What’s it Like?
A Zen-like calm prevails in this cool, airy boutique retreat, where glass walls provide panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and a beach that stretches for miles. Built in November 2009, Views – the only 5-star hotel along South Africa’s Garden Route – epitomises glamour in a graceful space. Lulu Ridgway’s interior design features a rotating glass ‘aquarium’, comprising crystal fish rotating around a triple-storey space. Glass seagull sculptures hang from the ceiling. The decor imbues the interior with a sense of seawater, light, and movement.
Where is it?
A 25-minute drive from George Airport, the hotel is perched atop the Wilderness seafront along the Garden Route. Close to the Touw River and Victoria Bay, adventure activities, hiking and nature trails abound.
The 22 rooms include a penthouse, five honeymoon suites, six premier suites, three luxury suites, three de luxe suites and various smaller classic rooms. All offer the seamless standard of luxury expected from a 5-star hotel, such as bathrobes and slippers, free wireless Internet, LCD TV screens with satellite channels, movies and music on demand, a laptop safe, iPod, espresso machine, comfortable sofa and fully-stocked mini-bar. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls maximize the stunning sea views, and there’s generous bathroom and cupboard space. A wide balcony further enhances the sea view experience.
Restaurants & Bars
Two restaurants – Views and the Sails – offer tempting à la carte dishes. We ate at the sophisticated Views overlooking the Indian Ocean. Dinner was a ‘King Prawns’ starter followed by linefish, washed down with a zesty Villiera Traditional Brut. The two king prawns were tiny – ‘Little Prince’ prawns might have been a more accurate appellation – but cooked to perfection, as was our kingklip. Service was attentive without being obtrusive. Breakfast at the same restaurant offered an array of champagne, fresh oysters, salmon and tuna, as well as the more traditional eggs, bacon, mushrooms and sausages. Guests can also sip sundowners in the Sea View Lounge or on the Cocktail Deck.
Conference space for up to 20 delegates includes a media room with large LCD screen and surround sound. There’s free Internet access and hard-wired data networks throughout the building, plus business desks with computer facilities and a back-up emergency power supply. Undercover on-site parking bays offer valet service at an additional fee, in addition to security with 24-hour CCTV coverage, two guest lifts and wheelchair access.
While the adventurous or foolhardy guest might appreciate the paragliding launch point on the premises, the more sedate among us will relish the spa with its multi-functional treatment rooms, steam room, sensation shower, sauna, hydrotherapy jet bath, flotation pool and specialised therapies. A blissful back massage soothed out all the stresses of our long drive down from Johannesburg.
The fully-equipped gym offers vibration plates and hydraulic strength circuit, along with treadmills, cycles and elliptical cross trainers. A personal yoga or fitness trainer is available for hire. Glass panels in the rooftop swimming pool form part of the Library Lounge ceiling on the mezzanine floor below, bathing it in moving, ambient light. Bold red accents add fiery warmth to the cool blue fabrics that reflect the ocean’s moody hues. It’s an ideal setting to relax and read.
Within steps of the beach, Views has the ‘wow’ factor in spades. The surreal underwater effect feels free and uplifting, making it the perfect place to soak up the sunshine, sea breezes, and sweeping vistas.
Address: South Street, Wilderness, 27 44 877 8000, viewshotel.co.za