Lara recently enjoyed a wonderful weekend stay at Blue Bay Lodge in Saldanha with her family.
It was another one of those murderous months and we had been counting the days until our getaway to Saldanha. Although we are huge fans of the West Coast, for some reason we had never yet holidayed in Saldanha.
We arranged our usual housesitter and on Thursday night, we threw our clothes into our suitcases, and were packed in less than an hour. As the resort is fully catered, there was nothing else we needed to pack. An amazing benefit of Blue Bay Lodge is that they allow you to bring your dogs along for stays in their chalets. After much excitement at the thought of taking our Jack Russel along with us, we eventually decided to leave him in the comfort of his own home. Nevertheless, the rarity of this being allowed made us firm fans of the resort even before we left home.
Although we love long drives, sometimes a short drive is just what you need! Residing in Blouberg, it took us less than an hour and a half to reach the resort which was easy to find, with several signboards once you take the turn off to Saldanha.
Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted personally by Mart-Mari, the Operations Manager at the Resort, who knew my first name and our chalet number. She gave me a tour of the restaurant, explained all the interesting places to visit and answered all my questions as well as giving tips on the best coffee venue in Saldanha. After being given the keys, we headed off to our chalet.
We found it easily and leaving the bags in the car, which enjoyed covered shade net parking, we rushed inside to investigate. One word can describe our initial impression – wow!
It had been a freezing week and we arrived to a cosy and warm chalet. The wall heaters had been switched on in anticipation of our arrival and it was pure heaven. Walking into the kitchen we found a complimentary bottle of wine with a personally addressed letter welcoming us to the resort, complete with our free wifi code for our stay (this was a huge hit with our technology addicted children). There is a wall safe in each chalet and the chalet itself is spacious and well laid out – allowing us space to not crowd each other, but to still be together as a family. The dining and lounge area both have floor to ceiling windows, allowing panoramic and uninterrupted sea views.
Habitually, upon arrival anywhere, be it home, the office, or a friends house, the first thing I need is a sit down with a cup of tea. I was beyond thrilled to find a small basket, filled to the brim with different teas, various types of sweeteners as well as milk – heaven in a wicker basket!
After braving the cold afternoon air, we carried our suitcases in, unpacked and settled down to relax for a while before heading to the on-site restaurant, the Blue Bay Café Restaurant, for an early dinner.
The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers stunning views. We arrived and requested as secluded a table as possible … our four year old is not a quiet boy! Nevertheless, we had to be creative with keeping him amused so as not to disturb the other diners. Our waiter was fabulous and the food even better. We had a diverse menu to choose from and we thoroughly enjoyed our experience there. The blazing fire and sea views are mesmerizing and we would have lingered far longer had it not been for the above mentioned rowdy little boy!
We took a slow amble back to our chalet, marveling at the sounds of nature at night. Living in the city, you don’t appreciate or hear many frogs or night creatures.
Once settled back at our home for the weekend, Allan lit the fire (the fireplace was fully stocked with wood when we arrived). The fire blazed to life immediately with not a hint of smoke escaping into the house. The view of the bay, with its twinkling lights, was stunning. Together with the roaring fire, we weren’t sure which sight to stare at the most.
We were soon snug and sleepy and once the fire had died down to glowing coals, tired after our long week, we headed off to bed. What an experience cuddling down was! Each room is equipped with a heater and the beds are soft and welcoming. There are more than enough pillows and the duvets are simply divine. Initially we layered an extra blanket on top, but soon removed that. The duvets were toasty and we were soon lulled into a peaceful sleep, listening to the nearby ocean.
A great feature of the chalet is the fact that it is equipped with an alarm. This allowed us to sleep even better, secure in the knowledge that we were safe whilst asleep. We slept in a little bit the next morning (this never happens, I blame the soft bed and divine duvet...).
A fabulous facility that the resort offers is daily servicing (cleaning) of your room or chalet. The cleaners arrived mid-morning and although we decided not to make use of the service, the option to have it is delightful. We dressed warmly, went for a quick walk on the beach and then Allan cooked up a huge traditional English breakfast and we enjoyed every bite while once again enjoying the sea view and crystal clear sky. The kitchen is fully equipped with everything you may need, which makes cooking a joy.
We decided to take a walk around and explore our surroundings. There are numerous little treasure to uncover … the bird hide where you can watch the variety of birds enjoying the lake, the swimming pool (which, although it was cold, we were so tempted to use), the little river and waterfall with its charming bridge leading across. We were thoroughly enchanted.
We then headed off to explore Saldanha for a short while, driving along the coast road, through the town and learning a bit more about its history. Then, off to Langebaan to play at being tourists for a while, exploring the craft shops and purchasing some momento’s to take home. After a short disagreement on what to have for lunch, we decided to head back to our chalet and get something yummy to eat at the resort.
Even though the restaurant was technically closed for the day due to a fundraising function, I ran into the lovely Mart-Mari who very graciously arranged everything so that we could purchase a delicious pizza. After only 10 minutes it was ready and I meandered “home” to feed the masses. Afterwards, Reilly and I settled in for a nap on the super comfy bed, while Allan and Kieran went for a long beach walk and then played some soccer in the park area.
Due to the inviting warmth of the beds, Reilly and I napped fantastically and woke up rested and ready to tackle the afternoon. We were very fortunate in our chalet’s location – not only did we have uninterrupted sea views, we were also very close to the park, which was essentially right outside of our enclosed braai area. We were able to have some adult conversation, while the kids ran and played in the park (they LOVED the trampoline!), all the while easily keeping an eye on them.
It was an absolutely gorgeous afternoon, with not a breath of wind, so we were able to stay outdoors and enjoy our supper at the outside table until the sun started to set. The lovely heaters and fireplace began to lure us indoors and we settled in to warm up and relax as the sun went down and the lights across the bay began to twinkle on. One after the other, we bathed and/or showered and once again settled in to watch a movie. By this time it was totally dark and really cold, but luckily we were all warm and cozy.
Unsurprisingly, we were all quite tired out from all the day’s activities and new sights. After the movie we all decided to head off to bed. To be honest, we were looking forward to the lovely beds again … even Kieran, who hates going to bed, was quite eager to cuddle down under the lovely duvet. Needless to say, after lights out and a bit of chatting in the dark, we were all sound asleep.
We woke very early on the Sunday. Usually we are eager to get back home after a weekend away, but we all agreed that we could easily stay another few days. We all wrapped up warmly and went for another walk on the beach enjoying the lovely fresh West Coast air. Reluctantly, we packed our suitcases, handed in our key and bid farewell to the lovely Blue Bay Lodge and Resort.
Everything at the Resort is well thought out, making your stay easy and pleasurable, and it was all the little things that made for a wonderful stay. The lovely body products and essentials that are available in the chalets, the fact that the fireplace is simply amazing and not a hint of smoke escapes, the fact that the grounds are well cared for and perfectly clean, not to mention the wonderful views and lovely ambience – beautiful during the day, but simply magical at twilight. They also have an on-site gym as well as a beauty salon. The resort team are very welcoming and helpful and make you feel as if any need you could have, would be catered for with a smile.
All in all, Blue Bay Lodge and Resort have a winning formula, and our stay there was a simply sublime experience – one that we will most certainly repeat as often as possible.