Answers to common questions
We’ve compiled a list of answers to common questions.
- What is a self-catering holiday home rental compared to a hotel or B&B?
A self-catering holiday home allows you to rent a fully furnished “home away from home” for your use only: you have space and privacy. If you rent a B&B or hotel room you generally only get a bedroom and need to share other facilities with unknown guests.
- What is included in your rental fee?
Included in the rental fee is the use of all appliances and contents (such as books, music, and games), Wi-Fi, water and electricity, utilities (fully equipped kitchen and laundry room), linen, bath towels and dishtowels, parking on site, a private garden, and the cleaning on departure. You only need to bring your clothes, toiletries, and beach towels. You’re welcome to request additional cleaning at a fee. This can be added when you make your booking.
- Is breakfast included?
Nectar Cottage is self-catering so no meals are provided. There is a fully-equipped kitchen and an outside BBQ/braai for your private use. The Valley Inn, a restaurant about 100 metres from the cottage, offers breakfast, lunch and supper. It also has a beer garden and a shop that sells all the basics. Note that there is no ATM in Nature’s Valley but the restaurant and shop do accept debit and credit cards. It is advisable to shop in the Plettenberg Bay area for a larger choice of products. Grocery retailers Woolworths and Pick n Pay also offer online shopping if you do not have your own transport.
- Is the kitchen fully equipped?
Besides a tall, full-sized fridge and full-sized freezer, there is a dishwasher, an electric oven, 2 gas and 4 electric hobs, a coffee machine and electric kettle, a microwave, a juicer, a blender, pots, pans, crockery and cutlery, 2 work areas (cutlery and space to work on both sides of the kitchen), a potjie (large wrought-iron pot that can also be used outside on the braai/BBQ), and general braai/BBQ equipment. There is also a BBQ/braai for outside cooking. There is a breakfast table in the kitchen. For a wide range of food and products we recommend that you shop at Woolworths or Pick & Pay in Plettenberg Bay. The local shop (2 minutes walk) is relatively well stocked with basic supplies.
- Can I book a cleaner?
Nectar Cottage offers a daily cleaning service with choice of frequency and days. The cleaner can also change linen, cook, and babysit if desired. See the booking form for more details.
- Are towels and bedding included in the rental fee?
Yes, we provide one bath-sized towel per person and there are small hand towels in all the bathrooms and toilets. Bedding is provided for all the beds, including flat sheets for in summer and an extra blanket for winter (and hot-water bottles). Note that there are no beach towels so please bring your own or purchase these at Mr Price home, Ackermans, Woolworths, or another store in the Plettenberg Bay area.
- Is there a laundry service on site?
There is a laundry room on the premises with a large, self-weighing washing machine. There are also drying lines to hang cloths outside and a dryer. Use is free of charge.
- Can I drink the water?
The water is safe to drink but taste is personal.
- Is the house suitable for babies and small children?
There are provisions for small children and babies. There is a foldable cot and a high chair available for your use free of charge. Should you wish your small child to sleep with you in the Master bedroom upstairs, there is enough space for a cot and there is a lock on the door for child safety.
- Is Nectar Cottage suitable for handicapped persons?
It is not possible to enter the house without mounting a few stairs so it may not be suitable for wheelchairs. Two of the double/twin bedrooms are downstairs as is the family bathroom (with bath).
- Are dogs allowed?
Well-behaved and flea and tick free dogs are welcome at an extra fee. Note that dogs are not allowed to chase wildlife under any circumstances and there is zero-tolerance for this behavior. We request that you ensure that your dog does not bark at night, sounds carry throughout the Valley and this can disturb neighbours. Officially dogs should be lined at all times when off the premises. There is no prohibitive fencing around the property of Nectar Cottage so ensure that your dog does not stray off the premises.
- When is check in time?
Our check in time is from 15.00 onwards. Please let the manageress know your estimated arrival time in advance (the day before or early on your day of arrival) so she can plan her day.
- When is check-out time?
Check out time is 9am. This is in order to allow the cleaner sufficient time to do all the washing and clean the house. If you need an extra half hour this is not a problem provided you give the cleaner access to the house and linen. Should you wish to stay later, till lunch time for example, please add a half day to your rental fee.
- What is the minimum stay?
Bookings are for a minimum of 3 nights (2 nights are accepted with a surcharge) in low season and 7 nights over the Christmas/ New Year period. The online booking calendar will guide you in this process.
- Can more guests stay than originally specified?
Up to 8 guests may stay in Nectar Cottage so you are welcome to invite friends or family. For more than 8 guests an extra charge per guest is levied. Extra guests will need to sleep on the sofa-beds in the sitting room (linen provided).
- Are parties allowed on the premises?
You are very welcome to celebrate with friends and family at Nectar Cottage. However, we do not encourage rowdy parties that may disturb the neighbours and wildlife so please take this into consideration. Nature’s Valley also prefers to keep outside lighting at a minimum so as to not disturb wildlife so please switch all outside lights off when going to bed at night.
- Is smoking allowed on the premises?
You are welcome to smoke outside and ashtrays are provided.
- Are there ever black outs in the area?
We do sometimes experience black outs but they are infrequent. For this reason there is a 1-pit gas stove in the kitchen and an emergency torch. Most rooms also have emergency lighting.
- Is the Internet reliable?
Internet in Nature’s Valley is generally reliable but do not expect the same speed as in Europe. The login details are available in the house.
- Is Nature’s Valley a safe area?
Nature’s Valley is probably one of South Africa’s safest areas. It is a small village at the end of a mountain pass with only one entrance/exit. ADT, South Africa’s most well-known security firm, patrols 24/7. The house has an alarm system which you are welcome to use when leaving the house. There are also 2 alarm buttons inside the house which are directly connected to ADT. It is advisable to lock the house when you go to the beach.
- How do I book Nectar Cottage?
To book your stay at Nectar Cottage simply click on the link and enter your details and requirements. You will be able to see which dates are available. You may pay by credit card, bank transfer, PayPal, or cash. All card transaction are billed in South African Rands and converted to your local currency by the card issuer at their prevailing rate. Once your payment has been made, your booking will be confirmed
- When will I receive the keys?
Please contact the manageress the day before arrival or early on your arrival day to let her know what time you will arrive. This allows her to plan her day. She will issue you with keys.
- Who should I contact if there’s a problem?
Both my manager and myself, the owner, will always try to attend to your every need. I generally respond quickly via mail, SMS or Whatsapp. The onsite manager will help you with any other questions you may have. Otherwise, if you do not contact us, we will not contact you so that you may enjoy full privacy in your “home away from home”.
- Do I need to clean the house when I leave?
The clean on departure is included in the rental fee. It is appreciated, however, if you leave the house in a decent condition and deposit your garbage in the bins provided on the property or at the depot in Forest Drive near the exit of Nature’s Valley on your way out.
- How does the deposit work and when will I get it back?
The deposit of 20% confirms your booking and reverts to a “breakage deposit”. This is to cover any breakages or missing articles noted after your stay. We do not count normal breakages such as a glass or cup. This amount of 20% is refunded to your bank or PayPal account within 30 days of departure.
- Getting there
Nature’s Valley is about 32 km from Plettenberg Bay. From Plettenberg Bay travel east (direction Port Elizabeth/Humansdorp) along the N2 from Plettenberg Bay. Once you have passed Keurbooms and The Crags, just before the Bloukrans River bridge, turn right onto the R102, signposted Nature’s Valley. At the end of the pass, turn right into Nature’s Valley and then right again into St George’s Avenue (follow the sign “Nectar Cottage”). The house is on the left near the end of the road.
Advice: do your shopping in Plett before coming to Nature’s Valley. Although we have a shop that sells all the basics and a restaurant open for all meals with a beer garden near Nectar Cottage, there is more choice in Woolworths or Pick & Pay than in the Valley.
- What if I cancel my booking?
If you cancel your booking more than 60 days before arrival your full rental payment will be refunded but your deposit will be retained. If you cancel your booking within 60 days prior to arrival, you will forfeit the rental fee but your deposit will be refunded. In the event that we can (partly) rebook this period, your rental fee will be (partly) refunded minus a small administration charge.
- Will we see dolphins and/or whales?
Dolphins can often be spotted from the beach all year round. Whales tend to come to the area to mate and calf in the period from June until September.
- Are the animals in the park dangerous?
Both the front and back (kitchen) door have a knob instead of a handle to prevent break-ins by baboons, the most frequent uninvited visitors to the area. Please do not leave food out to attract baboons or feed them. There is a strict penalty for this plus they can be dangerous. Nectar Cottage is surrounded by nature so you may encounter wildlife such as birds (including the Knysna Loerie), bushbuck, bushpig, monkeys, and baboons.
- What are the average temperatures in summer and winter?
Seasons in Southern Africa are reversed from those of the Northern Hemisphere with spring and summer from September to March and autumn and winter from April to August. Summer temperatures range from 22 to 30 degrees Celsius and autumn/winter temperatures average 18 degrees during the day.
- When is the best time to visit?
Any time of the year is good for visiting the area, though be warned that although Nature’s Valley is generally peaceful, it is a bustling summer resort in December. In the winter months expect a quiet retreat with lots of sunny, warm days and cool to cold evenings. From February to November it is quiet and pleasant with temperature ranging from 18 to the high 20s and little tourism. The open fire place heats most of the house and there is firewood available in the garage for a small fee. Extra blankets and hot-water bottles are provided for all the beds.
- Can we swim in the sea and lagoon?
Nature’s Valley seawater temperatures vary from approximately 14 degrees in winter to 23 degrees in summer. Temperatures can fluctuate according to currents. In high season there are life guards on duty on Nature’s Valley beach but out of season you need to take care in the ocean and avoid swimming when currents are strong. Sharks favour the warm waters of the Indian Ocean so it is not advisable to swim in deep waters. The lagoon water can be warmer than the sea and has a beachside as well, allowing for family outings with young children and paddling in the water.