“A luxurious Zen-inspired retreat in a leafy suburb of historic Swellendam”
Cool, contemporary and chic, Bloomestate's 7 guest bedrooms are also exceptionally comfortable. The Luxury Garden Rooms (extra-length kingsize or twin beds) are housed in a 2 low buildings which looks out across the neatly tended lawns and lavender beds to an ornamental pond. Red Cloud also has a kingsize bed and has the added edge of a huge ensuite with twin red basins and clever in-room LED, sensor lighting.
Rooms are named after seasons and colours; each has a wall painted in a colour inspired by its name - like orange for Summer or lime green for Spring - with cushions, blankets and jazzy, splashy paintings in the same colours. The furnishings in each room are identical: a swish slatted headboard and a bedside table, a white wooden wardrobe and a writing desk, creamy screed floors and some classic retro pieces - Mies van der Rohe's iconic black leather and chrome chairs, Eileen Gray's circular glass and chrome table.
Bathrooms are big and functional, almost clinical in feel, with plain white mosaic tiles, underfloor heating, freestanding bowls, a bathtub and a walk-in shower, as well as designerish taps and fittings.
Beyond the chalky grey French windows is your own private slice of terrace beneath the stylish loggia, which runs the length of each building’s façade.
Breakfast is served in the dining room of the main house, which has been decorated in the same colourful, contemporary vein as the bedrooms. Light floods in from its high French windows, mingling with the sound of a trickling Zen fountain. Unusually for South Africa, you'll be served by your hosts themselves, who will also help you plan your day's activities.
After kicking off with freshly squeezed orange juice, Carla and Maarten offer a big buffet of cereals, yoghurts, fresh fruit salad, local cheeses, cold meats, muffins and a selection of freshly baked breads, as well as black rye bread from Holland. And you'll be offered a different gourmet dish each day, which is prepared by Maarten and beautifully presented on sleek square plates of white porcelain.
No other proper meals are on offer but Carla and Maarten will happily prepare you a light lunch which can be brought to the lounge terrace, the swimming pool or to your bedroom terrace. This might be a seasonal salad served with warm garlic bread, an open sandwich, or a choice of breads and local cheeses.
Picnic hampers can also be prepared, which come complete with a map, a field guide to the local fynbos flora and fauna, and a pair of binoculars. You’re welcome to help yourself at any time to a selection of wines, including Bloomestate's own-label house wine (Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz).
And there’s plenty of choice when it comes to eating out in Swellendam. The Old Mill restaurant is just across the street, with its lovely leafy terrace; and you’re just a short walk away from La Sosta which offers traditional Italian cusine. If you don’t mind jumping in the car (or making use of the guesthouse's restaurant transfer service), there are several more excellent eateries in the centre of town.
Children aged 8 and over are welcome at Bloomestate. Teens will love the pool, the Jacuzzi and tearing about the ample gardens, although the pool is not fenced and there is no kids' pool. Some parents might feel self-conscious about disturbing the peaceful vibe but note there is plenty of space for everybody to relax and the owners have children of their own and are very kid-friendly. There's also a family lounge where children can play board games and computer games.
Teens (over 12)
The Luxury Garden Rooms each have a sofabed.
The pool and natural pond is not fenced, and there is no kids' pool. Parents need to supervise kids around the open air Jacuzzi too.