facilities

  • 1 x Bedroom (2 x three quarter) (can be made as a super king) en-suite with shower
  • 1 x Bedroom (double), en-suite (shower & bath)
  • 1 x Bedroom (four-poster king) (extra length) en-suite with bath & shower
  • 1 x Bedroom (king) (extra length) open plan en-suite with bath & double shower
  • 1 x Bedroom (queen), en-suite (shower)
  • Alarm system
  • BBQ (Built in)
  • Coffee plunger
  • Dishwasher
  • DSTV
  • DVD
  • Fireplace (wood provided)
  • Freezer (medium)
  • Fridge (medium)
  • Live in housekeeper
  • Microwave
  • Nespresso machine (pods provided)
  • Netflix
  • Oven (Electric)
  • Pool (no net)
  • Pool loungers (4)
  • Smoking outside only
  • Stove (Gas)
  • Surround sound
  • Toaster
  • Tumble dryer
  • TV
  • Washing machine
  • Wifi

Guests

Sleeps 8 guests in 4 bedrooms

Pets

No Pets Allowed

Check-in time

2 PM

Check-out time

10 AM

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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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Rates

Off-Peak - R15 000
Easter - R20 000
Peak -  R30 ooo
Winter - R10 000