My Top 3 Winter Holiday Destination recommendations {with Afristay}

While we’re in holiday mode…school’s out and all, and we’re in Winter, I’ve been wondering where we could do a little Winter breakaway. Some place cosy and kid friendly as well! Planning a getaway usually makes me pull my hair out, because….where do I even start? You all may remember I told you about Afristay a few months ago, well for me…that’s exactly where I start. If you didn’t read that post, we’ll wait for you…go and check it out and head back here…..

You see, when Afristay sends out their newsletters every so often, I check out their latest offerings and if something interests me, I add it to my ‘wish list‘. I am the person that sees fantastic accommodation and go: We HAVE to go to this place! 3 Months later when I’m looking for places, um…where was that place again? Having these places saved on my wish list, to me is one of the best features of the website!

In collaboration with Afristay, I thought I’d share the top 3 Winter Holiday destinations I’d recommend, based on my past experiences there and also, what’s on my wish list 😉

Pine Lake Marina Waterfront Resort 

I know what you’re thinking…. ‘Waterfront resort’ in Winter?? Read on before you wonder if I’ve lost my mind!

Pine Lake Marina is situated 5km outside Sedgefield, in the heart of the Garden Route National Reserve and on the banks of the Swartvlei Lake. It is one of the most beautiful places to stay, with magnificent views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. The resort offers self-catering accommodation with a whole host of on-site activities, which makes it the perfect place for family holidays. Its location makes exploring the Garden Route a lot easier! 

What I love most about Pine Lake Marina is that you literally NEVER have to leave the resort. It’s your one stop holiday spot!

  • Child friendly
  • The accommodation is neat and comfortable
  • There’s a fireplace, so there’s the cosiness factor you need for Winter vacations!
  • Games room, putt putt, heated pool, etc. The kids are SORTED!

Also where it’s situated, IF you really want to drive out to Knysna, George, etc…you have the option to get everybody into the car to go explore the neighboring towns. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay there and the kids had THE BEST time! This is a home away from home, only a lot more fun! So even though it’s Winter, and this is a Waterfront resort, I still feel there’s a lot for the family to do!

For some more awesome Garden Route accommodation options, check out their website.

Thatchwood Country Lodge

What I love most about living in the Eastern Cape, is that we have so many hidden gems close by. You can go and have an amazing holiday….100kms, 200kms, 350kms away. You don’t have to drive 800kms or take expensive flights. The most recent new discovery for me was St Francis Bay! I had never been there before, so when my husband and I went away in late 2017, I purposefully looked for something close by, so I could explore more of the Eastern Cape. When I discovered Thatchwoods Country Lodge on Afristay’s website…I was smitten. 

Thatchwood is a luxury guesthouse situated in between 2 golf courses , on one side the famous St Francis Links golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus and adjacent to our garden the 6th tee of the local St Francis golf course So a heaven for golfers. The atmosphere and ambiance of this luxury guesthouse are a blend of warm homely hospitality, great cuisine and friendly service. Our beautifully thatched lodge is decorated in a tastefully African style.

There’s so much to love about this place. Is it so luxurious, but still comfortable, as the description implies. Spot on. There is accommodation suited to couples having a romantic getaway, and there is also family style accommodation. The host and the staff are always ready to help and make sure you are having the most enjoyable and relaxing stay.

They offer a bed and breakfast option, which is great when you’re in holiday mode! No soggy cornflakes for breakfast!! We literally did not want to leave our room, but we also knew we had to explore this gem of a town. There’s a lot to do for families and couples!

  • Dolphin and whale watching
  • Hikes
  • Golf
  • Game reserves are close by
  • WiFi…very important!
Restaurant close by: Tails and Thyme

We were quite heartbroken to leave! We definitely plan to make another trip back there with the kids in tow.

PS If you ever go that way, you need to go and eat at Tails and Thyme! Wowee…the food there was just amazing! 

Lovemore Lodges Knysna

So this listing is one that features on my wishlist, not one I’ve actually been to. Lovemore Lodges consists of a few cottages and houses, so there are various options. Whether you have a family or you’re a couple looking for a getaway, they seem to have a solution for you. I love Knysna and the Garden route…I could literally go there for every single holiday we ever plan and I’d be happy! The cottages at Lovemore look so clean and comfortable. I know that’s a weird description, but to me, some places just don’t look appealing online, I need it to look clean and crisp. All the offerings on this listing appeals to me! Also, there’s a fireplace, perfect for that Winter getaway!

What to do in Knysna?

Knysna has three world class golf courses, have amazing trails for hiking and cycling through the forest, surrounded by beautiful beaches and some fun day outings:
– The Knysna Elephant Park
– The Wolf Sactuary
– Birds of Eden
– Monkeyland
– Raptor World
– Adventure Land
– Wonderful Saturday markets, one in Sedgefield and another at Harkerville, where you can treat yourself to local food, produce, art and craft.
– Some of the top restaurants on the Garden Route
– Beauty salons and day spa’s
– A shopping experience of unique local designers

Check out some more of their awesome Knysna accommodation options over on their website.

This view!

You know all I want to do right now is make that booking on the Afristay website….jump into the car and start a fire somewhere. In somebody else’s home. Sorry, to clarify…not burn their homes down, but in the fireplace. All warm and cosy, playing boardgames with the family. As they do on Instagram! I personally love a little out of season getaway, so possibly in August sometime….we’ll be heading for a little breakaway.

Let me know if you’ve been to any of the above spots and also what your top Winter holiday destination is! Also, have you tried out the Afristay website before? If not, you need to! It’s really super convenient and booking is a pleasure. Head to my first post about the website if you’d like more info on the functionality of the website.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored, but this was my honest experience at the establishments and with the website.

Thank you Afristay for partnering with me on this post. <3 


I’m Simone, a mom of 3, a wife...obsessed with my family, makeup and books!


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