We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Gently Lit”

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Nieuwoudtville
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Papkuilsfontein Guest Farm
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
60 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Gently Lit”
Reviewed November 21, 2013

I sit at a small, square, wooden dining table, writing these words in an old journal. My source of light is gentle, even though it comes from 3 sources – a candle, a paraffin lamp and the wood-burning fire. I am at Papkuilsfontein, Rondekraal stone and thatched cottage. There is no electricity, though by day the cottage is amply lit by 3 doors, 2 windows and glass panels at the front end of the cottage. At night the natural flames create a warm glow. The Rondenkraal cottage is set within an old, stone-walled horse kraal, in a field of yellow grass or flowers, in the middle of nowhere, on the aptly-named Moedverloorpad (“losing will road”).

There are several thoughtful seating areas facing different directions, to make the most of the rising and setting sun and deep shade. A photographer’s paradise, there is texture and colour everywhere – thatch, stone walls, windmills, fynbos, rolling hills and big skies with cotton clouds. Thanks to the stone kraal wall and vast open fields, the privacy of the cottage impresses me. Usually rather a prude, I am so alone here that even I walk freely between bathroom and bedroom with the windows and doors wide open.

The cottage has a classical long-barn shape which is typical of this area. What gives it a modern twist is the glass wall at the top end of the cottage. Inside there is a pleasing aesthetic, with thick stone walls and recessed windows, old wooden furniture and an open-plan layout. The lounge at the top end of the cottage has rich red wingback rocking chairs facing the fireplace. The kitchen in the middle of the cottage is well-equipped with a full sized fridge, gas stove and oven, and a stove-top espresso pot. There is a friendly dining table which separates the living and sleeping areas. The bedroom is pretty, with a double bed which has a white mosquito net, white linen and a soft tartan blanket. Finally, the bathroom at the other end of the cottage has a deep ball-and-claw bath, as well as an outdoor shower.

Accommodation Experience:
I light every one of the paraffin lamps, as well as making a fire – it is the main entertainment here at night. I am tired from the long trip, in a good way. Sunburnt, physically sore and feeling a bit old and weathered. There is a safe vulnerability that this Namaqua landscape brings. Strange contradictions unhinge me – the dry vastness contrasted with the myriad of pretty flowers, the lack of keys in the doors and the sense of complete safety, the organic, rustic nature of this cottage along with the containing, thick stone walls, the simple but ample equipment to meet every need without the back-lit technology and excess which keep is distanced from ourselves.

It is a choice whether to engage this gentle undressing of all pretences and distractions. There is plenty to do in the area if one needs diversions. But I sense that my only task tonight is to sit here alone and give in to this experience of vulnerable openness and see to which new destination it takes me.

Review by Character Stay

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Berenice M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

78 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    64
    13
    1
    0
    0
See reviews for
13
46
1
2
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
London
Level Contributor
120 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed October 12, 2013

This is a slice of paradise. Wonderful walks, a rockpool to swim in and a specatcular waterfall in winter and spring, no mobile phone signal (or electricity – but there is a gas fridge in each cottage!), no noise except the birds. Perfect to calm down and unwind. The self-catering cottages (there are three) are charming and brilliantly equipped and serviced - but don't self-cater! To miss Petru's food would be a crime. She is an outstanding cook and delivers your food to the cottages in the evening. For breakfast, drive or walk the 2kms to the main farm for the best breakfast in South Africa. I cannot recommend this pace too highly.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Erskinemay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
George, South Africa
Level Contributor
96 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed September 19, 2013

We went for the flowers and found a gem. Papkuilsfontein is a fabulously well run guest farm. Lots of flowers but also a lovely waterfall on the farm. We stayed in one of the separate stone houses about a km from the main buildings. We were served dinner at our house every night by the charming hostess and her helper who came in, put the most beautiful food in front of us and left quietly and efficiently again. The flowers were spectacular as always but the stay was an equally enjoyable high light.

Room Tip: Choose one of the stone houses - you need your own vehicle.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank daleen51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed August 21, 2013

We spent two really enjoyable nights with Willem and Marieta in the Maaitjiesfontein cottage on De Lande. This is true hospitality and the food was delicious. Amanda went out of her way to accommodate my wife's gluten allergy. We spent the day at Papkruils farm, and were absolutely blown away by the flower display. Eldry (spelling?) was so hospitable and helpful, and the hike along the canyon edge and view of the waterfall were breathtaking.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Ian N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
263 reviews
97 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2013

We were lucky enough to stay at De Lande house on Papkuilsfontein Guest Farm on a trip back to Johannesburg from Cape Town recently. Unfortunately for us we arrived in the early evening and had to leave early the next morning without seeing the full beauty of the farm and the flowers which were in bloom. The dinner was outstanding and the service was amazing. The double room we had was spacious and the hot blankets on the bed were wonderful as the weather had turned really cold. We will definitely return making sure we have more time to experience this magical place and enjoy the charming hospitality.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lulu008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed June 6, 2013

My husband and I spent 4 nights at Papkuilsfontein last weekend (June). We were both blown away from the experience we had. The 2 things which stood out were the incredible vast landscape which we had basically to ourselves and the outstanding meals we got served in our little house plus the breakfast we had on the last day. The fresh, untreated Jersey milk over our porridge made us both melt away amongst other wonderful, unexpected surprises. The hospitality of our hosts was incredible and made us feel we are home away from home.
The cottages are equipped and furnished with all you need and have a lot of charm. We definitely will be back!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Silke L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 3, 2013

On our trip from Cape Town to Upington (and Kalahari) in April of 2013 we visited Papkuilsfontein Guest Farm; this farm (sheep and beautiful scenery) with lovely cottages was on my wish list for a couple of years. We drove there from Clanwilliam during a rainy day; we could, however, use the route via Pakhuispas and Botterkloof with an ordinary car (not a 4x4). During our trip we saw a very big bird of prey. Upon arrival we drove to our cottage (Rondavel), where we stayed for 3 nights. We enjoyed breakfast near the main house and lovely evening meals were brought to our cottage. The cottages do not have electricity; the fridge operates on gass, there are oil lamps and a fire place. Which is all very romantic in the evening, when it gets dark early (compared to Europe). We loved the walk on the farm, Nieuwoudtville and surroundings (kokerbomen forest, waterfalls and beautiful lillies) and the hospitality of Papkuilsfontein!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank petra010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Papkuilsfontein Guest Farm? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Papkuilsfontein Guest Farm

Property: Papkuilsfontein Guest Farm
Address: P.O. Box 46, Nieuwoudtville 8180, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Northern Cape > Nieuwoudtville
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Nieuwoudtville
Number of rooms: 4
Also Known As:
Papkuilsfontein Guest Farm Hotel Nieuwoudtville

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing