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“A small slice of paradise”

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The Retreat at Groenfontein
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 13, 2012

This is quite simply one of the most wonderful places I have ever stayed at. The warm hopsitality, the excellent food, the stunning location and the well equipped rooms make this a place I know we will return to as often as we can. To escape from modern life, yet live in comfort and surrounded by beauty, this is the place to head for, with wonderful walks, wonderful swimming and good wines too, what's not to like? (But it's possibly not the best place to bring younger children, I suspect, as it's a little remote and mealtimes aren't wonderfully child friendly)

Room Tip: Chose one of the more expensive suites - worth every penny
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Erskinemay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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196 - 202 of 273 reviews

Reviewed October 11, 2012

We have stayed a few times at the Retreat at Groenfontein as a family and everytime has been magical, from the ambiance of the house, the cosy rooms, the walk to the swimming hole, the fresh bush air, Maries cooking and Grants smile. We felt at home and spoilt and it made special memories for us.

Room Tip: we have stayed both in the rooms at the house and the new ones at the back of the property. Differen...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Narniagardenroute
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2012

The Retreat at Groenfontein is a rare find ! Nestled in a circumference of south africa's most majestic rolling mountains, you are a guest amongst unique fauna and flora from a lost time. The giant tortoise we spotted ambling across our path as we cycled to the rock pools embodies the speed and timeless beauty of Groenfontein. This is a place to relax, unwind and hibernate from WiFi and Cell Phones. Prepare for a sensory flora explosion with abundant endemic fynbos from millions of years ago. As a guest at Groenfontein we felt as though we were part of the family !! We are South African and we can only imagine what an impact Groenfontein must have for international travellers...

Room Tip: It is best to e mail and discuss your requirements. All the rooms have their own charm and attribute...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank James3337337
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2012

As another reviewer said -it's worth the drive and even the pothole damage to our humble rental Polo... The location is magnificent - plenty of walks available. It's a haven for birds so if you're into birdwatching or photographing birds you can spend ages photographing them,,, so colourful and hypnotising. The hosts were welcoming and full of information. Dinner is a shared experience with the hosts and other guests - so a lot of stimulating conversation. Rooms comfortable - don't fret if you don't get a garden view, the room we had was comfortable and spacious.
There are two dogs - staffies - Donna and Spikey - very well tempered animals which probably got fed up of the attention I paid to them. Donna liked to sit on my feet. Good with children.
Our dinner was venison - absolutely delicious but being a greedy pig I tucked into the vegetarian choice as well - I could live off a vegetarian diet if every restaurant made veggie food that wholesome.
All in all - FABULOUS - we're looking for an excuse to go back, even more inviting than Mymering in Ladismith and that earned 5 stars from me. But mind that pothole 1/2 km outside Calitzdorp.........................

Room Tip: don't worry about garden view....the rooms all look good.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank WelshwizardK10D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2012

My husband, our two small dogs, and ourselves recently spent a night at the Retreat after an afternoon of port tasting in Calitzdorp. I cannot say enough wonderful things about this establishment - it truly took our breath away in every possible way! The property is a magical oasis in the klein karoo. Marie and Grant are fantastic hosts and offer the most delectable home-cooked meals and attentive service. They went above and beyond their way to ensure our stay was memorable.

Although it is slightly out of town, please do yourself a favour and make sure to stay at the Retreat should you be in or around the Calitzdorp/Oudtshoorn area. Highly, highly recommended!

Room Tip: Choose one of the garden units separate from the house - stunning views and lots of privacy!
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank nm563
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2012

The end justifies the means. A half hour on a narrow gravel road is the price one pays to reach The Retreat. It's worth it. The rooms are comfortable- try to get one of the suites or a garden room. Being "off the grid"., on solar power, means that there is no intrusive TV, and cellphone reception is not possible. You have to relax, and enjoy the birdsong. There are a number of walks from the "homestead. We did a short ( 1 hour) walk to rock pools in the nearby river. the water was crystal clear, but icy cold. I am sure it was snowmelt from the Swartberg Mountains. These form an impressive backdrop to the beautiful valley. The meals are made with as much fresh local produce as possible- Ostrich, olives, Karroo mutton, etc. Delicious, and you are encouraged to have a second helping.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Graham C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2012

The Retreat is a perfect place to slow down and recharge the batteries. It is also ideally located as a base for trips over the Swartberg Pass and around Oudshoorn. The hospitality is wonderful and evening meals are shared with the company of fellow guests which generally leads to interesting conversations and anecdotes. Breakfast is served on the verandah of the main house and Marie waits until all the guests are present before feeding the local bids which gather every morning expectantly. It is a wonderful experience.

Room Tip: The two adjacent main suites are situated away from the main house. They are more expensive but defi...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Andy D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Retreat at Groenfontein

Address: Groenfontein Valley, Calitzdorp 6660, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Calitzdorp
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 20 Specialty Lodging in Calitzdorp
Price Range: $60 - $159 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Retreat at Groenfontein 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This award winning destination, is in a 560 hectare nature reserve adjoining the Swartberg World heritage site. It is situated 20 kms from Calitzdorp, 48 kms from the Cango caves and 59 kms from Oudtshoorn. The guest-house offers simple luxury, friendly service, and a relaxed ambiance, with delicious, wholesome meals and caters for vegetarians and food intolerances. Evenings are spent in the company of fellow guests and friendly hosts. In this haven of tranquility enjoy birding at the dams or in the garden, challenging walking trails, relaxing in the lovely gardens, or swimming in the dam, river or pool. Stay a few days and do day outings to attractions in the area, such as ostrich farms, Cango caves, the spectacular Swartberg pass, and others. ... more   less 
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