Grootbos Garden Lodge
Wake to forest birds calling in this coastal botanic wonderland
Grootbos Garden Lodge
Fynbos gardens fringe stylish Garden Lodge, whose stone, timber and thatch buildings blend beautifully with their surroundings. Once inside, you're struck by the warmth of the staff and drawn to the views across the fynbos to the whale-watching haven of Walker Bay. Grootbos has carved a niche in the upmarket eco-lodge sector by specialising in the Cape's fynbos and faunal biodiversity. There are 760-plus species of plants here, along with a large variety of birds, and the nearby marine life includes dolphins, whales and sharks. Take peaceful strolls, visit pretty villages and taste local wines and farm produce. Pure pleasure!
At the lodge
The interior of the main building is bright and airy, with wooden floors, large windows and a tranquil decor in a style that typifies African-chic. There's a cosy restaurant with a fireplace, a lounge, beauty salon, and children's entertainment room. Outside, the wooden deck is the perfect place for sundowners and gazing at the view, and the pool area is unusual in design and wonderfully tempting. In the grounds are horse stables and a play area with a petting zoo.
Each of the 11 freestanding suites tucked into natural gaps within the gnarled branches of the milkwood forest (reputed to be the largest of its kind in the the world) is stylishly furnished with luxurious canopy beds, a spacious en-suite bathroom, a separate lounge with a fireplace and a private wooden deck overlooking the view. There's satellite TV and DVD player, a tea- and coffee-making station, aircon and a safe. The rooms are chic, with all the comforts of home.
Investigate Walker Bay coastline with its long beaches, coves, lively tidal pools and whales in the bay (June to December). Visit local wineries and farms that sell homemade produce such as honey, jams, preserves and other local delights. Explore the nearby villages of Gansbaai, Hermanus (for shopping, restaurants and a whale-watching town crier) and Stanford, with its artistic community and restaurants. Take a guided tour through Grootbos's milkwood forests and fynbos or ride through the reserve on horseback. Birding is also popular.