We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Laidback luxury”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
Farm 215 Nature Retreat & Fynbos Reserve
Ranked #13 of 29 Gansbaai B&B and Inns
London, UK
Level Contributor
408 reviews
101 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 557 helpful votes
“Laidback luxury”
Reviewed January 22, 2009

Farm 215 might sound a little austere but don't be put off. More like a private nature reserve, this is 'eco-friendly' done properly, combining luxury and a passion for the environment, but remaining laidback and friendly. The two main co-owners, partners Maarten and Henki, epitomise the spirit of the place: Maarten the driving force behind all the envionmental projects and Henki who takes what the environment produces and conjures up delicious food.

We stayed in one of the three fynbos suites. These are freestanding units along a 300 m path away from the main homestead and powered by solar electricity. The homestead includes a suite on the ground floor with a nice garden and a couple of rooms above. There's also a newly built dining/bar area which has the same flowing design as the fynbos suites. Last, there's a 25 m infinity pool that stretches impressively into the distance.

Getting to Farm 215 involves driving about 14 km along a gravel road, which really makes you feel you're escaping from the rest of the world. The fynbos suites add to the feeling of peace and isolation, and it's hard to beat sitting on the veranda, sundowner in hand, soaking up the Overberg landscape. The three rooms in the fynbos suites flow one into another and reflect good design with little in the way of skimping on creature comforts. One slight drawback is that the separate toilet and shower have walls going up to about 2 m, which means that this is a place for couples who don't mind hearing each other's 'activities'!

Maarten is happy to arrange activities off the farm like horse-riding and so on, but we were content to do a 8 km trail which exposes one to the beauty and variety of the fynbos that he's trying to rescue from invasion by alien vegetation, e.g. pine trees. There are also plenty of vineyards in the region, and a good starting-point is the Hemel-en-Aarde valley, with big names like Hamilton Russell and Paul Cluver. Nearer to Farm 215, there are a few vineyards around Stanford, such as Raka and Boschrivier, although some require an appointment for wine tasting and/or may not be open at weekends.

The food at Farm 215 is plentiful and varied, and Henki is happy to cater for any dietary requirements, frequently drawing on his grandmother's recipes. While you're waiting for food, there's a splendid variety of books on display, with Henki's shelf concentrating on the artistic/exotic and Maarten's on flora/fauna. There's a separate shelf devoted to cookery books, with a number of alien invaders like Nigella Lawson and Nigel Slater (but no G Ramsey, thank God). The wine list is concise, reasonably priced and generally locally sourced. Top of the list of reds is the alluringly named and thoughly exceptional Chocolate Block from Boekenhoutskloof.

All in all, a wonderful place run by delightful people, ideal for gay or straight couples or anyone just wanting to escape from the rat race for a few days or more. And Maarten and Henki offer a 20% discount for return visits. Thanks, guys - we hope to be back!

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank DELondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

98 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    78
    14
    3
    2
    1
See reviews for
9
62
9
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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
london
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2009

My boyfriend and I booked a horseriding trip in the Overberg with the African Horse Company which has links with Farm 215. We were expecting to stay in some sort of ranch accommodation, but we were bowled over when we saw we were actually staying here - in fact I felt a bit fraudulent seeing as we thought the trip was very good value in any case!

The retreat is wonderfully remote and set in hills covered in carpets of flora. We stayed in a beautiful room in the main house, bigger than lots of London flats, with a private balcony with views over the hills and towards the sea, and a gorgeous slate-clad bathroom. Light streamed in from all sides; there was a CD player and *real* coffee and cafetieres in the room!

The decor is simple, modern and high quality throughout. We dined in the open-sided dining room and the food was absolutely delicious - imaginative, tasty, restaurant-standard three course meals using local ingredients.

The staff are friendly and laid-back - this is definitely a place to relax (if you weren't there to horse ride!). There's an honesty bar throughout the day and you can help yourself to the books and games in the dining area.

A wonderful place, highly recommended. The horse riding was fab too!

  • Liked — Gorgeous decor, great views and fantastic food
  • Disliked — brown water - not a problem, but bathing is a bit unattractive!
  • Stayed November 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank kw2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2008

One of the best things about Farm 215 is the fact that it's miles away from anywhere, you feel like a little peace of paradise has been set aside just for you.
The hosts were friendly and attentive and had lots of recommendations for local activities.
The eco-friendly Fynbos Suites and solar-heated pool take your breath away and compared to similar venues overseas, they are quite supberb.
Produce for meals is fresh and locally sourced which could mean you have limited options but nevertheless the chef will deliver delicious creations. They also have a very good range of South Africa's best wines.
A definite contender for that special getaway!

  • Liked — Location, accommodation, pool sensation!
  • Disliked — The fact that we couldn't stay for longer!
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank W_and_N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2008

I stayed at Farm 215 for 3 nights for my birthday in June 2007, and have never felt so spoilt or special in all my life. It is the kind of place you dream of visiting year after year, as the peacefulness and tranquility is stuff that you only read about in fairytales, or see and "experience" in the movies.

I am not even a fynbos fan, and yet enjoyed the graphic ruggedness that it creates in nature, and together with the isolation it is perfect for experiencing real nature without the artificial props and displays one so often finds in the plethora of safari camps that have popped up all over the country.

We stayed in a Fynbos suite, and found it exceptional in every way. All I can really add is that it is inspirational. You leave there wishing your own home could look like that, and be in such a beautiful setting!

The food, well the food was impeccable, and as lacto-vegetarians we were extremely well catered for, without any issues, which we have found is the sign of a special and well run kitchen.

We enjoyed 3 courses at every dinner time, and in fact were offered other alternatives that we simply could not squeeze in our tummies. For breakfast we received a fruit platter, muesli, yoghurts, freshly baked bread, a variety of cheeses, home made jams, as well as the option of a cooked breakfast, to order. We enjoyed all of the above every morning, and did not even feel like eating lunch as there was so much on offer.

Maarten and Henkie are attentive, and yet not in your face, we found Farm 215 to be an exceptional property that is extremely well run. We also spent a day cycling through their farm with fynbos and proteas, and we can't wait to stay there again.

  • Liked — Absolutely everything, it made me feel like I was living in someone else's beautiful life
  • Disliked — Nothing, all beautiful
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank YadaYada15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed May 26, 2008

This is the place to go if you are looking to relax and unwind with an air of sophistication. We stayed in the very private Fynbos Suites for two nights and the photos on the website do not do them justice and i thought the photos were beautiful!! The suites are basically made up of three interleading open plan rooms. The first being the lounge area with comfy leather seats and fire place. The second being the bedroom area with a very comfy bed and fire place and the third being the bathroom area with a large and powerful shower and deep and comfy bath which overlooks the magnificent views of the fynbos filled valley and lake and down to the sea beyond. All rooms open out onto a large covered wooden deck which is great for sundowners! The rooms are serviced daily to a high standard and they replenish the wood daily which is great as our visit was in winter.
Breakfast and dinner are served in an modern open plan restaraunt with excellent views. There is an honesty bar which is well stocked with decent local wines and everything else you want to consume. Dinner is cooked every evening by one of the owners and the food is most enjoyable and at a very reasonable cost. Breakfast is fine but for people with bigger appetities may need more selection, in saying this i am sure if you asked the ever attentive staff they would be willing to accommodate.
The farm has a huge amount of hikes that you can take and the abundance of different flora and fauna is immense. We took the Waterfall walk which was a beginner to intermediate hike and we saw lots of different kinds of fynbos, a small area of indigenous forest, baboons, klipspringer, fish eagle and a whole host of different bird species. I would highly recommend a swim in the dam once you come down from the Waterfall!
We ventured out for one day into the local area to some nice wine estates and down to the coast. Pearly beach and Quotin Point have lovely sandy beaches but if you are looking for food establishments i would go back to Gansbaai.
if i had to be picky i would say that the staff could know more about the hikes and different flora and fauna they are surrounded with. However Maartens more than makes up for this short fall with his immense knowledge and shere passion for nature and his beautiful farm!

  • Liked — Relaxation
  • Disliked — Leaving
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ColinCPT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
30 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2008

Farm 215 is in the middle of nowhere, which is great. A long gravel road, then a rutted track to the main house, a 4 by 4 would be ideal, but a car can manage – just about.
The 3 Fynbos suites are superbly designed, spotlessly clean, and extremely well fitted out, complete with marble bathroom, and double sided fireplace. One side of their entire length are sliding glass doors with an enormous deck, from which one can enjoy the views, overlooking a dam to the distant mountains.
Both the accommodation and position are fantastic, and pretty near faultless.
We arrived for afternoon tea, (Their web site clearly states they “cater for all meals of the day”) the only problem was they don’t serve tea, never mind we thought we could make tea in the room, only to discover that the cups provided were little demitasse coffee cups, and of no use whatever, the only tea in our room anyway was of the herbal variety. There were no snacks, biscuits or cake offered or even available to purchase, and as we had skipped lunch we were pretty ravenous, but we had no choice but to wait 4 more hours for our dinner at 8pm.
Dinner was disappointing to say the very least. There were no starters and no choice for the main course, which was a BBQ that had been cooked earlier in the day and reheated in a conventional oven! This meant the meats were overcooked and very dried out; they were served with a hot potato and lentil dish which arrived almost cold, and an overdressed salad. There was no desert either, just a couple of plain chocolate bars broken into pieces and put on a plate for guests to help themselves; there was also a bunch of grapes and 2 cheeses. This dinner is not included in the price and is charged as an extra, as are all drinks.
Breakfast was another story, we ordered fruit muesli and yogurt, followed by some scrambled eggs – “NO”, we were emphatically told “you can only choose one option, either the hot or the cold but not both”! Maybe they are trying to economise as this breakfast was included in the price, but a couple of eggs denied guests for breakfast urgently needs addressing.
Considering Farm 215 is promoted as a “luxury retreat” where food has to take centre stage, as there is no other option, the meals were a real let down. Service from the waiting staff was also very lack lustre, they desperately need basic training.
Having said all this, the peace and quiet, and stunning fynbos suites with their magnificent views, made it a worthwhile getaway. My advice, take plenty of supplies, have a good lunch en route, and skip dinner.

  • Liked — The fynbos suites, peace and quiet and stunning scenery.
  • Disliked — The meals
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank TripTipsLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Gansbaai
7.7 mi away
Cliff Lodge
Cliff Lodge
#1 of 29 in Gansbaai
5.0 of 5 bubbles 605 reviews
11.3 mi away
White Water Farm
White Water Farm
#2 of 12 in Stanford
5.0 of 5 bubbles 105 reviews
9.2 mi away
White Shark Guest House
White Shark Guest House
#4 of 29 in Gansbaai
5.0 of 5 bubbles 400 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
8.9 mi away
Saxon Lodge
Saxon Lodge
#5 of 29 in Gansbaai
4.5 of 5 bubbles 397 reviews
9.1 mi away
Blue Gum Country Estate
Blue Gum Country Estate
#10 of 87 in Hermanus
4.5 of 5 bubbles 279 reviews
7.9 mi away
65onCliff
65onCliff
#6 of 29 in Gansbaai
5.0 of 5 bubbles 152 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Farm 215 Nature Retreat & Fynbos Reserve? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 29 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Cheap Tickets and Priceline so you can book your Farm 215 Nature Retreat & Fynbos Reserve reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing