Crawfords Beach Lodge – family travel review

Last month we had the pleasure of visiting Crawfords Beach Lodge, which is an amazing beach hotel & resort in the Eastern Cape. Since my husband and I grew up in East London, this coastline is like home to us, but we were excited to experience Crawfords for the first time. We flew from Johannesburg to East London, because let’s face it – a 12 hour drive with 3 children isn’t my idea of a holiday. From East London, it’s just a 42km drive out to Crawfords.

View from the deck above the dining room

Arriving at Crawfords, I was immediately blown away by the service – we were offered champagne, shown to our room by a very friendly, helpful staff member and made to feel very welcome.

We walked into our family suite… and WOW! The rooms were just absolutely amazing – spacious, cozy & well stocked with everything you may need, but we really couldn’t take our eyes off the view. Our interleading rooms each had a sliding door onto a HUGE deck overlooking the lush greenery and the ocean.

View from our deck

Our rooms had been setup with a toddler bed for Eden and a camp cot for Ezra, which was just a very thoughtful touch and it showed that they really went the extra mile to cater for us as a family, to ensure that we were all comfortable… and Hello, King size bed for us parents! I didn’t even snap any pictures of our rooms, because I was so distracted by the amazing view, but you can check out my Instagram highlights under “travel” for a room tour & more of what we got up to during our stay.

Hannah having some “quiet time” after a busy day playing!
Hannah was very tempted to jump in!

The girls immediately discovered the playground, as it was right in front of our suite, so we could see the girls playing from the comfort of our deck, which was such a nice “luxury” for us as parents. The kid’s club was also situated conveniently, right under our deck. Each day, there was a childminder in the play room who would watch the girls play, paint with them & even take them for a walk down to the beach. Children are fully catered for at Crawfords, with a jungle gym, swings, a sandpit, a trampoline, a ball pit in the play room and more.

Crawfords definitely has the most incredible location, it’s perched on the hillside with easy access to the beautiful beach directly in front of the accommodation. I took the girls down to the beach, following the wooden decked path under the shade of the trees, we came out onto the stunning beach which is perfect for swimming and all the beach activities you can imagine.

My absolute definition of the best beach holiday is being ON the beach – if you have to drive, or if you can’t see the sea, you’re too far… so Crawfords is winning by those standards.

The views are just breathtaking & the sound of the sea sang us to sleep at night. Each night after dinner we sat out on the deck listening to the waves and it was truly the most relaxed I’ve felt in a long time.

Absolutely stunning!
Sunrise, one of the perks of being awake with a little baby!
Morning coffee with a view, what could be better?

The meals at Crawfords are served buffet style and they really don’t hold back… So many options, so little time! For a kid-free night, you’ll be able to enjoy dinner with your children at the dining room and then take them back to your suite and have a babysitter be with them while you enjoy your dinner, in peace… it’s really a lovely option for parents.

Bacon & french toast – yum! Also, the crispy hash potatoes were amazing. So many breakfast options.

This isn’t just an ideal destination for families, but also honeymoons (they host weddings too!) and for those looking to escape to somewhere that feels remote, but isn’t too far off the beaten track. If you’re not sitting with your eyes glued to the ocean view for your entire stay, there’s also spa facilities to take advantage of. I would have loved to have gone surfing or tried one of the other fun activities, but the water was a bit cold for my liking. We’ll definitely have to go back, so we can try it all!

Overall, we loved our stay. The children had an absolute blast, we got to relax and most of all, we enjoyed some quality time together at the beach! We highly recommend visiting Crawfords Beach Lodge, they take care of everything, so you can just relax. From the staff, to the facilities, food, rooms, etc. they really take good care of their guests.

Even if you’re from Joburg or Cape Town – It’s totally worth the travel and in my opinion, there is something very special & unique about this part of South Africa, that you have to experience.


Thank you so much for having us, Crawfords! We will never forget our stay.

We were hosted by Crawfords on a sponsored basis in exchange for our honest review.

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