Southern Cross Beach House

Plettenberg Bay, Garden Route & Eastern Cape, South Africa Book from

A beach-facing deck, picture-perfect colour coordination and 5 cosy bedrooms in an airy Planters-style house just yards from the Indian Ocean
Robberg Beach’s stunning 3 mile arc of golden sand is one of the Garden Route’s most coveted oceanside locations. Neill and Susie have seen the beachfront gradually develop and were lucky enough to stake their own claim. Taking architectural inspiration from Plantation-style houses seen in Mauritius, they clad their new home in a double-height wooden balcony and huge deck to celebrate this small guesthouse’s best feature: a heart-stopping vista of sand, sea and sky.

The house’s all-white planked floors, bannisters and panelling, and a maximum number of windows, create a bright, airy and uplifting mood. Susie added a feminine touch in her light blue-and-pink colour scheme that runs throughout: glasses, vases, cushions, candles, curtains and even the garden plants have all been perfectly colour-matched. But the cream on the cake is the sea-facing deck where you can abandon yourself to the sound of gulls and waves, scour the breakers for whales and dolphins, and drink in the ever-changing ocean light.

Highs

  • You’re at the quieter end of one of the best beaches in the country: stepping out through the house’s small side gate you may find the sand is all your own
  • Just a short drive from the buzzy centre of Plettenberg Bay
  • Susie has created a real home-from-home feel in the bedrooms and lounge/diner. A fresh, clean and cared-for vibe permeates
  • Off-street parking is a big plus
  • It’s all about location, and the ‘L’ factor just couldn’t be higher

Lows

  • The 5 ground floor patio-facing bedrooms aren’t big and none of them have sea views (the owners live upstairs)
  • No lunches or dinners on offer but you can make use of the small kitchenette to prepare your own snacks
  • You’ll need to hop in a car if you plan to eat out in Plettenberg Bay, but taxis can be easily arranged

Best time to go

Plettenberg Bay claims to have a near perfect climate; there are seasonal variations but temperatures are mild enough to allow you to swim and walk throughout the year. The healthiness of its climate has meant that for years it has been a popular place for retirement.

Our top tips

Young children are actively discouraged at Southern Cross in order to guarantee a peaceful and intimate stay for the other guests. We felt the rather English-county feel of this place would best suit third age travellers.

Great for...

Beach
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Guesthouse
  • 5
  • Breakfast only
  • Only children over 4 years of age accepted.
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Ktichenette
Room:

Rooms

The 5 guest bedrooms at Southern Cross face out to the decked veranda and patio garden. Room 2 and Room 4 have kingsize beds and ensuites with bathtubs as well as showers. The other 3 rooms have showers only; Room 5 has a queensize bed, while Rooms 1 and 3 have twin beds (which can be made up as kingsize doubles).

The all-white walls, panelling and louvre wardrobe doors made good decorative sense given the bedrooms’ reduced dimensions. The choice of fabrics and furnishings again reflects Susie’s colour-sensitive eye: dark wooden bedside tables and headboards are nicely contrasted against the white backdrop, as are the Laura Ashley-ish pink and blue striped and patterned fabrics. Repro wood and brass light switches, antique sewing machine tables, chandelier lights and framed floral and naval prints further add to the rather English-county feel.

And Susie didn’t forget the little details: as well as fluffy white towels, good linen sheets and duvet covers you’re provided with boxed tissues, a kettle (with tea and coffee), a hairdryer, mosquito repellent, a torch and a converter plug. All bedrooms have their own small sitting area with rattan chairs and a table out on the decked veranda.

Bath and shower rooms have a similar period feel with floors tiled in classical white-and-black check, plus ornately sculpted sinks with retro-style taps. The lack of shelf space for toiletries is a minor irritation.

Features include:

  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Converter plug
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Honesty bar
  • Mosquito repellant
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Torch
  • Tv
  • WiFi

Eating

Given the fact that Plettenberg Bay has one of the mildest climates in the country, the chances are that breakfast will be served alfresco on the ocean-facing deck. In cooler weather things move inside to the lounge/diner where, thanks to the sea-facing French windows, you won’t be deprived of those gorgeous sea views.

Neill and Susie, who run an interiors shop and theatre in Plettenberg, may not be around first thing, but in their absence you’ll be well cared for by their cheery manageress, Jean, and her 2 kitchen helpers. A cold buffet is laid up along a pine counter in the lounge/diner. Ours included fruit salad, dried fruits, a choice of cereals, cold meats and cheeses, scrummy locally-made yoghurt and freshly baked bread, followed by a hearty cooked breakfast. Breakfast entertainment was provided overhead by wheeling gulls, and undertable by the 2 resident poodles.

The lounge/diner also has a kitchenette for guest use, so you can whip up a snack if necessary, as well as an honesty bar.

When it comes to lunch and dinner you’ll need to jump in your car and drive into Plettenberg, which takes just 10 minutes, or if you’re prepared to head a few minutes out of town, you have even more of a choice. The chances are you’ll want to eat fish and seafood, in which case either The Med or The Lookout would be a good choice. Neill and Susie also own Nguni, which offers Cape cuisine - think smoked Kudu, spinach and Biltong salad or Ostrich burgers. There’s also an excellent Italian restaurant, Cornuti. For for a great steak and a beautiful location follow the River Bitou inland to Emily Moon. In spite of the hype we found Fushi - known for its sushi and mediterranean cuisine - to be disappointing, but friends insisted we were just unlucky.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Coffee tea making
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Plettenberg Bay has some of the country’s most beautiful walking within easy driving range. Don’t miss the Robberg Peninsula nor the fabulous Otter Trail in the Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve (book ahead!)

  • Swim, fish, dive, surf or boogy-board: there’s nowhere quite like Plettenberg Bay for ocean-based activities

  • Watch whales from June through to October, and sharks and dolphins off Robberg throughout the year

  • Contemplate life from a different angle with 2 rubber bands attached to your ankles. The world’s highest bungy-jump is just a short drive away

  • Play golf: club hire and daily green fees can easily be arranged

  • Canoe up the Bitou river to see myriad plant and birdlife

  • Visit the Storm River Canyon suspension bridge in the Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve

  • Horse riding, cycling and mountain biking tours can be arranged

  • Take a morning run along the beach to Plettenberg, then spend the day lazing on the beach with a good book and your binoculars

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Horse-riding
  • Kayaking
  • Scuba diving
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Whalewatching
  • Wildlife

Kids

Southern Cross only accepts children over 4 years of age, and we feel it's not really suitable for kids. Two children sharing a room costs the same as a single adult and 1 room has an additional sleeper couch.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Extra Beds Available

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
10/
Food
9/
Service
10/
Value
10/
Overall

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Rates for Southern Cross Beach House