From Beachwood on Robberg you can not only see whales blowing vapour plumes into the air, you can hear them clearly too. And the ‘whish’ of a whale blow, you’ll never forget, nor the sense of wonder with it. These deep-sea denizens visit here from winter to spring, but dolphins are resident year round – along with myriad long-legged water birds in the marshland between the house and the sea. Knysna louries or turacos are by far the most flamboyant locals, in their emerald green plumage with red flashy wings, but twitchers will be quite enamoured with all there is to see on the marsh.
Cosetted in fynbos, the front view from the house is multi-layered. First you’ll see the swimming pool, then the marsh beyond and the deep blue Indian Ocean, with the stoic Tsitsikamma mountains standing tall in the distance. To the right, views are of evocative Robberg point, just 500 metres up the hill; and to the left, an icon of Plett: the stately Beacon Island Hotel. Often in winter the distant mountains are dusted with snow, making for a rather unusual vista across the sea.
A little bit of English country, with a touch of elegant farmhouse, a generous sprinkle of traditional chic and a dash of Barbados seaside style could describe the house interior – or call it eclectic. There are cool cement floors throughout, with open rafters, turret windows and huge sunburst windows to let in the light. Colours are muted and soft with washed blues, and the house is peppered with unusual collections. Wooden whales line the stove hearth in the kitchen, there are bowls of delicate pansy shells and bunches of porcupine quills. Collected bone-handle cutlery and plenty of candles add nostalgia to mealtimes.
Beachwood on Robberg was designed by renowned architect, Martin Rattray, who was responsible for masterminding many of Plett’s most auspicious buildings. Here too he penned a masterpiece that’s unpretentious and homely. It’s a house that’s welcoming and warm; a place to make memories with those who matter most. Three double and three twin bedrooms, all en-suite, mean there is space aplenty. Two lounges, the undercover veranda and interior courtyard offer options for chilling.
When you see the generous kitchen, it’s easy to guess there’s a chef owner. That the kitchen flows smoothly into the spacious dining area and lounge, alludes to effortless gatherings of family and friends with food and wine in abundance. The lounge’s oversized sofas, strewn with throws, beckon you to cosy up for a chat. And in winter, the vast fireplace – big enough to lie in if you wish – has a fire crackling throughout the day. If you want to read or nap in a nook, an inviting alcove offers a soft landing.
But in summer, the huge covered veranda with its built-in fireplace and soft couches is where living happens. Eating, lazing, lounging, dipping in the pool, as long as your eyes are open the views are spectacular, sweeping and soothing. Or grab a cooler box full of drinks and head to the beach for sundowners. There’s also Robberg point for panoramic views and spontaneous picnics. It’s so close, but you’ll feel far from anyone, and the peace of the place is balm for the soul.
– Keri Harvey
What we love!
- The views of all things iconically Plett: Robberg point, the Beacon Island Hotel, the Tsitsikamma mountains, and the Indian Ocean.
- The walk to the beach is under 5 minutes… down some steps, along a path then you hit the boardwalk.
- That there is so much living space
- Seeing both sunrise and sunset from the house
- The oversized lounge fireplace that warms the house through winter
- Sleeping under fans on hot summer nights
- Walking just 300 m to the beach or 500m to Robberg point
- The chef-friendly kitchen and walk-in fridge
- Seamless interior living space and indoor-outdoor living
- Birdwatching on the marsh right in front of the house
- The unexpected internal courtyard
- Thandi the housekeeper’s warm smile
- Curling up with a thick book in the reading nook
- Seeing abundant dolphins and whales in season, without leaving the house
Good to know
- It’s 9km to the middle of town
- Bring your Wild Card for cashless access to Robberg Nature Reserve
- There’s wifi throughout the house
- Housekeeper Thandi is in attendance Monday to Friday and by prior arrangement will come on weekends too
- Dogs are welcome
- Winter is an excellent time to visit to see whales