Modern yet sumptuous. That’s the first phrase that came to my mind as I crossed the threshold into the entrance foyer of Sky Villa Boutique Hotel. I’d passed by an eye-catching raw concrete sculpture with a jutting overhang outside. Its modern industrial form, designed by Paul Oosthuizen Architects, both contrasts and compliments the well-designed, luxurious interior. Inside, the finishes are rich in colour and texture and on either side of the foyer you’ll find sweeping staircases that frame the glass exit, which mirrors the entrance and leads to the pool deck and grounds.
Sky Villa – which forms part of the Raw Africa Boutique Collection – has the very best of both style and location. It’s set on the pinnacle of Baron’s View Estate overlooking Plettenberg Bay’s Keurboom’s Valley, the Indian Ocean and the Tsitsikamma and Langkloof Mountains. With 14 rooms (12 of which face the sea), two pools, a restaurant with incredible views, a gallery, gym, spa and new mountain biking trails, the property punches above its weight as a boutique five-star offering.
After a warm welcome at check-in, I was led across a glass floor that doubles as the ceiling of a dining room and cellar, which can be booked for a private wine tasting or exclusive dinner. From here I took the elevator to the first floor, where I found my room to be a comfortable contemporary space. There was a small glass dome on the writing desk that housed some welcoming confectionary but what immediately drew my eye was the window and sliding door leading onto my balcony, overlooking the ocean. Despite some clouds, the view over Plettenberg Bay was magnetic. To the right, below the balcony is the helipad, which makes arrival and departure extremely convenient – if you have a chopper at your disposal. The bathroom is modern with a spacious shower, however, if you want a bathtub, you’ll need to book the Presidential, Honeymoon or Delux Suite.
While superbly comfortable, I had no desire to stay ensconced in my room. The pool deck beckoned. The larger of Sky Villa’s pools is situated on the ground floor, which is on the crest of the hill overlooking the bay. I headed to the rooftop pool, which offered a more private space to enjoy a swim, however, during summer it’s likely to be buzzing with activity. With warm weather, music and drinks, this rooftop pool area surely rivals many of Cape Town’s finest. That evening I chose to sit on the lower deck, with a glass of red wine in hand, taking in the view as the sun set over the ocean.
Raine Solomon artistic touch flows throughout the building and is apparent not only in the rooms but in the communal spaces, such as the one you step into from the elevator. Here, beside the glass floor, art, lighting and crackling fireplace, there are chaise lounges were you can recline and enjoy a nightcap before bed. Being morning however, I headed into the restaurant to enjoy a fruit salad with muesli and yohurt. There’s no buffet, but Sky Villa’s breakfast menu offers a decent selection. Initially, the restaurant began as a fine dining venue however, unfortunately there was not much local support for high-end cuisine. It’s a pity, as fine dining in this setting would be sublime. The current lunch and dinner menu is fairly comprehensive and has a decent variety of tasty steaks, burgers, curries, pizza and seafood.
Sky Villa also provides the ideal location for an intimate wedding (if I had mine all over, this would be the spot), as well as hosting musicians for live concerts. In August, Arno Castens performed and in September Ard Matthews, the lead singer of Just Jinger, took the stage.
There’s not only lots on offer to keep you occupied at Sky Villa, but it also functions as the perfect base from which to explore Plettenberg Bay and other parts of the Garden Route. The beach is a five-minute drive away, as is the lagoon and Goose Valley Golf Club. And whether you prefer bird watching, a relaxing boat trip or more adventurous activities like surfing, mountain biking or bungee jumping, you’ll find a plethora of things to choose from nearby. The highlight however must be that at the end of the day, you’ll be able to retreat above the holiday bustle (particularly in the summer season) to your peaceful, luxurious oasis on top of the hill.