Lily Pond Country Lodge
Lily Pond Country Lodge is on the Garden Route. Set in 12 hectares of gardens and yellowwood forest. These large, evergreen conifers are the national tree of South Africa. Respect. And no surprise, the lodge is on the edge of Tsitsikamma National Park. A total stunner. All coast, reefs, rivers, forests. A hiking and water sports mecca.
Several options here. Garden Rooms, Luxury Suites, Luxury Garden Suites and a Honeymoon Suite. All air conditioned. All have an honesty bar, fridge, tea & coffee, CD, iPod docking station and a TV.
The four Garden Rooms have wide sliding doors - and when we say wide we’re talking three and a half metres wide. They lead out onto private patios with views over the gardens and lily ponds. Twin or king-size beds. Open plan bathrooms with oval baths and walk-in rain showers.
So, the two Luxury Suites had to over do it, didn’t they. Their sliding doors are bigger. They’re 4 meters wide. So there. They also lead out onto their own private patios and overlook the gardens and lily ponds. They also have that marvellous invention that is underfloor heating. Cosy. Extra length twin-beds or king-size beds. Open plan bathrooms with double baths and separate showers.
But the Luxury Garden Suites are even bigger. They too have the wide sliding doors. They too lead out onto their own patios - but this time overlooking the lily ponds and forest. These suites are decorated in a modern, Afro-Zen style and have their own separate entrances, sitting areas, extra-length twin-beds or king-size beds. The open plan bathrooms have freestanding baths and double indoor/outdoor showers which open onto their private courtyards.
If that doesn’t sound like enough romance head for the Honeymoon Suite. Yes, yes, wide sliding doors that open onto a wooden deck and large, private garden next to the evergreen, indigenous forest. This is also all Afro-Zen style and has its own separate entrance. There’s a lounge area, extra-length twin-beds (Really? On your honeymoon?) or a king-size. The open-plan bathroom has a spa bath and double indoor /outdoor shower opening onto a private courtyard. Bath robes too, so you’ll look all smashing and suave.
Breakfast on patio; dinner in open lounge overlooking swimming pool and lily ponds; swimming pool; free WiFi in all rooms; parking; library; bar service; spa room
Plenty to gaze at. Look out for kingfishers and cormorants. There are lots of koi fish too.
If you’re heading out, you’re less than a 10 minute drive from the beach and lagoon. The drive to Betty’s Bay is a stunner and it’s a quieter alternative to Boulder’s Beach. Wanna see penguins? Quite frankly who doesn’t?
Of course, you must explore the Tsitsikamma National Park. Explore, explore, explore. The boundary stretches some 5km out to sea. Southern Right whale come inshore to breed when the time is right. There are two rest camps - Nature’s Valley is quieter to walk around than Storms River but both are jolly splendid.
Naturally, there are many hiking trails. One of the most famous is the Otter Trail. The trail ends about 10 minutes away from the lodge. The Dolphin Trail includes portage.
You can play golf, go horse riding or fishing if you’re in the mood.
Adrenaline stuff too. Bungee jumping above the Bloukrans River, scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking, tubing down the river and exploring the forests from the top on tree canopy tours.
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