Luxury lodge worth every penny

2017-04-13 06:01
At the elegant and exclusive Intle Game Lodge discerning travellers can discover a superlative getaway destination. With superb attention to detail, it is hard to believe that this five-star lodge is situated just off the old Lorie Road close to Thornhill and 45 minutes drive south west of Port Elizabeth.                                                                                       Photos:SUPPLIED

At the elegant and exclusive Intle Game Lodge discerning travellers can discover a superlative getaway destination. With superb attention to detail, it is hard to believe that this five-star lodge is situated just off the old Lorie Road close to Thornhill and 45 minutes drive south west of Port Elizabeth. Photos:SUPPLIED

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AWAKE to the chattering of birds in the early morning as the sun makes its appearance on the horizon, enjoy a scrumptious breakfast with the sound of buck grazing close by, drink in the grunt and mumbles of wildebeest in the distant, and enjoy a sundowner on the wooden deck, while the bark of a zebra fills the night air.

Nature is not peaceful in a quiet sense. No, the wonderful calmness that envelopes you when you submerge yourself in nature comes from a distinct sense of being surrounded by all that is alive. All that is wild. All that is Africa. And when this submersion takes place at a five-star, luxurious game lodge, well, that contentment is taken to a whole different level.

It is here, at the elegant and exclusive Intle Game Lodge situated off the old Loerie Road, where the discerning traveller can discover a superlative getaway destination, where nothing is spared in attention to detail.

To say the view is magnificent and the lodge luxurious at Intle is an understatement. With close attention to detail and the right amount of opulence, Intle Game Lodge balances absolute luxury and minimal impact with supreme style.

Intle Game Lodge

As my husband and I arrived at Intle Game Lodge - Intle is the Xhosa word for “wow”, “amazing” or “outstanding” - the owner, Tracy Roelofson, and the staff greeted us with easy smiles and warm laughter.

And were we amazed!

We stayed in the Zebra Superior Room. Beautifully decorated with a stylish African theme, this 22m² room offers magnificent views of the mountains and African sunset from our own private balcony. There is an elegantly decorated bathroom with a shower and luxurious amenities. The suite made us feel like royal guests of the country, and the uninterrupted view had us thinking that we were alone in the world.

There is a total of ten rooms, where one of the superior suites can double up as a family room.

Once settled in, we made our way to the lounge just off the reception area, in the same area as the dining room, communal bar area and closed Cognac/ smoking lounge where guests can enjoy smoking a cigar with their cognac - waiting to go on an unforgettable game drive.

What to do

Guests can feel the heartbeat of nature as you explore the lodge and surrounds in a land ro-ver, on walks or on a mountain bike.

Not even 200m away from the lodge, we spotted our first giraffe and zebra. Perhaps it’s the quiet seclusion, or the excitement of our first game sighting that evokes the feeling of being connected with the ancient rhythms of nature.

And what is a game drive without a poop spitting competition?

Some of the species of wildlife guests can look forward to seeing include zebra, giraffe, blou wildebeest, nyala, impala, white impala, kudu, blesbok, waterbuck, bushbuck and a number of other small game species.

Game drives can also be booked in advance for outside guests.

The owners decided not to stock the Big Five or any dangerous animals as they wanted the lodge to be safe for a range of activities, including walking, cycling, enjoying a bush picnic, or simply sitting under a tree reading a book and enjoy the tranquil beauty of Intle.

Cyclists of all levels of experience and fitness can enjoy the freedom of cycling through the reserve at their own pace, while an advanced mountain bike trail enables riders to tackle a variety of exhilarating challenges.

Mountain bikes can be hired from reception.

For those guests who prefer a more relaxing experience, soaking up some sunshine while relaxing on the comfortable loungers beside the sparkling swimming pool or enjoying a sundowner on the wooden deck is an option.

We opted for the more relaxing experience. We truly felt as if we were at the edge of civilisation as we sipped our sundowners overlooking the expanse of the Gamtoos Valley in the distance.

SigNature Restaurant

And dinner at the in-house SigNature Restaurant . . . is the stuff of luxury travel magazines. Delicious gourmet meals are prepared by top chef, Lolly, using only the finest and freshest ingredients.

While the owners of the lodge want guests to be comfortable, they ask guests to kindly refrain from wearing swimming suits in the dining room or lounge area. Men are requested to wear shirts at mealtimes. In the evenings a smart-casual dress code is encouraged.

The on-site restaurant called SigNature can be visited by both guests who are staying at the lodge, and the public.

Once back in our room after dinner, our nightgown and slippers were waiting for us on the bed - total bliss.

  • To have your accommodation establishment featured in the Kouga Express, contact Monique Basson at 082 219 9169 or Monique.Basson@media24.com for more information.

But where did it all start? I mean, such a luxurious place just a few kilometers from Thornhill.

“After living in Europe with our children for more than a decade and loving every moment, my husband, Erik, and I still had a yearning for our roots in South Africa,” says Tracy. “While living abroad, we tra-velled extensively and learnt an incredible amount about what people expect from a holiday, hotel, lodges and restaurants. This brought me back to my love for hospitality.

“On a visit to South Africa, I was shown this farm - just short of 700 hectares - with its magnificent views of majestic mountains and the ocean - and I fell in love. We started to build the game lodge at the beginning of 2016.

If you ever decide to splash out on that one amazing luxury holiday, Intle Game Lodge is worth every penny.

For more information, contact Intle Game Lodge at 041 4500 310 or info@intlegamelodge.com. Visit their website at www.intlegamelodge.com.

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