Honeywood Forest Lodge has it all, writes Katrine Anker-Nilssen.
Situated less than 1km from the beach and a five-minute drive from Port Shepstone, this beautiful lodge offers self-catering as well as dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation in six fully equipped four-sleeper chalets. The acclaimed on-site restaurant, The Cellar, serves delectable gourmet cuisine from an ever-changing menu and offers a unique, intimate dining experience; chef Dylan Smith has over 20 years’ experience and will tantalise your taste buds with his contemporary fusion-style of cooking. And last but not least, Honeywood’s beautiful Forest Spa will suit all your pampering needs.
Dylan had just finished his chef studies when he met Kate in 2003. “We lived and worked in Durban for five years, then went to France to work on the boats. We came back in 2009, got married and the rest is all history,” says Kate.
Honeywood is a family-run business between Dylan’s mom Sharon, Dylan and Kate. “Sharon is our accommodation, grounds and finance person, Dylan runs the restaurant and kitchen, and I run the spa and do all the marketing. We all lend a hand in each department, helping each other out to make sure we have a smoot- running business.”
In 2007 ground was broken for the accommodation, and Honeywood opened for their first guests in 2009. “Dylan and I relocated to the South Coast after a stint overseas and opened The Cellar in December 2009. We scraped together tables and chairs from aunties and uncles, and went to auctions and second-hand shops to decorate and furnish the restaurant; that’s where it gets its eclectic feel from,” says Kate – who developed and opened the spa in 2015.
“Honeywood offers a place to unwind, enjoy incredible food and simply have your stress melted away,” says Kate. “The forest is such a healing place. I love showing our guests down to the spa or down to a chalet, and seeing or hearing their first reaction to our magnificent forest. I love sharing this wonderful piece of heaven with our guests and seeing how they instantly relax and unwind, it makes all the behind-the-scenes hard work worth it.”
Balancing work and family life is tricky, as they all live on the property and are all so hands on. “We made a decision to dedicate Sundays and Mondays to family and home life, so the restaurant and spa are closed on those days. It’s hard to turn away business, but at the end of the day family is way more important and it’s time that you can never get back.”
Plans to take Honeywood even further by adding a Forest Hydro area for the spa are underway. “It will have an outdoor massage area, steam room and shower. We have also started on the Lapa Suite, which is going to be our luxury honeymoon suite for that complete escape from it all. It overlooks the koi pond and will be the perfect romantic getaway. We hope to become a sought-after destination for our incredible food, relaxing spa and stunning accommodation,” says Kate.
FOR MORE INFO: www.honeywoodsa.co.za