The appeal of Saldanha Bay is that it is not your typical seaside resort. It’s a hard working town dominated by the fishing industry, the steelworks and the military base.
One of the residential areas hugs the coast and follows the sweeping curve of the bay, it is here that you will find Blue Bay Lodge.
If it was any closer to the beach it would be underwater at high tide, this is beach side living at it’s best.
Sunset on the deck at Blue Bay Lodge.
Do a digital detox
Are you brave enough to connect differently ?
Say no to screen time and embrace real time at this resort, their aim is to encourage groups and families to interact, relax and have fun together.
Being parted from your smart phone can be very stressful, and there are some great Instagram shots to be had here, so once you have settled in, take a walk, get some pics and upload them.
Then take a deep breath, give your phone a big sloppy kiss goodbye and stash it in the cupboard for the rest of your stay.
Obviously, you can’t go from phone separation to instant relaxation and sit on the deck and stare at the sea, that would be way too traumatic.
Smart phone addiction is a real thing. You need to be actively distracted for a while, and there are plenty of ways to do this.
Firstly, pretend it is 1994, so talk to each other.
This is like saying your what’s apps out loud while looking at the persons face. It gets easier after a little practice.
Physical activity is a great distraction, you can go and work out in the gym, swim some lengths in the pool or play your own version of Wimbledon on the tennis court.
If this sounds too much like hard work, go to reception, collect a bucket each and head out onto the beach.
Breathe in that salty air, practice talking to each other, and as you walk, start filling your bucket with the bits of plastic and litter that blow onto the beach daily.
Once your buckets are full, you will be relaxed and you can claim your free coffee back at the lodge.Their coffee is really good.
Blue Bay Lodge, right on the beach
Do you remember how to play?
Take your coffee onto the deck, do the talking thing some more and take note of the views. That long beach can give you hours of free entertainment.
Walk left from the resort and after a kilometre you will reach the steel works. Marvel at the size of this plant, and don’t think about what an incredible Insta pic this would be at sunset.
Climb over the rocks, look out for birds or turn around and walk back again. Or run, make it a race.
Going to the right from the resort will lead to to the wreck of an old fishing vessel. Wade in for a closer look.
Throw a Frisbee, play some beach soccer, build a castle or create art in the sand.
Let your kids dig a hole and bury you till just your head is sticking out. You have nothing to lose, no phones means no embarrassing pics on Twitter or anywhere else. Just let go and have fun.
Time for a treat ?
A 3 kilometre walk along the curve of the beach will take you to the main road of Saldanha Bay.
Step inside a Cup of Cake ,order some Truth coffee and then take your time deciding what to eat.
Delectable puddings, sugary pastries, biscuits, burgers, cheesecake, there is so much temptation you could each order something different, and share.
While you are not photographing the food because your phones are not with you, talk to each other some more, but not with your mouth full, cos that’s just rude and you might spray crumbs all over your talking partner. #Awkward
If you ever watched Koekedoor on Kyknet, you might recognise Sanet Eigelaar the owner of this foodie heaven. You can talk to her too, she is friendly, interesting and passionate about baking.
The 3 km walk back to Blue Bay Lodge will cancel out all the calories consumed at Cup of Cake. Hmm, maybe you should run back if the calorie thing is an issue for you.
Great food and good deals
Back at the Blue Bay take a walk around the gardens, cross the arched bridge over the stream, and find the kids play area complete with a trampoline.
You should be quite good at the talking to each other thing by now, and have progressed to laughing together. The real time version of that emoji with the big smile and tears streaming. It feels so good to do it, enjoy the moment.
Head to the newly built bar for cocktails or go to the deck on the waters edge and watch the sunset. If there are any clouds in the sky you are in for a treat, but even if the sky is clear there is something very calming about watching the sun sink below the horizon. You do not have to speak to each other during this time.
Time to get ready for dinner and if you absolutely have to, you can check your phone quickly just to make sure no major event has broken the internet, then put the phone away and head for the dining room. Sliding glass doors offer endless views and the daily specials are legendary in the area. Where else can you get 300 g of ribs with chips and a salad for ZAR75 ? Only at Blue Bay lodge if it is Wednesday. Mondays offer all you can eat mussels for the same price and cocktails are half price between 5 and 7 pm, so if you are thirsty, eat early.
Sun downer views
After supper is the time you will really miss your phone, so it’s time to get social and make some new friends.
Look around the lounge and dining room and check out the peoples physical profile, do you see anyone who looks interesting?
So instead of sending a friend request on Face Book, go up to them, introduce yourself and say hi.
Then start a conversation and learn all the info you would normally read in the “About “section on Face Book. (you can always connect on social after your holiday) Invite them to play a board game, there are plenty in the lounge, have a coffee or a drink or sit out on the deck and chat about what you have all done during the day. Share your highlights and make plans for the next day.
Fall asleep to the rhythmic sounds of the waves slapping the sand and rolling back again.
You will sleep well as your brain will be relaxed from not having to deal with information overload before sleeping, set an alarm to wake up for sunrise and head to the bird hide at the lodge.
Even if you know nothing about birds, sit quietly in the wooden hide and watch the natural world wake up.
Tiny birds dart across the water, frogs croak, a heron stands as still as a statue and the sun lights up the sky and animates the vivid colours of nature. This is such a calming way to start the day. An information board in the hide will help you to identify the birds you see.
Walk on the beach and build up an appetite for breakfast, take your coffee onto the deck and if you can sit contentedly and stare at this view, you are totally relaxed and in tune with nature.
This is a good time to book a spa treatment, massage or just some pampering.
Relaxing views of the calm sea.
During the holiday season Blue Bay Lodge offer exciting activity programs for all ages. For the kids the jumping castle, cup cake decorating, arts and crafts, face painting and kids hour are popular.
Teens love the beach volleyball, 5 a side soccer, and Arabian nights events.
The whole family can enjoy a marshmallow braai, movie nights, bingo fun, croquet on the lawns or chilling around a bonfire at the beach boma.
Many of the holiday programs at Blue Bay Lodge are run by http://www.nobodyfamous.co.za/ and include kayaking, archery, Amazing Race games and canoe trips to the mussel and oyster farms in the bay.
The weather conditions in Saldanha Bay are perfect for kite surfers especially during the windy season from November to January. In January and February the Kite Surfing Cup and the Downwind Dash Regatta are held here.
From February to August the flat waters in the morning make this heaven for SUP, kayaking and canoeing. If you own a boat or jetski, Blue Bay lodge has launching facilities so bring your toys and come and play.
If you are not sporty that way, bring a tube, lilo or anything that floats, and your buckets, spades, beach balls and sunblock.
Blue Bay Lodge provides the space and chilled vibes to enjoy nature and reconnect as a family, and to have a whole lot of fun in the process.
There are no tourist traps here. No traffic, no inflated prices, no rush, and no need for smart phones.
Good to know.
Blue Bay Lodge is dog friendly for visitors staying in the self-catering cottages.
The resort is very safe, it is fenced and patrolled by guards, and the self-catering units have alarm systems.
There is a small shop on site that sells the basics.
There is live entertainment on first and last Friday of the month.
It is an easy 140km drive from Cape Town
17 Deluxe en suite rooms at the lodge. | 14 fee standing self-catering, serviced cottages. | 16 semi self-catering units.
Restaurant | Cocktail Bar | Swimming Pool | Tennis Court | Gym | Spa
Blue Bay Lodge is an ideal venue for weddings, conferences and group events.
Base yourself at Blue Bay Lodge and explore Saldanha Bay and the surrounding area, part of the West Coast Way Foodie Route .
Read more about Saldanha Bay and my West Coast Wanderings here.
Disclosure: Thanks to Blue Bay Lodge and West Coast Way for hosting me in Saldanha Bay.