Spookhuis Cottages

near Hermanus, Hermanus & Overberg, South Africa Book from Book from £73 per night

On a tranquil nature reserve east of Cape Town, 4 affordable cottages (sleeping 2-9) with acres of river estuary, sea dunes and unspoiled fynbos to roam
Just 2 hours east of Cape Town, the beautiful Overberg region somehow remains largely untouched by the trappings of tourism. We can't think why. There are endless sandy beaches, pretty seaside villages, great restaurants and ruggedly beautiful scenery. Fronted by the azure lagoon of the Klein River, with the imposing Overberg Mountains behind, these simple, secluded cottages make a dreamy base. They're set on 1,000 hectares of private land, with fragrant fynbos all around; you could easily spend all your days lazing on your private deck and admiring the stunning views. But don’t get too comfortable: there are fabulous activities on your doorstep, including kayaking, quad biking, bird and wildflower hikes, wine tasting, and whale watching in season.

Three of the cottages are housed in a rambling stone homestead, with a small shared swimming pool tucked under the milkwood trees nearby. A fourth, larger house - which sleeps up to 9 - sits right on the estuary shore. All come with kitchens, living areas, comfy beds and plenty of terrace space. A mile or two away is the once abandoned 'Spookhuis' (ghost house), now reinvented as the Lagoon Bistro; there's also a spa run by the friends of the owners, should your body need some gentle soothing after all the exertion. Perfect for family and friends seeking some natural R&R among beautiful riverine and coastal scenery.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • The great outdoors: an astonishing breadth of activities, and surprisingly wild given the proximity to Cape Town
  • You're 40 mins from fantastic wineries (including Springfontein) and Hermanus, which has great restaurants and world-class whale watching
  • There's a range of sizes, from 1 to 3 bedrooms, and they're very flexible about stay length
  • The largest house (Duminy) has a wonderful double-height living space, which opens onto huge verandas
  • All cottages have an outdoor braai for barbecuing the night away under star-stained skies

Lows

    • You’ll need a car to get here and explore the area
    • Only the largest cottage (Duminy) has a direct view of the lagoon; two have mountain views, the fourth overlook fynbos
    • The cottage interiors, though comfy and well equipped, are not their trump card

Best time to go

Though it will be late winter/early spring in South Africa, with variable weather and a little chilly at night, the best time of year to visit Mosaic Sanctuary is August through to the end of October, as this is prime whale-watching season. This is also when the area’s dazzling wildflowers are in full bloom; the region is part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, the world’s smallest yet richest plant biome.

Our top tips

This place is bursting with nature and wildlife. Birders, in particular, will be in heaven - we saw pink flamingoes, resplendent blue cranes, weavers, bulbuls and bush shrikes. If you’re a light sleeper, bring ear plugs so you're not woken at dawn by lyrical birdsong. If you are awake early, dawn is the best time of day to possibly catch sight of the notoriously shy caracals or, if you’re lucky, the resident African wild cat.

Great for...

Eco
Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Lodge + Cottages
  • 5 suites + 4 cottages for 3-9
  • All inclusive lodge, self-catering cottages, cafe for lunches
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Plunge Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Bicycles Available
  • Quad bikes to hire
Room:

Rooms

Three of the cottages - labelled Trail Cottages - are housed in a rambling stone homestead, with their own terraces (each facing different direction) and a small decked pool nearby in the shelter of a milkwood. They're a short walk from the estuary shore. The smallest of these is Fynbos, with one bedroom and a sofabed for a child if needed; Garden and Milkwood both have 2 bedrooms - perfect for families - with a couple of sofabeds in either the living room or bedrooms. Milkwood and Garden have outdoor shower rooms - an exotic touch.

Larger groups will want to book the wonderful Duminy, with its double-height living-dining area, and upper deck with panoramic mountain and lagoon views (you're right on the estuary shore). It has 2 double/twin bedrooms and a third loft room with up to 5 single beds - ideal as a kids dorm.

Features include:

  • All-inclusive for Lagoon Lodge guests
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Full kitchens in cottages
  • Hairdryer
  • Safe box
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Each cottage has a kitchen with an oven, hob, microwave, fridge and outdoor braai. Some have a washer/dryer, too. There are indoor and outdoor dining areas.

The Mosaic Lagoon Café at the 1892 Spookhuis is open from 11am-3pm daily, to guests and the public. The small, fresh menu emphasises locally made cheese and charcuterie platters. Breakfast baskets, drinks and dinner dishes or braai platters can be delivered to the cottages, and homemade preserves, muffins, bread and desserts are sold, too. Otherwise, the nearest place to buy food is a 15-minute drive away in Stanford. You'll need to buy everything, including salt, pepper, teabags etc as nothing is provided in the cottages.

If you want to dine out, you'll be spoilt for choice, though not within walking distance. Springfontein Eats at the winery of the same name 3km away is fantastic (its owners previously held a Michelin Star in Germany). Marianna’s and Mogg's Country Kitchen are local favourites. All 3 of these restaurants will require advance booking. It’s worth the drive to Hemel-en-Aarde where several wineries such as Newton Johnson have popular fine-dining restaurants.

Features include:

  • The Mosaic Lagoon Café for lunches and groceries
  • Children's meals
  • Organic produce
  • Vegetarian menu
  • All-inclusive for Lagoon Lodge guests
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Activities include kayaking, bird and wildflower hikes, quad-bike tours, beach excursions and pontoon cruises along the lagoon
  • Shore-based whale-watching from Hermanus is a must in season (August to October); there are dolphins aplenty too
  • Shark-cage diving in the nearby town of Gansbaai is the perfect activity for adrenaline junkies; the area hosts one of the world’s largest populations of great whites
  • Stand mere feet away from charming African penguins at Stony Point in the town of Betty’s Bay
  • Wine tasting is practically a national sport. Some of the country’s best wines are made here (Springfontein Wine Estate is internationally rated and only 3km away); ask staff for vineyard recommendations
  • Enjoy a pint of beer (our favourite was the Honey Blond Ale) at the Birkenhead Brewery in Stanford, home to one of South Africa’s most popular craft breweries
  • Visit nearby Klein River Cheese for a delicious opportunity to sample and buy locally made, award-wining cheeses
  • Visit the Rain Milkwood Spa and enjoy some hot stone treatment or a massage. They offer gel manis and pedis too; great when travelling
  • Explore the stone-age wonders of Klipgat Cave, where humans lived over 70,000 years ago

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Breweries
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Quad biking
  • Shark-cage diving
  • Traditional cultures
  • Whale watching
  • Wildlife
  • Wine tasting

Kids

The cottages are perfect for outdoorsy families who want to get off the beaten track. All are self-catering, with kitchens, living rooms and plenty of safe outside space. There's a small, shared pool.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Milkwood or Garden are perfect for a family, with 2 bedrooms each and the option of 1-2 extra beds (in one case in the living room; in the other, in the bedrooms). Duminy is great for two families together, as it has 2 doubles for the parents and a loft room with 5 single beds for all the kids to share. Fynbos (1 bedroom) would suit a couple with one child (using a sofabed) on a shorter break.

Children's meals:

The Cottages are near Lagoon Cafe in the historic Spookhuis homestead, which offers gourmet picnic baskets, salads, burgers, desserts, organic vegetables, baked goods and preserves. You can also order breakfast baskets, dinners and BBQ platters for the Cottages

Kids Activities on site:

  • Swimming pool at the cottages
  • Enjoy a picnic under milkwood trees on the edge of the Lagoon

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Quad biking
  • Boat cruises
  • Panthera Africa - the big cat sanctuary just outside Stanford
  • Beaches - Walker Bay is 5km from the cottages (you will need a 4x4 or pre-book a beach excursion); Grotto Beach in Hermanus is 30km away
  • Kayaking
  • Guided nature walks
  • The Overberg Honey Company has beekeeping tours

Families Should Know:

Keep a watchful eye on young kids as the occasional snake has been known to make an appearance

Distances:

  • Airport: 2 hours
  • Hospital: 35 minutes (Hermanus)
  • Shops: 15 minutes (Stanford), 35 minutes (Hermanus)
Kid Friendly:

Location

Location
Mosaic Private Sanctuary lies along the Hermanus Lagoon and overlooks the Overberg Mountains, on the Western Cape of South Africa. The bucolic village of Stanford is a 15-minute drive away.

By Air
The nearest airport is Cape Town International (140km). Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving this airport.

From the Airport
From Cape Town it’s a 2-hour drive east to Mosaic. Helicopter transfers can be arranged - see Rates - but your best option is to hire a car at the airport as it's isolated and you’ll need a vehicle to explore the region.

By Car
From Cape Town there are 2 main routes to get to Mosaic: the scenic ocean route along the R44, which takes about 2.5 hours, and the more direct route along the N2, which takes 2 hours. If you want to hire a car see our car rental recommendations.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.

More on getting to South Africa and getting around

Airports:

  • Cape Town International 140.0 km CPT

Other:

  • Beach 5.0 km
  • Shops 10.0 km
  • Restaurant 10.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
8/10
Food
8/10
Service
8/10
Value
9/10
Overall

We had a really lovely stay at Mosaic! A nice touch would have been to receive a welcome pack or some more detailed information before we arrived. Luckily we had the address on the i-escape confirmation that I received at the time of booking. It's definitely worth being aware that if you'd like dinner in the evening, you need to order by lunchtime that same day- so worth bearing in mind for your arrival day!

9/10,

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Rates for Spookhuis Cottages

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