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“Most beautifull place on earth”

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Draaihoek Lodge & Restaurant
Ranked #1 of 1 Eland's Bay B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Brussels, Belgium
Level 6 Contributor
141 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 211 helpful votes
“Most beautifull place on earth”
Reviewed April 4, 2012

This lodge is excellent! Staff is extremely friendly, food is good, rooms are good and location is FANTASTIC!
The owner of the lodge, mr Heylen was extremely friendly. He invited us to his own house and we had dinner with him. When we asked him if we could do a safari in the neighbourhood he immediately said we could do a private safari on his own private land of 3000acres. He drove us around the whole morning, we had a picknick breakfast he prepared and we've seen a lot of wild animals. The hotel has a private beach of 4 kilometres..... Everything about this place is perfect. Mr Heylen and his wife are great!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Emmanuel V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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166 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Any
English first
Yorkshire
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed November 16, 2011

We have stayed at Draaihoek Lodge twice now – the first time we stayed for just a night and came away with such good memories that when we returned to Cape Town last Christmas, we booked in for a 3-night stay. Overall we had a lovely stay and came away feeling totally relaxed… there were just a couple of niggles the second time around but I’ll start with the positives.

The setting of Draaihoek Lodge is absolutely spectacular. Words cannot describe how beautiful this place is, particularly at sunset. The accommodation sits just behind sand dunes and on the other side is the beach, which is one long stretch of powdery white sand as far as the eye can see in either direction. As Draaihoek Lodge is in such a remote location, most of the times we took a walk over the sand dunes, we had the beach completely to ourselves!

The rooms themselves are spacious, comfortably furnished and spotlessly clean. The first time we stayed, our bed was as shown on the website - four poster-style with draped mosquito nets – which looked fantastic and all very romantic! Not realising these don’t come as standard, we were slightly disappointed when we had a ‘normal’ bed with no mosquito net on our most recent visit, but it wasn’t a big enough issue to make a fuss. If we return again we might make a special request now we know all rooms aren’t the same. A few points to note are that there is no air conditioning or television in the rooms – there is a television in the lounge in the main building, though.

Draaihoek Lodge’s gardens and pool area are lovely – the perfect place to relax and unwind. The pool is a decent size and is heated. We ate in the restaurant all three nights and with the exception of the last night when both of our main courses were cold when they arrived at the table, the food was absolutely fantastic.

And so to the niggles… like the previous reviewer, we were there at the same time as the Belgian owners and their friends. For the most part this wasn’t an issue. At mealtimes, however, we did find that their needs were prioritised over those of the guests and as such, normally good service became distinctly patchy and wait times for food became quite long. Perhaps this was the reason for our cold meals on the last night? The owner’s friends did also appear to be occupying the lodges with the ‘wow factor’ beds… They were pleasant enough people but to be completely honest, I’d hesitate in making a booking if I knew my stay was going to coincide with their visit again.

To conclude, we had an enjoyable stay and on both occasions found the staff warm and welcoming – particularly the manager, Marietjie, who does a great job. We certainly haven’t been put off by our last experience and would consider a return visit in the future. Draaihoek Lodge is a lovely place and I would recommend it to anyone looking to seriously get away from it all for a few days.

Room Tip: If you want a room with the lovely bed shown on the website, ask for it as not all rooms have them...
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  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
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    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Pssei
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2011

My husband and I got married in the UK in September and delayed our honeymoon to Dec/Jan in order to spend it in Cape Town etc with his family. We decided whilst over there that we would spend a week somewhere remote, just the two of us... and having stopped for lunch a year or so ago at Draaihoek en route back from further up the West Coast we decided it looked perfect for total tranquility!

I, therefore, booked what they called the 'honeymoon suite' and having seen the pictures on the their website thought it looked lovely! So, upon arrival about 3 pm the place looked deserted and eventually someone showed us to our room (7) but it wasn't ready (people had left late?!?!) so we had a drink and waited. Eventually we were given the keys to our room and I walked in and had a sense of humour failure. Dark, oppressive, and certainly no honeymoon suite (I am presuming there is no such thing) I got upset!!! So my husband went and spoke to someone (the manager wasn't around) and about 2 hours later the chef, Michael, came out and told us they were full but would see what they could do! Miraculously about 6 pm we were shown to our new room (4) which was a lot brighter and more welcoming with a huge mosquito net around the bed and more 'honeymooney'!!!

It would appear we chose to visit Draaihoek when the Belgium owners and half their friends and family had descended on the Lodge, so we are presuming that they took over all the best rooms!!! And in hindsight, if we had known there were so many of them (well over half the guests) we would not have gone to Draaihoek, as they always got preferential treatmen and when dinner came serving the c14 or so of them meant the rest of us had to wait a very long time for our food; it almost felt like we were imposing on them! What they should do each year (be aware that I believe they go there every Xmas/New Year) is shut the Lodge and take it all over so the paying guests don't come second in the pecking order!

That aside, once my sense of humour had subsided, the staff were fairly good and the food was fabulous! Draaihoek is a place for forced relaxation and it is just what the doctor ordered! We only stayed 5 nights in the end and for all the complaints made above, would contemplate returning as we know which rooms are better than others and we would make sure the owners werent' staying!

Be aware it really is in the middle of nowhere; the nearest Spar is 35K away.... but my husband went out to sea each morning on his Stand Up Paddleboard and I videoed him surrounded by dolphins playing with him..... a true mind blowing moment! The long expanse of beach is quite beautiful and the pool area is well maintained. Service is pretty slow; apparently this is the African pace (so Europeans/similar be aware as you will probably think it needs a bit of a kick up the backside) and noone in any great rush so do be aware!

If you are staying a while, take games with you and lots of books, and make sure you get on well with the person you go with, failing that it it is a great place for a recluse!!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Aliboff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 10, 2010

We arrived just before sunset. On arrival we received a warm welcome and were shown to our rooms. The rooms are large and beautifully decorated with each it's own fireplace and spacious en-suite bathroom. We decided to walk to the beach (100m) and as we came over the dunes we saw a Whale! The pristine white beach was breathtaking and to see a whale playing in the surf was really fantastic. After sunset we had a 3 course meal in the restaurant which was excellent as was the breakfast the next morning. The lodge has a heated outdoor pool. Marietjie Basson is a very nice and professional host and she and her staff make sure your stay is a memorable one. Try to stay 2 nights if you can, it's worth it!!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Touristguide40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town SA
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2010

Our visit did not get off to a good start when, after a long drive from the far northern Cape, we found our way into the property blocked by construction work at the main gate; and no sign of an alternative way in. The establishment's phone number was engaged, and it was only when a worker some 30 metres away noticed us and signalled us to another informal entrance up a sand track that we were able to gain access to the property.
Once in we were welcomed with a pot of tea in front of the fire. We were then shown to our room in one of the four cape cottage style buildings adjacent to the main lodge. The accommodation was capacious and comfortably and elegantly equipped.
It was cool and wet out, so we wasted no time in taking advantage of the opportunity to have a log fire lit in the large open fireplace and kept it going till after we had gone to bed for the night.
The only negatives we found with the room were the lack of a bath (i.e. shower only) and the absence of underfloor heating. The latter was to some extent offset by heated towel rails. The telephone connection to the main lodge was not in working order.
There was a good amount of cupboard space in a fair sized dressing room area between the living/bedroom area and the bathroom facilities.
The positives far outweighed the negatives. Overall we were more than satisfied with our accommodation and would happily return there in summer weather for a relaxing couple of days by the seaside.
We had dinner and breakfast in the restaurant in the lodge. The service was personal and attentive and the food quality very creditable off an interesting and varied menu. The breakfast table set for us was outstanding and one of the best we have encountered anywhere.
The weather lifted enough the following morning for us to be able to take a walk on the boardwalk (specially provided to protect the ecologically sensitive dune system) over the adjoining sand dunes (about 50 metres) to the beautiful and unspoilt white sand Draaihoek Beach. Not another person in sight; not even another person's footprints in the sand. Really special.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ChapmansChaunce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Draaihoek Lodge & Restaurant

Property: Draaihoek Lodge & Restaurant
Address: R27 between Veldrif and Elandsbaai, Eland's Bay 8110, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Eland's Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Eland's Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Draaihoek Lodge & Restaurant 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Draaihoek Lodge is situated on the West Coast of South Africa with a unspoiled 5 km white sandy private beach. Draaihoek Lodge offers accommodation in 8 luxury suites, each fronting the scenic strand veld and dunes of the Atlantic Ocean. Furthermore we have the Manor House with its 3 luxuriously appointed bedrooms overlooking the vlei with its unique flora and bird life available. Whether you dine in The Restaurant, on the terrace or picnic overlooking the waves of the West Coast, you will savor the flavors of our mouth-watering classics and gourmet dishes prepared by the kitchen team. Fare from the kitchen will guide you through the flavors redolent of South Africa's cooking tradition and the West Coast surrounds - borrowing from the Cosmopolitan table to create a heart warming taste experience that endeavors to touch patrons' souls. All meals are served with quality wines selected from our cellar. Je seux qu'on se voix - come and join us. The private Nature Reserve reaches from the Atlantic ocean inland to Sandveld's mountain range and across to the Verlorenvlei, a RAMSAR classified site, south of Elands Bay. The coastal border of the Reserve stretches along an undisturbed sandy beach, hugged by rugged dunes and favoured by flocks of birds typical to the West Coast. The uninhabited bay area is frequented by whales, seals and playing Heaviside dolphins. ... more   less 
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