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“Nice Owner good value for a 3 star”
Review of Cypress Cottage

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Cypress Cottage
Ranked #6 of 38 Swellendam B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California
Level 6 Contributor
1,116 reviews
418 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 669 helpful votes
“Nice Owner good value for a 3 star”
Reviewed November 1, 2010

After looking into a couple of places (Schoone Oordt House lovely but expensive, and the Swellengrebel Hotel same price but dumpier) we chose Cypress Cottage value for money and also because we liked the owner. We got the front room facing the garden of this old country converted house. The room that is also showcased in their pamphlet was next to the wooden stairs that made some noise, fortunately people stop going up early. The room is simply and nicely decorated, clean with a small bathroom and no TV. My computer would not pick up the free wi-fi. There is a kettle, a small refrigerator and a room safe. The toilette makes a racket every time you flush; the towels are line dried so a little rough but very white, and there was no shampoo, conditioner or soap just the hand soap. This might have been just an oversight, but at 7 Am I didn’t want to go wake everyone up and I had some in my bag. The room had a heater and an electric blanket that we used. We paid 600 Rand with what they call a full English breakfast and parking. We had a complimentary glass of wine and a nice conversation with the owner. We had a nice quiet evening after another long pleasant driving day. Went from Hermanus to Cape Agulhas the southernmost place in Africa, took some pictures and left, there is not much there especially in bad weather. We had the intention of crossing into Arniston. Except the red roads in our map listed as “other” are actually dirt roads so had to backtrack to the main highway. We had lunch in Arniston since it was supposed to be a “gem of a town”, at the Arniston Hotel and Spa, the only restaurant in town. It was actually pretty good and not expensive. There was bad weather in the cape so we could not go to the cave, the highlight. Not much else to see or do there so on to Swellendam through an immense farming area.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Starviagera
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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235 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Reading, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 31, 2010

We stayed one night at Cypress Cottage as a stopover on our way from the Garden Route to the Winelands. When we arrived, we were greeted by Etienne, the owner. He is a lovely chap and showed us all the available rooms so we could choose which we preferred. He then organised us a complimentary drink whilst he made a dinner reservation for us. He told us all about the history of the house, about the local area and about his mother being French (hence his forename) although he does not really speak French himself.

My husband is a keen pianist and Etienne had just had his piano serviced so was pleased to hear it being used! Our room was very spacious with a lovely outside area which unfortunatley we could not use due to the weather letting us down! The garden area was also very well designed with a very inviting pool.

Etienne assured us that Swellendam is very safe, even at night and that we could walk to the local restaurant. We did so and felt very comfortable - it was nice to be able to walk to dinner instead of taking taxis.

Breakfast at Cypress Cottage was a feast!

This was a really great place with a very interesting and friendly owner who definitely adds to the charm of the place. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank DLWilliams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicestershire
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2010

We arrived and were met by Etiennne. Cypress cottage is a very old property, but is a little run down. Etiennne showed us to the rooms which were in an annexe attached to the house. The door handle to the rooms was broken and Etienne fixed it as we were moving our cases into the room. The rooms felt very cold (it was in August - South Africa's winter) and the only source of heat in the room was a energy radiator attached to the wall which was inadequate. The rooms were clean but handles to bathrooms again needed attention and the bathrooms which contained showers were again in need of refurbishment (no heating in here whatsoever. The beds were comfortable with electric blankets but we were advised not to leave them on so were very cold during the night. Etienne recommended the Connection restaurant in Swellendam which served a set menu and was delicious. In the morning, I opted not to try the shower as it was too cold and had black mould where the tray meets the tiles. The breakfast was lovely but Etienne left for work before we had finished and left the bill with the staff. We tried to pay the bill in cash but the staff had no change at their disposal and so WE had to go to the local spa shop to get the correct money. - not good.
All in all could be very nice but lack of attention to detail let it down.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank RebeccaBal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Cypress Cottage, responded to this review, September 8, 2010
It seems that our charming guests had a "Fawlty Towers" experience in Swellendam.

We feel that the review is a bit harsh and want to respond as follows.

With this not so favourable review we have learned that in the hospitality industry you just cannot please everybody all the time. In a short period of time Cypress Cottage has built up a reputation for high standards as our excellent reviews on Trip Advisor can attest to. With this in mind it seems that people are under the impression that we run a 5 star establishment, where in fact it is only a 3 star guesthouse. People's expectations are therefore not always realistic.

This beautiful old guesthouse, built more than 200 years ago (1796), has a specific rustic charm with its joint Cape Colonial and Victorian building style. We also choose to keep it this way and do not want to modernise it in any way. We therefore do not want to replace an old original doorknob just because it has a troublesome screw. We fix it on the spot !

Heating is a problem in these old houses with the thick walls and no isolation. Apart from the heating panels on the walls we do have thermal heating blankets on the beds (not so often found in a 3 star guesthouse). We always advise the guests to switch off these devices when they go to bed as it will just become too hot during the night and it can perhaps be a fire hazard. Alternatively, the guests could just have switched the heating blankets to a lower temprature or made use of the extra blankets in the rooms. There was absolutely no reason to sleep cold.

During breakfast the owners' usual personal attention was cut short as he was called out to attend to a client (the owner is also an estate agent). The problem with regard to change (payment) was addressed by our capable staff members who indicated to the guests that they can pay with the cash they had on them (even if it ment a shortfall to the B&B). The guests THEMSELVES insisted to fetch change at the nearest shop. This was not necessary, but we do apologise for this inconvenience.

We at Cypress Cottage pledge to continue our 5 star service to our dear guests from abroad as well as our local customers.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madrid, Spain
1 review
Reviewed July 24, 2010

By far the best place we stayed in South Africa - and one of the cheapest. Entienne was incredibly helpful - helping us plan what left we had of our vacation. The rooms were large and comfortable, secure parking, and a wonderful breakfast - seemingly cooked by Entienne himself. Location too was perfect as we were stayed only one night and in the morning continued right back on the garden route to Cape Town.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank jakerad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Hampshire, USA
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviewed March 14, 2010

We stayed at the Cypress Cottage for one night during our South Africa road trip. We were so impressed by the quality of guest lodges and B&Bs during our entire stay - the price you pay is quite low compared to what you get, at least based on US standards. The Cypress Cottage was so lovely. We had a beautiful old room that opened on to its own tiny courtyard. The main garden and courtyard were so pretty and inviting. And the owner brought us a small bottle of wine as soon as we arrived! There is also a big beautiful front porch where you can sit and have an evening cocktail while you watch the world go by. A great place and a great experience.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank erinjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bosham
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2010

Cypress Cottage although only rated as a 3* was more like a 5*. We had been travelling SA on a budget, so although this was relatively expensive for us it was worth every penny! Etienne was a delightful host and managed the Cottage with complete ease and competance. The rooms were outstanding and all very different but with the most immaculate attention to detail. The bed was so comfortable I had to go for another nap! The breakfast was truely outstanding and if you like old and cultured properties this is seriuosly the place for you. We would highly reccommend this B&B to all.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank BoshamBells
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 5 Contributor
84 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed February 4, 2010

We stayed overnight, travelling back to Capetown. Etienne, our host was welcoming and helpful. We had a choice of rooms - and chose a spacious comfortable first-floor room overlooking the decent-sized pool. Etienne was most helpful and booked us into the best restaurant in town which is right next door! We also got an excellent breakfast and helpful travel advice, all at a very reasonable price. We will certainly stay again.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Sheila W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cypress Cottage

Property: Cypress Cottage
Address: 3 Voortrek Street, Swellendam 6740, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Overberg District > Swellendam
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 38 B&Bs / Inns in Swellendam
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Cypress Cottage 3*
Number of rooms: 6
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