Travel consultant extraordinaire Nicole’s epic trip continues on, taking her to the lush Garden Route and to the little slice of heaven that is Tamodi Lodge and Stables.
As you walk into the reception at Tamodi, you are immediately struck by two things: wide open spaces and a view like no other! Tamodi is situated just past Keurboomstrand in The Crags on a working equestrian farm and is perfectly positioned for a holiday in the Garden Route.
The family-run lodge was created by Lynne and Owen Johnston and later joined by Chelsea (Owen’s daughter) and her husband Scott who has lovingly designed all the wooden furnishings throughout the main lodge and suites. Check in was done at the tables on the patio while the jaw-dropping views looked on. Nathaniel welcomed me with an ice-cold drink while explaining all the lodge facilities as well as the many things to do in the area. Breakfast is also served here and I couldn’t imagine a better setting to start the day.
Tamodi’s amazing location puts it close to many of the main attractions along the Garden Route, including Robberg Nature Reserve, the Elephant Sanctuary (In The Crags), Birds of Eden, Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary, Tsitsikamma National Park and many more. Apart from the activities on the farm itself, horse-riding, zip-lining, swimming and others are easily accessible from the lodge too, so there’s something for everyone.
There are seven beautiful suites, five of which are honeymoon ones where luxury and privacy are the signature themes. So much love and attention to detail has gone into the design of the suites – think stone baths, outdoor showers and leather lounge areas. Two of the suites have their own private plunge pools and all of the king-size beds have been cleverly positioned in the middle of the rooms to overlook the beautiful indigenous forest - each suite is nothing short of a little heavenly cocoon.
Below the main deck of the lodge is a wonderful wine cellar stocked with many varietals of local South African wines and wine tastings can be arranged with owner Owen on request. Guided hikes into the beautiful scenic canyon are a must no matter your fitness level or bring your camera and head to one of the bird viewing decks for some fantastic shots.
After taking a stroll around the grounds to see the paddocks and gorgeous resident horses where Lynne manages a livery, I headed back to my suite for a swim in my private pool. The infinity pool affords sweeping views over the valley and the outside shower is a nice touch, allowing you to really switch off and connect with nature. With a cosy leather couch, modern kitchenette and large smart television, the only reason for me to leave the suite was to get something for dinner.
Ristorante Enrico, an Italian restaurant and institution right on Keurbooms beach, had been recommended to me for its delicious Italian dishes and stunning location. It is an ideal spot for watching whales and dolphins, and sunsets here are an absolute treat, not to mention the truly delicious food. As the restaurant is less than two kilometers away, I was back in no time and settled in for an evening of coziness and relaxation.
I awoke to a gorgeous sunrise. I had purposely left the curtains open as the large sliding doors open out onto the private balcony and I knew the view would be worth waking up to. After capturing a few photos, I headed up the short path to the main lodge. Breakfasts here are a real treat - hearty and a true example of farm fare. My favourite part was the homemade bread with pecans and pumpkin seeds served straight out of the oven!
After enjoying my meal and soaking up those spectacular views for the last time, it was time for me to hit the road again, but Tamodi and my time spent there won’t soon be forgotten as it’s the kind of place that makes a lasting impression - I’ll be back for sure.
SPECIAL: Warm up your winter and get 30% when you book a stay at Tamodi for between 1 June and 31 August 2020. Subject to availability. Ts & Cs apply.
Words and images by Nicole Whitehorn