My guy and I decided to get out of town on the long weekend a couple weeks back, nose aimed at Grootbos. I’ve been taunted by this Western Cape getaway destination for an age on Instagram (they do a great job on social media, by the way) and I’m chuffed to finally have crossed this off my ‘must-experience‘ list. Although I must admit it’s now firmly on my ‘to visit in winter‘ list; wine and fire-places in abundance.
Grootbos is five-star rated and is nestled between the mountains and sea on the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, an eco-paradise. It’s an easy 2 hour drive from Cape Town, just 30 minutes beyond Hermanus and a stone’s throw from Stanford, my favourite South African town. It’s the kind of place where you’re greeted by name, a smile and nothing is ever too much – the service is outstanding. We stayed at the Forest Lodge, but other options include the Villa (sleeps 12) and the Garden Lodge. Upon arrival you’re offered a drink and a list of all the complimentary activities at your disposal during your stay – win! We opted for an advanced horse-ride out in the reserve. There are beginner and intermediate options too and I’d encourage this activity – it’s a great way to see the reserve and the trails, horses and facilities are world-class. Some of the other activities include exploring the ancient caves in the area, game drives, 4×4 flower safaris, bird-watching tours and beach picnics. There are also some paid options like scenic flights, quad-biking, shark cage diving and visiting Dyer Island. We opted for some R&R at the spa.
I suppose I’ve saved the best for last: the food. You won’t go hungry during your stay. Enjoy a casual, buffet-style breakfast and lunch, both with menu options. Then brace yourself for the gastronomical five-course dinner, reinvented daily by Executive Chef Duane Lewis.
I could ramble on for ages about the breath-taking private lodges nestled in the fynbos, the conservation programmes, the design and decor, the outside showers, the amazing swimming pool, the fireplaces, but I’ll let the pictures do the talking. Do yourself a favour and add Grootbos to your travel to-do list, you wont be sorry.
Photographs by Derrick Carolin
And now for the exciting bit! I approached Grootbos about offering a reader giveaway and they’ve very generously offered a winter weekend break for two. I need you to click here to check out all the Grootbos experiences on offer, and then tell me which one tops your to-do list by commenting on this blog post. For an additional entry, follow @Grootbos on twitter, and then leave a second comment here telling me you’ve followed them.
T’s & C’s: The prize includes five-star accommodation for two at Grootbos Lodge and Nature Reserve, including full English breakfast, three course lunch, five course dinner and all activities offered on the reserve (except boat trips, spa treatments, beach horse riding and scenic flights). Kindly note that all beverages will be for your own account, valid from 01 May – 31 July 2014. Subject to availability. Competition closes midnight on April 17th. The winner will be announced on the Morning of Friday April 18th.