We stayed in Kurland over New Year's 2011/2012 as a family (my husband & me, my mother and our 20 months old son) and loved the property.
It is definitely for guests seeking a non-standard luxury hotel – this means if you like large resorts like Pezula/Knsyna with all standard amenities, this might not be the ideal choice. Kurland is small, with lots of personalized attention, just 12 rooms, and a very individual, nice old-school charm to it, giving you the relief of not thinking "I have seen this a hundred times before". It is really more a luxury homestead than a hotel.
Staff and management (specifically George, the owner) were all lovely, extremely committed, highly flexible and truly thinking ahead. Eg, the housekeeper realized on the first evening that our little son was sleeping in his room while we were having dinner when she wanted to do the turndown service. Hence she showed up an hour earlier all the following nights to avoid disturbing him.
Suites are located in a magnificant garden with lots of fragrant roses and other great flowers. Magnificent rose bouquets adorn the entire place. The suites are actually small houses with an upstairs loft for children and are ideal if you travel as a family and still want your privacy. Depending on your travel group size and composition, you can choose suites with indoor or outdoor staircases between the two floors. Rooms are nicely old-fashioned in decor and immaculately kept.
Food is excellent, and the chef is very flexible to accommodate special requests as I am a vegetarian and my husband was eager to find a beef fillet every day. The principle seems to be one of excellent ingredients, deliciously and simply prepared – there is no artificial fuzz around the food. Very adequate wine list of good South African wines.
Overall, Kurland strikes a very fine balance of catering excellently to families with children while leaving adults some real peace and quiet for grown-ups. The children's facilities are nicely tucked away behind the spa, with a special kids' pool, indoor and outdoor play areas and a baby plunge pool. It allows children to run around and also be noisy, while the main pool still offers tranquility for adults to relax. The children's dinner in the conservatory behind the kitchen was a great choice for our son, who clearly found it more entertaining to eat with other children than sit through a long dinner with us. You can easily dine on the veranda and keep an eye on your room with a babyphone. Overall, we found that Kurland wholeheartedly welcomes children without making the hotel a place where they rule the house. As a couple before having children, we would have enjoyed Kurland as much as we did now.
The overall estate grounds are huge, with a lot of space to take a walk, mountain bike, go horseback riding, watch polo or go quad biking, which was a key pastime for both my husband and son. Kurland also offers complementary pony riding for children, and Lucky, the guide, was very friendly and patient.
We also liked the casual atmosphere of the house – there is no specific dress code, you can walk into the kitchen and ask questions to the chef, and all the staff really makes an effort to ensure you have a relaxed time. We even found are car washed every morning. When we needed sunscreen, the staff offered to go to Plett and get it for us.
If you are energetic enough to leave Kurland, there are a lot of activities to do in the region, from wildlife parks to beaches and forests. However, we didn't even manage to explore the entire estate in three days.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ambassador to the finer things in life, Kurland is the ideal family and honeymoon retreat along The Garden Route. Situated in the foothills of the Western Cape Mountains on on a vast and beautiful private estate, complete with its own polo club, Kurland hotel is the stuff of holiday fantasies. This luxury boutique hotel, within reach of secluded beaches and a great variety of activities, has buckets of character, a never-be-bored menu of things to do, fine cuisine and staff who know the true meaning of the word ‘hospitality’.Over 50yrs ago Baron Peter Behr discovered a coastal paradise of exquisite beauty near Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route in South Africa and purchased the estate which he named Kurland after the Baltic province where he was born. In 2000, Behr’s grandson Peter, and his wife Dianne, transformed the family homestead into a Luxury Boutique Hotel which sits at the heart of a 1700 acre estate of stunning natural beauty, perfect for country pursuits. Today, Kurland is a peaceful and luxurious sanctuary which offers highly personalised service, fine cuisine and excellent facilities. Its location within the Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve allows guests the chance to enjoy equestrian activities, forest walks, unspoilt beaches, water sports, and extreme activities such as bungy jumping or sky diving. Kurland also boasts its own championship polo ground, private stables and tuition centre – perfect for guests who wish to learn to play themselves or simply sit and back and marvel at the professionals. Adult guests at Kurland will enjoy the hotel’s 12 luxurious suites, sumptuous interiors, peaceful library, gorgeous rose gardens and well equipped spa whilst parents will relax safe in the knowledge that the needs of younger guests are also very well tended to by Kurland’s experienced team of nannies. Children will relish in Kurland’s facilities – two, three and four bed loft rooms have been cleverly created above the main suites, each with en-suite bathroom and play area and they can choose to dine in ‘Children Only’ Dining Conservatory, Private Playroom or by invitation at the excusive Chef’s Table in the kitchen.Retaining its age-old reputation for great hospitality amidst spectacular natural beauty, Kurland has received a number of accolades including Runner-up in the prestigious Tatler Hotel of the Year awards. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kurland Hotel Plettenberg Bay