Paradise Perfected

Very few places in the world can boast of the breathtaking diversity and stunning natural beauty than that of De Hoop Collection.
The second I entered De Hoop Collection, I was completely blown away. I was welcomed by the sea, sand dunes, the vlei, a floral sensation of rare fynbos plants, diverse antelope and the Potberg Mountains. Honestly, the pictures shown online do not give De Hoop Collection enough justice. It seemed beautiful from what was shown, but it was a million times better in person.
The charming homestead on the reserve reminded me of my days growing up on a farm and I thoroughly enjoyed taking pictures of the property shortly after arrival.De Hoop has a wide variety of accommodation, from comfortable self-catering cottages and houses, to fully catered luxury suites. During my trip I stayed in the Opstal Vlei Suite that has views of the vlei as well as old, majestic fig trees in the courtyard area. The cottage was perfectly situated as it was a central base from which to explore the reserve.

My room was beautifully kitted out with a huge king size 4-poster bed with its own mosquito net and even an electric blanket for the chilled winter nights. The room had a little to no cellphone signal and no TV, which was a beautiful escape from being connected to the world all the time. What I love most about the room was it had a wide variety of books to read, stunning seating area and a beautiful old bath in the middle of the en-suite bathroom.

De Hoop’s Fig Tree restaurant was situated in a building, originally a sheep shearing shed, that dates back to the 1800’s. I feasted both evenings on exquisite meals from their set menu that were expertly and lovingly prepared by the chef using seasonal, fresh ingredients – some which are picked from the organic garden right next to the restaurant.
After a wonderful 1st day of reading, eating and getting a full night’s rest in, I was ready to embark on a day filled with activities. The to-do-list at De Hoop are diverse and perfect for those who love the outdoors. Since I was sick, I decided to go with the option to do a guided marine walk where I spent my Sunday with my very own private tour guide exploring the turquoise rock pools, beautiful white sand dunes and marine life that De Hoop has to offer. I learned during my tour that De Hoop is the breeding ground for 40% of the Southern Right Whale population. The reserve also has 86 mammal species, most notably the rare Bontebok and Cape mountain zebra, as well as eland, grey rhebuck, baboon, yellow mongoose, caracal and the occasional leopard which I sadly did not see during my trip.
De Hoop is a South African masterpiece and a true sanctuary for the senses. I do not have a single negative or nitpicky thing to say about the location. From the moment I arrived at the reserve I felt like I was well taken care of. The entire staff were courteous, more than willing to offer advice and went out of their way to help me if I had questions about the reserve or needed anything to make my trip more enjoyable.
The best part about staying at De Hoop was the fact that I could disconnect from the world during my stay. I know it sounds weird, but due to the weak cellphone signal in the area and the fact that they have no Wi-Fi connection in the rooms gave me the opportunity to spend time by myself, switch off, recharge and read. My time at De Hoop gave me the illusion that I was traveling abroad which was the perfect escape for a weekend, especially so close to home.
Book this accommodation if
…you need time to relax and unwind.
…you’re okay with being 3 hours outside the hustle and bustle of Cape Town

…exloring white sand dunes are on your bucket list
…you like nature
…want to disconnect from the world
…you need a little fresh airWatch more about De Hoop Collection Nature & Marine Reserve on YouTube watch my own personal De Hoop experience here.

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