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“A wonderfully relaxed weekend at Grootbos”

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Grootbos Private Nature Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 31, 2013

My hubby and I stayed at the wonderful Grootbos in early June for the weekend. We booked a "last minute special" deal where you basically get the room at half price if you book within 48 hours prior to the date. Best thing I have ever done was to book Grootbos last minute!! I'm not sure that the rooms are worth around $500 USD a night but definitely worth the $250 USD per night that we spent. The price is all inclusive and includes all activities and meals excluding tips & alcohol.

As soon as we got there on a cold Friday afternoon there were people waiting for us. They made us feel very special from the start welcoming us to the lodge and check us in. They gave us a warm drink and sat us down to discuss the activities for the weekend. We were quickly shown to our Garden lodge and my gosh is it beautiful. We walked into an african inspired room with the cosy fireplace already started for us. Everything about the lodge was wonderful and I knew that two nights here was just not going to be enough!

Dinner on the first night was good but not great or worthy of 5 stars. I felt the tom yum soup was quite lacking of flavor and didn't even slightly resemble the flavours of an authentic tom yum soup. The other courses were tasty but I don't remember the meals. The wine selection is quite extensive and we finished with a delicious cheese board.

Breakfast the next day was delicious and the spread was amazing. I could have sat and ate there for hours! Freshly baked croissants, muffins, hams & cheeses. I had the big hot breakfast and I swear I went to heaven and came back! The cappuccino however was terrible. For a 5 star establishment I highly recommend hiring a barista. All I got was a whole lot of foam and while this is a very minor detail a bad coffee ruins the 5 star experience at least for 5 minutes or so! This is the only real thing I can truly fault about Grootbos.

Our dinner on Saturday night was truly amazing. It was a tasting menu and my husband and I loved everything. Service was also wonderful.

On Sunday we did the horse riding and the beach picnic which we thoroughly enjoyed. What an amazing way to finish a wonderful weekend. Everyone was so friendly and accommodating to all our needs and we loved that about Grootbos. We also tried the spa which was great value.

We will definitely try and make it back to Grootbos! What an lovely weekend away!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank foodwinelover99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SeanIngles, General Manager at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded August 10, 2013

Dear foodwinelover99

As the seasons change, different elements of the lodges are highlighted. Of course in summer, guests spend many hours lazing around the pool areas looking at the magnificient views. You, however, came at my favourite time of the year. Yes, it was certainly chilly and I'm glad the warm welcome followed through with cosy fireplaces and wintery beverages. It's such a magical time to be on the reserve with flowers in full bloom all over- no better way to to see this than on the back of a horse.

Thank you for your comments on our coffee. I'll be sure to look into this inconsitency. Our Tom Yum soup is a firm favourite with our guests, hence us keeping it on the menu daily. The recipe is tweaked from time to time and I'm sure you won't be dissapointed when you visit us again for another last minute getaway.

We look forward to welcoming you back.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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360 - 366 of 736 reviews

Reviewed July 23, 2013

We have just returned from a truly wonderful weekend spent at Grootbos. The location is spectacular and the views of the coastline, ocean and fynbos as far as you can see are simply breathtaking. The service was outstanding – warm, friendly and attentive without being over-fussy or overbearing. From the moment we arrived we were greeted with smiles and the attitude that nothing was too much hassle. Our two small girls were given personal attention and shown the wonderful children’s facilities as well as a run-down on the activities they would be able to enjoy. We stayed at Garden Lodge which is the original lodge at Grootbos and is very child friendly – while the more modern and newly built Forest Lodge only allows children over the age of 12.

The cottages are spread out amongst the ancient Milkwood trees and reached by pathways surrounded by beautiful indigenous gardens and full of colourful birdlife. Exploring was magical and fun for our girls. Our cottage had its own private deck with yet another panoramic view. Seeing as it was just starting to rain, the staff immediately lit the fire in our lounge which set the scene for a wonderful cosy afternoon. The bathroom with its double shower also had a view of the Milkwood trees from a large picture window, and the sunken bath in its own separate bathroom was surrounded by windows overlooking the milkwood trees and the view beyond. Perfectly private and wonderfully relaxing.

The dining was a highlight – not only for the food itself – but because our girls (ages 5 and 7) were immediately welcomed into the children’s lounge and playroom where they were supervised and able to enjoy their dinner, watch a movie on the big screen and play games. This allowed us to enjoy a leisurely and quiet dinner and to really savour the excellent 5-course meal. We dine out fairly frequently – and both my husband and I commented that the meals at Grootbos were amongst the best we had eaten. Breakfast and lunch were also excellent – and again the children were well catered for and looked after.

During our stay we were looked after by a wonderful guide who took us on the 4x4 Flower Safari as well as a Guided Beach Walk. Both excursions were excellent – interesting, informative and tailored to our needs. There were plenty of other activities on offer as well if we had had more time. Our girls loved the pony riding as well as visiting the stables with its bunnies, chickens and other animals. As it is whale season, there were some excellent whale sightings. Two whales were in a small bay just off the rocks – they were even calling to each other – which was a first experience for us.

We were very sad to say goodbye to Grootbos at the end of the weekend – and our girls begged to stay longer. Our stay exceeded our expectations from service to dining to the setting and the activities we could not have asked for more.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank claire a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SeanIngles, General Manager at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded July 25, 2013

Dear Clair

Thank you so much for visiting us. I'm thrilled to hear that you and your family had such a good time and that despite the occasional rain, you enjoyed spending time in your cosy cottage taking in the dramatic view. I'll be sure to pass on your message to all the staff and we hope to see you all again very soon.

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Reviewed July 22, 2013

We decided to spend a week at Grootbos and even though the weather did not allow as much outdoor activity as one would have hoped we never experienced a dull moment. On arrival the fantastic porters delivered our bags to our rooms. We then departed on a beautiful sunset fynbos tour which was worth every bit of cold weather we had to endure. During our stay we also had a tour to the caves, did some horse riding (great to do at sunset) and viewed the fantastic corporate social investment projects managed by Grootbos. Wonderful work being done there so hats of to you guys.
Our rooms were fantastic. After dinner we were welcomed to the rooms with a cracking fire place waiting to be enjoyed. And you cannot enjoy the view from behind the glass windows so early morning coffee was consumed on the deck outside - splendid!! Grootbos is definately a wonderful place to visit. It offers romance, leisure, relaxation and of course the wonderful mystic of nature. The fynbos and the wonderful array of birds is any birdwatchers paradise not to mention the flora. And whale watching is a must, whether from the deck of your room or a coastal walk or by boat...
There is a wonderul nursery on site and I would suggest that you make a turn as there is some wonderful species available to purchase.
Grootbos team: from room service, to porters, to reception, to kitchen to management - Thank you all. Nothing was too much effort for you when a request was put in. Nothing was impossible and you always accomodated us with a warm smile. You guys are worth every penny!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Nicolette484
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SeanIngles, General Manager at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded July 25, 2013

Dear Nicolette

Thank you for your kinds words. We so enjoyed having you and hope to see you back again with your family too.

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Reviewed July 16, 2013

Maybe my expectations were too high after reading all the reviews of Grootbos, but being South African and having experienced so many different game lodges, I was slightly disappointed with Grootbos.

It has fantastic views, perfect sunsets and wonderful food. Staff is very well trained and friendly. I loved the botanical nature walk.

Due to the rooms all facing straight into the setting sun it tends to get very hot in the rooms in the afternoon (even though there is an aircon) and the furniture & linen is sun bleached / worn.

I was also slightly surprised that Grootbos was the wrong side of the R43 (a main road) from the beach, as I got the impression from photos that it borders directly on the beach.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank NadsSouthAfrica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SeanIngles, General Manager at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded July 18, 2013

Thank you so much for visiting Grootbos. We are thrilled that you enjoyed the food, the surrounding and the hospitality that you received from our staff. You mentioned the magnificient view too. We've purposefully positioned all the rooms to take full advantage of this as it also allows for the best sunset vistas in the early evening. As a result though, the sun does stream into the room in the late afternoon. I do hope you made use of the wide doors to let in the cool sea breeze or the airconditioner to cool things down over this period.

We are in the process of completing a full soft refurbishment of all the rooms and part of this programme will include the sanding and re-sealing of the floors.

Thank you too for your comment on the location. Our newly launched website includes a variety of introductory videos that should aleviate the incorrect impression that you received.

I do hope we will see you again. Keep an eye on the website for last minute specials.

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Reviewed July 8, 2013

Grootbos is a stunningly beautiful destination. The professional, gracious, attentiveness of the entire staff, complements the magnificent luxurious accommodations and delectable meals served at the restaurant. It is masterfully designed to take full advantage of the sweeping views of th ePreserve, a wildflower jungle and Walker Bay which is the Whale Watching and Great White Shark Viewing Capitol of the World. The Grootbos Nature Preserve is vast and beautiful, it can be experienced by hiking, on horseback or with experienced guides on a 4 x 4 Safari. It's a
Magical Setting and we are planning to return.

.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank James66667
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013

I feel so blessed to have experienced Grootbos, it truly optimizes the African Dream, absolute luxury, comfort, style and superb service all wrapped up in the best that nature has to offer. Grootbos should be on the bucket list of every person who has truly lived. It is a time capsule of nature in all its unspoilt glory. Every moment of our stay was wonderful, a huge thank you to all at Grootbos for just getting it all so right and always with a smile.

Room Tip: The villa is superb, fit for a king!
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Andre S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013

We just had an absolutely amazing weekend at Grootbos. We went for a lovely 2 hour horse ride through the flowering fynbos, for an early morning guided walk where we saw a bushbuck, grysbok, baboons, birds, fascinating flowers and much more. The stunning views and feeling of tranquility and space is such a luxury that we felt heart sore to leave yesterday evening.
The food at the restaurant is creative, healthy, fresh & local and with the combination of a small a la carte menu and a buffet, you will always find what you are looking for.
We were extremely well looked after by the welcoming, friendly and competent Grootbos team, at reception, in the restaurant, on the walk and ride and also by the housekeeping staff.
Whenever we will have the chance, we will be certainly be back and can also recommend it to anyone for a holiday, a weekend getaway or even 'just' for a dinner and I can only imagine that it would be the ideal wedding venue.

Room Tip: Any room will blow your mind, seriously.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank KatharinaThieme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

Address: | R43 Between Stanford and Gansbaai, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve 7220, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Grootbos Private Nature Reserve
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Grootbos Private Nature Reserve
Price Range: $753 - $1,324 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Grootbos Private Nature Reserve 5*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Grootbos, with its two 5-star luxury lodges is spectacularly situated on the fynbos and forest clad hills overlooking the whale-watching haven of Walker Bay. Grootbos has carved a unique niche in the upmarket eco-lodge sector by specializing in the Cape region of South Africa’s world-renowned flora and marine biodiversity. This multi-award winning reserve is home to more than 740 different plant species, offers warm hospitality, excellent cuisine, fine wines and is a nature lover’s paradise. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
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