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“Unusual sojourn among the fynbos”

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Farm 215 Nature Retreat & Fynbos Reserve
Ranked #13 of 30 Gansbaai B&B and Inns
johannesburg
Level Contributor
89 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Unusual sojourn among the fynbos”
Reviewed May 2, 2012

This guest house is very difficult to classify. I suspect that the experience you will have here will depend predominantly on your mood; are you feeling tolerant, exacting, bored, stressed ...?whatever you're feeling, this place will probably intensify it. We stayed here in late April/early May 2012 at around R2 500 per room per night bed & breakfast for 2 adults. There are 3 suites scattered amongst the fynbos, looking down a gradual slope, over a lake in the distance, toward to the sea on the horizon. It is a pleasing view at first; but I must say that the fynbos does not seem to attact birds or much animal life - so there is a sad air of sterility about it somewhat, although the colours and the light (when the winter rain is not lashing the place) are pleasing. The suite itself is of an initially attractive and modern design, lots of glass and wood; some good ideas, but ultimately, I decided, somewhat uncomfortable, impractical and overpriced. It was spacious, has the view, and clean. But the lounge section contains a rigid wooden bench and a kind of beanbag armchair facing a small wood-burning fireplace behind glass which doesn't heat the big open space of the room. A sofa on which to lounge would be great. The king-size bed was not uncomfortable but for the fact that the duvet was too small, as were the fitted sheet and matress cover which kept slipping and sliding .... there was a good reading lamp, however, and great filter coffee. The basin in the bathroom was impossible to use with ease; and it is squashed into a small space at the back, leaving metres of unused space elsewhere. The staff were very friendly and helpful, especially Sam and Maia. The food was rather hit and miss. Dinner (fairly pricey at R220 a head - R2 500 per night should really have included dinner, I thought) consisted of a rather strage starter of smoked kipper and avo, followed by a good salad, a lamb tagine (god quality meat) with couscous and a honeybush creme brulée which would have been great if it had set in time. Breakfast on the first morning was disasterous, rather makeshift and ice cold, although on the second morning excellent, with a particularly good pineapple crumble. Dinner on the second night was good; a sort of pastry with mushrooms and cheese, honey/mustard chicken (with couscous again for some reason!) and a malva pudding which was too rich for me. Honesty bar and impressive wine selection. The whole atmosphere was like being a casual interloper in someone's home; good because one doesn't really feel like a "guest"; but not so good because one is sort of left to one's own devices a lot of the time, wondering whether there is any real organizational structure in place. Staying two nights was probably a mistake and Gansbaai itself is nothing more than an acretion of mean and ugly little houses with nothing at all to redeem it except what appeared to be a good restaurant called Benguela (which we unfortunately did not eat at, since it is probably 30 mins away from the guest house on mainly gravel roads). The whole area, we found, was rather a disappointment, with the exception of Hermanus itself which is more cheerful in a conventional sort of way, and situated quite dramatically on the cliffs above the sea and has a number of OK restaurants. Thers is a rather strange pool - long and thin and apparently fairly shallow, made of raw cement, rather like a long cattle dip I thought, and the water is tinged yellow by the fynbos which is fine (in fact delicious) to drink; but would not, I imagine, make for a very inviting swim. All in all, Farm 215 makes for an interesting one night's stopover, preferably in summer. More than that, I am really not sure. It is a very personal kind of preference or choice, with no one right answer.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank jsn_chiaro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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98 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Miami Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
73 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2012

The fynbos suites are like private villas with a clean modern design and beautiful views across the diverse yet smallest floral kingdom in the world. The view continues into the distance accross award winning vineyards a lake and then off to the ocean. We loved our stay and can't wait to return next year!

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank JoeyQuest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wiltshire
Level Contributor
40 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2012

Completely love this place; wonderful rooms, fabulous setting, gorgeous food and totally support their eco ethos. Go there!

Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank JemmaB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2012

Unfortunately, only had time for 1 night at Farm 215. Would have loved more. Whilst being off the beaten track, directions provided made it easy to find. Arrived to a warm welcome from Maarten and a show around the estate - gorgeous courtyard, dining areas, pool - but the best bit was our Fynbos suite; amazing views, absolute silence (except for birdsong and the breeze), beautifully kitted out and very comfortable. Dinner was lovely and relaxing and food was ok for the money; ditto comments for breakfast. But it's really the location that makes it. Got up early the following morning to enjoy a swim and then a hike around the estate trail. Friendly, accomodating and relaxed. A lovely stay, if only for one night.....

Room Tip: The Fynbos suites are extra but are worth it - we had the one furthest away from the house and, ther...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank TimLondon65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 5, 2011

We arrived at Farm 215 late in the evening and were greeted by a host a friendly and welcoming faces. The Fynbos Suite was pure luxury, the food was delicious and the views breathtaking. We spent the days reading our books, lazing by the pool and hiking around the farm. The owner of Farm 215, Maarten Goss, was knowledgeable about the area and his passion for eco-tourism and sustainability was refreshing. We'll certainly be back.

Room Tip: Go for one of the suites for pure luxury.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Karen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 30, 2011

I have just ended my stay at farm 215 and I would just like to say in reference to the previous comment that my two daughters, my husband and myself thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and found it to be very child friendly. They were off all day on the hiking trails and horse riding leaving me and my husband to relax and enjoy the view and the good wines available. The staff were so friendly and knowledgeable.
The colour of the water was explained to us on arrival and we thoroughly enjoyed hearing the story of how the mountain water was stained with the vynbos tannins, at least we knew it was fresh and clean and where it was coming from!

I would definitely recommend staying here to families and singles alike!!

  • Stayed November 2011
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank samantha jane gabb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed November 27, 2011

We arrived late evening, around 19:00, just in time to make it for dinner. Dinner was OK, nothing special. Considering it is marketed as a 'luxury resort' I would have expected more. There is plenty of food, but it lacked quality and choice, in my opinion. The dessert was mouse au chocolate which is far too big. The rooms are large and you get a wonderful view of the sunset and sunrise. Be aware that on the top of the walls on both ends, there are NO curtains, so when dawn begins (aprox. 5:00), there is a lot of sunlight. Being with a small child, I would have appreciated the choice of having sun so early or not. Breakfast started at 8:30, although you can ask for it to start earlier. Everything seems nice and clean, but the shower. The shower seems that it has not been washed, but this could be due to the color of the water. If you're an eco-junky, and like to live au-natural, this place is for you! I personally am not a fan of yellow water (despite it winning awards for being clean etc). I like my bath water to be clear, and to brush my teeth with 'normal' water. But we were assured that the water is clean, and pure! The hosts are very nice, and accommodating, answering to our needs without delay (we had 1 day of no warm water which was handled quickly). The only real bad part, is that the toilet area can not be closed, there is a sliding door, which might as well not be there as it doesn't hinder anything.
Other than that, probably not a place for families, but rather a romantic get-away, with yellow water.

Room Tip: We had the first room (closest to the main house)
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Lio56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Farm 215 Nature Retreat & Fynbos Reserve

Property: Farm 215 Nature Retreat & Fynbos Reserve
Address: Hartebeeskloof, Baardskeerdersbos - Overstrand | PO Box 1314, Gansbaai 7220, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Overberg District > Gansbaai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 30 B&Bs / Inns in Gansbaai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Farm 215 Nature Retreat & Fynbos Reserve 4*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Farm 215 is located in the Cape's undisturbed Overberg. Farm 215 offers luxury, tranquility, privacy, space, original food and exceptional floral beauty. Panoramic views over the plains towards the ocean, vineyards hugging the lake and endless mountains. Located in a pristine private nature reserve of 800 hectares, farm 215 is a shelter from the daily routines of life and a haven for the conscious traveler. Certified by Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa. ... more   less 
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