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“Groenfontein”

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The Retreat at Groenfontein
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 26, 2013

On a visit to S.Africa we decided to hire a car from Capetown airport and head east stopping at reasonably priced B&Bs. They were all fantastic and so hospitable,often with a winery nearby!
The real jewel in the crown was the Retreat at Groenfontein...way out in the sticks and powered by generator in the evenings......just amazing!

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank lutins-x2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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193 - 199 of 283 reviews

Reviewed March 31, 2013

Our two weeks touring South Africa took us to some wonderful places, yet this stood head and shoulders above the others. Very genuinely in the middle of nowhere, this charming colonial-style home with surrounding cottages is set in wonderful gardens, themselves set in world-class countryside of mountains and valleys.
You are treated like a friend of the family, everyone eating dinner with the lovely owners, Grant and Marie, each evening. Wildlife is everywhere, there are natural pools to swim in as well as the swimming pool, walks abound, silence reigns, broken only by birdsong.
We were there for two days. If you can, make it longer.

Room Tip: The suites are worth the little bit extra - number 9 is surrounded by mountain views (see picture)
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Mike W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2013

We stumbled upon Groenfontein after a last minute decision to try an alternative to the Garden Route back to Cape Town from the game reserves outside Port Elizabeth. The Rough Guide praised The Retreat at Groenfontein, and my boyfriend and I were properly blown away by the beauty of the scenery, the comfortable accommodation, and above all the unique hospitality provided by the owners of the B&B.

As soon as we arrived after a long and dusty drive through the Little Karoo, the owner greeted us with a wave, and seeing we were tired after the trip, had beers sent to our room. Dinner was a beautiful candle-lit affair on the porch with all the other guests. I've never had an evening at a B&B turn into a delightful dinner party, but it certainly did. The following morning we went on a beautiful hike through the rolling hills, followed by a swim in the pristine pool, and then had breakfast at the main house looking out at the garden and weaver birds. The food was delicious, the setting gorgeous, and the hospitality unforgettable.

I'll be heartily recommending a 2-3 day detour to Groenfontein to everyone I know planning a trip to South Africa.

Room Tip: It is somewhat out of the way, so my main tip is to stay for at least 2 nights to get the most out o...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Throdster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2013

It's like staying with friends, you couldn't be made more welcome. And then there's its surroundings. The country is spectacular, a lovely secluded waterhole to swim in and the fabulous rooms. Sadly, we were only there one night, but we'll be back for much longer. It is a wonderfully relaxing and elegant experience.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Pommie60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2013

Staying at the Retreat was absolutely fantastic. The minute we arrived, we were invited to join for lunch and we felt immediately at home. Our room was spacious and beautiful and had a memorable view on the surrounding mountains and every morning and evening we sat down at the porch and spotted the most beautiful birds. During the day we did some great walks on very well layed-out paths en got lazy at the pool. At dinnertime it was very nice to get to know the other guests. Marie & Grant, thank you very much for a wonderful time; the Retreat is a truly special and unforgettable place in a beautiful country.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank MonicaC1964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2013

This old Victorian farmhouse with 5 rooms and 4 additional bed-room suites in two cottages that are run by Marie and Grant was one of the most pleasant surprises during our 3 week stay in the Western Cape. Nice and convenient rooms with a big veranda with a splendid view on the Swartberg mountains. Excellent service with coffee and cooled wine brought to your room. Marie serves an excellent breakfast and dinner and also a very enjoyable experience with the variety of guests that they are hosting. Nice walking trails are laid out and besides the pool one can also take a dip in a small lake on their property. If you like a touch of luxury and elegance of a guesthouse one should not miss this four stars retreat when in the area of the unspoilt beautiful Swartberg mountains.

Room Tip: Try the suites (7,8 &9) in the cottages overlooking the Swartberg mountains
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank lex195
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2013

We loved every minute of our stay. The location is amazing,' far away' from everything, you are in the middle of nature; while being looked after so well by Mary and Grant. They are wonderful, their attention to detail is incredible. The food is delicious too and you all eat together; we made lovely friends. There is lots of walking to do, or swimming in the river or pond. Our son loved it too (3yrs). we stayed at one of the family cottage's and their views are breath taking. Stay at least 2 nights if not 3 cause you'll regret it otherwise! Best place of our 3 weeks SA trip. family: 2 adults, 3yr old and 5 months old. ps. the swartberg pass towards Prince Albert is a great drive.

Room Tip: cottage 8 or 9 have stunning views
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank London002009
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 19 Specialty Lodging in Calitzdorp
Price Range: $70 - $183 (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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