Ohana Retreat: A Magical Nature Escape near Piketberg

Ohana Retreat: A Magical Nature Escape near Piketberg

Straight out of the pages of a storybook.

This whitewashed, thatched farmhouse in the Banghoek Private Nature Reserve has been lovingly renovated into a magical escape by its passionate owners Daniel Phillips and Debbie Goldstein. The 1 000-hectare reserve itself is a pristine, fynbos-strewn wonderland, protecting many rare and endangered plants, and home to baboons, antelope, aardvarks, porcupines, myriad birds and elusive leopards.

A very special place

Ohana Retreat Picnic

There is so much to love and immerse yourself in – a patio strung with fairylights; a lush garden of trees, flowers, lawns and secret nooks; hammocks, beanbags and deckchairs around every turn; the sound of a nearby stream; a small pool to dip into; a citrus orchard; mountain views… It’s an idyllic spot to take time out.

Love and light

Ohana Retreat Bedroom width=

Every room of the house opens onto the gorgeous garden (painstakingly created by Daniel) and the endless nature beyond that. The interiors are every bit as breathtaking, courtesy of Debbie’s tasteful eye (she also owns Madison Boutique, a designer-clothing store at Constantia Village, Cape Town). Thoughtful touches abound, from exquisite soaps, candles, throws and linen to the art and books. It’s kind to the Earth, too: off-grid and solar-powered.

Ohana Retreat Kitchen

For Debbie, it’s been a “labour of love”, turning “a funny old house with small windows on a sandpit” into a dreamy, light-filled home with an Eden-esque garden. Around 2 000 trees were planted, along with the lawns and indigenous shrubs.

You’ll come here for all of the above, and find the true luxury of privacy and a remote, unspoilt setting. And according to the owners, the winter days are positively balmy.

The lodgings

Ohana Retreat Lounge

  • 3 bedrooms (one king bed, two queen beds); one is an attic room
  • 1 bathroom with a shower and a separate bathtub, 2 ensuite bathrooms with showers, plus an outdoor shower
  • fully equipped kitchen (with a dishwasher)
  • open-plan living area with a large fireplace
  • solar panels
  • indoor and outdoor dining tables
  • verandah with a braai
  • swimming pool
  • TV, sound system and boardgames

Things to do

Ohana Retreat Hiking Trails

  • scenic walks (orchard, dam and riverside)
  • swimming
  • hiking trails
  • wildlife spotting and birdwatching
  • picnicking

Ohana Retreat Outside

Where Piketberg
Distance from CT 2 hours
Child friendly? Yes
Pet friendly? No
Wifi? Yes (no cellphone signal)
Sleeps 6 (+1)
Cost R4 500 per night

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The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 13 April 2023