After about an hour’s drive on the N2 from Cape Town on a scorching January evening, we took a turn onto a farm road in Elgin, and entered the spellbinding estate of Old Mac Daddy, a four star-graded luxury trailer park.
I first heard about OMD somewhere in 2010, just before their grand opening. I was intrigued; individually decorated and themed airstream trailers, surrounded by apple orchards and hills, tucked away on a farm in one of South Africa’s most beautiful valleys. After that, I once caught a quick glimpse of the trailers while mountain biking the Lebanon Trail, and needles to say, OMD was added to our bucket list of weekend escapes and micro-adventures. Our five year anniversary turned it from a check box in our minds, to one of the most unique experiences we’ve had this close to home.
We checked in after dark, so didn’t know exactly how incredibly striking our surroundings were until we pulled open the tiny red curtains of our trailer the next morning. The receptionist, Nelson, welcomed us with a smile, and stored our bikes in the conference room because we forgot our lock. We spent that first evening under the stars, with a bottle of red, joshing about “the early days” and how we met.
By the time we decided to book this trip, there was only one trailer left for that weekend (by darn luck, considering that they are completely booked up until June). Hail The Dirkie Sanchez Suite. We’ve always had a liking in the eerie and colourful aesthetics of Mexican culture and events (like Dia de los Muertos), so staying a Lucha Libre-themed trailer was too perfect.
A balance of tasteful design and hospitality, blended with hilarious details.
The trailer’s interior was a blend by bright colours, tacky ornaments, old framed photographs, with a wrestling ring bed in the middle (complete with Lucha Libre wrestling attire, mind you). Step outside your steel dome, and each unit (but one) has an en-suite lounge and bathroom, with big sliding doors leading onto a wooden deck. Naturally, there’s a clear commitment to preserving the environment at OMD - from organic shampoo to solar electricity.
A drawing card one should not overlook when visiting here, is the opportunity for outdoor adventure. Apart from being located around the corner of some of the region’s best mountain biking and hiking trails, the hotel offers a chalk board full of on-site activities through their sister company, Daddy’s Adventures (from guided hikes and family cycling trips, to kayak rentals and zorbing). We decided to explore the farm routes on our bikes early on our first morning there, and rented stand up paddle boards the next day.
For those seeking a lazy escape, the Beach offers a twist to your average day of lying in the sun on the coast. Lounger chairs overlook a dam (the same spot where the water activities take place), and a small bamboo beach bar will keep you hydrated. Breakfast buffet is served in the Barn, and throughout the day you can order wood fired pizzas and comfort food fresh from the smoker.
OMD wins on many levels: location, natural beauty, unique facilities, romance, and design. I’ll recommend this breakaway to anyone seeking a place to get inspired and rest out at the same time, especially if you’re travelling with a partner. The only practical advice I’d offer is to enquiry about where your trailer is located. I carried our luggage up what seemed like a thousand wooden steps to reach Dirkie Sanchez.