This delightful guesthouse, on a working olive and sheep farm near Beaufort West, is situated about fifteen minutes' drive off the main road between Johannesburg and Cape Town. The guesthouse has a four-star rating from the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa, a 'Superior Accommodation' rating by the AA, and has won several awards.
Having stayed at several Karoo farms on the long and arduous trip between Johannesburg and the Cape, I have to say that this is the best of the lot. And the best price, too.
It has all the facilities one would expect of a guesthouse of this class - clean, airconditioned rooms, crisp sheets, modern bathroom, satellite television, bar fridge, good reading lights, warm blankets and so on - but what really sets it apart is the small personal touches. The cupboard and fridge are stocked with everything you might need after a long journey through the blisteringly hot Karoo, and for a night in the country: cold farm milk - no nasty sachets of coffee creamer here - iced water, candles, matches, mosquito repellent, emergency electric lantern, and so on. It feels like a laid-back family farm: a pair of docile ponies are herded by the family's border collies; a huge old tree sparkles with white fairy lights; young, friendly farm lads show you to your room before roaring off on their quad bikes. There's a lovely herb garden and a small but inviting swimming pool.
We didn't have time to explore the olive groves, or go on the various hikes available, as we were overnighting, but I would love to go back to this farm to take a closer look at its astonishingly diverse fauna and flora - not to mention fossils and stars.
Our breakfast was excellent - a very good 'full English', beautifully cooked and presented, and garnished with herbs from the garden - but we found the dinner (an optional extra) not worth the extra expense. In fact, we found it hard to believe that our so-so dinner was cooked by the same person who made the wonderful breakfast. There was a very good and flavoursome chicken pie, and an intriguing, rib-sticking dish of sweet-potato-filled bread rolls, but the Karoo lamb ribs were swimming in fat and the starter - a warm, insipid seafood cocktail - was ridiculously out of place in a farm that is many hours away from the sea. Stick to what you do best, is my advice to the chef.
Apart from that minor quibble, this is a great place to overnight - you will not be disappointed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Olive Grove Guest Farm offers Accommodation on a Beautiful Karoo Farm that lies only 15Km off the Main N1 Route, South of Beaufort West. Out of Town, Quite and Secure. We are a Versatile, Comfortable and Consistant Establishment offering AA Quality Assured Self Catering and B&B Accommodation.Affordability, Good Food and Warm Hospitality have played a big part in our Establishment over the past 10 Years.Also a working Olive, Sheep and Game Farm. ... more less