I've always been an advocate of work hard, be ambitious, have passion for what you do, and be the very best (like no one ever was haha), because eventually hard work always pays off.
A month ago we received an email from the general manager of a beach resort in Port Alfred. He had recently seen a website I designed for The Zambezi Queen - a luxury houseboat on the Zambezi River, and was so impressed by it that he invited us to spend a few days at his resort to design a site for him.
Situated in a wildlife reserve along the coast in Port Alfred, Oceana is a breathtaking boutique hotel offering 5 star accommodation, mouthwatering cuisine, game viewing, an almost private beach, and personal service.
With stunning views of the ocean and wildlife directly from the hotel, coupled with beautiful decor, there is definitely has a serious 'wow' factor upon entering. Oceana has three lodge suites, four ocean suites and a private house that sleeps six. Both Jono and I had a lodge suite each - a spacious, luxurious room with a lounge area, fireplace, deck, an impressive bathroom, heated floors, heated towel rails and a heated bed. Hmmm, I think I just really like heated stuff haha.
We had a long meeting with Chris, the manager, on the first day. He's cool and really jacked up on web trends and knows what he wants - in his words, a 'shit hot' website. Once I gauged his likes and dislikes, it was easy to knock out a great design the following day and even though he had high expectations, he was really impressed with the design and my ideas. Perfect! With that out the way we can get onto more important things...
Incredible. I haven't eaten so much. Ever. Breakfast started with bread for the table, followed by yogurt, muesli and fruit; then a full English breakfast. The fruit cocktail was really good. Just putting that out there. Lunch included Deep Fried Brie with Salad for starters, Kebabs and Onion Rings or Chicken and Veg curry with Rice for mains; and a choice of Creme Brûlée or Malva Pudding for dessert. Supper included bread, canapés, starters, sorbet, Roasted Leg of Lamb or steak, and if you still had any space left, Chocolate Bavarian Cake for dessert. One might argue that the food is what I actually went for and not to design a website! hahaha
While Oceana is situated in a reserve, that's not it’s main drawcard as it isn't a Big Five reserve. They have game such as zebra, giraffe, impala, nyala, wildebeest and buffalo but no cats or ellies. Their main focus is on great service and creating a relaxed, private environment. Another key feature is the beach, which is rather big - roughly 800m of golden sand before you even reach the water! The vibe is serene, romantic, relaxed, calm and all other synonyms for peaceful. You and your partner could easily have the entire beach to yourselves - have a picnic, walk the beach, take photos or even just lounge out on the beach deck.
I really enjoyed Oceana. Even though I had work to do, it was still quite relaxing. It's earned a top spot on my favourite places to revisit list, trumping a few other destinations in South Africa.