When considering all of the little things that make the perfect holiday spot – for you and your family and friends – there are endless factors to take into account. Where it sits, what activities you can get involved in, how the space brings everyone together and simultaneously separates in those solitary moments of repose, and perhaps where it settles itself within nature. Most importantly to consider, one might argue, is the component that adjusts your clocks completely into vacation mode, and places a temporary pause on any matters that don’t have holiday at the heart of it. That’s the magic of Salt Rock, on the Dolphin Coast of KwaZulu-Natal that answers to the call of an idyllic tropical getaway. The warm waters of the Indian Ocean and its long stretches of dreamy beaches, its warmhearted communities with their quaint cafés and seaside eateries, and the bountiful nature trails for hiking, cycling, running and exploring the wilderness that sweeps the surrounding areas are enough attributes to entice the entire crew. Especially those who enjoy the beach, a bucket and spade, a paddle and a decent surf.
Just north of Ballito in the heart of Salt Rock, directly on the magnificent Tiffany’s beach that stretches out for a whole kilometre, 18 on Hewitt opens its verandah shutters onto a swimming pool, lush green lawn and a sun-lounger deck peering over the beach, and leading you all the way into the ocean. Only a wooden stairway and some sand separates you from the waves. Six gorgeous bedrooms – three of which are on the top floor, overlooking the beach with ensuite bathrooms, whilst the others nestle themselves as a comfy king with a separate full bathroom, and two individual ensuite bunk rooms – span around the spacious open-plan living, dining and entertaining spaces. A separate kitchen sits at the back of the house, just around the corner from a sheltered gathering spot around a fire-pit and cosy TV-room – for those occasions when some would like a spot of sport, whilst the others prefer to gather around the long dining table adjacent the fully-stocked bar fridge witnessing a pod of dolphin darting through the surf.
It doesn’t take long for that vacation clock to kick-in and circumnavigate any to-do list. There is no urgency to be any place or tend to any thing other than what a tropical holiday puts forth. When you’re not singing along to that well-tailored playlist of sunny beats around the pool table, or throwing in some fancy culinary skills in the kitchen, or simply snoozing on the sofa with the warm ocean breeze, or happily wading about in the swimming pool, listening to the whip of the wind catching the kite-surfers, you’ll be on the sun-lounger, well-lathered in the nostalgic scent of a decent SPF, catching up on a juicy Jilly Cooper chapter before hitting the waves again, returning for a rinse under the outdoor shower, and back to the lounger, the love affair and your tipple of choice. It’s up to you how long you languidly settle on the lounger. You’ve earned the choice given the heroic bike ride you completed that morning before breakfast. A round of golf is on the cards for tomorrow. Let the easy evening roll in. You’re right at home, at this perfect holiday hideaway by the sea.
What we love!
- There’s something to be said about being on Tiffany’s beach and having direct access to this beautiful stretch of sand and renowned surf reef, where you are at liberty to wander down at your leisure, dive into the warm water and stroll along the shoreline.
- Doing yoga – or any stretch and pose you fancy – on the wooden deck as the sunrises. Namaste.
- The lovely Nobuhle is onsite daily to tend to the housekeeping and maintaining the home as your holiday spot.
- Chris, the property caretaker is there to sort the sun loungers, the shutters, the fire pit and take that drive to the convenience store down the road, for any much needed supplies when you run out.
What you need to know…
- Salt Rock is about a 40-minute drive from Durban, North of Ballito.
- Every Wednesday morning, at 6am, the running community of Salt Rock meet at the nearby coffee container – The Bench Coffee Co. – and go on a 6km run. A lovely start to your day with some locals. And for those who don’t wish to go running, just grab a coffee instead and wander down the beach with the waves. The Bench Coffee is only 400m from the hideaway.
- Every Friday evening, the community gather at the tidal pool on Tiffany’s beach, with the kids, the sundowners and the beach blankets for a sunset.
- The Country Club is only a kilometre away from the hideaway, as well as a number of great golf courses to get the clubs out and improve the handicap.
- For those times when no one feels like cooking, Ray’s Kitchen is a lovely bistro only 2km away serving up some delightful north coast cuisine specials of seafood, pizza, steaks and peri-peri chicken. There’s also the famous Mozambik in Ballito for its Mozambique Baracca vine Portuguese menu. Or Pangeli Poké Bar for its yummy poké bowls and delicious sushi. Salt Café for its brilliant breakfasts, coffees, pizzas and pastries.
- Holla Trails is a wonderful way to get in on the action with the community and participate in some incredible mountain biking, hiking and running trails.
- Ballito Lifestyle Centre has a fabulous food market with open-aired restaurants along Eat Street, as well as a fantastic pub with live music.
Reviewed by Colleen Ogilvie