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“Where the hands of time had mercy...”
Review of Karoo Art Hotel

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Karoo Art Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Barrydale
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 28, 2012

You can't miss the so-called purple hotel in the middle of this charming olde-world village. The warmth of a wood fire greets you the moment you step in from the chilly winter. This is echoed by the interior of the downstairs living area, stocked with ample coffee table books on art and travel. Oversized chairs and sofas invite you to relax and put your feet up. It is evident that a very creative hand touched this hotel. Interesting art, soft furnishings and mirrors meet you around every corner.
Our room was spacious, with a private balcony overlooking the farm-like town of Barrydale, and an en-suite bathroom offering a shower only. Our king-size bed was fitted with crisp white linen and we could fix ourselves a proper cup of filter coffee in the room every morning - a much appreciated touch.
Unfortunately the dining room was under construction and we enjoyed breakfast at Fezz, an adjacent restaurant. Apparently one of the best restaurants in the region, Clarke's of the Karoo, is going to take over the hotel restaurant soon. Something to look forward to...
Our overall impression of this hotel and the town in general was that a day probably had a couple more hours to spend on things that really matter - like beauty and detail. We would recommend the Barrydale Karoo Hotel to anyone who needs a weekend away from the rat race. We left with a smug smile that said we knew something many others didn't :).

Room Tip: Avoid the rooms above the bar if you intend to spend quiet evenings in your room.
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Alda N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
barrydaler, Owner at Karoo Art Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 30, 2012

Glad you enjoyed your stay here!
Please visit again soon.
Theo
Owner

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Reviews (342)
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280 - 286 of 342 reviews

Reviewed June 12, 2012

We were fortunate to have been invited by the owner to spend a night at this little colourful gem of a country inn in Barrydale, and we decided to stay over on a wintry week night before embarking on a weekend safari at the nearby Sanbona Wildlife Reserve (http://www.sanbona.com/). We set off from Cape Town on a particularly cold and blustery morning and arrived in an even colder and more blustery Barrydale around lunchtime, our ebullient host Gurshwin and a central fireplace providing welcome respite from the wintry chill. At the time of our visit the property was undergoing renovations, and this, coupled with the cold snap, probably accounted for the place being a lot quieter than usual. Decor is colourful and eclectic - think shabby-chic, home-away-from-home style with a touch of camp - and the comfy public areas lend themselves to lazing around fireside (or poolside in better weather). We scored spacious Room Number Two, upstairs with a huge balcony overlooking the town and mountains beyond, and we spent most of the afternoon cocooned in our room snug under the Lesotho-style blanket provided. We popped past the bar pre-dinner at the bistro across the road to watch Isidingo (a local soap opera), and we watched it in the company of the very entertaining local colour - what appeared to be a team of boisterous farmers from the area. The on-site restaurant - the Meditteranean-style Mez - was closed for renovations so we ate out for lunch and dinner, but Gurshwin and his team rustled up a lovely snap-up breakfast before we departed early the next morning. All in all, a great stay.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank benitakursan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
barrydaler, Owner at Karoo Art Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 30, 2012

Thank you for the visit - please come around soon again !
Theo
owner

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Reviewed June 8, 2012

..elegance, comfort and 'attention to detail' is what will welcome you, once you step into the Barrydale Karoo Hotel, which presented itself all too well as the perfect 'home away from home' during our visit in March!

Dont be put off by the busy and noisy street that runs passed just outside the entrance of the building. Once you have entered the building, you will certainly feel overwhelmed by its classy interior and fun - loving layout. The rooms are spacious and modern, with farm-style bathrooms. Friendly and helpful staff!

The breakfast menu is rather entertaining, and creates the feeling of a 'personal encounter' with the new Owner of this Hotel.

I can recommend this to every traveler that needs a little something more.
Enjoy..

Hanne & Joey

Room Tip: Rooms 2 and 3 are spacious and have great balconies !!
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Joey H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
barrydaler, Owner at Karoo Art Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 27, 2013

Many thanks - glad you enjoyed your stay!
Please follow our live music entertainment programme on our website and visit us again when your favourite musician is playing at the hotel.
Theo
Owner

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Reviewed May 23, 2012

Worth going out of the way for.
Barrydale itself is set in the most sensational mountain valley setting that the garden route is famous for, the town is pretty but a little non descript and this building from the outside is nothing special but the moment you enter the door -CHARMED spring into mind. It's a visual experience and good one that simply takes you by surprise and it's all good.
I strongly recommend visiting and indeed making the slight extra trip to get here and the passes you will travel over make it worthwhile, when leaving to go back to cape town they gave us a longer route to take via wine districts and. Have to say it was one of the most rewarding days on our holiday. A trip up and over some visually breathtaking scenery with cape Dutch vineyards en route .
Do it - visit this hotel and environs

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank TravellingRainbow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
barrydaler, Owner at Karoo Art Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 3, 2012

Thank you ! Much appreciated! As from 1 July 2012 the renowned Clarke of the Karoo restaurant will move into the hotel and take over all our food operations - great Karoo food with some flair!
Also note our winter midweek specials from Sundays to Thursdays as given on our website.
Theo nel ( Owner).

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Reviewed May 14, 2012

I loved staying at this hotel, would go back anytime! In fact I plan to sooner rather than later :-)

The rooms were great, I had number 3 with a really enormous balcony, lovely to sit and read or laze about watching the view of the town.

The bed was comfortable, nice pillows. Bathroom was enormous with a really nice shower, one of my criteria for a good stay... Nice little touches like real coffee with a cafetiere (so good in the morning), multiple plug points, bottled water, locally made shampoo and body wash, plenty of towels, good cleaning service (quick and thorough), mosquito repellent and comfy chairs on the balcony. I didn't have breakfast so can't comment on the food but since the restaurant is going to change soonish it doesn't really matter.

The staff were really fantastic. So friendly and helpful, happy hour was indeed a happy hour. The bar is large and has a great selection of drinks. French champagne, local award winning brandies and bar staff who are friendly, efficient and appreciate really good music. A special word of thanks to Wendy, who got me into the bar, in my pyjamas! A real first for me, thank heavens they were decent ones.

The whole place is friendly, relaxed and really nicely decorated. I felt at home. Meeting local residents was an added bonus, so nice to relax and chat with people and feel comfortable. Very important as a solo female traveller.

If I could suggest one thing? When the new restaurant is in, have a proper coffee machine with some of the staff trained as Baristas. I would have loved to be able to order a great cappuccino or latte and of course this always appeals to us urban girls.

Oh, and as an avid SA cricket supporter, I took slight exception to the Aussie flag hanging from my balcony. My friends suggested I remove it, but since I'd like to go back I didn't :-)

Don't hesitate, go and stay here. The hotel, the town, the people are wonderful.

Room Tip: Balcony rooms face the road, but since there isn't much traffic it's not a big deal.
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Lucy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
barrydaler, Owner at Karoo Art Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 3, 2012

Thank you ! Not often that we have a guest in her payamas in our bar ! Well done!
We certainly will heed your tip re great coffee machine. The renowned Clarke of the Karoo restaurant will be moving into the hotel on 1 July 2012 and take over all our food operations. Their signature dish : Karoo lamb curry with sambals - a fantastic dish!
Theo Nel ( Owner)

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Reviewed May 13, 2012

Out of the ordinary certainly, theatrical, camp, OTT - glorious! It is an experience staying here. Barrydale is called the "gay capital of the Karoo", and the hotel certainly symbolizes that.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank David M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
barrydaler, Owner at Karoo Art Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 3, 2012

Glad you enjoyed the hotel!
Watch out for our new wine list , due to be released in July !
Theo Nel ( owner)

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Reviewed March 26, 2012

Most reviewers use the word quirky to describe this hotel , which is most apt. However the quirkiness does not detract from the quality. We stayed in the blue room , which was comfortable and spacious , with wonderful quirky (but not tacky) fittings made from recycled materials and interesting paint effects. The bathroom was large , with a huge shower and lots of hot water , and there is a seperate toilet. The hotel staff are lovely and will go out of their way to make Restaurant bookings or find out info for you. Breakfasts are huge and absolutely delicoius. The bar is full of atmosphere and a great place to catch a rugby match with the locals. They also have the occasional live music featured here. My only complaint would be the wine prices in the bar!! Lots of personal touches , like newspapers delivered to yiour room each morning and local aloe vera toiletries in the room. A genuine 'Karoo" experience.

Room Tip: Blue Room - Room 13 - was wonderful
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank RobCCapeTown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
barrydaler, Owner at Karoo Art Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 3, 2012

Thank you for this great feedback - much appreciated! Hope to have you back soon. We have two different stages where we often have live bands performing - a smaller stage in th ebar, and a bigger stage in our historic Belanti hall on the hotel premises ( This used to be the town's old cinema !) We are working on getting smaller film festivals up and running again soon. Our wine list caters for all tastes and pockets - we have very decent quaffable wines from as little as R15 per glas /R60 per bottle : good value for a hotel , we think. We certainly also cater for the more upmarket wine drinker. We are in the process of reviewing and extending out wine list completely and will keep your comment in mind when doing so. Hope to see you again soon!
Theo Nel ( Owner)

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Additional Information about Karoo Art Hotel

Address: 30 Van Riebeeck Street, Barrydale 6750, South Africa (Formerly Barrydale Karoo Hotel)
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Overberg District > Barrydale
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Barrydale
Price Range: $98 - $136 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Karoo Art Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This is the best country hotel in the whole of the Klein Karoo! An ideal stop-over between Cape Town and the Garden Route, a must-stay for any visitor! Best food and most comprehensive wine list in the whole of the Klein Karoo! ( Wine list has just been awarded a Diners Club Wine List Diamond Award - the highest award possible) ! Restaurant has just won the Klein Karoo Gourmand Award ! Loads of historic character. Most friendly staff. Rooms with balconies and views available. Character bar and great restaurant. Huge swimming pool for hot summer days. Many open fireplaces for the winter nights! Karoo hospitality. The hotel is an art gallery with many paintings by local artists on display and for sale .Some rooms with cable TV available. Staff are keen to share local things to do and to see with guests.We even have a private 40 seater private cinema for use by our guests! ... more   less 
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