Perivoli Lagoon House. Magnificent villa living in a pristine private fynbos reserve.

The quote that danced around my head while at the beautiful Perivoli Lagoon House was that by Marcus Tullius Cicero – ‘If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need‘. Afterall Perivoli – Greek for ‘garden’, is as good as any could ever be.

An untouched paradise in the Cape Overberg

I’ve discovered that sometimes an overnight escape is all that’s needed to revive the soul and refuel the senses, with the remarkable Perivoli Lagoon House in a pristine isolated 140-hectare fynbos reserve just outside Stanford the perfect place for it.

The exquisitely decorated and expansive 4-bedroom luxury villa overlooks the Kleinriver lagoon, with not a neighbour for miles, inviting solitude, yet with an array of optional activities to partake in. However, the mood strikes you. Here is where I was lucky enough to stay by invitation of Five Star PR, arriving with the best of the afternoon light and in time to linger on the large deck for lunch.

The beauty of Perivoli Lagoon House extends well beyond the incredible setting, mountain views, tranquil lagoon and impeccable service by the team, to the textures and colours of the carefully curated African inspired decor by Simoné Henckert, as well as the finest hosting and guiding by Marcelino Henckert. A remarkable power couple with extensive experience in the hospitality industry who are incredible to share time with.

My bedroom in the villa, a welcome oasis, especially now that escapism is more seductive than ever.

Perivoli Lagoon House

Let’s talk about the healing power of water, especially when it’s in this setting at the Perivoli Lagoon House overlooking the natural grasslands that lead to the Kleinriver Lagoon. After a beach walk, we spent almost an hour in the deliciously heated pool, chatting, contemplating the state of the world, sharing family anecdotes, and offering up gratitude to the rising moon and stars visible above the mountains.

The Perivoli Setting

The Perivoli Lagoon House is set in a stunning wilderness of colourful Fynbos biome a stone’s throw from the Kleinriver lagoon with panoramic views of the Lagoon and the Kleinriver Mountains. It is the unusual nature of the Lagoon – the fact that it is fed by freshwater from the Klein River yet backfilled most years with saltwater from the Ocean when the sand dunes at its head breach – that explains its unusual ecosystem and which makes it such an extraordinary place to visit. Easily reached by 4×4 guided drive, and one of the optional activities from Perivoli is a visit to the adjoining Walker Bay Nature Reserve, an ideal place for long beach walks, sand dune excursion or even a swim in the ocean. It is certainly a place where nature rules.

Where I like to be, where I see the sea, and the sea sees me.

It’s not really a sundowners experience without Gin&Tonics, and Perivoli Lagoon House’s charismatic co-host Marcelino has them perfected! Of course, they taste even better when you’ve got sand between your toes.

Nature drives, safari style, took us into the reserve where hikes, dune climbing and ocean swims await. Of course there’s also always a slim chance of spotting a caracal, the elusive leopard or one of the resident antelope too.

Nothing but pristine passionately protected fynbos covered land as far as the eye can see. Or rather until that place where the mountains reach the sky.

Fynbos finds, as found on our early morning hike in the reserve.

The glorious Vivian welcoming us with signature Perivoli mocktails, and her gorgeous smile!

Lunch, done extremely well. Also, exactly my kind of deliciousness.

A private oasis on the water’s edge

Designed by architect Gregg Goddard with interior design by Simoné Henckert, the ultra-contemporary open-plan design with its elegantly curved roof is a new landmark on the banks of the Klein River lagoon. Home to four double suites with private bathrooms and terraces, and generous living areas that spill out onto sprawling wooden decks and a heated infinity pool. The house invites complete relaxation with deep sofas and shaded views of the lagoon to immerse oneself in nature, watch the birds and breathe the fragrant fynbos.

Soak up the dramatic views and unwind within this luxury retreat. Inside, bright and spacious living spaces provide the perfect place to unwind. Or step through folding glass doors onto the large outside deck with a heated infinity pool. Covered outside areas with deep sofas allow for a shaded view of the lagoon for those that wish to watch the birds and smell the scented fynbos. Inside and outside dining areas allow you to enjoy your meals according to your whim or the season. In colder months, a wood-burning fireplace and efficient eco-friendly pellet stoves in each room will keep you warm as you look out over the ever-changing lagoon and mountains.

The dining area boasts ample space for hosting, including a fully equipped designer kitchen with separate scullery and laundry room. A small decorative herb garden provides fresh ingredients for the kitchen, available for guests’ use. The culinary experience at Perivoli Lagoon House is a celebrated part of any visit and I’d recommend that you book your stay to include a private chef. With a strong emphasis on local, sustainable produce, Perivoli Lagoon House sources all food ingredients from acclaimed local producers, fortunately, in this part of the Cape, there are many.

Practice yoga on the expansive deck, or make use of your very own gym-in-a-bag, featuring; yoga mat, exercise ball, and resistance bands. For a little more pampering, a signature in-house treatment can be arranged at your leisure, or an appointment can be scheduled at the Milkwood Spa just 5 minutes away. Read here for more details on the activities offered at Perivoli.

The property offers access to an otherwise inaccessible 18km isolated beach within the Walker Conservancy, boating on the lagoon, guided birdlife walks along its shores, horse riding and quad biking. For wildlife enthusiasts encounters with rare species such as caracals and other wild cats amongst the fynbos are not unlikely. Whale watching, for which the region is well known, trips to neighbouring wine estates, mountain biking and golfing are all close at hand. The delightful town of Stanford with its boutique shops, cafés and restaurants, is only a short 10-minute drive away, as are several celebrated upmarket restaurants for the hungry foodie.

Find more info on what to do in the area see Peter Frost’s Stanford – the quintessential weekend guide.

Above everything else, Perivoli Lagoon House is an ideal escapist wellness destination with wide decks for yoga, hikes in the reserve, and the best kind of warm water therapy. Plus the completely soothing stillness.

The Perivoli Foundation, do good as you go

Perivoli Lagoon House is owned by the philanthropically focussed Perivoli Trust with all profits allocated to conserving the indigenous yet endangered fynbos, the rare and highly colourful plant life that is endemic to the area, and to clearing invasive alien species and restoring the land. All surplus profits are allocated to Perivoli Schools, a charity that shows nursery school teachers in poor communities in sub-Saharan Africa how to organise their classrooms and create educational toys and games out of recycled materials. The charity employs 120 trainers and now has over 7,000 nursery school teachers under its wing in Namibia, Malawi and Zambia. Alongside the Lagoon House, Perivoli Schools is otherwise funded by Perivoli Innovations. Read more at Perivoli Foundation,

The Essential Details

The lagoon house can be booked on an exclusive-use basis for up to eight people with flexible booking options that include housekeeping service, as well as a choice of all-inclusive or self-catering. Look out for the excellent South African specials currently on offer. Contact Perivoli Lagoon House at info@perivoliafrica.com and +27 (82) 825 3211, reservations@perivoliafrica.com and +27 (0) 21 000 3367 for more information.

Getting There

Perivoli Lagoon House is situated two hours from Cape Town and 90 minutes from the international airport. I really loved the drive out, and recommend that you arrive via Caledon to Stanford as there are currently roadworks between Hermanus and Stanford which can cause delays. Helicopter flights can be arranged from Cape Town to the property at an additional charge if preferred.

** With thanks for the wonderful stay to all at Perivoli Lagoon House and to Janie Van Der Spuy who arranged my visit, for the company and treat.

** Most pics are mine.

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Dawn Bradnick Jorgensen
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