South Africa’s Wild Coast conjures up images of pristine, untouched coastline dotted with rural Xhosa villages and the occasional backpacker’s lodge tucked into the coastal forest at romantically named places like Coffee Bay and Hole in the Wall. As with many of the world’s unspoilt, remote destinations, it’s the young and intrepid traveller community that discover them, and then try hard to keep them a secret. The Wild Coast is South Africa’s best kept secret backpacker destination… But where do the backpackers stay when they want to re-visit paradise once they’ve grown up and don’t fancy roughing it anymore?
We’ve found just the place. Miarestate, a boutique hotel located just minutes away from the exotically named seaside village of Haga Haga surrounded by the natural beauty of the Wild Coast’s rocky shoreline, plunging cliffs and wide river mouths. It’s at Miarestate that the untamed beauty of the Eastern Cape truly shines. An added dose of warm hospitality and attention to detail takes this wild wonderland to a sophisticated new level.
This lovely little boutique hotel and spa entices guests with an endless list of attractions, beginning with the hotel itself. Not only are each of the 9 luxurious double rooms furnished with all the modern conveniences you could possibly need, but butler service is just a phone call away. Enjoy a refreshing outdoor shower or take a dip in your very own plunge pool. For families, Miarestate’s rustic log cabins offer the ultimate getaway spot. Experience the peace and privacy of the valley, while still enjoying access to all the hotel’s facilities.
A meal at Miarestate Restaurant will showcase local produce in a whole new light. From the freshest seafood that the Wild Coast has to offer, to newly harvested veggies from nearby growers – seasonality is king. When paired with South Africa’s top wines, the combination is unforgettable. Once your appetite is sated, let The Spa@Miarestate ease your mind and body with one of their signature treatments, while making sure to top off your spa experience with a glass of bubbles overlooking the rolling hills of Miarestate Valley.
When it comes to venturing beyond the valley, the mouth of the Haga Haga River offers adventure seeking guests an array of activities, from swimming and fishing, to sailing and canoeing (all while looking out for whales and dolphins in the surf). Miarestate might mark your starting point for the 4 day 60 km Strandloper Hiking Trail, or simply an afternoon of horse riding, mountain biking or quad biking. A scenic drive along the coast will reveal seaside gems like Kei Mouth, Chintsa, Morgan Bay and Coffee Bay, while a visit to the Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha, and to Qunu, Madiba’s birthplace, is a must for any history buff.
Game drives are the best way to enjoy the extensive wildlife that inhabits the area, including giraffe, blesbuck, impala, grey duiker, bush buck, blue wildebeest and even Burchell’s Zebra, once thought to be extinct.
If you’d like to include Miarestate in your trip, have a look at our very special Garden Route package which includes 11 nights on a South African Cape Town, Whale Coast, Garden Route and Big 5 Safari.