Coming into view after a meandering drive through the unspoilt De Hoop Nature Reserve on South Africa's famed Garden Route, Ocean House is an exclusive-use beach cottage with a difference.
Sleeping up to eight adults and four children in total luxury, every inch of this sprawling family villa has been designed to be as eco-friendly as possible, from the stove in the kitchen that burns wood from alien species cleared from the reserve to the fynbos planted on the roof to assist with retaining internal heat as well as blending the structure into its natural surroundings.
Beautifully decorated in a soothing palette that picks up the blues and greens of De Hoop, each piece in the house – whether a chair, candle or cutlery – has been specially considered and often imported from Europe. Designers have created bespoke chandeliers that echo the flotsam and jetsam found along the seashore, like pastel-hued and softly tumbled beach glass. At every turn, there is a peaceful nook with tranquil views for reading or daydreaming…
In addition to its green credentials, the Ocean House’s crowning glories are the outdoor area that is designed to be wind-free and the upper-storey bar and living room, which boasts a 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape. Its adjacent sun deck – complete with funky ‘blow-up’ sofas – is the spot to watch one of the Cape’s famous incandescent pink sunrises or frolicking southern right whales, before heading off for your mountain-bike ride or rock pool trail.