Stay at Pure Sea Lodge in the Overberg and reconnect with nature

Posted on 4 November 2022 By David Henning

Situated among the fynbos-clad dunes of Gansbaai lies a space that will make any emotionally exhausted traveller’s eyes light up.

Pure Sea Hotel is a boutique lodge to indulge, revel in and experience the healing powers of nature. Built with its surroundings in mind, and may soon be consumed by them, as soon as the fynbos saplings on the roof take root.

Annick and Bjorn as they welcome Pure Sea’s first guests

Speaking of taking root, Pure Sea’s beginnings started as the love story of two Belgians seeking healing.

A long-term sickness had plagued two Flemings, Bjorn and Annick, for years with doctors unable to find a treatment.

But a trip to South Africa with regular swims in the icy Atlantic waters gave provided healing through nature. ‘We noticed the difference as soon as we landed back in Belgium,’ Bjorn said.

The fast-paced lifestyle in Europe along with the high levels of pollution in the industrialised space was not conducive to healing, ‘It’s a disease cocktail’ Annick adds, and being at the ocean was the closest they felt to feeling good and healthy.

Healing through nature

Their story was the foundation of the Overberg oasis; the result of a long-term dream of moving to South Africa and creating a space for others to feel the same remedial powers of Mother Earth.

The building is biophilic in design, connecting occupants more closely to their surroundings – As if they gently lifted the strandveld dunes and slid the building underneath.

Bjorn was hands-on during the construction; on-site every day and even doing the plumbing and much of the finishing himself.

His perfectionism echoes throughout the space. As you walk down the stairs to your room, you might as well be walking down a more manicured version of the caves at the nearby caves in the Walker Bay Nature Reserve. Natural materials of wood, stone and rattan are used as decor in the spaces which create a seamless transition to a ground-floor balcony that opens out to the coastal biome outside.

Leave the shoes in your room, and opt instead to ground yourself the moment you arrive.Take a stroll down to the beach and feel the sand between your toes via a pathway through the veld, bracing yourself for the icy waters ahead.

Don’t be afraid of the piercing waters – this is where Pure Sea begins.

Jump straight in

Why cold water immersion? The benefits of many a Capetonian’s pass-time have become widely known – from boosting your immune system to improving blood circulation, and that’s without considering the holistic benefits.

Bjorn and Annick take two dips a day, and you are welcome to join them as they help you brave the swim. For those still cautious, there is a swimming pool on the deck overlooking the bay with a more agreeable water temperature, but it’s not nearly as exhilarating.

The nearby caves at De Kelders spice up the stay with some adventure.

After cold water swims on our first morning, we did yoga on the upper deck overlooking the bay. On your visit, you might catch a glimpse of a passing whale while transitioning from downward-facing dog to the warrior pose, so be on the mindful lookout.

Annick had worked in wellness in Belgium so there are a wealth of wellness treatments available too. You can book a facial, massage or the Ajna light journey treatment. If the last one sounds unfamiliar, the offering is unique to South Africa.

The Ajna light system involves a system of LED lights that flicker at specific frequencies to induce a series of trance states and nudge your mind into calmness as a form of meditative practice.

Leaving lighter

Bjorn and Annick said that their intention is to create a space for guests to be to be immersed in nature, reconnect with themselves and their surroundings as well as leaving whatever burden they entered with behind.

There are those who may dismiss Ajna light treatment or view cold water immersion as a fad for Sea Point yuppies but regardless of your convictions, a stay at Pure Sea will leave you feeling lighter, happier and eager to return.

Annick and Bjorn are onto something; connection to the natural environment is a significant predictor of happiness, where surveys have found that people who feel as though their self-concept is intertwined with nature, report being happier.

A study by the American Psychological Association, the sense of connection you have with the natural world contributes to happiness which includes lower stress better mood, improved empathy and reduced risk of psychiatric disorders.

Even the sound of nature is recuperative, with a study finding that participants who listened to the sounds of nature, performed better cognitively – so sleep with your door open with the sound of the roaring ocean.

Understanding nature’s therapeutic benefits is gaining momentum, and though approaches may differ, the anxiety over climate change is a growing phenomenon  – there’s even a term for it: solastalgia. Ironically, one of the best antidotes is time in nature. So cheers, I’m jumping in for a dose of vitamin sea.

Pure Sea Boutique Lodge

Situated in Romansbaai, Pure Sea is set to welcome its first guests from December. The boutique lodge has four ocean-facing en-suite rooms, designed  to foster that intimate bond with nature.





Contact: [email protected]

Follow them @pure_sea_lodge or visit their website here

Picture: Jared Ruttenberg/ @Jarredincpt

ALSO READ: South Africa ranks as a top road trip destination worldwide

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