phinda mountain lodge, phinda game reserve
AndBeyond Phinda Mountain Lodge is sited on top of a hill in this lush Zululand reserve and offers breath-taking views of the surrounding bush and Lebombo foothills beyond. The vision for the renovation of the existing main area was to open up the dining room and bar sitting area to the landscape. New folding stacking doors create a more fluid transition from the inside to a generous new curvilinear deck with shaded areas to maximise the spectacular views. The expanded bar deck reaches out to the new infinity pool via a decked walkway atop the existing traditional stone boma ramparts. A new lap pool below the infinity pool forms a visual link to the main pool, and provides guests with another option for keeping fit in the sweltering heat. The new gym and massage sala are buried in the ground next to an ancient rock fig to form part of the landscape and to connect the upper and lower pools to the guest walkways.
In the guest suites, hand-made herringbone tiles and basket-weave parquet pavers revitalise the spaces and attempt to echo some of the textures and colours of local Zulu culture. Similarly, glossy black pigmented screed floors recall traditional Zulu beer pots or "Okhamba" that are burnished by rubbing soot and animal fat to honour ancestors. The talented team at FoxBrowne Creative commissioned woven cupboard door insets and pieces from local craft markets to juxtapose with both contemporary works by South African designers and original Zulu antiques collected by the lodge over its 25 year history.
photography: DOOK PHOTOGRAPHY I imprint architecture I interior design: FOXBROWNE CREATIVE