15 unique seaside stays in St Francis Bay

Winona Griggs

Discover 15 Amazing Places to Stay in St Francis Bay

Picture a stunning seaside getaway with enchanting canals, unique architecture, breathtaking natural surroundings, and world-renowned surf breaks. St. Francis Bay has it all, making it the perfect destination for an unforgettable vacation. If you’re wondering where to book your stay, look no further! I’ve handpicked a list of the top 15 accommodations that will ensure you have the most memorable experience in St. Francis Bay.

Curious to know how I made my selections?
While TripAdvisor provides valuable guest reviews, it doesn’t give us a holistic view. To find the very best accommodations in St. Francis Bay, I’ve spent years researching and reviewing destinations for renowned publications like Frommer’s and The Telegraph. Using a combination of TripAdvisor and other online sources, I’ve meticulously evaluated 33 properties and carefully handpicked the following gems for you. Each one promises a truly unforgettable stay.

Here’s what I discovered about the accommodations in St. Francis Bay:

• St. Francis Bay is divided into six distinct areas, each with its own unique charm and character. The Canals stand out as the most coveted area, with prestigious homes fetching multimillion-dollar prices. It sits adjacent to the original Village, both boasting architectural guidelines that add to their beauty – think black roofs and white walls. The Village also features a charming retail precinct. On the hill behind, you’ll find the newer St. Francis Links estate, known for its popularity among golf enthusiasts. Moving south, Santareme emerges with its Mediterranean-inspired buildings, followed by the bustling St. Francis Port. And at the southern tip lies Cape St. Francis, offering a glorious beach and a mix of architectural styles that inspire awe.
• With such an impressive array of self-catering options, selecting my final list was a delightful challenge. In fact, this month’s selection boasts not one, but three shared categories! With popularity on the rise, it’s always better to have more options, right?
• Keep in mind that most self-catering accommodations have minimum stay requirements, usually three nights, and a minimum of two weeks during the Christmas or New Year period.
• Fortunately, I have uncovered the ultimate holiday-rental experts in the entire bay. Kerry Clare (kcproperties.co.za) stands out as the top agent, providing a wide range of options. If you’re specifically interested in Cape St. Francis, Diane Nicholson (capestfrancisproperties.com) is your go-to agent. Both of them possess an in-depth knowledge of the area and will ensure you find the perfect match for your needs.
• I was pleasantly surprised by the abundance of contemporary-style bed and breakfasts and guesthouses in St. Francis Bay. They cater to road trippers looking for a one- or two-night stay, ideal for those passing through this captivating coastal town. And don’t worry, I’ve found an exceptional option that checks all the boxes.

Top-rated vacation spot

1. Cape St Francis Resort

Ranked Number 1 on TripAdvisor among 2 hotels

Photo by Jotham van Tonder.

Imagine going on a relaxing vacation to a beachfront resort that feels like a charming village. That’s exactly what you get at Cape St Francis Resort, owned by the talented entrepreneur Fasie Malherbe. With its thatched roofs and privately owned dwellings, this resort exudes a unique and welcoming atmosphere. You can’t help but feel carefree and at ease here, especially with the various fun activities and daily housekeeping services provided. From canal cruises to nature walks and excursions to Baviaanskloof and Addo, there’s never a dull moment. Plus, you have the option to enjoy great meals at two fantastic restaurants: the new and trendy Full Stop Café or Joe Fish, a famous spot known for its delicious calamari. Families will find the pool and play area near Joe Fish to be a heavenly place for kids to swim and have a blast. Speaking of accommodations, Cape St Francis Resort offers a range of options, from cozy cottages for two to luxurious villas that can accommodate up to 12 people. While not all units have sea views, even the farthest cottages and apartments are just a short stroll from the beach, some even allow furry friends. Despite its size, the resort maintains a personal touch and a homely vibe – a local hangout where you can enjoy a drink at the pub or savor a Sunday lunch.
Tip: I highly recommend staying in the newly renovated family units at the Seal Backpackers. These cottages are perfect for families and provide a comfortable, en-suite experience. Prices start from R380 per person sharing with breakfast included.
Pricing: Apartments start at R350 per person sharing. Cottages start at R1,300 (accommodates six people). Sea-facing villas start at R5,200 (accommodates 10 people).
Contact: Give them a call at 0422980054, or visit their website at capestfrancis.co.za

Discover the Perfect Apartment at Port Island 3

When I stumbled upon Port St Francis, nestled between the Village and Cape St Francis, it felt like a slice of Europe right here on our shores. The vibrant energy emanating from the boat-lined harbour, with weathered fishermen and leisure sailors going about their day, instantly captivated me. And as I explored further, I discovered two exceptional restaurants, Chokka Block and Mauro’s, offering delectable cuisine and breathtaking bay views.

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But what truly stole my heart was Port Island 3. This contemporary three-bedroom apartment, perched on the edge of the harbor, offers an unmatched experience. Spread across three levels, the spacious living area seamlessly connects to a tranquil deck, allowing you to soak in the beautiful surroundings. And let me tell you about the highlight – an infinity plunge-pool situated on the elevated ridge, right where the harbor narrows. It’s like having a front-row seat to the enchanting spectacle of chokka fishing boats adorned with twinkling lights, sailing into the vast sea.

If privacy is a priority, then you’ll love this apartment. Each of the three bedrooms boasts its own ensuite bathroom, a balcony with magnificent harbor vistas, and a separate level, ensuring an exclusive retreat for three couples sharing this space.

Port Island 3 offers an unforgettable experience, and prices start from just R2,000 for six guests. To book your stay or inquire further, call 0422980054 or visit airbnb.com/rooms/3622814.

Photograph by Jotham van Tonder.

Looking for the Best Beach Bungalows?

3. The Happy Mongoose, Wilson’s Beach Cottage

Wow, I was really excited when I stumbled upon these amazing beach bungalows. They are located at the end of a quiet street, hidden behind beautiful sand dunes. Each bungalow is made of thatched timber and has two floors. The best part? You’ll have your own private pathway through the fynbos that leads directly to the breathtaking Cape St Francis beach.

The Happy Mongoose is the first bungalow and let me tell you, it’s a real gem. On the ground floor, you’ll find a fantastic entertainment area with a bar and dining table. From there, step out onto a large deck with a swimming pool and firepit, surrounded by the most beautiful milkwood trees. The three bedrooms are also on this level. Go up a flight of stairs and you’ll find the main en-suite bedroom and open-plan living area that opens onto a balcony. The views from up there are simply fantastic. As the owner, Andrew Reynolds, said, “This is the perfect house to have a glass of wine while watching the waves, without having to worry about the kids getting sand everywhere.”

Adjacent to The Happy Mongoose is Wilson’s Beach Cottage, owned by Bonny Wilson. When you step inside, you’ll instantly feel like you’re borrowing a friend’s beach house. The cottage is tastefully decorated with family photos that give it a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Now, let’s talk about the prices. These bungalows are in high demand, so consider yourself lucky if you can snag one. The Happy Mongoose starts at R2,300 and can sleep up to nine people. Wilson’s Beach Cottage, on the other hand, starts at R1,980 for 10 people, with an additional charge of R250 per person for extra guests.

If you’re interested in booking, you can contact Happy Mongoose at 0826557127 or Wilson’s at 0827894933. Be sure to check them out on wheretostay.co.za.

Perfect for a small family

4. Wood and Waves

Hey there! Check out this cozy little log cabin called “Wood and Waves” located in Cape St. Francis. It’s in a fantastic spot right by the sea, with beautiful lawns that lead straight to the Wild Side Rocks pathway. You can take a leisurely 15-minute stroll along the shore to get to the main beach. The best part? You’ll have a breathtaking sea view where you can watch the sun sink into the horizon every evening.

Now, I know those fancy seafront houses can be a bit pricey, but this cabin is the perfect alternative if you’re looking for something more affordable. It may be small, with thin walls, but it’s got a rustic charm you’ll absolutely adore!

Wood and Waves has three cozy bedrooms, each with its own unique vibe. They share a bathroom, and there’s an additional shower and restroom in a separate outbuilding. It’s ideal for a small family looking for a cozy retreat by the sea. Oh, and did I mention that the bathroom and kitchen were recently renovated? So you’ll have all the modern comforts in a beautifully old-fashioned setting.

If you’re a fan of barbecues, you’re in luck! There’s a lovely outdoor braai area where you can gather with your loved ones and enjoy a delicious meal while breathing in the fresh sea air. And just in case you need any assistance or have any questions about your stay or the village, the cabin is managed by a friendly agent named Debbie Nicholson who will be there to help you out.

Room tip: The bunkroom can sleep three people since the bottom bunk is a double bed.

Cost: Prices start from R1,500, and the cabin can sleep up to seven people.

Contact: Give Debbie a call at 0822672788 or visit capestfrancisproperties.com (web ref: RP1) for more information and bookings.

Get the Best Deals Today!

Hey there! Looking for an incredible vacation home at an unbeatable price? Well, you’re in luck! Allow me to introduce you to Hobbs and Allegria – two fantastic options that will make your getaway unforgettable.

Let’s start with Hobbs. This modern paradise is situated just a few blocks away from Cape St Francis beach. Perched on a scenic ridge, it offers breathtaking sea views that will leave you in awe. With its fresh and stylish design, Hobbs is the perfect vacation retreat. The open-plan living area, with its high ceilings and large windows, creates a bright and spacious atmosphere. Equipped with top-of-the-line appliances, this home has everything you need for a comfortable stay. With five cozy bedrooms, including three doubles and two twins, it can easily accommodate up to ten guests. You and your loved ones will feel right at home in this peaceful haven.

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If you’re traveling with a smaller group, Allegria might be just what you’re looking for. Located near the St Francis airfield, this charming two-bedroom house is a hidden gem. Although you’ll need to drive for a few minutes to reach the beach, you’ll be rewarded with a delightful stay. From your bed, you can enjoy distant sea views and marvel at the sight of light aircraft taking off and landing. And when the night falls, you can gather around the magical firepit nestled within a quaint milkwood grove. Plus, it’s even pet-friendly! Your furry friends are more than welcome to join you on this unforgettable adventure. And if you have more than four people, don’t worry! Allegria also offers an additional en-suite bedroom downstairs.

But it gets better! Both Hobbs and Allegria are available at incredible prices. You can book Hobbs for only R1,900 per night, and it can accommodate up to ten guests! If you choose Allegria, you’ll only pay R1,200 per night for a party of four, and for an extra room, it’s just an additional R400. It’s an absolute steal!

To book either Hobbs or Allegria, simply contact the following numbers: 0822672788 for Hobbs or 0827189701 for Allegria. Make sure to reserve your spot today and get ready to embark on the vacation of a lifetime!

Experience luxurious living by the canals

6. Stay at Berchinger or Keerweer House

Would you like to join us for a few days in the Canals? While it’s not quite Venice, it’s still an exclusive and sought-after destination in the bay. And the best way to stay here without breaking the bank is by renting a place. Luckily, I’ve found two amazing options for you.

Berchinger is a luxurious home located in the secure Marina Village estate. As soon as you step inside, you’re greeted with stunning stack doors that open up to the canals. The living and dining area offer breathtaking views, and you can even take a dip in the swimming pool right on the water’s edge. The house also features a sandy beach and a private jetty. Inside, you’ll find a huge, well-equipped kitchen, a covered entertainment area, a bar, a lounge, and a built-in braai for those rainy days. All six bedrooms have their own en-suite bathrooms, and the house is cleaned daily to ensure your comfort.

Keerweer is just as impressive, with five en-suite bedrooms and exquisite furnishings. No expense has been spared in making this house a true gem. If you’re planning a trip during the December holidays, I suggest you book whichever one is available.

Room tip: Keerweer is a great choice for two families who want to share the tab. It features two equally glamorous main en-suite bedrooms.

Cost: Berchinger starts at R6,900 and can accommodate up to 12 people. Keerweer starts at R6,000 and can sleep 10 people.

Contact: To book Keerweer, call 0217900972 or visit perfecthideaways.co.za. To book Berchinger, call 0422940670 or visit kcproperties.co.za (web ref: Can034).

Experience luxury at an amazing price

Take a look at this beautiful house in St Francis. It’s a family home that’s been lovingly maintained and is now available for your perfect vacation. Situated in the charming old part of the Village, it offers breathtaking views of the sea without any obstructions. With a mix of traditional and modern design, the interior is both elegant and cozy. You’ll find a spacious living room with a fireplace and an open kitchen-dining area. The floor-to-ceiling doors bring in plenty of natural light and allow you to fully appreciate the stunning scenery. On the same level, there are three bedrooms, while the main one is upstairs, next to a cozy TV lounge. Outside, there’s a covered entertainment area where you can enjoy meals and games. The kids have their own dorm space with a ping-pong table, so they’ll have lots of fun too. The only thing missing is a swimming pool, but don’t worry, the beach is just a short walk away. This property checks all the boxes for my dream vacation home.
Tip: The children’s dorm can accommodate up to eight people in bunk beds, so it’s perfect for multiple families.
Price: Starting from R4,600 (sleeps 16).
Contact: 0422940670, kcproperties.co.za (web ref: VB024)

Discover the Ultimate B&B Experience

8. Welcome to Canal House

You won’t want to miss TripAdvisor’s No. 14 B&B/Inn

Take a moment to feast your eyes on the stunning photograph by Jotham van Tonder.

When I, Pam, and my husband Rob opened our guest house last December, we never expected the incredible response we would receive. Almost immediately, our guests started giving us perfect scores on Booking.com. And it’s no wonder why! Let me tell you all about it.

First and foremost, our location is second to none. All four of our suites face the canal, providing breathtaking views that you won’t find anywhere else. Each suite has a private entrance and large sliding doors that lead to a charming furnished balcony, which hovers gently above the water. It’s truly a sight to behold.

But it’s not just the views that set us apart. Our rooms are modern and stylish, perfect for those seeking a contemporary B&B experience. We’ve spared no expense when it comes to finishing touches, ensuring that every guest feels pampered and at ease in our neutral-toned haven.

Now let’s talk about the little things that make a big difference. At Canal House, we believe in supporting local businesses and farmers, which is why everything on our breakfast table is locally sourced. We also prioritize sustainability by using ethically produced toiletries. And as for our showers, trust me when I say they are nothing short of extraordinary – spacious and rejuvenating. Even our coffee mugs are beautiful works of art!

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What’s more, we offer a swimming pool for all our guests to enjoy, and we even have kayaks available for those who want to explore the canals at their own pace. As for myself, I was born to be a hostess, and I will ensure that your stay with us is nothing short of exceptional.

Last but certainly not least, let’s talk about the price. Considering the rates charged for accommodations along the canals, we offer an incredible value that is hard to come by, especially during peak season. You won’t find a better deal anywhere else.

Room tip: All of our suites offer amazing views, but if you want an extra window and view, Suite 4 is the perfect choice.

Cost: Starting at just R500 per person for bed and breakfast.

Contact: Call us at 0635300046 or visit our website at canalguesthouse.com.

Check these out

9. Surf Inn

If you want an incredible beachfront location in Cape St Francis, Surf Inn is the place to be. With its close proximity to the lower dunes, you can easily walk from the living room and bedrooms onto the deck and lawn, which then leads directly to the beach. Not only does Surf Inn offer comfortable bedrooms, but it also has various entertainment areas for you to enjoy. You can relax by the pool and pergola at the back of the house, have a great time at the covered patio with a braai, or dine in the wind-proof downstairs dining room. If you want an even better view, make your way up to the enclosed rooftop deck.

Price: Starting from R6,000 for nine people; negotiable for smaller groups.
Contact: surfinn.rocks

10. The Sweet Spot

If you love golf and are looking to explore a top-notch links course, look no further. This brand new, four-bedroom house is situated at the highest point on a secure estate and offers the most breathtaking views of the entire bay. Imagine sipping on a refreshing G&T while relaxing on the pool deck – sheer perfection!
Price: Starting from R4500 (sleeps eight), includes a discount on greens fees.
Contact: Visit kcproperties.co.za (web ref: Link013) for more information.

11. i-Lollo Lodge

If you’re in the mood for a charming and cozy B&B experience, look no further than i-Lollo Lodge. Located in the Canals area, this lovely establishment offers stunning views of the beach and the nearby nature reserve. Choose from one of the three delightful upstairs rooms (room numbers 1, 5, or 6), each featuring a deck with picturesque views. It’s the perfect spot for peace and tranquility.
Price: Rates start at R400 per person for a shared room with bed and breakfast included.
Contact: Visit ilollolodge.com for more information.

12. Dune Ridge Country House

I want to tell you about Dune Ridge Country House, a unique vacation spot that feels more like a colonial safari than a beach getaway. This place is all about peace and elegance, offering top-notch facilities, a luxurious bush spa, and some people even say it serves the best fine-dining in St Francis Bay. If you don’t mind being a little further away from the beach, I highly recommend considering this place for your next trip. It’s a hidden gem that will surely not disappoint.

When it comes to affordability, Dune Ridge Country House has you covered. You can book a stay starting from as low as R1,113 per person when sharing a room and enjoying a delicious breakfast. If you’re traveling with family or a group, they also have charming family cottages available, starting from R915 per person sharing. No matter your budget, Dune Ridge Country House offers a variety of options to suit your needs.

If you’re interested in learning more or making a reservation, you can visit their website at duneridgestfrancis.co.za. Trust me, it’s worth checking out!

Don’t miss this

During your stay, make sure to try the local delicacy known as “chokka,” which is a type of calamari. It has a unique texture that’s chewier but more flavorful than the imported kind we’re used to. To experience the best of it, I recommend taking the half-day Chokka Trail, which ends at the port with a delightful tasting. It’s an opportunity to indulge in the local flavors and immerse yourself in the culinary culture of the area. This experience is priced at R280, and you can easily book it through Cape St Francis Resort. Don’t miss out on trying this delicious treat!

Hey there! Want to know some cool things to do in St. Francis Bay? Well, I’ve got you covered! Here are a few awesome activities you can try:

– Take a leisurely stroll around the port. Trust me, it’s surprisingly charming! And if you happen to be there during chokka season, which runs from mid-November to March and then again from July to mid-October, you’ll be treated to the sight of boats heading out to sea.

– Visit Seal Point, the most famous surf spot in town. Not only can you catch some awesome waves here, but you can also check out the lighthouse and the penguin rehab centre. How cool is that?

– Have you ever been on a frog safari? Well, now’s your chance! Head over to Dune Ridge between September and February, and you’ll be able to embark on an exciting frog safari. It’s a unique experience that you won’t want to miss!

So there you have it! Some fantastic activities to enjoy in beautiful St. Francis Bay. Pick one (or all!) of them and have a blast!

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