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All reviews lee ann gravel road self catering wild coast small shop hole in the wall beautiful place local community friendly hosts hidden gem stayed nights equipped kitchen fridge freezer rolling hills the river world class overlooking the ocean
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Reviewed 10 March 2018

On an unplanned trip through the Transkei, we impulsively booked at Swell Eco Lodge for one night and ended up staying for five! We hadn't come prepared for self-catering but Justin arranged delicious homemade meals for us, and the shop was most useful for all the other essentials we needed. The kitchen however is brilliantly stocked with everything you could possibly need for a fully self-catered holiday. Justin, Lee-Ann and their wonderful staff made for a really splendid stay in a beautiful and unique part of the world. We will certainly be back!

  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank RozanneFleet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2018

Both the accommodation and the location are really special. It is well worth the slow hour's drive on rutted dirt roads from Coffee Bay - our Toyota Corolla managed well provided I drove slowly and carefully. This obstacle meant that there were almost no other tourists on this exquisite stretch of coastline. We felt safe walking along the coast in either direction (back make sure you dont get trapped by high tide at the estuary mouth when returning from the South) and the views were exquisite.. The big rondavel bedrooms are great, the kitchens are big and well equipped, and the wide verandas are great from chilling. Everything immaculate. The owners and staff are friendly and conscientious. So: highly recommended, if you are prepared to make just a bit more effort to get there.

  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank mbachmann2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2018 via mobile

Firstly the road, yes it's slow going due to its state of disrepair but hang in there, it will be worth it! From the Coffee Bay tar road it's about 1 and a half hours drive to the lodge, hence make sure you bring all the necessities.

We brought all our toys including surfboards, fishing rods, inflatable dingy with motor, kite surfing, snorkling gear etc. Well worth the efforts as our daily exploration from Eco lodge was rewarded with surf, mangrove fishing and beautiful sunsets from the hills.

They have a small shop which sells the basics and may even surprise you, meat, rehydrate and water just to name a few of the bits you'll find there.

Take some sweets and old clothes for the locals.

Order your daily Xhosa bread and bring some jam and cheese for a feast over lunch time, you'll pick up a few kilos but who cares, you are spending your days barefoot and out in the wild.

Once you return sunburnt and tired in the afternoon, you'll enjoy your serviced unit with fresh towels, dishes washed and the beds made. Definitely a treat as you won't be distracted from your g and t's from the balcony.

We were two couples and stayed a whole week to make the most out of it. The accommodation was 5 star transkei, and we doubt you'll find something this awesome, this remote.

If you are looking to fall off the planet for a week or more but still want some home comforts, Swell Eco with Justin and his family is the place to do it. Bring your toys and explore.

Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
Thank Jal R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2018 via mobile

Enjoyed a very relaxing 4 night stay here with my husband & my 3-year old son, the highlight of our three weeks in SA. We stayed in the family/honeymoon rondavel. This includes a beautiful loft bedroom with a freestanding bath & a deck with view of the hills & sea. It is kept spotlessly clean by one of the excellent staff employed by Swell. The lodge employs local people and the owners are actively involved in working with & giving back to the local community.
We spent plenty of time at the beach, tried some of the activities on offer such as kayaking in the river, horse riding and getting a massage, and enjoyed the peace and quiet of our rondavel. We chose the catered option & enjoyed simple, tasty meals prepared by the welcoming & helpful owners Justin & Lee-Ann. We also tried the delicious Xhosa bread made by Nomsa. Swell Eco lodge is well worth the trip on the very rough dirt road (we are from Central Australia and used to dirt roads, but this was something else!). We hope to return.

Tip: although the lodge has a small shop with basic food/snacks, if you want extras like fresh fruit you will need to bring these with you, and if you are self-catering, bring everything.

Stayed: February 2018, travelled with family
Thank Alex W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2018

We spend a very relaxing week at the lodge in December 2017. Quiet and peaceful, safe for the kids to roam inside the lodge without worrying about them. Justin and his staff are always helpful and friendly. The accommodation is great and cleaned daily, kitchens have everything you need and kept clean by the staff. They even have a small shop with thing you would need and some nice extras. There is DSTV for the kids as well. Great for a relaxing holiday. The surrounding area is clean and safe, the most amazing views and the beaches are quiet and safe. Something you have to experience!

Room Tip: You will need a 4x4 to get to the lodge road is not the best
  • Stayed: December 2017, travelled with family
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Thank Tanzpiet001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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