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“So good for the Soul and Body!”

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Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat
Certificate of Excellence
Franschhoek, South Africa
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“So good for the Soul and Body!”
Reviewed October 16, 2013

My husband and I spent 3 glorious days and nights last week at the Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve in the Cederberg, Western Cape. We have heard many good reports of this hotel and Spa over the years, but it truly exceeded our expectations! Firstly, we didn't expect to see wild flowers in the month of October, as spring flower attraction months are August and September - but we were bowled over by the thrilling sight of carpets of flowers all over the Reserve. Our guide (Gerhard) was absolutely excellent with his vast knowledge of flora, fauna, geology, and - totally new for us - information about Bushman paintings, of which there are numerous excellent ones that he took us to see. The animals on the Reserve are all in good health and we saw many different species of buck (one herd of at least 60 Eland) and birds. I was treated to a magical session at the Spa, and Nikki (the beauty therapist) was highly professional and an inspiration. And the accommodation and cuisine were deliciously memorable. We look forward to going again - hopefully next year!

Room Tip: The standard of all of the rooms is good, and they all have superb views.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank FelicityJohannesburg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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682 reviews from our community

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Johannesburg
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed October 5, 2013

Bea Tollman, the founder and chairman of Red Carnation Hotels is a hotelier that knows about managing de luxe properties, but this one is exceptional - maintaining their incredibly high standards in the wilderness of the Cederberg mountains some 40 km from the nearest town (Clanwilliam) is something else.

The small (32 beds) hotel overlooks a river and is set in beautifully manicured gardens which are maintained after by 25 gardeners! The accommodation is of the highest level, and their stylish attention to detail is ever present. There is even dental floss in the bathroom.The meals which include a fancy high tea in the afternoon are interesting and well served.

The reserve of some 15000 acres has a number of good examples of bushman art and a sprinkling of indigenous game including springbok, red hartibeest, eland and ostriches. There are no major predators so one can walk freely on a number of marked trails.

It is a peaceful place and we enjoyed our 2 night stay very much.

The direct drive from Cape Town takes about 3 hours, we returned via the coastal road which, with stops, was a lot longer but is an interesting journey.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank AntonT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 3, 2013

We spent last weekend at Koro Lodge, on the Bushmanskloof Wilderness Reserve for a family birthday celebration weekend. I cannot recommend the hotel and lodge enough! Malcolm, Dalene and Wilhemina's service was warm, personable and wonderful. Our every need was taken care of. Outings with Simone were informative and fun - her passion for all of the fauna, flora and cultural heritage was lovely to behold. Floris' food was spectacular - we were inundated with food and he dealt with the dietary requirements with ease. I have never stayed at an establishment where every meal has been utterly faultless.

Thank you to James and the team for the wonderful weekend!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Thelazyfoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Suider Paarl, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 1, 2013

This was a surprise 60th birthday present for my husband and as there were 7 adults, we booked Koro Lodge. Were met by Malcolm the manager, Floris our own chef, Simone our own guide and two amazing ladies Wilhelmina and Dalene, who went out of their way to make sure our stay went without a hitch. A High Tea was waiting for us on arrival which could have fed at least 15 people. As I am gluten intolerant, Floris made sure there was always something for me to eat. Simone took us on our first game drive stopping halfway for sundowners in the bush- absolutely beautiful!! Back at the lodge Floris again pulled out all the stops for dinner - rolled into bed at midnight. Sat. morning had a continental breakfast by request and set off for our second drive. This time flora and fauna as well as some Bushman rock art - Simone is a mine of information. Back at the lodge for a light lunch and some archery, fishing, cycling, massage and some bonding with family. Opted out of High Tea - toooo much food - and watched rugby. At 7pm were collected by Simone for a surprise dinner at Kodoro, a stone hut in the middle of nowhere. Arrived to a spectacular sight of laterns, candles and a bonfire with Malcolm and team waiting for us. What an unbelievably special evening they had created for us, beyond expectation!!! Soup, lamb shanks, couscous, mash, root veg, yellowtail, meringue and fruit and malva pudding. Tea/coffee ended the evening. Back to the lodge for a bath in a copper clad bath or outside shower and into bed after a truly amazing day. Rock art viewing before breakfast with coffe and muffins/rusks at the edge of the dam and then a walk through the bush to see some special paintings. After a two hour outing had breakfast at the lodge and unfortunately had to pack up and leave this beautiful setting and head back to civilisation. Koro Lodge is a very unique setting away from the main lodge - you are truly in the bush with lush vegetation all around and buck coming up to the Lodge to graze on the foliage - saw the hoof prints the following morning. This has truly been a magical trip which I for one will definitely be repeating - AS SOON AS POSSIBLE !!! Thank you to all at Koro - you are all very special!!!

Room Tip: If you are a family Koro is the one to go for!!!
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Heidi F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed September 22, 2013

To be honest, we were a bit bummed when discovering that our 2,5 hour drive to Bushmans Kloof would take a bit longer due to road works but as soon as we left the hustle and bustle of Cape Town behind, we found ourselves in an ever-changing landscape with some seriously interesting views.

After a couple of hours, we arrived in the Cederberg Mountains, where the temperature was significantly happier than in Cape Town and where we were welcomed with open arms by the Bushmans Kloof staff.
As we were in the area where the increasingly popular Rooibos Tea comes from, we were welcomed with a Rooibos Icetea – home made of course, Bushmans Kloof is part of Relais & Chateaux, worrying about food here is for no means necessary.

After a quick and easy check-in procedure we were brought to our hideaway for the weekend; Masson. With our own private courtyard, a massive room and free-standing bathtub in the bathroom we were planning on partaking in not too many activities…
However, after the long drive we were hungry. And that’s not a normal feeling at Bushmans Kloof, we got to experience. Without joking, you can come in for breakfast, lunch, high tea and dinner all day. When breakfast stops being served at noon, lunch took over. Light dishes, as High Tea starts at 16:00 and when you get back from your gamedrive after High Tea, you can go straight down for dinner……

Back to the being hungry. We indulged in a very sweet high-tea at the Twelve Apostles a day earlier, so decided to go easy on the sugar and enjoy a light lunch instead. A bottle of wine, Mezze platter and lots of new bird friends later we realized that we were about to hop in the jeep for our first game-drive of our stay. Bushmans Kloof is situated on a 7.500 hectares reserve, with lots of game, flowers and rock art. And as there are no predators, you don’t have to be in the jeep to explore this ecological paradise!
We discovered just a small part of the area by mountain-bike the next day, admiring the endless fields of flowers and searching for some black Wildebeest or Zebra – amongst all the other wildlife around.

After our little tour, we jumped into the outdoor pool in front of our house – which was freezing. A good reason to chill on the big loungers in the garden, and warm up before heading for High Tea that we SO deserved! After a glass of bubbly and some sweet and savory goodness, we embarked on the jeep again. The gamedrives are at absolute leisure, with a stop for a drink while the sun sets in the most stunning settings. When we got back, our spa therapists were already waiting- we enjoyed such a good couples massage! Completely relaxed we continued our romantic route to our private dining table next to a big fireplace where we were served the most amazing meal, almost under a blanket of stars….

What might capture Bushmans Kloof the best, is that this retreat is all about YOU. The team recognizes and values that each guest has it’s own interests, pace and rhythm. Whether you want to stay in and have a late brunch or want to get up early to explore some rock-art and search for some early bird animals – all is possible. You don’t have to do anything but can experience everything.

Room Tip: We upgraded to a Deluxe room, Masson, which was perfectly situated overlooking the pool and gardens...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Evie-Amsterdam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Albans, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2013

An idyllic setting and a warm welcome received upon arrival. My husband and I have stayed at many Relais and Chateaux hotels around the world and the standard of service and food at Bushmanskloof is of a similar standard.
Staff in the restaurant were efficient and polite- I can't say they exuded warm hospitality however I probably put that down to the stiff formality of some Relais and Chateaux environments- shame because little things like that make all the difference. Wine menu was a little disappointing- lots of expensive wines and a poor selection of mid-priced wines. Menu was varied and food was fresh and tasty. High tea in the afternoon was absolutely lovely. Served overlooking the water, listening to the birds and eating afternoon tea was totally superb. We sat in front of the roaring fire reading our books afterwards and felt thoroughly relaxed.
Simone, our guide was warm and friendly and we thoroughly enjoyed the rock art walk in the morning, less so the game drive as there was not a lot of game to actually see. Simone obviously has a great deal of passion for what she does and this shows through in her knowledge and enthusiasm on the drive and walk.
I had one of the best foot treatments at the Spa that I have ever had and the experience was totally relaxing and of the highest professional standards.
What was disappointing was our room. We booked a standard room and it was just nothing special. As I said previously we have stayed in other standard bedrooms at Relais and Chateaux hotels and they still exude luxury. The room at Bushmanskloof was small, dark and ordinary. The mattress was rock hard and most disappointing of all the room was not very well sound proofed- you could hear your neighbour’s conversation easily. I would have expected each resident to be offered a detached room/cottage/lodge given the reputation of the hotel.
Overall an enjoyable and restful experience but didn't quite hit the 5 stars for me from what I have read via Trip Advisor.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sarah526
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviewed September 12, 2013

We stayed on our honeymoon and we loved it. Service is great and food is very very well prepared and presented. This is a very safe choice for any traveler and you wont be disappointed. What it lacks in quirk and fun it makes up for in detail and dedication.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank SunnyCho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat

Property: Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat
Address: Cederberg Mountains, Clanwilliam 8135, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Clanwilliam
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 22 Specialty Lodging in Clanwilliam
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat 5*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ancient landscapes of wind-sculpted sandstone and untamed bush frame this luxury retreat, 270km from Cape Town. Voted ‘Best Hotel in the World 2009’ in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards, the malaria-free reserve is an ecological oasis for diverse wildlife, and custodian of 130 ancient San rock art sites renowned as one the ‘world’s largest open air art galleries’. Evening nature drives and exhilarating outdoor adventures offset an invigorating wellness focus, featuring an outdoor spa gazebo and spa treatments rooted in nature. Delectable cuisine distinguishes this authentic African wilderness escape, while luxurious accommodation includes Koro Lodge, the child-friendly private villa. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat Hotel Clanwilliam
Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve And Wellness Retreat

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