Size does matter – Perfect Hideaways for big groups
When I was living far from African soil – all the way up north – I’d often dream of heading back down south, gathering all of my favourite people together, and seeking somewhere magical for a long weekend away. When the gritty city streets were wet and crowded, I’d hide inside, and go-seek inspiring places, by diving deep into Perfect Hideaways’ property portfolio. A truly cathartic practice aimed at appeasing any yearning I had for home. It worked every time.
I’d drift off to dreamy destinations visualising each moment of the journey with precision. It was my party and I’d plan as I want to. We’d set off on the road nice ‘n early in a sizable convoy of cars catering to all the essentials – bodies, bikes, boogie boards and cases of wine. Given the myriad of members in my crew, I’d need a big enough place to host us all. It didn’t matter if we were seaside, mountainside, riverside, or valley-side. All that was required of this indulgent activity, was finding a hideaway that would house all of my loved ones under one big roof for us to create those treasured, life-long memories.
There’s no better way to rekindle old friendships, reaffirm family connections and remind yourself of the love and life that matters, than gathering the troops and venturing off on a group getaway. Where camaraderie conjures up the cooking, the fire-building, the kids bathing, the cocktail making duties, effortlessly. Happy sounds spill out of every room as the cousins get reacquainted upstairs, the dogs get subdued beside the fire, and the cackling in the kitchen gets louder with each anecdote. The only moans that can be heard are coming from the long dining table, that’s groaning under the weight of the food, the wine and the conviviality bouncing about. We might not be in our familiar surroundings but we’re reminded of what’s real and familiar to ourselves. And who we belong with.
So now that I’m back on African soil, and writing for Perfect Hideaways, I have the surreal pleasure of revisiting these gloriously grand properties and being reminded of how great it is to travel away and spend time with your tribe.
Here are our hideaways, for those big, family getaways…
You don’t have to travel too far from the pulse of the Mother City to reach this heavenly spot of tranquillity, grace and harmony, that accommodates 14. Endless games of Marco Polo can be played in the pool, mimicking the Koi fish as they swim amongst the water lilies in the adjacent ponds.
A cluster of beautifully restored farmhouses, this huge hideaway caters to groups of up to 24. With the clear water dams and pools, boule, croquet and tennis courts, hiking and mountain-biking trails there’s enough to entice the revival of a family tournament
A totally laid-back affair on Plettenberg Bay’s playground, this creative hideaway sleeps 16, and the dogs. With all of the activity predominantly happening outdoors, there’s the magic of the open plan kitchen that’ll draw you in, intermittently, to regroup.
Robberg Beach House
This palatial hideaway upon the beach, beckons that long-lusted-after reunion with those dear friends who you rarely get to spend time with, without the kids. For a long weekend (or week) away, this beach house, that sleeps 12, surreptitiously suggests a sophisticated getaway.
Brimming with all of the joys that come with luxurious beach holidays, this Plettenberg hideaway accommodates 12, comfortably. With its vast entertainment spaces, including the elevated fire-pit, there are plenty of spots for everyone to congregate and play those forgotten family games.
Although this grand hideaway is less than a 10-minute drive from society, it leads you to believe you’ve landed on your own Robinson Crusoe island. With tropical trees bearing fruit, narrow, wild pathways hidden in the many acres of garden, a clay tennis court and an eternity pool, there are plenty of places for the whole party to seek a little solitude or congregate together.
A charming historic farmhouse, with loads of little cosy nooks and hideouts around the property for the whole family, including the furry members, to frolic and get lost in. Pack the games, the books, the bikes and the hiking boots to get the best out of this countryside hideaway.
This homely, rustic, unpretentious farmhouse is a haven for families seeking an action-packed holiday, immersed in nature, that’s equally calming and serene too. With the majestic waterfall nearby, days will be spent climbing boulders and swimming in the pristine waters.
A majestic stone hideaway on the cliffs of Hermanus, with its large communal areas, secret alcoves, privates suites, hidden caves makes it easy to get lost in a large crowd. Yet the fun happening on the lawn, around the boule court, and in the pool echoes the party to life.
Resting on the banks of the Zinkwazi Lagoon in KwaZulu-Natal, this beach hideaway, that sleeps 18, was specifically designed for when friends and family could gather together. When you’re not out perfecting your water sports skills, there’s the pool table, the sun loungers and plenty of recliners to hang out on.
Venture deep into the wilderness at this totally remote haven of a hideaway in the heart of the Karoo. Accommodating 12, and the dogs, there’s 2500 hectares of untouched farmland to explore by day, and lots of large fire-pits to huddle around watching shooting stars by night.
The Boat House
For a weekend with 12 of your best friends, this beautifully refined, contemporary boathouse, upon the Piesang River, is a destination that holiday dreams are made of. Kayaking, swimming, snooker-playing, or simply snoozing on one of the many daybeds shall be done, all day long.
This property is all about keeping the conversation flowing with the nature surrounding it. That massive open fireplace says it’s fine to stay on the sofa or to dine, drink, chat and laugh at the long, 12-seater dining table for as long as you like.
Picture a long weekend away in the notoriously voguish village of Franschhoek with a handful of friends, exercising your palates on the neighbouring wine estates as you quaff to your hearts’ content. This opulent, ritzy hideaway implores the poise within to surface.