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.
- 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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