Cast your minds back to February… Just before Valentine’s day I told you guys about an amazing “Month of Love” special at a place called Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. At that point I had only had a very small taste of the place thanks to a dinner I attended there last year, but from that experience I just knew that being able to stay at Grootbos would be an absolutely incredible treat.
Well turns out I’m a very very lucky girl indeed, because they invited me to go spend a night there recently which meant I got to experience their amazing 5 star treatment first hand…
Grootbos is situated in Walker Bay – if coming from Cape Town, it’s past Hermanus, just on the other side of Stanford and just over a 2 hour drive in total. The property spans 1768 hectares of land covered by over 750 species of indigenous plants. They have 2 lodges and a private villa. The Garden lodge is geared for families and the Forest Lodge is more suited for couples. The villa which sleeps up to 12 people is for those folks who want do some serious splurging, because it comes with… wait for it… wait for it… a private guide, chef & a butler! Sjoe.
Bjorn and I were staying in the Forest Lodge and from the moment we stepped through that front door at the lodge, we knew we were in for one helluva ride…
While our things were being taken to our suite (yes – not a room, a suite!), we settled in for lunch. And what was that like? Well I think these photos tell the story pretty well:
With our bellies quite happy, we took a short walk through the 1500 year old milkwood forest surrounding the lodge…
And this got us to our luxurious freestanding suite. This place was almost the size of my apartment – with a lounge, small kitchen area, 2 bathrooms, open plan wardrobe and a huge comfy bed, we were definitely in suite heaven.
And the views, oh my goodness, let’s talk about views… these are not those “partial views” estate agents always try to sell you. You know the type… where you have to lean out the tiny toilet window, tilt your head to the left & squint. Oh no no no. These are endless views of Walker Bay & the Atlantic Ocean from your very own wooden deck & also from every single room:
After a nice looooong afternoon nap, we woke up to this:
We were excited to see what Executive Chef, Duane Lewis, had up his sleeve for dinner. Dinner at Grootbos is quite an experience. Things kick off with a small amuse bouche, followed by 4 courses plus a palate cleanser. Duane uses only fresh, seasonal ingredients from the area, so you’re getting only the best here. And the portion sizes are well planned out so you don’t leave there needing a lift in a wheelbarrow or something.
After dinner we plonked ourselves onto that big angelic bed in our suite, and I must say I got some of the best sleep I’ve had in years. It’s just so peaceful there. The only noises you hear are of birds and crickets and stuff. A huge change from my city apartment where I wake up to police sirens and fire trucks. It felt like a totally different world…
Next morning we woke up to the full nature reserve experience when we found a little birdie stuck in our bathroom. He was a bit shaken up & disoriented because he had a friend outside and was trying to get to him through the window. Not the best idea to try and fly through glass my little man, but Bjorn managed to catch him so we could let him out. Just look at this face:
Another really great thing about Grootbos is all the activities they offer their guests. We’re talking forest & fynbos walks, 4×4 reserve safaris, horseback riding, beach walks, cave exploration, spa treatments and you can even do your bit by planting a tree. Most of the onsite activities are included in your stay and then if you want to venture out a bit, they can also organise things like shark cage diving at an additional cost.
We opted for a morning horse ride before breakfast and a relaxing full body massage before lunch. Sounds like a really tough day doesn’t it?
At our horse ride I had to laugh at how perfectly matched out horses were. Bjorn’s horse was a little showy and couldn’t stop eating all the way along our route. And mine was just like me, slow & cautious on the downhill (especially when in heels).
Breakfast, just like the other meals, was an absolute treat. First they let you loose on the fresh fruit, cereal and bread buffet and after you can select pretty much any breakfast you can think of from their hot menu.
For our massage we headed to the onsite Blooms Forest Spa. What I really loved about this place was that it was right in the middle of the milkwood forest, surrounded by big trees and thanks to this, they just let you listen to the sounds of the forest while drifting away instead of putting on those typical spa CDs with annoying panpipe music or fake water sounds or whatever. I really hate those CDs. They seem to stress me out more than anything…
The only other thing left on our agenda was some serious pool time, I mean who on this planet could ever resist relaxing on a big lounger over here:
A huge thank you to Robert van Rooyen from D.R.O.I.D Projects who organised this little stay for us and also to General Manager Sean Ingles and the rest of the Grootbos team who looked after us to incredibly well. Hopefully we can make it back there again for a longer stay, because 1 night here is just not enough to take in everything they have to offer.
Thinking of looking into your own reservation? I highly recommend you do. This is a must for your soul, that I guarantee you. You can make a reservation or enquiry online, or just contact them on:
- 028 384 8000
- Or on email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Like the folks at Nike say…. Just do it…