CONGRATULATIONS to Carol-Ann Stiekema, the winner of the Spinning Reel Valentine’s Day competition who has won two nights mid-week for two people, including continental breakfast, worth R1 500.
Port Alfred’s Spinning Reel Beach Cottages was recently voted best establishment in Port Alfred for 2016 in Sleeping-Out’s annual Guest Satisfaction Awards.
The Spinning Reel Beach Cottages were established in 1963 (based on a date inscribed on a verandah) by Tom Moore with the construction of four beach cottages. Moore also had Tom Moore Estates which became Moore & Gardner Estates.
He had been a member of the BSAP in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) where he had seen purpose-built modular staff housing. Moore imported four units and erected these at The Spinning Reel. These two-bedroom, one-bathroom units were built from treated press board and the design worked well for holiday accommodation. These press board units still stand today.
Further cottages were added by subsequent owner, Piet Groen, a Dutch immigrant, with Frank and Gift Gardner acquiring The Spinning Reel in 1969 and adding the last of the beach cottages in about 1972. Groen also opened a caravan park in the late 1960s on the northern section of the property which later closed.
Frank handed over the reins to son, Steve, in 1991, who together with his wife, Kim, run the resort today.
Consideration had been given to improving the resort for a number of years and after some initial upgrading of the old cottages, two bed and breakfast rooms were added in 1998.
The need for a different type of self-catering accommodation was still evident and while searching the internet for timber frame cottages, Steve discovered the website of Log Homes International situated in Plettenberg Bay. Log Homes International is owned by Bruce Smith who discovered this unique construction method in Canada.
The construction is of solid logs, usually selected from trees while still in the plantation. The trees are felled, debarked, cut, levelled and planed using chainsaws and treated with eco-friendly boron.
Building plans were submitted in April 2002 followed by the scoping report as part of the environmental impact process. The raw logs arrived from the Tsitsikamma (nearly 30 cubic metres) and a month later the debarking/cutting/grooving/treating process was complete.
A delay in approval ensued and finally in November 2002 construction on the foundations commenced. The result is an eco-friendly, rustic, warm building that together with the bush setting gives you a wonderful holiday feeling.
Thermal and sound insulation properties are excellent and the response from holidaymakers has been overwhelming.
A second log chalet was constructed in 2004 and a Vermont chalet added in 2007. There are no plans to build any more units so as to ensure that the privacy of the other cottages is not impaired.
The bed and breakfast rooms have fantastic sea views, en-suite facilities and own entrances with an optional continental breakfast in your room. The B&Bs have a small kitchen, bar fridge, microwave, coffee facilities and DSTV.
Their land goes up to the high water mark so there isn’t a road between guests and the beach.
The Spinning Reel is situated about 3km from the Kowie River mouth and the centre of Port Alfred. Visit their website www.spinningreel.co.za