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“Extremely nice but a bit overpriced”

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Grootbos Private Nature Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 29, 2009

We saw this hotel as a sort of high point of our roundtrip through SA and turned from the highway to the small private road with high expectations.
The start was pretty good. Friendly people greeted us, car and luggage were taking care of and we found ourselves on the terrace of the hotel to enjoy the stunning view down into the bay, a glass of champagne and a well prepared lunch. Afterwards we were introduced into the activities and set our plan.
The lodge which we were shown then was a well apointed apartment with a big terrace overlooking the bay, a big living area, a nice bathroom (but only that, nice, nothing really special) and a bedroom which was actually a bit on the small side. Everything was clean and all you needed was in place but it lacked a bit being something special (compared to Hog Hollow for example). It also lacked privacy imo since you always had other apartments in your view. The minibar was stocked but by far the most expensive on the trip through SA that we made.
The staff was friendly and nice all the way. Especially the young man who did most of the excursions was a jewel telling us a lot about the nature and the area.
I can truly recommend the trip to the caves. We did see a lot of whales on the way down (of course this is depending on the season) and the caves and the beach are stunning. Be careful though, they told us that it would be an easy walk while in fact some climbing is needed (not that serious as long as your legs are ok but they better should).
The dinner in the evening once again with the beautiful view was pretty well the first evening but on the second we received the same menu leaving us with the second best choice of course. The wine is not included and even though they had some pretty nice wines the prices were way above what you pay anywhere else in SA.
The lunch at the terrace was always nice.
A big downside was the pool which looked pretty nice but was so cold I could hardly get in (around 16 C as estimate).

Sadly after a pretty good start not all our expectations were matched and after having some more comparisons (Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island for example) I must say that for the price you pay upfront I´d expect less charges during my stay and some more privay and room at my apartment

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Florian254
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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532 - 538 of 736 reviews

Reviewed March 27, 2009

This really is the most fantastic place we have ever stayed, and can't fault it in any way. We stayed here for only 1 night in March as a wedding present. The service is flawless - the staff really do go out of their way to help you with friendly hints and tips.

The accomodation is stunning - set in the beautiful reserve everything is focussed on the views, and the rooms (bathrooms especially) are a real treat.

The weather wasn't great when we were there so we enjoyed some beauty treatments which were perfect.

Worth a special mention was the food. It was as high quality as any fine dining restaurant anywehere in the world. We were treated to a private candle lit dinner in the wine cellar - the real highlight.

We will definately come back here when in the area. Don't hesitate - book it now!!

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank DaniellaLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2009

From the moment we arrived, we were excellently taken care of. Michael, the owner has a vision for the property and the nature reserve the property’s on and he's working towards this vision step-by-step. The place feels exclusive, is remote from passers-by and one really feels like one has got away staying there.
If you are looking for wild entertainment, this is not the place for you. Things you can get up to - walk through the milkwood forest and pristine fynbos with or without a guide, take a boat to see the local wildlife (sharks, seals, whales and birds), watch a DVD in the sitting room of your suite after a day on the beach, have great meals looking out over Walker Bay, sit round the pool, horse ride, read and generally just wallow in luxury!
The rooms are all suites and are separate from one another. This makes one feel like one has a small home to go back to after a day outdoors and it adds the feeling of seclusion and peacefulness.
The reviewer further down who said that if you enjoy nature, you will enjoy this place was spot on. We stayed for three nights and I would have loved to stay longer as I felt that there was plenty more to explore in the area. I would definitely recommend staying at least three nights or more. I could have happily spent a week – if I could have afforded it!
Grootbos contributes to the people living and working in the area and ensures that the nature in the area is preserved. Thanks to Michael, Willi and the rest of the staff for making our stay so good. Zoe was particularly good too we felt.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank MorePlay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2008

We initially planned to stay here for two nights - but when we got to our final day we couldn't bear to leave and ended up staying three more nights!

We label ourselves as the most fussy hotel guests that exist but we could not find anything to complain about. Upon arrival we could not believe the overwhelming amazing landscape views of Walker Bay, total silence (yes no background noise - no air con noise, no car noise, no neighbours etc), luxurious room fit out (detached - one bed two baths and living room with fire, lovely wooden floors). We could have happily stayed in the room the whole time sunning ourselves on the amazing terrace without doing any activities and just waiting for the sunsets. We were also very pleased the TV had channels like the essential CNBC.

The food is superb and the choice of wine excellent, especially the local Walker Bay pinot noirs which are the best in the country.

We are already planning to go back. This is a very well run lodge with a great feeling of social responsibility and lovely staff.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MrFinnicky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2008

We stayed a couple of nights here in June. I loved it. The design of the main forest lodge building and the chalet-rooms is modern and very chic. The food (we were staying full board) was lovely and the wine list was great. There's no pressure to tip each and every time you order something. We just tipped at the end of our stay but this was our choice. Trips are included in the package and I would recommend doing one or two of these (horseriding, flower safari, beach walk etc) to get a better idea of the reserve and some of the worthwhile projects that Grootbos is involved in.
I would recommend this hotel in a flash. - Go there!
ps we did have a look around the garden lodge which is not nearly so nice in my opinion (although this would be a better option for those with children as I don't think children can stay with parents at the forest lodge.)

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with friends
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1  Thank LondonLondon_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2008

We stayed two nights at the wonderful Forest Lodge from 18-20 November and enjoyed our stay tremendously. We were very much impressed by the beautiful appointed and spacious suite.
The architecture and furnishings are a delight to see.
The gourmet food was great and we were being pampered by the friendly and courteous staff throughout our stay. The setting and the views from the lodge were stunning. We enjoyed the variety of plants and flowers and the amazing whale sightings from the land and during the boat excursion. We hope to return one day and stay a little longer. Our compliments to the ambitious owner of Grootbos, his eco-friendly attitude and his willingness to educate local people so they can profit from tourism. Great place, location, food and people! Thanks a lot.
Jos Suijten, Abcoude, The Netherlands

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank suijten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2008

We had a great time at this modern desinged hotel. The rooms at the bunglow, the view from bed- and bathroom and the food at the hotel was excellent.

Take part in some of the offeres trips, you can learn at lot about botanic- and social projects.

  • Stayed: November 2008
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Thank heutehiermorgendort
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:
Grootbos Private Nature Reserve Hotel Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

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