This country village also offers good food, excellent wine + lots of history
Zula Beach House and Cottage in Paternoster
A little piece of West Coast paradise, the ultimate seaside location
The sky turns a beautiful mix of pink and orange as the sun begins to set, sinking slowly behind the icy Atlantic horizon. Aside from the soft sound of the ocean breaking onto the shoreline and the occasional seagull’s cry, there is not another hum to be heard.
Gazing out onto the coastline before me, I snuggle down into the cushioned outdoor furniture and soak in the breathtaking image that lies ahead. A view that Toni Shina, co-owner of the idyllic self-catering house I will be staying at for the night (as well as co-owner of The Backpack backpackers in Cape Town), describes as “a photographer’s paradise.”
And that is exactly what Zula Beach House and Cottage is. A little piece of paradise.
Nestled in an old fishing town situated approximately 160-km from the CBD, Toni and her husband Alon originally built Zula (the name was derived from slang in Hebrew for “what a view!”) as a family holiday home back in 2010. However, owing to the fact that they seldom used their getaway retreat, they decided to share their holiday house with others to enable them to also experience the tranquillity and beauty of the house and its setting.
Offering self-catering services, Zula comprises the main beach house, which sleeps ten as well as the beach cottage, which sleeps two – this is where I will be residing for the night.
The studio-type cottage – although adjoined to the back of the main house, is separated by a tall bamboo wall and gate ensuring privacy and discretion. The space is cosy, fully-equipped and self-contained and I immediately feel at ease in my seaside sanctuary. Fit with a compact kitchenette complete with a hob, kettle, microwave, toaster, fridge and (very much to my excitement) a cafetiere for a great cuppa Joe as well as a fireplace, TV and gas barbeque, you will find everything in the little unit that you could possibly need (and want).
The cottage is spacious, open, light and beautifully set-up, with a blue and white nautical thread seen throughout contributing to its modern yet relaxed and homely atmosphere. Due to its close proximity to the shoreline, the sound of the ocean can be heard from inside the cosy den and a sense of stillness and serenity washes over me as I settle down for the night. Finding it surprisingly easy to remove myself from my busy life back home in the Mother City, I truly feel like I have been transported to a foreign land for the evening and cannot believe that this heavenly retreat is situated only a mere two hours away from the hustle and bustle of Cape Town.
The majority of the items found in Zula’s cottage and house are second-hand, up-cycled or locally-made. Even the art found on the walls is either created by Alon and Toni’s son Paz or friends, which adds to the laid-back, family-home environment – another common theme that is seen throughout.
With a key focus on hospitality and creating a welcoming space, the cottage can be rearranged and adjusted according to your preferences. The bed is flexible and can either be made into a comfortable king-size bed (perfect for two lovebirds enjoying a quiet weekend away) or two large single beds (ideal for friends and family members passing through the little town). The cottage also has an enclosed private garden with personal access to the beach, which is dog-friendly – a unique treat for all animal lovers and their pets.
Then there is the main beach house. Comprising four bedrooms; two large en-suite double bedrooms downstairs, a four-person dormitory-style loft upstairs (great for kids) complete with an open-plan bath area and private toilet as well as an upstairs double bedroom (ideal for teenagers or young adults), the beach house is perfect for family gatherings and reunions and there is more than enough space for the whole clan (and the dogs).
In addition, the house has an airy, large common lounge area with a smart TV as well as plenty of board-games and puzzles great for family games-night because as Toni explains, “This is a house where we want people to play games and spend time with each other.” There is also a dining area as well as a well-equipped kitchen and an outside shower, which is ideal for hot summer days and trips back from the beach.
Depending on your needs and numbers, the beach house and cottage can be rented out collectively or separately. What’s more, both spots have their own front porch areas complete with comfy outdoor furniture; private gardens, which are, as mentioned dog-friendly; as well as spectacular and uninterrupted views of the oceanfront, vast sand dunes and deserted Langstrand beach located in front of the property.
And of course, it is this endless coastline view that truly sets Zula apart.
Over the last couple years, the fishing village of Paternoster has become a hub of activity and the coastal haunt is well-known for its crayfish (in-season), abundance of seafood, white-washed houses and pristine beaches bringing many people to the pretty seaside town. But, as Toni explains, to stay on the side of town where Zula is positioned truly gives visitors the best of both worlds.
“To stay on our side of the beach it is very quiet and secluded, but then it is also just a quick ten minute walk to the buzz of town,” Toni says. “It feels like it is untouched as there is just a beautiful deserted beach in front of you but then you are also so close to the centre of town.”
What’s more, for those looking to be a bit more active, there are plenty of activities and things to do and see in and around Paternoster. Guests are welcome to surf at the point in front of the beach house – this is a hidden gem only known to those who stay at Zula, visit the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve and the West Coast Fossil Park, horse ride, and take supping or kite surfing lessons, to name a few possibilities.
Ideal for family holidays, weekends away, romantic getaways and even travellers just passing through the town, Zula immediately captures your heart, and even though I was only able to experience it for a single night, I realise that this is very true and find that the little piece of paradise has indeed found its way into my soul.
Paternoster People’s Partnership (PPP)
Zula is also a sponsor of the community upliftment project the Paternoster People’s Project (PPP). PPP is a non-profit organisation run by the women in the Paternoster community with the mission to empower the public through vital skill development (sewing, computer training and hospitality classes.) Toni and Zula’s house manager Nora are responsible for the hospitality classes. For more information about the project, please speak to Nora, Toni, or the founder of the project, Sanita van der Merwe from Oep ve Koep in Paternoster (+27 (0) 22 752 2105). Alternatively, you can visit their Facebook Page.
NOTE: Check-in is usually at 1pm and check-out at 11am. However, you may arrange for an earlier check in time with Nora. Please give an estimated time of arrival when booking.
Tip: Dogs are allowed, however, no more than two dogs, weighing 35kgs each. Zula requires a R200 fee per dog paid on arrival to Nora. Please do not leave your dogs unattended. Please note, two separate sets of dogs are not allowed and therefore it works on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Rates: Zula Beach House and Cottage (sleeps 12) from 16 January to 1 December costs R7 300 a night (minimum two nights) and between 1 December and 15 December 2016 costs R8 300 a night (minimum seven nights). Zula Beach House (sleeps 10) can be booked from 16 January to 1 December 2016 for R6 300 a night (Monday to Thursday, minimum two nights) and for R7 300 a night over the weekend, or between 1 December and 15 December for R8 300 a night (minimum seven nights). Zula Cottage (sleeps two) can be booked from 16 January to 16 December 2016 for R1 600 a night on weekdays or for R1 800 a night over the weekend.
Booking Dates and Info: Zula Beach House is unavailable from 16 December 2016 to 15 January 2017 and the cottage is unavailable from 16 December 2016 to 15 January 2017. For more information, availability and quotes please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +27 (0) 83 449 8144, or alternatively enquire and book online at Safarinow.com.
Directions (from the CBD): Take the N1 from Cape Town and then Exit 4 onto Marine Drive/R27 towards Paarden Eiland and the West Coast. Continue on the R27, past Yzerfontein and Langebaan. Exactly 125km from Cape Town turn left onto Vredenburg Main Road. Drive straight through the town, over the four-way stop and 15-kms further to Paternoster. Once in Paternoster, you will see the Paternoster Express on your left and will come to a four-way stop. Go over the four-way stop and follow the road right until the very end. At the end of the road you will come to a circle, turn left and Zula Beach House and Cottage is the third house on the right.
9 Langstrand Close | Mosselbank | Paternoster | email@example.com | zulabeachhouse.co.za | +27 (0) 83 449 8144
Here are some other awesome accommodation spots located outside of the Mother City or alternatively, for something a little different check out these unusual places to stay in Cape Town and surrounds.
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