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“Don't tell anybody about ADM as we want to go back”

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Augusta de Mist Country House
Ranked #31 of 39 Swellendam B&B and Inns
Reviewed March 2, 2013

What else can really be said about this place it really is very special? My concern is that the owners have only had it for 3 years and have been building a reputation. In 5 years time it will be a destination guest house, booked out for months in advance with sky high prices, and Michel and Henk that is not a criticism as you certainly deserve it. I have scanned back through the reviews looking for a 4 and found somebody who I think stayed in the same cottage as us. Yes there are a lot of cushions on the bed and they get in the way on the floor, I spoke to Michel about this and he says he likes cushions, you can't say fairer than that. They also didn't like the skins on the floor, fair enough a personal choice. We mentioned to Michel that the mirror in the bathroom was a bit low even for average height people and the the little shelf can be an obstacle in the dark. Is that being unfairly picky? Yes it is! Before this becomes the most sought after guest house on the Cape with massive lead times and sky high prices, totally justified, I strongly recommend that you book in and visit. If you can book an evening when the guys are doing dinner because that is a treat in itself. Keep up the good work and the best of luck with the expansion and your second site which I have no doubt is not far away. Look out Hilton there are new kids on the block.

Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
5  Thank JohnandCarolineUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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228 - 234 of 449 reviews

Reviewed March 1, 2013

We stayed only one night at Augusta but it was quite an experience. We had a wonderful cottage and the dinner prepared by Henk (4 course) in the evening was really great. The garden with the heated pool is fantastic and Swellendam with surroundings is well worth a visit. We can definitively recommend Augusta for a romantic visit. Please check which evenings Henk will be in the kitchen.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank soniwal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2013

We stayed at Augusta de Mist for two nights because we liked it so much. We were on our way back from Durban and of the many accommodations we stayed along our journey, we think that one stands out for its originality, their warm welcome but highly professional service from the owners/managers.

We stayed in one of their comfortable cottages with a highly tasteful decor, mixed of styles, periods and cultures. Apart from the decor, many attentions were in the details such as fresh and clean quality linen, extra towels and delicious complementary tea and coffee.

Since the cottage is a building on its own, it give you a sense of privacy, (always welcome on a trip). From ours, we walked freely through the rather large garden and enjoyed a nice dip in their sparkling pool. The place was absolutely quiet at the time. The only noises being those of birds, twitting and whistling.

Breakfast was fresh and superb, served outside in the bright african morning. But the most surprising part of their food offer was the dinner the hosts are serving to their guests only (not available every night). Their menu is fixed and inspired by local flavor but it is worth having a go at it. By the end of the meal, our taste buds were really happy!! Home made food at its best, served with a lot of passion.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Tom S
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 reviewResponded March 2, 2013

Hello Tom. I wanted to thank you for your kind review, and I remember when you were here how many other places you had been to. So we are doubly grateful that of all the places, you have chosen only to review us! We hope to see you again, and perhaps we can have you stay in our new suite. Michel and Henk

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Reviewed February 24, 2013

After enjoying the lively busy sights of Cape Town, my husband and I spent some time at this beautiful, peaceful oasis in Swellendam. We were completely spoiled by the owners who anticipated our every need. We were greeted with tea and cakes and then with a bag of home baked muffins when we left for the rest of our trip. In between, we slept in a historical house with every luxury imaginable. Each corner of the property inside and out has been lovingly restored.

Room Tip: There is no fitness center but there is a pool and plenty of beautiful walks available right on the...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank tomkathyhistory1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AugustaSwellendam, Manager at Augusta de Mist Country House, responded to this reviewResponded March 2, 2013

Hello Kathy and Tom. It was so nice to hear that you enjoyed staying with us, and I appreciate that you help us spread the word. I am also glad that you thought our place was the highlight of your trip. It makes everything worthwhile for us that you say such kind words. I hope you can come back to us next year. Michel and Henk.

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Reviewed February 23, 2013

Augusta de Mist is a real magic place. We got the last available room, the Strelitzia Cottage, and couldn't believe how lucky we had been with this perfect country house, when in the evening we sat on our terrace, enjoying the very good complimentary wine. The beauty of the gardens and the interiors with excellent art, the quietness of the place and the hospitality of Michel and Henk were incomparable for us. So we asked for a room on our trip back from Addo National Park a week later, although it would be a detour from our planned route via 62. It turned out that the Arum Lily Cottage was available which showed the same elegance and taste.
This time we even had the chance to enjoy their African dinner that was delicious. We were really sad having to leave this place where you could easily spend some more relaxing days.
Thanks to Michel and Henk for this special experience for us German tourists on their first trip to South Africa!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Doris2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

From the moment you walk in here you know you are in a special place. I kept thinking elves would come out, the garden is so lush. It's a magical controlled mayhem. Indigenous plantings fighting for survival. The first morning we found several porcupine quills. We thought we heard an oink in the middle of the night! Fortunately we spent two nights. All the other rviews here mention the food, so I don't need to say more than what you have here. Listen, don't risk your 50/50 chance of eating here as they only cook every second night. Make sure you stay for two nights and you will leave refreshed, tummies full, and happy. And yes, they do live next door to Alice! Special treat? The have their own wine, and a great story to go with it.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank PeterWaterSki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

Swellendam has a few choices for the discerning traveller but the best of all has to be Augusta de Mist. The property is just beautiful and the constant efforts of all the staff and owners really raises this place a notch above most places. It is a true retreat. After leaving we reflected on what it was that we enjoyed so much, but we could not pinpoint one aspect infavour of another. It just all works beautifully. Book dinner and try the wine. It is awesome...

Room Tip: I had a good look around and there are no bad rooms. Some are more isolated for greater privacy whil...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Frank P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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 #31 of 39 B&Bs / Inns in Swellendam
Price Range: $149 - $196 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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