Kingsway Log Cabins – Review

These cosy little cabins are on the Gamtoos river, twenty-five kilometres short of Jeffrey’s Bay if you leave Port Elizabeth.

The road to the cabins, once you’ve left the N2, is pretty bad. You don’t need an SUV or 4×4 or anything, but you do have to driveThe title of the cabin we stayed in slowly. It’s very easy find, just don’t ask your GPS. The roads aren’t charted out there. When you arrive there’s motorised gate that keeps out unwanted cars. Cars only mind you, the gate is about my waist height and has an open walk way access. But anyone who walks all the way out there deserves to get to the river anyway.

The cabins themselves are, as you would guess, made of logs. Not very well though. The walls are made of single layer half logs. There are holes in the wall where the logs are cut skew or where knots have fallen out. As a result, there’s no insulation. When the sun shines the house bakes, and when the sun leaves, it takes the heat with it. I forgot to put the butter in the fridge one night and it was rock hard the next morning. No fridge required.

Fortunately, the cabins have electricity and running water. So we had our electric blanket plugged in most of the time.  There’s a TV, but it never picked up any signal. I tried.

The cabin is rented as self-catering, I understand that this means I have to take my own food and stuff, but this didn’t feel like a “self-catering”, it felt like I had borrowed Uncle Joe’s holiday cabin. In self-catering accommodation there is usually a set of crockery and cutlery, and the place is clean and neat when you arrive. This wasn’t. The crockery and cutlery was old left over stuff from their own home.  I don’t mind finding old home equipment when I’m using Uncle Joe’s place, but not when I’m paying for accommodation. It felt so little like professional accommodation that when we left, we felt obliged to clean up after ourselves. It would be rude to leave Uncle Joe’s place untidy. I felt so bad that I actually washed the pan full of oil that someone had just stuffed into the oven. I needed the proprietor to not think that it was me who was so rude as to leave dirty dishes in their house. So there I was, cleaning someone else’s oily mess. Not the perfect way to end a lovely weekend away.

Notice the roof INside the scullery

When I rented the log cabin on the Gamtoos river, I had pictured a single cabin. Away from other people. Away from pets. Away from kids. Away from everything. Just my wife and me. And nothing else. This is not the case. There was no lying or foul play on the part of the proprietor. I was told to expect a log cabin on the Gamtoos river, and that’s what I got. I just wasn’t expecting to find that it was a log cabin in a complex of twenty-five or so log cabins in an area roughly the size of a rugby field – maybe two. When I say that the cabins are on top of each other, I really am NOT exaggerating. The scullery roof of our cabin was literally over the roof of the neighbouring cabin. Just to clarify. That means that there is a roof, complete with Marley tiles, gutters and downpipes, INSIDE the scullery. Also inside the scullery is the naked geyser and the communal (both cabins) drain. The very stinky drain. To get to the toilet, you have to step down a step, out of the kitchen, up a step out of the scullery’s back door. Once you’re outside the cabin, you cover a quick two metre gap and into the bathroom (which is structurally part of the neighbouring cabin). Since you’re so close to the neighbours, you can hear their every argument. I’m not sure that I needed to know that “Cindy” was asked to leave her father’s house because…you see how distracting it is? Anyway. The cabin is cute. It has an open plan lounge/dining room, a kitchenette, one bedroom, a scullery and the bathroom outside.

The people are very friendly. There’s somewhat of a community feel. The people who live there, LIVE there. It’s a very sweet place for you to own a holiday cabin. If you own a cabin, you could go back to it every weekend, and when you get there you’d greet all the other owners by name. I get the feeling that everyone goes there to either fish off your motor boat or trim your garden. While there for my three days, no less than five people within ear shot trimmed their garden with some or other power tool. When they weren’t gardening, they were boating. In their motor boats that they spent all day tweaking. And revving. Revving a lot. When the sun went down the revving and mowing stopped. It became silent. Silent enough to hear the ocean rumbling in the distance. And the N2. Damn the N2 is annoying when you’re trying to sleep. Unfortunately, Kingsway is right between the ocean and the N2. Now I have nothing against the soothing rumble of the ocean. It’s calming. Except I didn’t feel like it this particular weekend. I wanted to hear nothing but the gentle whisper of a river and the chirping of birds and crickets and frogs. OK, now I’m just bitching. The ocean isn’t so bad. But it is when it’s flanked by the hideous rumble of air brakes on the N2, it’s pretty sleep depriving.

From all the cheese I’m having with the whine, you’d swear I’d had a terrible weekend. The truth is: I didn’t.

Front of the cabin

I arrived at the cabin with a cooler box full of food, two bags full of books and my Princess carrying the Merlot. You give me that combination, and you can put me on the moon. I’ll still have a fantastic weekend.

So would I ever go back to Kingsway resort for a weekend? Sure. I would take my sons there for a boy’s weekend. Or even the whole family for a weekend getaway.

At the end of the day, it’s a well-run, neat and cute little holiday resort. The dogs are kept on leads (for the most part) and quiet, the kids run around and play in the streets (like we used to on the city streets) and the adults get together and braai. It’s lovely. Just not as a quiet, romantic get-away-from-it-all break.

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