Let's get the "what not to expect" out of the way first. Do not expect swimming pools, saunas, lots of people and all the other razzmatazz associated with some lodges. That's it! Once you have turned off at the (very small) sign that says Zwartberg View Mountain Lodge and you have gone through the gate, you enter a world of tranquility and intrigue. Chief, chef and bottlewasher owner Janne ensures that everywhere you look, there is something to look at, smile at and even laugh at, as he uses his talented creativity to turn throw-away objects into works of art and signage that fascinate, without being intrusive or vulgar in this environment. You get the sense that this is a place to relax and have fun, without getting too serious about life. The separate mini-lodges are luxuriously appointed (again often with Janne's "artwork"), but you don't feel that you have walked into "just another lodge" because of the personal touches and detail, and because nothing is out of place but somehow seems to fit. I had the pleasure of Janne's company all to myself for one night, and what an experience. Sitting around the campfire with the springbok grazing within touching distance, a delicious dinner, interesting conversation from ex-advertising man Janne, Indy the dog making one feel welcome, and throughout it all you have a feeling that you never want to leave. The two hour walk the next morning really showed off the setting and the views (and built up the appetite for the full breakfast). I could write a book about this place, but suffice is to say that my next trip to the Klein Karoo will be planned around another visit to Zwartberg View.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Zwartberg View Mountain Lodge is set on a small private nature reserve 25 minutes from Oudtshoorn and 15 minutes from de Rust - our chalets are quaint and individually decorated in rustig animal themes and set high up in the hills where the views are breathtaking over the valley and Swartberg mountains. You can choose whether to go for a hike or just relax by the pool. Dinners are always an event here, having a sundowner whilst watching the animals graze and getting to know the other guests. ... more less
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