Located in Plettenberg Bay, on the Garden Route, a long-lived favourite among both locals and tourists, The Plettenberg Hotel is a 5-star Relais and Chateaux owner-run property.
Situated on a rocky bluff overlooking Plettenberg Bay, a traditional-looking property, all stone and glass and sweeping outdoor spaces, The Plettenberg Hotel consists of the main hotel, 35 sleeping rooms and the Beach House and the Lookout Villa, two standalone pieces of accommodation.
The main hotel includes a delightful pool, a lounge, bar, restaurant, library area, cellar, gift shop and spa. While possibly not to everyone’s taste, the decor – in places – is decidedly noughties chic, with low blue-lit rooms, treated black and white photographs, matted beige surfaces and backlit cabinets.
Food & service
The food and service at The Plettenberg Hotel come with quite a reputation. Overseen by Peter Tempelhoff, a Marco Pierre-White protégé, the Sands Restaurant specialises in local, sustainable produce, the idea being that exotic and rare dishes are perfectly feasible whatever the season, whatever the meat, the fish or vegetables.
This emphasis on sauce, and on cooking method, has earned Tempelhoff plenty an accolade. The wine stock, local and international, is deep and wide, and guests – if they so wish – are invited for discreet tasting sessions. The service is, on the whole, very fine, though not as uniformly excellent as one might have hoped, given The Plettenberg’s reputation. The cocktails are something else. Powerful, beautifully constructed and rather addictive, they are perhaps best consumed when all else is done.
The rooms at The Plettenberg Hotel are divided into 5 classes: standard double (7), luxury (10), sea view luxury (6), suite (5), and premier suite (7). Each different from the next, the double rooms come with a double bed, en suite bathroom, plenty of storage and room within which to change, under-floor heating, air-con and a variety of amenities. Clean, spacious and – in contrast to the main hotel – characterised by soft pinks, peaches, off-whites, touches of ocean blue and by fairly traditional curtains, carpeting and lighting, the standard doubles are both attractive and functional.
The high-class rooms are similar, only bigger, sometimes better positioned and, at suite level, possessing separate seating areas. The premier suites include a private balcony. The standalone accommodation is even better: Beach House consists of 2 double bedrooms, a lounge, kitchen, dining room and private pool, while the Lookout Villa’s even bigger, has 3 bedrooms a lounge, kitchen, dining room, garden, private pool and the best view in the house. The Wi-Fi is of the slower ilk, but staff are happy to accommodate requests as best they can regarding connectivity.
Activities at The Plettenberg Hotel include spa treatments, massage, sea safaris, whale watching, family-orientated park excursions, golf, hiking, trips to nearby reserves and a range of extreme sports.