Award Winning Accommodation Experience in between Albany and Denmark WA
David & Gaynor Clarke welcome you to
Cape Howe Cottages
A bit about the property
We purchased this property in 1996 after a month long intensive search for "just the right place". We had made the life changing decision to quit our jobs in Perth and move to Albany near Denmark - the country for the lifestyle and to follow our dream.
There was a small 50 year old weekender cottage on the property where we lived for the first 2 years whilst we renovated the cottage and built our own home. After finally moving into our home, we opened Cape Howe Cottages in 1998 with just the original weekender (The Snug). We progressed to build "Cakes n Ale Cottage" opening this in December 2001 and finished our third cottage "Kings Den" in December 2003. A slow but steady development as time and money permitted. Although we designed our cottages, we engaged a local builder in Albany to do the really hard work with us lending a helping hand when needed and finishing off fitting out, painting and decorating. We were thrilled when our builder won 2 Master Builders Association Awards for "Cakes n Ale in 2001" - Best framed construction under $200,000 and Best Carpentry in the Great Southern. We were even more thrilled when our terrific builder succeeded in winning 3 more Master Builders Awards for Kings Den in 2004 - The Construction Excellence Award for a Predominantly Timber Construction, an award for the most Innovative Use of Building Products and the Excellence in Tourism Project Award. Needless to say we can highly recommend our builder - Russell Schlager.
We have expanded even further to include Keepers Lodge in 2006 and The Wardroom in 2007 again meticulously built by Russell. In 2015 we completed our latest building (Salt Box) - a 3 bedroom/ 2 bathroom cottage - modular in design, built off site and trucked in to minimise the noise and impact on our other guests.
Our philosophy in developing Cape Howe Cottages the way we have done is quite simple. Space, privacy and tranquillity surrounded by nature. So often you see the advertisement for holiday cottages which sound very nice, but when you get there you find that the cottages are in the middle of a paddock, all in a row and if the neighbours are noisy - you may as well have stayed at home. We offer something distinctly different, our cottages are so spread out and surrounded by bush and trees that you can't see one from the other, let alone hear your neighbours - the only disturbance is the morning bird symphony!
Be assured of a memorable experience in the beautiful surroundings of the south coast of Western Australia (WA). Enjoy the wine tours in the Denmark area along with many other attractions including the coastal city of Albany.
Our Passion for Nature
We are proud to have had our 53 acre property registed by the Department of Conservation and Land Management as a Land for Wildlife property. It means that we have recognised that our piece of paradise is special and we want to preserve it as a nature retreat to share with our guests and the local wildlife. Our property provides a large variety of natural habitats which encourages a huge range of native plants, animals, fungi and of course, birds. Being adjacent to West Cape Howe National Park and alongside coastal reserves provides a natural corridor for wildlife to come visiting.
We are still discovering some amazing things about our bit of land. After we had lived here for 7 years we uncovered a grove of well matured tree ferns lining a section of the creek which flows through the property. A large area of thick ti-tree was damaged by wind which formed a previously impenetrable barrier between the creek and our nature trail. It never fails to amaze us how diverse our relatively small holding really is.
Personally: we met in Switzerland in 1981, (David was a tour guide in Europe, Gaynor was a passenger on a tour of western Europe). We married in 1982, lived in Beckenham and then Darlington - Perth. David worked in the hospitality & wine industry, Gaynor worked in the Insurance, Banking and Marketing industry. We had no children other than 2 of the four footed variety - "The Bears" - brothers Teddy and Trapper - both Bearded Collies who were with us for 14 years before we lost Teddy to cancer in 2008, and Trapper to old age in 2010 (see below)
David's family live in Derbyshire UK and Gaynor's family are spread between Yallingup - WA, Melbourne - Vic and Cheshire UK. With family and friends all over the world, we travel as often as we can and always bring home new ideas every time. Together we have spent holidays throughout most of Europe - France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, UK, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia; Morocco (Casablanca is David's favourite movie of all time); Mauritius; Asia - Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia (Bali & Lombok many times), Singapore, Hong Kong; New Zealand; Vanuatu and most of Australia. Still on the "to see before we die list" is India, Peru, St Petersburg, South Africa, Egypt, Canada, Antarctic and then ........
Want to know more - have a look at this article which appeared in The Sunday Times Newspaper on 23rd March, 2007. Click here to read the review.
“RIP - Teddy Bear (1994 - 2008) & Trapper Bear (1994 - 2010)
It was with huge sadness that we said goodbye to our beloved Teddy on 22nd December, 2008 and Trapper on 29th January, 2010. After a brief illness Teddy succumbed to a stomach tumour and his pain was too much to bear. Trapper thrived on the added attention after his brother's death, but in the end old age took hold and his quality of life deteriorated quickly. They are both remembered with much love and affection for the 14 - 15 years that they showed unconditional love for us. They were always at the gate to welcome or farewell every guest and provided endless joy to those who knew them. We would like to share these very special messages that we received from our friends Adrian & Michelle which says it all.
On Teddy's passing: "Dogs are mans best friend, and losing a best friend is a very sad time. But it is also a time to reflect and remember with fondness the things you did together and the things he did that made you laugh. Teddy was much loved and most importantly he knew it, the very fact that you built your windows to such a height so he could see in and out is testimony to that. You provided him with endless cardboard boxes to dig out of the rubbish and chew on- something he really appreciated. The cool tiles inside the house to lie on in summer along with the airconditioning, the warm rugs and heating in winter are all further signs of your love for him. Oh you may think you did it for yourselves- but deep down Teddy knew you had done it all for him. (And maybe Trapper as well). With each passing day the pain will lessen- that doesn’t mean you’ll forget him or that you don’t love him. Rather it means the opposite. He will visit you in your dreams, you will wander past things and places and his memory will flood your mind and instead of tears will come a warm smile. Why? Because he helped teach you how to love. And that is what dogs do best!! So here’s to David, Gaynor and Trappers Best Friend. May each day be filled with less pain, more smiles and laughs."
On Trapper's passing: "We are sad to hear of Trapper's passing he will be missed (not only by you guys but by many others), but forever fondly remembered. When his brother Teddy passed, Trapper stepped up to the plate, it took him a little while but he soon found his feet. He was now the top dog and it was up to him to ensure things carried on as they should. The perimeters where to be patrolled, cats where to be chased or at least barked at. Tit bits where to be eaten and most of all he had to ensure that the 5* rating of his various sleeping spots where maintained.
Oh yes we thought he was just sleeping but he was doing more than that. He was ensuring the quality of his accommodation was maintained. He knew there were no awards for “his” dwellings, no RAC ratings, no bow tie and dinner jacket nights for him. Cleaning cottages, doing paper work, answering telephones, greeting guests where all a little below him and besides he had 2 humans to do that menial stuff. He transformed from Trapper to become the Trapstar!! And took his new found status in his stride.
Both the Bears shared your journey from “corporate” warriors to successful multi award winning business persons. Through the highs and lows they were ever believing, ever loving and loyal. So here’s to Trapstar! We raise a glass of pure spring water in his honour.
Here’s to the Bears! Together again. Gone but never forgotten and forever in your hearts. THE BEARS!!"