As stunningly dramatic as the terrain around Saldanha Bay on the cape West Coast is, it can also be described as rugged, bordering on stark, with monochromic neutral hues tinged in the omnipresent red dust of the steel works. However, if you take a left into a tree-lined lane just 2km before the town of Saldanha, you will encounter a veritable oasis of tropical greens, azure blues and swaying palms.
Perched on land’s end, overlooking the ocean is the Blue Bay Lodge; a beautifully restored original homestead set on an estate which offers a haven of unassuming elegance, warm West Coast hospitality and all that one could look for in a tranquil retreat.
From the moment I arrived, I could feel myself begin to relax and by the time I was being shown to my suite it felt as if the outside world was quite literally a million miles away. Everywhere you look is lush green plants, warm and inviting hues and spaces and, most importantly, friendly faces.
I especially love the fact that whether you are taking a short break from the hustle and bustle of the city, enjoying a family vacation or even on a brief business trip, Blue Bay Lodge offers a variety of accommodation options to suit all needs.
The main building boasts 16 well-appointed and very comfortable en suite hotel-style rooms which are equipped with all the necessities, including televisions with DSTV, free wifi and coffee making facilities.
Adjacent to that are luxurious suites which are perfect for families and those staying longer than a night as many also have equipped kitchenettes. All these units overlook the swimming pool and tennis court, and those on the ground floor also have patios where guests can enjoy an early morning coffee as the sun rises over the pool and palm trees.
Set away from the main building and suites, in harmony with the surrounding landscape of Cape fynbos, are the self-catering cottages in a choice of one, two or three bedrooms. All are light and airy, tastefully furnished and fully equipped. Several also have fireplaces which make them ideal for a mid-winter break and, with the beach only a few meters away, it’s the perfect option for families with children. The temperate West Coast climate offers pleasantly warm days and the chilly evenings are easily warmed by the hearth of a fire.
Conferences and functions
This wide accommodation choice is also one of the key factors in making Blue Bay such an ideal venue for functions of all kinds; from weddings and conferences to teambuilding and special events.
Their conference facilities offer seating for up to 50 delegates and provide all the mod cons and basics needed for a successful conference, including television and telephone conferencing facilities, audio visual equipment, flip charts, screens and assorted projectors.
The setting could also not be more perfect for a beach wedding and the weekend I was staying there they were hosting one – for a couple from Mauritius who had flown all the way from a tropical island to take the most sacred of vows in the natural spectacular of the Cape West Coast.
The Blue Bay Café is open all day, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner overlooking the sparkling bay and long sandy beach. By night the harbour and town lights twinkle as you dine to the murmur of the waves, making for a very relaxed evening.
Heading down for breakfast in the morning I meant to start my day with a very quick bite before heading for Langebaan for the morning, but it’s such a tranquil setting that I not only lingered and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, but also took a stroll to the end of the boardwalk and spent some time enjoying the spectacular views and quiet isolation.
Nature lovers will find loads to do here, including nature walks, bird watching and, of course, take in the floral kaleidoscope which blooms in spring. Sports enthusiast are also spoiled for choice as golf, sailing, deep-sea fishing, underwater diving, organised boat trips and horse riding along the beach can all be arranged by the helpful staff.
Many of these activities can be enjoyed at the Lodge as they have a tennis court, sizeable sparkling pool, gym and kid’s play park with a trampoline. They also boast a launching site for jetskis, small boats and hobie cats. Reception will provide maps for cycling and hiking trails and will happily book other experiences like a round at the golf club or a sail around the bay.
I have experienced so many wonderful places on my travels around the West Coast, but can honestly say that the Blue Bay Lodge is one of the highlights and a place to which I will often return. And, being only an hour and a half from cape Town, it’s perfect for a weekend getaway as well as a holiday.
Restaurant • Lounge with a Fireplace • Outdoor Play Area: Trampoline; Jungle Gym; Dam with ducks • Kiddies Menu • Pet Friendly (Small Breeds) • Tennis Court • Conference & Events facilities • Weddings
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