LifeStyle | Travel 1 7 • 0 6 • 2 0 1 8 Sunday Times
Written by Claire Keeton, Travel Editor, who was a guest of Kurland Hotel
On a rolling, green polo estate, close enough to Plettenberg Bay to swim any time the whim strikes, but far enough away to avoid adding crowds. Kurland is 20km east of Plett, near the Nature’s Valley turnoff.
Kurland feels like a royal estate in the English countryside — think roses and horses — and European royals have in fact stayed at the secluded hotel set on 700ha.
Kurland has 12 suites, ranging from elegant ones near the pool to the more private luxury options further away. These have loft rooms for children with a separate entrance, and plunge pools on their patios.
My luxury suite in the rose garden had a king-size four-poster bed, striped armchairs in front of a fireplace and a view over the paddocks. The Kurland Villa adjoining the estate sleeps 16 guests.
Scandinavian editions of the reality show The Bachelor have been filmed here.
Kurland ’s owners Peter and Diane Behr have a family attachment to the estate — his
grandfather bought it in 1941. They live on the estate and personally oversee the service. They seek to create opportunities through training and the hotel reflects this ethos. The staff were friendly and engaged.
Kurland has anything a five-star guest could wish for and has recently been refurbished, but what stands out are the range of services offered to families and children.
A playroom with an ornately painted wooden rocking horse sets the tone and childcare services are routinely available, including an early supervised dinner. Children can get coaching, for example in
tennis, and those who prefer to lounge around have the usual screen options with free wifi.
Adults can also play (or work) at Kurland and the Sweetpea Spa offers treatments in a peaceful setting.
HOW’S THE GRUB?
The meals were elaborate and delicious, made with fresh, local produce. Best of all (for me), Kurland provides high tea on the verandah of the main homestead with homebaked cakes or biscuits.
The lounge, library and dining room are in the historic homestead and the breakfast there is a substantial affair.
Plett is an adventure playground and Kurland lies at the heart of it, hosting the trail-running and mountain-biking legs of the popular Sabrina Love Ocean Challenge over summer. Kurland is famous for its polo tournaments and guests can book rides on well-trained steeds.
In Plett, ocean activities abound from sea kayaking, surfing and supping to whale (or seal) watching in the winter, and the hiking on Robberg Peninsula is spectacular.
BEST TIME TO GO
Summer in Plett (think Plett rage) is hectic — the town’s population more than doubles with all the visitors — so winter and spring are the best times to explore this gorgeous part of the Garden Route.
Rates per person per night sharing range from R1 950 to R3 100 (superior with loft) low season (May 1 to August 31). These go up to R3 260 to R7 345 in high season (September 1 to December 14). Rates
include full breakfast, high tea, wifi, mountain and quad bikes.