The Plettenberg: Our full report
The Plettenberg is a luxury hotel situated on a rocky headland overlooking one of South Africa’s most scenic bays.A stylish, owner-managed hotel, it is within walking distance of the popular beach resort of Plettenberg Bay, and has stunning views of the ocean, mountains and numerous sandy beaches.
The Plettenberg offers a choice of accommodation, with rooms, suites and two separate villas.
The 35 rooms and suites fall into five separate categories, and are split over two buildings: 15 rooms in the main building and 20 in the annexe. The annexe has its own lounge as well as an outdoor swimming pool with uninterrupted seaviews.
Every room is fully carpeted, with underfloor heating and air conditioning, and has satellite TV and WiFi. The décor is understated luxury, using soft neutral creams, blues and whites, reflecting the sea and sky beyond. Floor-to-ceiling windows make the most of the natural light and the stunning views. Tea- and coffee-making facilities are provided, along with bottled water, and ach guest will find a welcome bottle of wine in their room on arrival (along with a fruit platter in the suites). Most of the en-suite bathrooms have a bath and separate walk-in shower, and are kitted out with slippers, towelling bathrobes, a hairdryer and toiletries.
- Eight double rooms are smaller than the others, but are still decorated and finished off in the same chic detail.
- Nine ‘luxury’ double rooms have a small sitting room. Some have a balcony or outdoor patio with side views of the gardens or partial views of the bay.
- Six ‘luxury’ double rooms with sea view are similar in size to the ‘luxury’ double rooms, but all have a view of the ocean from a private balcony.
- Five standard suites have their own separate lounge area to relax and enjoy the views.
- Seven ‘premier’ suites boast views of the ocean or mountains. Slightly larger than the standard suites, they have a separate lounge with satellite TV, and french doors that open onto a large step-out balcony.
- The Look Out Villa overlooks the sea of Plettenberg Bay. This three-bedroom villa (each with an en-suite bathroom) combines contemporary African design with an attractive seaside palette. White painted wooden floors and a mixture of stylish décor and lighting, complimented by soft, sandy and ocean colours, result in a warm, relaxing atmosphere. The villa includes an open-plan lounge with fireplace, dining room, and a well-stocked galley kitchen. Outside, the swimming pool is surrounded by a wooden deck and has its own private garden. The views from here are simply amazing.
- The Beach House is the smaller of the two villas, with two en-suite bedrooms leading off a stylish lounge with fireplace. Inside it is similarly decorated in The Plettenberg’s stylish palette of soft sandy creams and blues. Each bedroom has outside access, either to a private balcony or to the spacious pool deck, which provides beautiful bay and mountain views. The villa also has a small stocked kitchen and a dining room. Its location, adjacent to The Plettenberg's main building and the Look Out Villa, allows easy access to the hotel's excellent facilities, yet still feels secluded.
The main building at The Plettenberg Hotel houses the reception, and an open-plan sun lounge with the bar and restaurant leading off to one side. The hotel’s restaurant, SeaFood at The Plettenberg,serves breakfast, light lunches, afternoon tea and dinner. Light and airy, it has windows on two sides and doors leading to an outdoor terrace where meals can also be enjoyed overlooking the infinity pool and the sea and mountains beyond.
The Sandbar is a contemporary cocktail bar with a separate lounge area. The décor of glass, cream leather and marble, with clever lighting, makes this a very relaxing place to enjoy a drink.
The Plettenberg also has its own spa, offering a selection of massages and facials, and a steam room.
The setting of The Plettenberg, on a rocky headland, with panoramic views of the ocean, is idyllic. Guests can spot schools of dolphins (and whales in season) from the hotel terraces and the comfort of the sea-view rooms. As well as relaxing by the pool, you can walk down to the nearby beaches.
Within walking distance of the hotel you’ll find art galleries, coffee shops and restaurants. Plettenberg Bay also has its own vineyards, ideal for a spot of lunch and some wine tasting, and close by is the Robberg Nature Reserve, with some lovely walking trails with coastal views. In the nearby Tsitsikamma Forest you can enjoy a tree-top canopy tour or discover the giant old yellow-wood trees. There is also a range of animal sanctuaries nearby, including Monkeyland, Bird World and the Elephant Sanctuary.
For visitors wishing to spend several days in the Cape area, The Plettenberg combines very well with its sister hotels, Cellars Hohenort in Cape Town and The Marine in Hermanus.
The Plettenberg offers very good service in beautiful surroundings. It is a comfortable base in the centre of the Garden Route, close to many attractions.
South Africa expert
- Plettenberg Bay | Garden Route, South Africa
- From Cape Town on the N2, take the first Plettenberg Bay turnoff at the roundabout. Drive down this road until you reach the second roundabout and turn left into Main Road. After about 200m turn right into Church Street. The hotel is signposted at this junction and is located right at the end of Church Street.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Bed & Breakfast
- Food quality
- Breakfast is served at SeaFood at The Plettenberg from 7.30am to 10.30am; lunch is at 12.00–2.30pm and afternoon tea between 11.00am and 5.00pm. Dinner is served 6.30–9.30pm.
The hotel describes its cuisine as ‘modern South African fare that is seasonally influenced’. The menu is designed by an award-winning chef, and emphasises fresh, locally grown produce from eco-friendly suppliers.
Although we haven’t had the pleasure of dining at The Plettenberg, expect the menu to feature fresh salads, seafood soup, fishcakes, fried calamari, fresh line fish of the day, beef burgers, grilled tiger prawns, beef sirloin and Thai red duck curry. Desserts range from dark chocolate fondant and banana tarte tatin to crème brûlée and a selection of ice creams.
- Beach holidays
- Within striking distance of the sweeping Outlook beach, and only a short drive to a number of other great beaches, The Plettenberg offer a smart, comfortable base from which to explore.
- See ideas for Beach holidays
- The attention to detail is a remarkable feature of The Plettenberg. From handpicked elegant décor to the inviting spa and secluded, candle-lit dinners for two in the wine cellar. Treat yourself to a relaxing and luxurious stay at the Plettenberg.
- See ideas for Luxury
- Attitude towards children
- The Plettenberg welcomes families with children.
- Property’s age restrictions
- There are no age restrictions at the Plettenberg in South Africa.
- Special activities & services
- Books and toys are provided in the rooms when guests with children are expected.
Children staying at The Plettenberg can play cricket and tennis on the beach, play in the hotel’s puzzle park, watch movies or participate in an interactive cooking class with the hotel’s chefs.
Babysitting can be arranged on request and the hotel has a menu especially designed for children.
- Cots are provided on request.
Buckets, spades and body boards for the beach are available as well as a selection of board games.
- Generally recommended for children
- We recommend The Plettenberg for all ages. Due to balconies on the upper floors we recommend that all families with children under the age of 6 book ground floor rooms.
- Parents with small children must be aware that there are no fences around the swimming pools.
- There is free WiFi throughout the hotel.
- TV & radio
- All rooms have a satellite TV.
- Water supply
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- There are doctors and a hospital nearby in Plettenberg Bay.
Quadbike warning: quad-biking is sometimes available as an activity from in this area. As with any potentially dangerous activity, it’s vital that you take responsibility for ensuring that you have adequate travel insurance prior to getting involved. Be aware that some insurances cover quad-bike activities only for bikes with lower engine ratings: check such clauses particularly carefully before you get on a bike.
Balconies: Due to balconies in rooms on the upper floors, we recommend that families with children under the age of six book ground floor rooms.
- Dangerous animals
- Low Risk
- Security measures
- Security guards are on duty around the property at night.
- Fire safety
- Fire extinguishers are located around the property.
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- Same-day laundry is available at an additional charge.
- There are digital safes in each of the rooms.
The hotel does not offer currency exchange but there are many banks and ATMs in town.
- Accepted payment on location
- All major credit cards and cash in South African rands are accepted.
Other lodges in Plettenberg Bay | Garden Route
Alternative places to stay in this same area.