I was really looking forward to staying at Tsala Treetop Lodge on the Garden Route during our South African trip. The description seemed heavenly and a private little family treehouse seemed like such good fun. Although very nice indeed, I had a very different experience than I expected. As luck would have it, there was torrential rain during our stay.
We were glad though we were at Tsala during this rainy period because it was so super comfortable. The treehouse had two bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, an open plan living area with a kitchenette and a small terrace and an enclosed yard with a private plunge pool.
My husband and I got a fire blazing and curled up with a good book and a bottle of wine in front of the superb view.
We really felt like we were in our own private nest in the trees even with the kids in the adjoining room.
The children had their own separate bedroom, bathroom and television. To their delight, the television had Nick Junior. They had been going through a serious period of Spongebob Squarepants deprivation during the trip. The rain was in some ways exactly what we needed – enforced relaxation during a vacation. There was so much to do and see in South Africa we were definitely feeling a little run ragged.
Did you notice that the headboard is an antique door? It was very cool. We had a good laugh at the door knocker which was still attached to the door. We wouldn’t have been surprised to find our daughter had tied up her brother so that she could have uncontested use of the remote control.
There were thoughtful little touches everywhere. For example, the bathtub had bath salts laid out just inviting you for a warm soak.
The shower was an indoor/outdoor combination that I had never seen before. You could choose to shower outside amidst the trees or even just nip out for a quick rinse before returning to the indoor shower. My son thought being naked outside in a forest was the best thing ever. A very European attitude which I personally find a little worrying.
The Tsala cabin had a private plunge pool which we did not use thanks to the downpour. We also didn’t get use the gorgeous terraced area.
We really got the feeling of being isolated behind our high walls which is pretty typical for South African homes which have serious security around the houses. We decided it was lovely for a short break but we could not live with such isolation long-term. I am too used to seeing neighbours walking by on the street or saying hello over the garden fence. I can’t imagine it would be easy to have a sense of community if everyone is locked behind their own private gate.
The Tsala had beautiful interior decor throughout. I thought it was a beautiful mix of antiques and contemporary furnishings.
The on-site restaurant Zinzi was excellent and very conveniently located for our dinner. We also had a very nice breakfast buffet at the main lodge in the morning.
Tsala Treetop Lodge is set in an indigenous forest between the towns of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route. They share their location and facilities with Hunters Country House which is also owned by the same hotel group.