WILD COAST MAGIC: Escape to Ocean View Hotel for unforgettable family holidays
South Africa has some truly amazing tourist attractions, many of them ranked as the best on the planet, but, for me, the Wild Coast will always remain a favourite. This un-spoilt, beautiful, refreshing and simply wonderful stretch of coastline is a magical place for a family holiday.
What makes the Wild Coast, well, wild, is that it is not easily accessible. The N2 national road, which runs the length of the Wild Coast, is between 50 and 100 km from the coast itself and there are only three tarred roads from the N2 to this 350 km stretch of rugged coastline. 50 to 100 km may not sound far but it will take you far longer than you expect to cover this distance, particularly if the road is dirt.
Thankfully Ocean View Hotel, which is situated in the hamlet of Coffee Bay, enjoys access to the N2 via one of the metaled roads. Still, this journey is not without a little adventure of its own as the road twists and turns through some of the most majestic countryside in the region making it hard to keep one’s eyes on the narrow strip of black.
The hotel itself is an oasis of civilisation in the midst of wild splendour. Its tropical garden with neat lawns, a crystal-clear swimming pool and sparkling white hotel buildings are in stark contrast to the rugged bush, rolling hills and turbulent waves that surround the hotel grounds.
I have always found the reception area, with its oceanic décor, welcoming as was the hotel’s friendly staff. The rooms are always spotless and neat, and true to a beach holiday resort, were designed to facilitate sandy feet, wet towels and afternoon naps with doors opening onto the sea breeze and the melody of the surf.
Accommodation at Ocean View is characterised by light, airy double or twin rooms – most of which boast spectacular views of the Indian Ocean while the spacious family units look out across the hotel’s gardens. All rooms are comfortably-furnished with en-suite bathrooms. Tea/coffee facilities are also available for your convenience.
The Sea View rooms have individual patios and furniture so you can enjoy a drink or your coffee/tea sitting and watching the ocean beating at the cliffs. Room and laundry service is available with friendly staff to accommodate whatever you may need.
My kids love their swimming pool, jungle gym and trampoline while my wife and I appreciate the fact that a child minder can be on hand to give us a break too.
The hotel garden’s gate opens straight onto a magnificent beach set between two prominent headlands while a lagoon, easily wade able at most times, enters the ocean below one headland. The rocky feet of the headlands offer good snorkelling, excellent fishing and beachcombers will enjoy the shells and drift wood.
Ocean View Hotel’s restaurant is one of the best places to eat in the area and we have travelled great distances while staying at other locations on the Wild Coast just to eat here. Meals may be enjoyed on the veranda with its view over of waving palm fronds, white beaches and the deep blue Indian Ocean. The hotel bar is also a great place to meet other guests and relax after an activity filled day.
Activities in the area abound. Coffee Bay got its name in 1893 after a ship full of coffee beans ran aground there. Instead of searching for coffee beans and shipwrecks, you can take long hikes and short walks, horse riding, canoeing, swimming and, as already mentioned, fishing, snorkelling and beachcombing.
One of the best walks is from Coffee Bay to the famous ‘Hole in the Wall’. This is not for the unfit but a spectacular reward waits those who take the challenge - the ‘Hole in the Wall’ itself is one of South Africa’s great landmarks and should be on everyone’s bucket list.
Ocean View Hotel is a great place for a holiday and one I personally recommend. See you there!
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