Hog Hollow Country Lodge

Hog Hollow Country Lodge : Our full report

Rooms
16
Traveller's rating
Excellent (96%) From 24 reviews
Children
Suitable for all ages
Open
All year

Set on a hillside, Hog Hollow Country Lodge is about 18km east of Plettenberg Bay, overlooking the Matjies River Gorge and Tsitsikamma Mountains beyond. It is well placed to explore this stretch of the Garden Route.

Set within the sloping gardens around the main house at Hog Hollow, and linked along paved walkways, are 16 comfortable suites, in four different styles, and a spacious villa.
All the suites have a double bed (or twins if required), a writing desk and a lounge area with a fireplace. They are decorated in natural fabrics and earthy browns, reds and oranges, with lots of local artefacts. The en-suite bathrooms are spacious with a separate bath and shower, single basin and toilet. Each suite has a private deck with chairs and a hammock, offering views of the Tsitsikamma Forest and Mountains.
Amenities in each suite include a well-stocked minibar, a bottle of homemade lemonade, a jar of home-baked cookies, which is replaced daily, tea/coffee facilities, an electric fan, a hairdryer and a wall-mounted heater in the bathroom. There are no TVs, but each suite has an entertainment centre with a small selection of CDs provided. Extra pillows, blankets and towels can be supplied on request.

  • Six Forest Suites are on the lower slopes of the hillside, with lovely views over the forest and of the valley and 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 are 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 fireplace. Upstairs you’ll find a small double bedroom with en-suite bathroom. Leading off the bedroom is a very large deck beside a prolific lemon tree!

The three-bedroom villa, some 400m from the main house, was formerly the owners’ home. A double-storey house, it is suitable for families or a group of friends travelling together. The open-plan layout incorporates a spacious lounge, beautifully decorated with soft earthy colours, local artefacts and leather furniture. It has a large fireplace, a music system, satellite TV and DVD player. Wooden doors can be folded back completely to open up one wall leading onto a large terrace. The kitchen is modern with black and stainless-steel finishes and a large eight-seater dining table.

The main en-suite bedroom is downstairs with doors leading out onto the same terrace. 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 houses a sleeper couch, TV and a selection of DVDs. The villa also has its own infinity pool with those stunning views of the mountains and forest beyond.
The hub of Hog Hollow is the main house, with its spacious dining area and famously large dining table which 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.

The main house also has three separate lounge areas, where you’ll find a selection of books and a computer for guests’ use, as well as a small curio shop. One of the lounges leads out to the garden. A second opens onto a spacious wooden deck where tables and chairs, sofas and armchairs are dotted around beneath a large sail-like tarpaulin, creating a relaxing shaded area that is a great place to relax before or after dinner. From here there are lovely views across the valley to the mountains beyond.
Below the main deck is another deck with a large swimming pool overlooking the gorge, and more comfortable seating. Hog Hollow also has a sauna with fantastic views.
A range of activities and excursions is available for guests staying at Hog Hollow. During our last visit, in May 2014, we visited Monkeyland and Bird World, which were both interesting and very well done. It is possible to walk from the lodge through indigenous forest to these attractions, as well as to an Elephant Sanctuary. Other options include Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre (about an hour’s walk) and the snake and crocodile sanctuary. Discuss the options with the staff at Hog Hollow, and they will take care of the arrangements for you.

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 outstanding value for money.

Geographics

Location: Tsitsikamma | Garden Route National Park, South Africa

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

Directions: Hog Hollow is approximately 18km east of Plettenberg Bay on the N2 highway toward Port Elizabeth. The turn-off is well signposted.

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, smoothies and sparkling wine. After you’ve indulged yourself in the cold options, a hot breakfast is available too. A packed breakfast can be prepared for early departures.

Light lunches are served on request only from midday until 4.00pm.

Dinner is a set three-course menu. Served from 7.30pm onwards, it usually starts with canapés and drinks on the deck, then moves inside around the communal dining table – although individual tables can be arranged with advance notice. The evening’s menu is displayed in advance in the main house so guests can make their choice over pre-dinner drinks and snacks. A separate vegetarian menu is also available.

During our visit in May 2014 there was a seafood menu offering either crayfish, linefish and grilled prawns for R360 (£18) or linefish of the day for R255 (£13). The normal table d’hôte menu offered a starter of a savoury mushroom cheesecake, followed by a rack of lamb served with potato rosti and seasonal vegetables, and rounded off with an unusual-sounding but very tasty honey and beetroot homemade ice cream.

Dining style: Group Meals

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £10-15

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 has a well stocked mini-bar and drinks are replenished daily.

Further dining info: No room service is provided.

Special interests

Family holidays: Hog Hollow is great-value for family holidays in South Africa, with family rooms, friendly staff and superb food. Come for lovely walks through the forests and along the beaches of the nearby Tsitsikamma Park. After 7pm only children 7+ are allowed in the main house.

See more ideas for Family holidays in South Africa

Riding holidays: A small stable close to Hog Hollow offers short riding trails amidst the lush rolling hills with great views of the Tsitsikamma Mountains. Suitable for most abilities, holidays here including horse riding can be particularly fun for children.

See more ideas for Riding holidays in South Africa

Private villas & houses: The private villa at Hog Hollow is a great accommodation 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 for those wanting 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 policy of no children in the main house after 7.00pm. Families with children are usually asked to take their meals separately, out of consideration for other guests, but this is flexible as a separate family table can be arranged.

Special activities & services: FFor 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 near both the unfenced swimming pool and the small lakes, locally known as dams, dotted around the lodge.

Infrastructure

Power supply: Mains Electricity

Power supply notes: There is no back-up generator but candles, matches and paraffin lanterns are supplied in the rooms 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 lodge and there’s a computer with free internet access in the main house. Fax and photocopying services are available from reception.

TV & radio: No There are no TVs in the rooms but there is a TV in one of the lounges.

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 safe.

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