Another award winning property from the Phinda &Beyond stable, Phinda Forest Lodge is located north of Durban, in the Phinda Private Game Reserve, at the centre of the area’s sand forest.
A glass and wood construct, and consisting of a main lodge and 16 suites, Phinda Forest Lodge is described by its owners as Zen-Zulu, which covers very well the combined effect of a minimalist architectural building design (open spaces, glass fronts, raised platforms, stumped A-frame roofs) with an interior spotted with KwaZulu sculptures, paintings and traditional folk instruments. The shared areas include a lounge, dining room, extensive decking, a bar, reception, gallery, pool and internet access.
Food & service
Returning guests are full of praise for the food, &Beyond’s signature pan-African cuisine, which is excellent, and for the service, which – from floor to guide – is outstanding. Be advised: the food just keeps coming. Dining consists of an early morning pre wildlife drive snack, followed by brunch or lunch, day long snacks, tea and a 3 course dinner – outside or in. Bush picnics and dinners receive special mention, and equally popular are the wildlife drive amarula coffees and the apres drive sundowners.
Just as fine, the air-conditioned suites are accessed by a small set of steps, sit on raised wooden platforms, and are protected by glass walls, sliding doors and Japanese collapsed A-frame roofs. Each consists of extensive decking, out and indoor seating areas, a bedroom (large double bed) and separate bathroom. Characterised by white moulded plastic chairs, with stainless steel legs, and by slumber seats, blonde polished floors, plenty of space and simple functional objects that double as art, the overall feel is one of restraint, which – when offset by the dark wood door frames, furniture, uprights and skirting boards – is warm and welcoming and comfortable. The bathroom – twin sink, stand-alone double bath, shower and flush toilet – is a delight.
Activities at Phinda Forest Lodge include wildlife drives, guided walks, rhino tracking, bird watching, river boat trips, canoeing, deep sea fishing, cultural visits, scuba diving, scenic flights and beach adventures.
&Beyond’s values are and always have been:
“Care of the land. Care of the wildlife. Care of the people.”
They have become an intuitive part of the way the company operates and are increasingly part of the reasons why their guests find their experience with them so rewarding. Examples of this sustainable practice can be read on the Phinda Mountain Lodge accommodation page.