Champagne, darling? Luxury Travel in the Bay
Are you looking for a bit of luxury, style and panache when it comes to travelling? While Nelson Mandela Bay is known for being an affordable destination, with activities and accommodation that won’t break the bank, there are a few things on our shores that put the extra in extravagant and you can pick and choose a few activities (without breaking the bank) if ‘spoiling yourself’ is on your PE-bucket list.
9 Luxury Travel Experiences in the Bay
When the winter sets in this side of the globe it means that whale watching season is starting in South Africa as humpback whales move along the coast heading up the East coast of Africa towards their breeding grounds.
Want the ultimate in practical boating comfort with drinks and snacks on board? All aboard Stampede Cruises! While Stampede Cruises offer shorter trips like their Waterfront Cruise, they also do trips to the nearby St Croix, Jahleel and Brenton Islands in a spacious, comfortable 38ft Supercat (the only one of its kind in South Africa), an eco-friendly vessel that offers the softest, most stable ride and reduces the chance of sea sickness significantly. Apart from their chartered cruises, you can also create your own unique experience, for example the 160 km Bird Island round trip, or an 8 hour 'Deep South' trip during the Sardine Migration.
Did you know that Port Elizabeth’s Raggy Charters is the oldest marine eco tour company? Raggy Charters’ Whale, Dolphin and Penguin Island Cruise in Port Elizabeth to St Croix is a half day tour on a licensed catamaran, light refreshments and snacks are served and you can also encounter Cape cormorants, bryde’s whales, minke whales, Cape fur seals, various species of sharks, Cape gannets and different species of pelagic birds.
Another option, is the other licensed Boat Based Whale and Dolphin Watching Eco Tourism operators, AB Marine. AB Marine offers initimate boat-based whale and dolphin watching tours with the maximum of 12 guests on board and they are authorised to take you as close as 50 meters to whales and dolphins.; plus, the guides are fluent in German, English, Afrikaans and on request, isiXhosa. While sightings are not guaranteed, they do offer a 'ComeAgainTee' voucher should you fail to see whales or dolphins on your trip.
The Bay is home to a number of upmarket restaurants where your taste privatebuds can live out their wildest fine dining dreams. Escape the city to Broughton Country Estate, situated in Collen Glen, for a delicious culinary experience whilst enjoying the serenity of nature. Step back in time to one of the old PE favourites, Old Austria, for a classic Austrian cuisine, or move over to the hip side of the Bay to Stanley Street where presentation is everything at Muse Restaurant which offers Novelle cuisine.
EXPERIENCE SOMETHING ELSE
Ever peeked out of the plane window over Port Elizabeth and wished you could experience more of this bird’s eye view? You can charter a flight and go on a scenic tour with Helicopter Charter & Training; they have a variety of flights, from 30 minutes that includes a tour over Port Elizabeth, to 50 minutes with a lunch stop at Falcon Rock Restaurant at the foot of Lady Slipper, to one with a lunch stop at Nanaga Farm Stall or Crossways Kitchen.
As they mention on their website, “Port Elizabeth has it all when it comes to scenery. Our beautiful beaches, busy harbour, rugged coastline, modern stadium and FESTIVE beachfront ARE just a few of the sites to enjoy from the air. The surrounding areas are just as beautiful with other coastal towns, dramatic mountains and valleys, winding rivers and the forever changing coastline. You might even spot a few whales or dolphins!”
HIGH TEA THERE
Spend your afternoon soaking up the sun on the big ol’ Victorian Manor stoep of Hacklewood Hill Country House and enjoy a high tea with dainty treats such as choux puffs with salmon and radish pickle, finger sandwiches, scones, pastries, pink lemonade and more.
You can also have a high tea experience at The Boardwalk Hotel's Kipling's Brasserie (there are two sittings on Saturdays) and at the Beach Hotel's Verandah Restaurant there's a daily 'Tea by the Sea' (one in the morning, one in the afternoon).
When it comes to lavish travel, we can’t forget about the wildlife in and around the Bay; it is a premier safari and holiday destination and being home to the big five you can be certain that you’ll be in for a wild luxurious ride with a sundowner on the side. Click here to see where you can go for an unforgettable game drive when visiting.
Sink into a comfy couch at Radisson Blu's Tabú Bar & Lounge and quench your thirst while listening the sounds of a live jazz band in the background; they have a few signature cocktails, like the Elderflower Mojito and the Port Elizabeth Seabreeze, as well as old cocktail favourites, a great selection of wines and fine whiskeys.
Another spot not to miss for cocktail hour is Roof Garden Bar, a popular spot in the Bay for after work drinks on a Friday and they also host exclusive events. Here, two days are never the same and it is best to keep an eye on their social media to stay up to date with all that is happening.
Click here for more cocktail options in the Bay.
Looking for a five star stay with room service where the attention to detail is on point? Or do you want to tap into the Bay’s wild side and stay somewhere in the bush, or perhaps go somewhere with a private pool?
Click here to find the perfect spot for your luxury escape.
Polish your drivers, gather your balls and call the caddy because Humewood Golf Course – the only true links course in Africa - is ready and waiting with no trees, wide and sweeping undulating fairways, fast greens and thick coastal bush. The Humewood Links Course opened in 1931, hosted the SA Open in 1934 and is ranked at number 13 when it comes to South Africa's top golf courses and has hosted a number of major South African tournaments.
The PE Golf Club, which have been in existence for over a century, is situated in Mill Park and offer first class facilities with a course lenght of 6117 metres and 18 holes/par 72.
Another oldie but a goodie, and definitely a favourite, is Walmer Golf Club which is fondly known as Little Walmer. It is one of the oldest in South Africa and has some challenging holes for golfers.
Wedgewood Golf and Country Estate is an 18-hole championship golf course and known as one of the most stimulating and challenges golf courses in the Eastern Cape, it boasts 7 lakes, 18 holes and generous fairways.
Let go of the day’s stresses and relax at the Bay's spas and wellness centres where your mind, body and soul will be soothed into tranquility through various techniques and products.
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