A spa in the forest that's like a fairy tale come to life
Who hasn't dreamed of a house in the trees, where an imagination filled with rustling leaves and pixie dust can run wild?
The Garden Route is already quite a magical place, but Trogon House will make you believe that you might have just stepped into one of Tolkien's stories, and an elf and hobbit might just flit by delivering a ring to a very hot place (and no, not Oudtshoorn).
You already start feeling the sorcery at work as you turn off past Monkeyland into an almost hidden road where the sky is blocked out by green giants.
After parking your car, a quick walk onto raised wooden platforms leads you to the heart of Trogon - its reception area more like a comfortable lounge where you can imagine an eccentric author writing his fantasy epic.
Luxury in the treetops
Trogon House oozes exclusivity with its small guest capacity - it only has five double-occupancy rooms. The Malabar Master and Standard Twin Suites are the ones attached to the reception area and pool deck and have less of a treehouse experience.
The two Deluxe Forest Suites feels more like you're among the indigenous trees, although the two rooms share a wall with each other.
But if you really want to feel alone with your beloved like fairy royalty in their hidden abode, the Honeymoon Suite is the choice for you - although it's the pricier option.
The Honeymoon Suite. (Photo: Gabi Zietsman)
While summer is generally the best time to visit the Garden Route, staying in Trogon in winter has a different kind of charm. Lying in your bed while you watch the raindrops leave watery traces on your expansive walls, and in the honeymoon suite you have your very own fireplace - perfect for setting the mood and keeping your toes toasty.
There are no self-catering options, with only breakfast included, and while you can wander out to the rest of the Plettenberg area for some food, it's worth it to do at least one night dining at Trogon. The kitchen staff and manager put a lot of thought into their set menu, and because it's such a small lodge you can let them know what your preferences are and they're happy to accommodate - just let them in know at least a day in advance.
If they ask specifically what you would like, ask for the Mexican meal - it is so simple yet absolutely scrumptious.
The Forest Spa
But the real headliner at Trogon is the spa - one of the most romantic experiences you could treat your main squeeze to.
Surrounded by twilight forest encased in glass walls (but completely private), it comes with a warm fireplace, a lounging Greek-style bed, a Jacuzzi with snug seating, a sauna and a shower for when you're feeling a little... sweaty. You can also add on a spa treatment and massage, to get you extra relaxed.
The steamy sauna. (Photo: Gabi Zietsman)
The setting is so peaceful, although you might want to bring your own music as the chanting yoga music can grate on your nerves after awhile.
Trogon has various options to choose from - you can get two-hour exclusive use of the spa for R800, but you can add on massages, body brushing, a lunch platter and a bottle of MCC, and you can also just opt for the massages without the exclusive spa use.
As mentioned, Trogon is right next to Monkeyland - a cage-free sanctuary with ten different species of monkeys - and now and then a rogue vervet might make its way past your room. There's also Birds of Eden where the winged fauna fly around without cages as well.
You can also drive into the Crags and taste your way through the Plettenberg Wine Route, which consists of a lot of bubbly and exploring by horse carriage.
But in the end, this treehouse wonder is made for doing nothing, relaxing and intimate bonding with your prince or princess, far away from the stresses of the real world.
The resident gibbons at Monkeyland. (Photo: Gabi Zietsman)
*Disclaimer: Gabi Zietsman from Traveller24 was hosted by Trogon House.
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