Boschendal Farm Cottages

Groot Drakenstein, Cape Winelands & West Coast, South Africa Book from Book from £136 per night

Historic wine estate with luxury cottages, wonderful restaurants, deli picnics and more

We’re hard pressed to find a better place to base yourself in the winelands. Half way between the key towns of Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, it's in the Drakenstein valley with stunning mountains aplenty. As one of the oldest working farms in South Africa (founded in 1685) it has oodles of heritage, and is renowned for its wonderful picnic scene enjoyed on their beautiful lawns with a glass of something cool.

Pretty Cape Dutch architecture, and dappled oak tree avenues where ducklings waddle up and down, are only part of the story. Boschendal has been revitalised, making it a go-to location for its farm-to-table cooking, fresh produce and beautifully revamped cottages. These range from 1 to 5 bedrooms, with the 5 bedrooms being the more exclusive Cottage 1685 and Mountain Villa. You can choose to stay down in the "Werf" (farmstead) close to the deli, farm shop, wine tasting and restaurant; or up amongst the hillside fynbos where you're more remote. Either way, each of the 54 cottages has been well designed to give all you need to chill and unwind. It's great for families (there's a dedicated kids' club), foodies, hikers and even wild swimmers, thanks to its own dams. You have it all: history, nature, wine and a pretty darn comfortable place to hang your hat. Top-notch.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • Beautiful location with mountain views, perfectly placed between the main Wineland hubs, and just 45 minutes from Cape Town
  • We loved the fresh, colourful cottage interiors, and the stunning mountain views
  • Vast grounds and immaculate gardens with lots to do on-site, from mountain biking and pony rides to wine tasting
  • Flexi-catering: DIY using their farm produce in your own cottage kitchen or eat out on the estate, from breakfast (included) to deli pizzas and farm-to-fork dining at the Werf Restaurant
  • Cottages are great value for such high standards

Lows

  • You'll need a car if you stay in the Orchard, Retreat or 1685 Cottages - they're over the main road and up a 2km farm road
  • Summer weekends are popular with people enjoying Boschendal picnics, but it quietens down later in the day
  • Wedding parties often book all the Werf Cottages, so weekend availability can be limited in high season
  • You can hear some slight traffic at the Werf, but it didn't bother us

Best time to go

October - March, when it's hot, sunny and dry. Winter is from May to September when it can rain a little more and temperatures are cooler.

Our top tips

Take a tour of Boschendal's winery and cellars - they now have exclusive tastings for their finest wines in the main house.

Stroll through the stunning rose and kitchen gardens - we met people who hadn't realised they were even there!

Don't miss the popular Friday Night Markets held at Boschendal on warm summer evenings: expect local produce, artisanal stalls, street food and live music

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
  • Luxury Cottages
  • 61 bedrooms
  • Restaurants and Deli
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Bicycles Available
Room:

Rooms

The cottages are found in three distinct locations. The 1-bedroom Werf Cottages are closest to the action: a stroll away from the Farm Shop and Deli, Werf restaurant, wine tasting and reception. Across the road and up a 2km dirt track towards the mountains are the more remote Orchard Cottages, each with 1, 2, 3 or 4 bedrooms, and the gorgeous Cottage 1685, ideal for groups of up to 10. Further afield, Trout Cottage and the stunning Mountain Villa, sleeping up to12, call the Simonsberg Mountain their closest neighbours, while The Retreat is a collection of eighteen 2-bed cottages 3.5km away in the corner of the farm.

Calm muted fabrics, simple well-equipped kitchens with dresser give the 7 Werf Cottages a homely feel. Beds are comfortable with crisp white linen, wardrobe space plentiful, deep clawfoot baths and handmade lavender products relaxing. All share a pool but have barbecues, terraces and fireplaces to keep you warm in winter. The four larger ones with separate living area have space for a couple of children on day beds. All have great mountain views.

The 13 Orchard Cottages have a quieter feel and are more contemporary in design. Converted labourers' dwellings, they range in size from 1 to 4 bedrooms, most with en suite bathrooms. We loved their fresh, colourful interiors. The 1-bedroom cottages don't have a view (they overlook other cottages) but a few steps outside will still reveal the stunning vista. The shared circular swimming pool where groups of friends and families can gather seemed especially enticing. You'll need a car to reach the cottages but once there, you're within easy reach of the mountain trails and dams.

Cottage 1685, designed by Herbert Baker, is the most historic. Sleeping up to 10 and with its own pool, garden and daily housekeeper-cook, it's an amazing place to stay for a larger group or family.

Trout Cottage is surrounded by perfumed orchards and rows of vines, plus walking and biking trails. It sleeps 4 adults in 2 kingsize bedrooms, and there's a bunk room for kids under 12. Relax in the spoiling rolltop bathtub after a dip in the dam.

Even further from the main Werf are 18 cottages at The Retreat. Each sleeps 4, and the cottages are clustered together - ideal for groups of friends or families travelling together. These are Boschendal's newest and most affordable option but are no less stylish and share a lovely freshwater eco pool. Though each cottage has its own kitchen and dining table, there's a communal screening room, dining area where breafkast is served and meeting rooms that can be booked for extra-large groups.

Located at the foot of the Simonsberg Mountain with views of the entire Franschhoek Valley, the top-of-the-range Mountain Villa has 6 stylish bedrooms, 4 shower bathrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, and is ideal for small celebrations and family gatherings with a large private pool and a braai, bar area and pizza oven in beautifully kept gardens.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Barbecue
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Fan
  • Fireplace
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Oven
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Toaster
  • TV
  • WiFi

Eating

You have lots of options, from cooking yourself to gourmet dining. Cottage kitchens come with Le Creuset cookware and you can stock up or pre-order at the Farm Shop everything from freshly baked bread, fresh fruit and veggies to ready made meals, pizza making kits, or their own Black Angus steaks and Duroc pork for your bbq. For a great start to your stay, we recommend pre-ordering a picnic hamper generously filled with fresh salads, pates, cold meats, cheese and a most delicious cheesecake, which you can enjoy on the vast lawns.

Too lazy to cook on holiday, we headed over to the Deli Cafe which serves breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea in the shade of oak trees. Start the day with a healthy green smoothie or a naughtier "I'm on holiday juice" (Tequila Sunrise!). We loved the "Boschendal Banters" - poached eggs with the sweetest tomatoes and basil from their garden and the super-light waffles with roasted bananas and local honey. Lunch offers a range of rustic specials like chicken pie and salads. Things remain simple for early suppers at the Deli with wood-fired pizza, veggie curries and juicy burgers.

The Werf Restaurant (open daily for lunch) is the more formal dining option. Breakfast is also served here for those staying in the cottages - now included in the rates. Its terrace view overlooking gardens and mountains is a draw in itself. Most main courses are for sharing and focus on presenting contemporary farm to table dining: salads are freshly picked from their spectacular kitchen gardens. Cheese and charcuterie platters are served in the bar, and of course, everything is washed down with Boschendal's award-winning wines.

There's no shortage of fabulous restaurants to try locally but make sure you book ahead in high season.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Children's meals
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Organic produce
  • Oven
  • Restaurant
  • Toaster
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • It's easy to spend a day exploring the farm, soaking up the beauty of the place, maybe going for a short hike in the mountains then cooling off by swimming in one of the shared pools or dams

  • Enjoy one of Boschendal's renowned picnics in the grounds against the stunning mountain backdrop

  • Take a tour of Boschendal's vineyardsand cellars, followed by a chocolate and wine tasting

  • Go mountain biking around the estate on one of 3 trails

  • Pony, horse or carriage rides can be arranged on the estate

  • Beyond Boschendal, foodies will love Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, with their world-famous gourmet restaurants and surrounding wine estates - don't miss rustic-chic Babylonstoren, a 10 minute drive away.

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Birdwatching
    • Cycling
    • Fishing
    • Hiking
    • Horse riding
    • Mountain biking
    • Plantlife / flora
    • Swimming
    • Wine tasting

Kids

Boschendal is great for families - the self-contained cottages with kitchenettes make them feel like a little home. There's a wonderful Outdoor Experience programme for kids aged 5-14 and an imaginative, but unsupervised, Tree House play area with pumo track where kids can ride their bikes.

There are large grounds to explore and shared swimming pools. Our 9-year-old daughter was fascinated by the waddling ducklings and pecking chickens on the farm and delighted in running through the kitchen garden water sprinklers. Simple meals can be had at the Farmshop Deli and high chairs can be provided. Babysitting can be arranged if you want to dine out in local restaurants.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

The 1-bedroom Werf Family cottages each have 2 day beds in the sitting room suitable for children, plus space for a cot. If you prefer to have more space and don't mind being further away from the action, pick one of the Orchard Cottages with 2, 3 or 4 bedrooms. Larger family groups should try to book Cottage 1685 which sleeps up to 10 and comes with a housekeeper-cook and private pool. Trout Cottage also has a bunk room, suitable for 2 kids aged under 12.

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available on request

Creche/Kid's Club:

The Kids Outdoor Experience has morning and afternoon activities for kids aged 5-14 which are free for in-house guests (plus mid-day sessions for an extra charge). We recommend booking your little ones in at least a day in advance with the reservations team as spaces are limited. Activities include planting, farm foraging, outdoor cooking on the fire, and learning about shelter building and survival skills.

Children's meals:

The family-friendly Deli cafe serves simple early evening suppers of homemade pizza or burgers or you can order pizza making kits and bbq provisions to enjoy at your own cottage.

Kids Activities on site:

  • The Tree House Playground (unsupervised)
  • Pony rides
  • Older kids can enjoy the hiking and biking trails
  • All cottages have access to a shared swimming pool

Families Should Know:

The swimming pools are unfenced and the Werf Cottages are located about 150m from a small unfenced lake. The Tree House Playground is unsupervised.

Distances:

  • Airport: 50 minutes
  • Hospital: 15 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

Boschendal is 75km from the centre of Cape Town, in the lush, dramatic valleys of Franschhoek and the Groot Drakenstein.

By Air
Fly directly into Cape Town International (70km); or take an internal flight from Johannesburg, which has a wider choice of airlines. Click on the links below for a list of airlines.

From the Airport
It’s about 50 minutes drive east, following the N1 to near Paarl, then follow the R45 towards Franschhoek.

By Car
You will probably want to hire a car: see our car rental recommendations.

Detailed directions to the hotel will be sent when you confirm your booking through i-escape.com.

More on getting to South Africa and getting around

Airports:

  • Cape Town International 70.0 km CPT
  • Johannesburg 1380.0 km JNB

Other:

  • Beach 30.0 km
  • Shops 5.0 km
  • Restaurant 0.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 3 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

Beautiful surroundings and really well kept. Staff were very friendly and helpful. Mountain biking was great - tracks and bikes well maintained.

10/10,

Boschendal is a beautiful and very family friendly place that we warmly recommend. The kids loved the playground, running around in the garden, horse riding and the picnic. Excellent breakfast and great wines.

We recommend lunch and wine tasting at Tokara and Delaire Graff nearby.

10/10,

Cottages were in fabulous location away from the main winefarm and a short drive up country tracks. Fabulous location in foothills of mountain and surrounded by vineyards - harvesting was going on while we were there. Cottage itself had lovely bed and nice layout - slightly quirky feel to it - crockery might have been better. Terrace at back was fabulous with a really effective braai pit laid out and worked well. Pool in a communal garden was ok. Planting was charming and some fabulous walking and trail riding available on tracks around the farm. Some good history to be had - Rhodes bought up the farm following phylloxera blight of vines in late 19th C, and made it a successful fruit farm - now expanding wines again. There's a Rhodes cottage in the grounds. Incidentally, the Boschendal wines were first rate! Free bottle in the cottage, and we booked and enjoyed a picnic at the winefarm as well as a wine tasting.

9/10,

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Rates for Boschendal Farm Cottages

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