Emily Moon River Lodge

Location: Garden Route & Little Karoo | South Africa

Price guide: £££££ Less than £100 per person per night

Emily Moon River Lodge is a unique, homely boutique hotel in the wilds of South Africa’s famous Garden Route, with stylish luxury suites spread around a beautiful garden and a distinctly colonial air. The owners run a boutique antique and artefact store in Johannesburg, and their sense of quirky style and love of unique decorative items is evident everywhere you look here.
Perfect forExploring the great outdoors of South Africa’s Garden Route.
In the knowAdventurous types can go skydiving, bungee jumping and canyoning here.

Recommended for...

  • Peace & Quiet
  • Romantic
  • Service & Hospitality
  • Water activities

Hotel Overview

sense of place

Emily Moon River Lodge is surrounded by natural beauty, set on the banks of the Bitou River near the fashionable town of Plettenberg Bay. Managers Alex and Candice imbue the place with a homely atmosphere and sense of warmth.

rooms at emily moon river lodge

Accommodation at Emily Moon River Lodge is spread across 16 suites, including six deluxe suites, eight luxury suites and two family suites, which are connected by wooden walkways. Each is individual in design but they all share a classic, traditional feel, with wooden viewing decks and plantation blinds giving the rooms a colonial aesthetic. Artefacts from the owners’ travels through Africa, Asia and Polynesia decorate the walls, lending each room a unique and exotic feel.

The spacious River House, set on the banks of the Piesang River 8km away, is perfect for families and groups, and comes with a pool, a volleyball court, canoes and an outdoor boma to gather round in the evening.

food & drink

Emily’s Restaurant is a beautiful place to eat, an elegant and traditional dining hall with its dark wood and marble columns illuminated by candles and radiating the air of an old-world country estate. The colonial feel is enhanced by the kilim rugs, tribal spears, and old maps which decorate the floors and walls and carry stories from distant corners of Africa and beyond. The exquisite food contributes further to the homely feel, with fresh locally-sourced ingredients going into traditional dishes like karoo lamb rack, butter chicken and mille-feuille. Most of the produce is grown in the hotel’s own garden.

Upstairs is Simon’s Bar, where you can enjoy a range of cocktails, beers and Cape wines as well as delicious wood-fired pizzas.


After a day exploring in the great outdoors, take your pick from the lodge's two beautiful swimming pools, perfect for cooling off after being out in the sun. The use of bicycles and river canoes is provided to guests free of charge.

activities at emily moon river lodge

The natural beauty of South Africa’s popular Garden Route is right on your doorstep here, and outdoorsy types will love the range of activities on offer. Head to the bay for whale watching, kayaking, and fishing safaris, or head down Storms River for some blackwater tubing. Adrenaline junkies won’t have to look far to get their fix here, with skydiving, bungee jumping, and canyoning all on offer; zipline tours through the treetops are a great way to get to know Tsitsikamma National Park up close.

Nature lovers should head to Birds of Eden, the world’s largest free-flight bird sanctuary, and the Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary, which is home to lions, cheetahs, tigers and leopards among other big cats.

Best time to go

Best time to travel

Good time to travel (but some limitations)

Travel is possible (but it’s not the best time)

Travel is not recommended

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Best time to go

Hotel location

Emily Moon River Lodge is around 2.5 hours’ drive from Port Elizabeth Airport, or 6 hours from Cape Town.

Stay at Emily Moon River Lodge on these trips

More places to stay in Garden Route & Little Karoo


call us on 020 7337 9010 to start planning your perfect trip

Make an enquiry

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