“A boho extravaganza with a French-style restaurant, 7 romantic rooms and an unbeatable location in the heart of Plettenberg Bay”
What’s lovely about the Grand is that no 2 rooms are the same. It’s tempting to stay for a week and switch every night just to experience them all!
Each has something special. Rooms 5, 6, 7 and 8 all have balconies or sitting areas with sea views; Room 5 is the smallest (and cheapest), with a bathtub and handheld shower, while 6, 7 and 8 have tubs and double showers. The Boadicea Suite has a secluded courtyard with a water feature, loungers and an outdoor shower, as does the Bath House, which is a favourite with honeymooners thanks to its twin tubs and private plunge pool. The Farm is the only twin room (2 small double beds), and comes with a large, greenery-filled patio that also includes a table, chairs and an alfresco shower. Opt for a sea-view room if you can - they face east, so keep your shutters and curtains open and you’ll be treated to a lovely sunrise.
All rooms have tea- and coffee-making facilities, a minibar, WiFi, satellite TV, a DVD player and good-quality toiletries. There’s no air-conditioning, but there are ceiling fans. The high, mostly kingsize beds are huge and comfortable, and it’s fun clambering into them via the little red footstools. Most are extra-long, too - I’d been stretched out like a starfish for half an hour before I discovered a hot-water bottle had been placed in mine as part of the turn-down service!
Candelabras, large gilded mirrors and swathes of velvet add opulence, but some elements of the rooms seem to be more about form than function. The double showers look great, for example, but flood the bathroom floors. And the ensuites are open-plan, with no division between the bed area (toilets are walled off, fortunately).
Have a meal at the Grand Café and you’ll be treating both your eyes and your palate. There's a lot to look at, whether it’s the lovely sea views from the terrace, or the sensory overload provided by the quirky and stylish décor. It’s just the place for a lazy lunch, sunset cocktails or a romantic dinner; choose to sit at the long, sociable wooden table outside and you might make some new friends, too (not least resident cat Tabitha).
The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the bar is open all day. Menus change with the seasons and make the most of local produce, particularly seafood. Dishes are an interesting combination of French, Mediterranean and South African influences, with the likes of Bouillabaisse and fillet béarnaise sharing space with pasta vongole, calamari, Durban-style curry and chicken prego rolls. Our hake goujons with sweet-potato fries were a delectable twist on traditional fish and chips - fresh, flavourful and satisfying.
To accompany your meal, there’s a list of well-selected bubblies and South African wines, plus a lengthy cocktail menu. And if you’re still feeling peckish after 11pm, there’s a small room-service selection. Do make sure you sample one of the wonderful cakes (available throughout the day), too - the Bar One (Mars Bar) cheesecake is a delicious speciality.
Breakfast (included in the rates) is à la carte. I had a stack of American-style pancakes with cinnamon apple slices, maple syrup and bacon - heavenly, if a little sinful! Lighter options include smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, muesli with berries and yoghurt, a fruit platter, and croissants or toast.