Turning off the N2 from Cape Town onto the R43 to Hermanus, the surroundings change drastically. It brings to mind a dusty road to a small town in the middle of nowhere (despite driving on a well-maintained tar road). If one is not careful, you might even miss the R44 off ramp that takes you even further from civilisation towards the small coastal town of Kleinmond.
On this route, hidden on a turn among large trees lies the entrance to the Arabella Country Estate. The patch of land that overlooks the Botrivier Lagoon is home to a litter of beautiful R3 million to R7-million houses that I would never be able to afford on my small journalist salary. I’m lucky enough to stay at the Arabella Hotel & Spa to cover the Road Freight Association’s (RFA’s) annual conference.
At the end of a long stretch of road lined with beautiful house and golf lanes, the Arabella Hotel & Spa (and my home for the next two days) stands proudly. The entrance to the hotel is luxurious and clearly inspired by the warm, browns often associated with Africa. My room is not yet ready so I take a seat in the glorious leather couches in the entrance.
The hotel is equipped with a full golf course visible from the East-facing rooms and the entrance along with the Lagoon, koppies and busy road leading to Hermanus. Perfectly manicured, it is strange to think Cape Town is in the middle of a drought. However, on entering my room (about 20 minutes later), a small pamphlet informs me that I can ask the staff not to wash my sheets to save water.
Originating from Cape Town, it is really a no-brainer. However, the bed is still made and the room cleaned every morning with a turn down service in the evenings. The double room comes with a Queen sized-bed, a mini-fridge, tea and coffee facilities, television, inclusive WiFi, a balcony and a beautiful bathroom with a bath and shower.
The spa offers everything from massages and masks to manicures and pedicures. The hotel also has a swimming pool and salon. A short drive to Hermanus or Kleinmond also gives you the opportunity to dip your feet in the ocean. However, there is enough to do at the hotel to keep you busy for a short stay.
Although a room at the hotel is a bit pricy, the isolation of the hotel and the calm state of the estate ensure that you get all the rest you’ll ever need. It is definitely a place to put on your bucket list.