This Riverside Escape Tops Our Local Getaway List

Our photographer friend Darren Bester and his wife Ashton recently escaped the hustle and bustle of city living and took some time out at the tranquil getaway that is Emily Moon in Plettenberg Bay. This looks like a must-visit spot for a bit of rest and relaxation, or an ideal honeymoon location along the Garden Route. 

The Location & Style 

In search of an affordable local vacation, Ashton and I set off on a drive up the scenic Garden Route. We stopped along the way exploring the small coastal towns and spent a few nights in Oubaai and Sedgefield before reaching our final destination, Emily Moon.

Found along the banks of the Bitou River in Plettenberg Bay, this 4 star boutique hotel is an idyllic African getaway. We checked in to one of the ten available lodges and immediately felt as though we were miles from city life. The tranquil setting and uninterrupted views of the river and wetlands are mesmerising.

The tastefully decorated and spacious lodges are very private – separated by wooden walkways which lead you to the main swimming pools of which there are two. This area is lush and green, filled with tropical plants and interesting decor, reminiscent of the Far East. I’ve since read that the owners have collected these artefacts from their travels through Africa, Asia and Polynesia. The result is an inviting, serene area leaving guests feeling welcomed, comfortable and relaxed.

Activities & Dining

The more adventurous of guests can try their hand at canoeing or mountain biking in and around the premises, while those looking to relax can do so poolside or at one of the nearby beaches.

Dining at Emily Moon is an experience on its own – the combination of crafted antique tables, spears, sculptures, maps and old photographs complimented by the aromas from the kitchen activate your senses for culinary delight. I recommend the beef fillet while Ashton insists their pork belly is the best in the country – she has it every time we visit.

If you’re looking to escape the chaos and enjoy a majestic sunset from a quiet porch on the Garden Route, Emily Moon is the perfect place to do just that. ~ Darren Bester