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“A Rustic & Restful Retreat” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Augusta de Mist Country House

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Augusta de Mist Country House
Ranked #2 of 37 Swellendam B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“A Rustic & Restful Retreat”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 27, 2012

My wife & I received a warm welcome from Henk & Michel. We stayed for one night in Arum Lily Luxury Cottage, situated at the top of the lovely gardens. The rooms are comfortably furnished and very private as was the swimming pool. An opportunity to relax and just unwind
As Henk & Michel were not cooking the evening we visited, we were unable to sample their African Kitchen; however, they kindly booked us a table at La Sosta, including a taxi there & back. We did enjoy a marvellous breakfast including homemade apricot jam. Over the two years they have been here, they have put their touch on this historic house and clearly love entertaining their guests.
An interesting & most enjoyable stop-over on our way East to Hermanus and Capetown - would recommend

Room Tip: Try Arum Lily cottage
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank senegail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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441 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (111)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Level Contributor
32 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 26, 2012

What a lovely place to spend a few days. Close enough to walk to the restaurants and shops of Swellendam and just far enough off the main road for you to feel that you are in a country retreat, far from the madding crowd.
Your welcome from Michel and Henk is warm and genuine, the rooms, all very different are stylish in a quirky, individual and quaint way. The cuisine is excellent and very good value, dinner should definitely not be missed if you are staying there for a couple of nights. Your hosts Michel and Henk are charming and very hospitable, it is great to have true owner/managed hospitality, it really does make a huge difference. They are very hands on and go out of their way to make sure you are happy and comfortable.

Highly recommended!

Room Tip: They are all very different, I suggest you let the owners help you make a decision based on your ind...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank capesplendour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moreton-in-Marsh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 22, 2012

Our garden route tour would not have been complete without this stay at Henk and Michel's oasis in Swellendam. They've taken some very old buildings and turned them into a bijou hideaway, set in the prettiest of floral gardens. Every detail in our cottage had been designed to delight: the log fire, the corner bath, the sumptuous bed that filled our little cottage bedroom - even the CDs for the hifi.

Augusta de Mist has some very old buildings and each has been lovingly restored with style. Do try to eat one evening at least: Augusta's Kitchen was a highlight of our 10-day trip. We were inspired by the African-inspired meal (made by Henk) and Michel provided the perfect puddings. They are knowledgeable about the local wines, the area and South Africa's history, so it's hard to tear yourself away at the end of the evening.

We can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank finelines
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 20, 2012

Wow - what a great place. The accommodation was so unique - we had our own private little cottage set in the garden with some lovely touches in the room - bath salts, sherry, books, music etc. in a peaceful and beautiful location. Henk and Michel were both absolutely wonderful - and they cooked us one of the best meals we ate in South Africa. They use local ingredients and South African recipes and every single bite was delicious. It was served in a beautiful, tiny little candle lit dining room and was so personal - a real highlight of our trip. We stayed up really late with them having a drink and a chat. Michel told us all about the history of the house as well as the wildlife and plants in the garden. Having said that we were a little bit terrified of encountering a Porcupine on our walk back in the dark to our room :). Breakfast was also delicious and we ate it on the veranda in the sunshine.
Thank you Henk and Michel - it was so lovely to stay with you, two people who clearly love what you do and made our experience so memorable.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jen082
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 18, 2012

My wife and I shared a lovely romantic weekend with Michel and Henk. The hospitality was extraordinary and turned what promised to be a pleasant weekend into an special one. The decor was beautiful, edgy, and knowing--combining traditional and modern elements effortlessly and tastefully, delightfully. It's clear that there is intelligence, taste, and respect for aesthetic standards in their thinking about the place. The gardens were lovely. But the food was more than exquisite. Personally crafted with Henk at the helm of the kitchen, the cuisine was diverse with both old standards and fusionesque innovations. Don't miss their preserves, and don't forget to ask about their wine selections--culled, of course, from the best of South Africa's wine region--including a few surprises. How many B&B's in rural South Africa, for example, offer Kentucky bourbon? I thought it fit right in. (Henk is terrific, by the way, in accommodating special diets; they know the restauranteurs of the area and can make spot on recommendations.) Make sure to ask Michel about his Lithuanian, American, and Canadian backgrounds.

Room Tip: Don't miss Bontebok National Park, even though it's close. And it's not far to the coas...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank KYProfessor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 14, 2012

We stayed at Augusta the mist two times, our first visit was a two day stay when we were driving the Garden route. We enjoyed our stay so much that when we took our next South African road trip, to the Drakensbergen. We made sure to stay in Augusta during our two week holiday. We booked with them first to make sure we could stay. Only then did we book our other 11 accomodations. The rooms are beautifull, the food is heavenly, hands down the best food we have ever eaten. The staff are very friendly and proffesional. Henk and Michel make you feel welcome and at home. We will defeninatly go back and visit.

Florens, Claudia and Charlotte

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Claubos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 9, 2012

I agree with other reviews that this place is a bit quirky - but that's what I love about it! Although there is no reception, anytime we needed anything we only needed to find them or ring the bell to answer our queries or problems. Loved being shown around the house and gardens with the history before being shown our room. All these quirks show to me that this is a personal experience and not a "hotel" but a true guest house - you won't stay anywhere else like it. It was wonderful to stay somewhere with a bit of history.

We were upgraded (which was a nice touch) and they kindly located us at the opposite end of the hotel from the other guests (a family) staying there so we got a feeling of being by ourselves. Michel was really helpful and gave personal advice. We were staying on a Monday so lots of the restaurants were shut so he told us all the places that were open and some personal recommendations. He wasn't even that put out when we opted for a pizza place at the other end of town which wasn't one of his top recommendations!

I loved the experience of exploring the gardens and paths to see where they took us, but agree with others that it could be a little confusing to know where you were and were not allowed to walk, I suspect this is because the guest house has grown organically and acquired/sold a couple of buildings. But I never felt like I was in the wrong place or would be in the way.

The breakfast was unusual and tasty - I liked the fresh fruit cocktail and the delicious pomegranate juice.

Swellendam is a long thin town spread out along the main road and the guesthouse is in such a great place. You can walk to the Drodsky Museum (highly recommended) and several restaurants, the church and the main shops in the town. Believe me - this was fairly unusual for South Africa and it was so nice to walk along the wide streets for a change.

I debated long and hard about whether to give Augusta de Mist 4 or 5 stars. If it was anywhere else I think I would have no qualms about rating it as 5, but in South Africa, and in Swellendam in particular the standard is so high! The decor is gorgeous but perhaps a little "sumptuous" for our tastes. My husband didn't really like the large number of cushions - we ended up with them piled up in a corner of our cottage in the end so they weren't in his way. And we personally didn't appreciate the animal skin rugs throughout our cottage. It was a shame that the Africa Kitchen was not cooking dinner the night we stayed as I have a funny feeling this would have bumped up my score to a 5!

I would highly recommend this place and have already recommended it to my parents who I am sure would love it as it even more than we do. And we would definitely stay here again (especially if the Africa Kitchen was serving food)

Room Tip: All the rooms we saw were beautiful! Choose a cottage for more privacy.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Trurzy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AugustaSwellendam, Owner at Augusta de Mist Country House, responded to this review, March 2, 2013
Hello Trurdzy,

Thank you for your long and detail review. It is a shame that we were unable to cook for you when you were here for your stopover, and as you said you probably would have pushed us from 4 stars to 5 stars. As you know we are not a restaurant and as our dinner evenings take all day to prepare, we are not able to be open every night. That is why most people stay two nights here with us. So we are looking forward to your next trip, and please let us know ahead of time. Our spring is the time to come to Swellendam to see the whales, so we promise that when you can stay for two nights we will make you a dinner you will remember for a long time! Michel + Henk
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Augusta de Mist Country House

Property: Augusta de Mist Country House
Address: 3 Human Street, Swellendam 6740, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Overberg District > Swellendam
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 37 B&Bs / Inns in Swellendam
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Augusta de Mist Country House 4*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
One of the most beautiful guesthouses in Swellendam, on South Africa's Garden Route. Experience stylish living on a large country retreat. It is the biggest dilemma you are faced with when visiting Augusta de Mist: where do you sit? The pool area is perfect with a large willow tree and the kind of privacy that encourages you to shed the layers and have a cocktail. But then privacy is even greater in the small fynbos forest at the top of the property where you can climb a hand-hewn stairway to a fine view of the Overberg. Of course just the thought of all that hiking on the grounds makes the fountain on the front lawns quite a good bet for a good old sit and much more civilised. Speaking of civilised, you may as well take tea on the stoep while sitting and take in the lawns, rose bushes and giant trees. Or just sit on the lawn. But what about the picnic clearing in the fynbos forest, around wine cellar or even just the lounge in your suite? Such is life in the country. There are not enough days on the average visit to sit in all the available spaces and congratulate yourself on a perfect choice. Augusta de Mist is a 4-star retreat set on 1.5 Ha of eclectic fynbos. The country estate in typical Cape fashion boasts a deeply romantic 1802 Cape Dutch National Monument with more original features than you can shake a stick at. The shutters are yellowwood and the ironmongery original, as are the reed ceilings held together with 200+ year-old mud and clay. This manor building forms the social hub of the estate housing both the guest lounge and dining rooms. It also plays host to a Heritage Suite (where Desmond Tutu stayed in October 2013), which pays homage to Swellendam history and references South African iconic images and items. The bed is crowned by a cupola inspired by the Eastern style of the local church, while the reading room in the suite teams Afrikaner quilts and World Cup makarapas, which are pure township art. Wander past the pool, over seasonal streams or by the kitchen herb garden to stumble upon the garden cottages. On first glance, the allure is obvious. Simple white structures, the bridal suites are reminiscent of the historic cottages of this region, with reed ceilings, shuttered windows, bucolic views and indigenous or water-wise planting that welcome you. As you step inside the suites, you discover even more country romance in the stylishly appointed interiors, which mixes the eclectic African, South African and European heritage. In reflecting the architecture, each of the suites features subtle and unique decor. The finishes are chosen for comfort and have a lived-in feel. Vintage pieces and antiques have been selected with care, adding to the homegrown spirit that pervades. Unique African art punctuates throughout. Crisp yet plush bedding comforts you through the night while the bespoke lamps provide a source of warm and cosy lighting. While the cottages are meant to tell the old stories of Swellendam each also has its luxurious touch. Every suite has its own lounge, large bedrooms with similarly large en-suite bathrooms living areas and private gardens. Almost all of them have their own fireplaces. Afternoon tea is sometimes available in season, and is served by the team at 'Augusta's African Kitchen', with its focus on pan-African cuisine. Some of the dishes are Afrikaner while others are Cape Malay. Says Henk, 'Our kitchen is not professional. Nor do we open our doors to the public. Unless they beg. We cook because we love the flavours of Africa. It is the food we know and grew up with. We love the fact that Milktart can be made in a different way depending if you are Afrikaans or Muslim. So whether you like koeksisters or koesisters, we want you to be satisfied.' The team specialises in sourcing the best they can find in the area and it is all too easy to say yes to every morsel. I saw a petite young Belgian woman work her way through four koeksisters and assistant Melanie laughs as she tells me about the German group of nine, who interrupted the flow of dinner and demanded a second serving of Biltong Soup after which they gave rapturous applause. It is this focus on quality that had Henk and Michel develop a small range of wine with Andrew Barns of Mischa Estate. 'The wine is something that we take great pride in. Drinking a wine of quality is a responsibility we take seriously. We chose to make a signature wine with someone who loves making wine, and who does not do it as a business venture but as a vocation,' Michel says. 'The wines we made are artisanal and of the highest quality. We know Andrew and Rachel very well and we are very proud to serve this small range'. ... more   less 
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