Soothing tempestuous souls1st Mar 2018
Soothing to even the most tempestuous souls, Arabella Country Estate is by far one of South Africa’s most luxurious golf estates.
Strategically positioned, less than 30 kilometres from Hermanus and seven kilometres from Kleinmond, the estate sits proudly in a magnificent country setting, at the foot of the Bot River Lagoon. The location is within a transitional zone of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve and boasts panoramic views of the Palmiet Mountain Range in the Overberg.
The region has long been renowned for its fishing, and particularly for its whale-watching season, which runs between June and December each year. However, the area has recently begun to enjoy escalating popularity, especially amongst young families, attracted to the nearby wine routes and food festivals as well as the breathtaking scenery. Great hospitals, good schools and shopping centres nearby make this an even easier choice for young and old alike. The easily accessible transport links to the rest of Cape Town are particularly attractive to city executives who want to be able to work in the city but live in the country.
Previously considered too exclusive for the middle class and too far removed for families with school-going children, the estate is now favoured amongst younger families, who are drawn to the improved Wi-Fi connectivity and the adjacent Curro School in Sandbaai, Hermanus, which offers private, bilingual learning to children up until Grade 10. The school balances academic study, sports and culture, and is attended by learners from all over the Overberg.
This is the place to properly enjoy an outdoor lifestyle in all its green glory, with several large vacant areas on the estate, intentionally remaining undeveloped. Houses blend seamlessly into their surroundings with no physical demarcations between the erven, and the gardens are landscaped to flow directly onto the Arabella Golf Course.
Residential erven comprise only 12% of the estate, with properties varying in size from 550 to 2 900 square metres. As the estate is required to conform to the objectives of the Biosphere Reserve, stringent yet sustainable practices are enforced to protect the area, its wildlife and indigenous Cape fauna and flora.
The large and varying open spaces encourage natural landscapes to thrive. Wetland vegetation is found in the golf estate lagoon areas bordering the property, and it has an important function in acting as a buffer that filters excess nutrients and performs a polishing function for run-off from the estate.
Arabella is also earmarked as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers incredible botanical diversity, with over 1,600 different plant and over 200 bird species, the latter found mainly on the lagoon next to the golf course. The small bay area adjacent to the estate provides shelter and roosting areas against the prevailing wind and forms an important part of the Arabella wetland ecology.
There are a total of 236 freehold lifestyle properties on the 113-hectare estate, most of which have picturesque views of the 1.6 kilometres of lagoon frontage, golf course and mountains. The architectural theme at Arabella Estate is both contemporary and organic, a style derived from and influenced by nature. Every home is universally themed, stipulated to a high aesthetic standard by the Homeowners’ Association, and has a contemporary country feel. Each home makes use of organic materials such as brick, stone, slate roofs and understated earth colour finishes. Glass, stainless steel and wood are utilised to create a selection of homes that are not only visually attractive, but that blend in with the surrounding environment.
In addition to the residential component, there is a 145-room luxury hotel that includes conference facilities, food and beverage services and leisure amenities such as a wellness centre. Each hotel room leads onto a private terrace or balcony, the beds are large and clothed in Egyptian cotton, and the baths and showers are made for two. The award-winning on-site spa has a heated indoor hydro pool and a larger outdoor pool as well as a sauna and steam room and a lap pool.
The Arabella Golf Club forms part of the Arabella Hotel and Spa under the well-known African Pride brand. The fabled 18-hole, par 72 championship golf course has consistently been ranked in the top ten courses in South Africa. In fact, the 8th hole has been described as one of the most beautiful in the country, and the 18th hole was rated as being one of the finest finishing holes in South Africa.
The course was designed and built by the acclaimed South African golf course architect Peter Matkovich in 1999 and since then has been played by numerous golfing legends and celebrities like Gary Player, Ernie Els and Samuel L Jackson.
With guests of such a high calibre and young and growing families as residents, it is little wonder that the estate places heavy emphasis on robust security measures.
A secure but friendly access control greets visitors and residents alike, and guard patrols, thermal imaging cameras and analytics ensure maximum peace of mind. Already well-versed in security, health and safety, firefighting and first aid, security officers deployed here are given additional hospitality training, and the focus is on continuous improvement of service through swift and competent incident response and regular risk assessments.
Life at the award-winning Arabella Country Estate really does move at its own gracious pace. Offering a perfect blend of modern comforts, impressive security and plenty of wide-open green expanses, it is easy to see why so many families from across the country are so keen to call this place home. Living life here is simply hard to beat!
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