Nestled into the side of a deep valley within a private nature reserve with views the unique Tsitsikamma Mountains, the 'country lodge' is 18 km east of the coastal town of Plettenberg Bay near South Africa's famous Garden Route National Park.
Sixteen individual suites and two family-sized villas are dotted along one side of the valley's slopes, surrounding the huge centrally located reception and restaurant. Meant as a point of social gathering, its focus point is the huge wooden patio which offers 180 degree views of the reserve and beyond. Furnished with dining tables, lounges and fireplaces, it is designed for social gatherings beyond the dinner and breakfast it also serves. There are animals around - cheeky vervet monkeys scamper across rooftops. And there's also a pretty awesome 18-year-old cat called Matty.
Much can be said about the attention to detail in these beautifully-appointed suites; art enthusiasts will love the brightly coloured African colour schemes and paintings with thick wooden frames, vibrant orange vases and sculptures adding a unique South African accent to the rooms.
The suites have queen sized beds, sunken lounges and fireplaces, large bathrooms with double showers and no water restrictions, locally produced soaps, shampoos and lotions that smell delicious, but perhaps most precious of all, huge valley-facing balconies from which you can enjoy sundowners and those beautiful pink-tinged South African sunsets. There's also a reasonably-priced minibar, coffee and tea plus popcorn and biscuits in the room, which was a nice touch.
As Hog's Hollow is somewhat isolated, it's great that they have a huge central restaurant and patio where you can socialise with other guests. Dinner is casual in attire but more formal in manner, the menu consisting of a three-course meal, with two choices of each; the waiting and kitchen staff, part of the furniture for 16 years, are introduced before the orders are taken. The food, a Euro-African fusion, was delicious. A 'farmhouse breakfast' beginning with bubbles is served on the patio in the mornings.
Cars are handy for this locale, but plenty stay here without getting into a vehicle. Activities are an embarrassment of riches, varying from massages to bungey jumps, 'kloofing' to sandboarding, champagne cruises along the river, stand-up paddleboarding, horseriding, day trips to wineries, or visits to local wildlife sanctuaries can all be arranged. You'll never be bored in this part of South Africa.
Luxurious digs in one of the most stunning parts of this country - if not the world.
The hot water bottle hidden at the base of my bed was a pleasant surprise. Emphasis on the surprise. And the owner's friendly 18-year-old cat, Matty.
No wi-fi in the rooms was frustrating - I know the emphasis is on enjoying your surroundings but it's nice to be able to access the internet when the surroundings are in darkness.
Askop Road, The Crags, Plettenberg Bay, 6602, South Africa; hog-hollow.com/
Phone: +27 44 534 8879
Rooms start from 3011 rand a night.