“Elegant boutique hotel with a pool in the historic town of Swellendam - an ideal stopover between Cape Town and the Garden Route”
The guest rooms have been carefully designed to blend with the character of the main house. Built alongside a pretty rose garden and fountain, the Luxury Rooms and 2 Standard Rooms each have their own entrance and patio. Inside you get a traditional feel with wool carpets, antique wardrobes, dressers and fireplaces. Most have extra-length kingsize beds (which can be made into twins) - useful if you're very tall, but whatever your height the immaculate custom-made percale linen and goosedown bedding should ensure a comfortable night. Each room also has a handy butler's pantry with a little sink and fridge, where you can make a cup of tea or coffee to go with the delicious homemade biscuits. The Standard Rooms are located upstairs and can interconnect via the balcony - making them useful for families and groups.
If you want something a little larger or more hidden away pick the Honeymoon Suite, set on the edge of the wood. Its carved wooden four-poster cuts an imposing presence in front of a Mexican pot-bellied stove.
The bathrooms in all rooms have clawfoot tubs, oversized showers, underfloor heating, double basins, heated towel rails, hairdryers, and toiletries from local brand African Rain. We liked the embroidered dressing gowns and slippers. All rooms have satellite TV and DVD players, and the Honeymoon Suite has a CD player with a selection of music.
The newest addition is the large Family Cottage, which has a kingsize bed downstairs for parents and 2 single beds in the loft space above for children. There's also space for a baby cot. The small kitchenette is perfect for warming milk and heating baby food, and the cottage is set apart from the other rooms and suites, so there's no need to worry about noisy kids disturbing other guests.
We loved our set breakfast because it was so very tasty. Served in the beautiful, light and airy conservatory on simple white bone china, we started with skewers of fresh fruit, creamy yoghurt and the best homemade granola we've ever tasted. Then came slow roasted tomatoes, packing in the flavour - as did the fried egg and bacon served with coriander and French pesto toast. We thought there was some real imagination: the fresh orange juice was laced with mint from the garden, while the sweetcorn and coriander crumpets were topped with a fresh avocado and tomato salsa and sour cream.
Since our visit the hotel has added the Conservatory Restaurant, an on-site restaurant promising French-influenced dining with a South African flavour. With organic ingredients and dishes such as rooibos-smoked beetroot carpaccio with whipped goats cheese, a ciabatta wafer and baby leaf salad, and dark chocolate tart with basil and strawberry compote, it sounds like an inspired addition. Occasionally dinner consists of a traditional South African braai (barbecue) or is accompanied by live music. Bear in mind that booking for dinner is advised.
A complimentary afternoon tea of sweet pastries, savoury snacks, homemade iced tea and lemonade is on offer daily in the Conservatory Restaurant. You could also order coffee from the comprehensive coffee menu.
If you fancy eating out, La Sosta is a well-regarded local eatery, and there’s a choice of places in town (all within walking distance). The Old Gaol does light lunches during the day, and Mattsens Steakhouse comes recommended if you’re looking for something family friendly. Seek advice from the team at Schoone Oordt and you won’t go far wrong.
Children up to the age of 6 are free when sharing with their parents. The guesthouse offers children's meals, and highchairs can be provided. There are also cots and spare nappies and wipes if required.
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
Each Luxury Room and Standard Room can accommodate 1 child and 1 baby. The Family Cottage has a kingsize bed downstairs, 2 single beds upstairs, and a kitchenette. The pantry areas in the rooms are useful for heating milk and preparing children's snacks.
Babysitting is available by arrangement
Baby cots and highchairs are available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Make sure little ones are supervised around the pool and on the steep steps leading up to the Conservatory Restaurant