Hog Hollow Country Lodge

Hog Hollow Country Lodge: Our full report

Rooms
18 rooms
Traveller's rating
Excellent (94%) From 29 reviews
Children
Suitable for all ages
Open
All year

In the heart of the Garden Route, in an area known as The Crags, lies Hog Hollow Country Lodge. This tranquil property, where the only sounds are birdsong, baboons barking and monkeys chattering, is set on a hillside, overlooking the Matjies River Gorge below and the Tsitsikamma Mountains. Just 18km east of the popular holiday town of Plettenberg Bay, it is well positioned to explore this stretch of the South African coast.

Hog Hollow is built along a ridge, with sloping gardens and breathtaking views across the valley below. Separate from the main house, its accommodation is made up of 16 suites and two villas.

Linked by paved walkways that wind their way through the trees, all the suites have their own private decks with outside furniture, offering views of the Tsitsikamma Forest and Mountains. Inside, they’re very comfortable, with a king-size bed (or twins if required), lounge area, a fireplace and wall-mounted heaters for the cold winter nights, and a ceiling fan for warmer summer days. Natural fabrics of browns and cream are enlivened by bright pops of colour, scattered through the cushions, headboards and local artefacts. Along with a well-stocked minibar (with price list attached) and tea/coffee facilities, you’ll find a bottle of homemade lemonade, a jar of popcorn, and home-baked cookies that are replaced daily. There is no television, but there is a hi-fi with a small selection of CDs. Spacious en-suite bathrooms feature a separate bath and shower, and complimentary toiletries.

Though not officially named as such, the suites can be sub-divided into four types:

  • Six forest suites, on the lower slopes of the hillside, have lovely views over the forest and valley to the mountains beyond. Some are reached along fairly steep pathways.
  • Six garden suites are closer to the main area, with fewer steps to negotiate.
  • Three loft suites are double storey, and ideal for families with children under 12 years. Each has a sleeper couch downstairs in the lounge area, while upstairs is a double bedroom with an en-suite bathroom and a balcony.
  • The Round House is a converted water tower. Also double storey, it has a downstairs lounge with a fireplace. Upstairs you'll find a small double en-suite bedroom leading out to a very large deck beside a prolific lemon tree!

Hog Hollow’s two villas can be used on a self-catering basis, or you can dine at the main lodge. Both were formerly used by the owners themselves, and are suitable for families or groups of friends travelling together.

  • The double-storey three-bedroom villa, some 400m from the main house, would suit up to six people. It is open-plan in style, its spacious lounge beautifully decorated in soft earthy colours, with local artefacts, leather furniture, and a large fireplace. Wooden doors can be folded back completely to open up one wall onto an extensive terrace, and contemporary touches come in the form of a music system, satellite TV and DVD player. The modern kitchen, with an eight-seater dining table, is finished with black and stainless steel.


  • The four-bedroom villa, with its own 15m x 3m infinity pool and sauna, is beautiful! Similarly designed, decorated and furnished to the three-bedroom villa, its rooms are large and airy with a modern, African twist, and the whole villa shares those stunning views of the forest and mountains beyond. The main en-suite bedroom is downstairs, with doors leading out onto the terrace next to the pool. Upstairs are two further en-suite rooms (one with an open-plan bathroom with a shower over the bath), and a games room with a pool table. A separate room upstairs has a sleeper couch, TV and a selection of DVDs.


At the hub of Hog Hollow is the main house, with a small lounge area and separate dining room, whose famously large dining table forms the social core of the lodge (though there are also separate tables for those who would prefer to dine alone). Food is a real feature here – excellent without being at all pretentious. A bar area, with a good selection of wine, separates the dining room from a much smaller dining area with just three tables – ideal for families with younger children who would prefer to eat alone. An added bonus is a small room to one side which, when we stayed in July 2018, had just been converted from their curio shop into a playroom – with a few toys, some books, a TV and DVDs.

Both the lounge and dining room lead out onto an expansive wooden deck, which spans the length of the building and affords lovely views across the valley. Tables and chairs, sofas and armchairs are dotted around a central firepit beneath a large sail-like tarpaulin, creating a shaded area that is a great place to relax before or after dinner.

Below this, and overlooking the gorge, is a second deck with sunloungers around a large swimming pool. There’s a sauna here, too, and a “treatment deck” where you can have a massage or reflexology.

A particular attraction at Hog Hollow is their own Hog Hollow Horse Trails, which offers horse and carriage excursions to nearby attractions, and scenic rides where you can take along a picnic. One of their main objectives is to provide a safe haven and happy home to rescued horses.

Hog Hollow County Lodge can also help to suggest and arrange other activities and excursions in the area, but may guests just enjoy walking from the lodge through the indigenous forest and visiting the nearby beaches. It’s also possible to walk to the nearby elephant sanctuary, taking about 45 minutes each way. On our two most recent trips, we have visited Monkeyland and Bird World, which were both interesting and very well set up - and great for children.

Other nearby attractions include Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre and the Lawnwood Snake Sanctuary.

Our view

Hog Hollow isn't overly luxurious; in fact, on first appearances, it seems fairly simple. However, over the years it's been very consistent in offering really excellent, personal service and incredibly good food. It stands in some stunning scenery and we regard it as a lovely, comfortable retreat, offering good value for money.

Geographics

Location: Tsitsikamma | Garden Route National Park, South Africa

Ideal length of stay: 3–4 days is the ideal length of time to spend at Hog Hollow as there is a lot to see and do in the area.

Directions: Hog Hollow is approximately 18km from Plettenberg Bay, just off the N2 highway heading east towards Port Elizabeth.

Accessible by: Self-drive

Key personnel

Owner: The owners are Andy & Debbie Fermor

Food & drink

Usual board basis: B&B

Food quality: The food at Hog Hollow is generally very impressive and mealtimes are enjoyable, sociable occasions.

A tastefully presented breakfast is usually served from 8.00am to 10.00am in the main house. Expect a wide choice of muffins, cheeses, cold meats, poached and fresh fruit, yoghurts, cereal, freshly baked breads and mini quiche, smoothies and sparkling wine. A hot breakfast is available too – with the most delicious egg Benedict! And a packed breakfast can be prepared for early departures.

Light lunches are available on request, with a small à la carte menu from midday until around 4.00pm.

Dinner is a three-course menu. Guests usually start with canapés and drinks on the deck from 7.00pm, then move inside for dinner at around 7.30pm. The evening's menu is displayed in advance in the main house and guests need to make their choice by 4.00pm. A separate vegetarian menu is also available.

The food in July 2018 was just as delicious as on our previous stay. Their seafood menu offered grilled crayfish, linefish or grilled prawns, all served on a paprika risotto drizzled with wine and seafood sauce, or linefish of the day with rice noodles and stir-fried vegetables. The set table d'hôte menu offered an aubergine, mozzarella & sun-dried tomato stack, followed by kudu steak with mashed potato, ratatouille and a red wine jus, and rounded off with raspberry shortcake and vanilla ice cream.

Dining style: Mixture of group dining and individual tables

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £25-30

Drinks included: Drinks are not included in your stay but complimentary tea, coffee and lemon syrup is provided in the rooms. Each of the rooms also has a well stocked minibar and drinks are replenished daily.

Further dining info: No room service is provided as monkeys can be a nuisance.

Special interests

Family holidays: Hog Hollow is great value for a family holiday in South Africa, with family rooms, friendly staff and superb food. Come for lovely walks through the forests, horse riding and exploring the beaches of the nearby Tsitsikamma Park. Note that generally only children 7+ are allowed in the main house after 7.00pm.

See more ideas for Family holidays in South Africa

Riding holidays: Close to Hog Hollow, Hog Hollow Horse Trails offers short riding trails and carriage excursions amidst lush rolling hills, with great views of the Tsitsikamma Mountains. Rides can also take in nearby attractions, wine tasting and lunch, and a scenic picnic ride. Suitable for most abilities, horseriding here can be particularly fun for children.

See more ideas for Riding holidays in South Africa

Private villas & houses: Hog Hollow's villas are a great for a family or group of up to six people travelling together. It offers stunning scenery from its private pool and fantastic walks through the indigenous forest. It’s a superb base if you want to explore this area of the Garden Route.

See more ideas for Private villas & houses in South Africa

Children

Attitude towards children: Children are welcome at Hog Hollow.

Property’s age restrictions: Although there are no age restrictions at Hog Hollow, the lodge has a discretionary policy of no children under seven in the main house after 7.00pm. Families with children are usually asked to take their meals earlier, out of consideration for other guests, but this is flexible as a separate family table can be arranged.

Special activities & services: For a small hourly fee, a childminder can be arranged, but parents should note that this will be a member of the lodge's staff, not a professionally trained childminder. Young children get a special turn down each night with a glass of milk or hot chocolate and a gingerbread man. A box of toys and books is delivered to your room for children to enjoy. A special children's menu is available and specific requirements can be discussed directly with the chef.

Equipment: Cots, highchairs, blankets and beach toys are available for children.

Notes: Adult supervision is required when exploring the grounds, which are quite steep, and the swimming pool is unfenced. There are also a few small lakes, locally known as dams, dotted around the lodge.

Infrastructure

Power supply: Mains Electricity

Power supply notes: There are back-up generators in case of a power cut.

Communications: Each room is supplied with a cellphone that can be used for emergencies only. Complimentary WiFi is available throughout the main lodge building, though at present the trees block reception into the suites and villas. There's a computer with free internet access in the main house, and photocopying services are available from reception.

TV & radio: There are no TVs in the rooms although the main lodge does have a TV in the lounge and children’s playroom, and each of the villas have their own TV’s

Water supply: Other

Water supply notes: Water is pumped from the river into three holding tanks where it is cleansed and then passed through a filtration system before reaching the lodge.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: No

Medical care: The closest doctor or hospital is in the town of Plettenberg, about half an hour’s drive from Hog Hollow, but the lodge has a small stock of household medicines if needed.

Dangerous animals: Low Risk

Security measures: There is a security guard on duty at night.

Fire safety: Each room is fitted with a fire extinguisher. Guests must ensure that the fireplace in their room is never left unattended when lit.

Extras

Disabled access: Not Possible

Laundry facilities: Laundry is available at an additional charge.

Money: Each room is fitted with an electronic or key-lock safe.

Accepted payment on location: All major credit cards are accepted as well as cash in South African rand.

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