Schoone Oordt

Swellendam, Hermanus & Overberg, South Africa Book from

Elegant boutique hotel with a pool in the historic town of Swellendam - an ideal stopover between Cape Town and the Garden Route
Swellendam's a popular first stop when travelling along the Garden Route. Just 2 hours from Cape Town, you find yourself driving through this historic town. Gaze up to the Langeberg Mountains, then let your eyes fall on Schoone Oordt. This beautifully restored Victorian homestead has guest rooms in a row of terraced guest cottages, as well as a separate Honeymoon Suite and a Family Cottage. The setting is charming, amidst the rose garden, fountain and surrounding oak trees.

Homemade biscuits in your room and the daily afternoon tea make you feel at home. Sleep in traditional comfort, but climb the steps to the main house's conservatory for a bright and airy room where you can enjoy a glass of chilled wine. Delicious breakfasts will kick start your day. Wake up to find your car sparkling clean, then head off to explore - there's enough nearby to keep you busy for a few days. Return to lounge by the pool, take a swim to cool off, head to the on-site restaurant for dinner, then start all over again.

Highs

  • The comfortable and elegant rooms have immaculate bedding and attention to detail
  • Swellendam is a good stopover if you're driving the Garden Route between Cape Town and Plettenberg Bay
  • The charming team lend a very personal touch
  • There's a nice pool area with loungers
  • The breakfasts are imaginative and delicious

Lows

  • Expect to hear a little traffic noise - but the road running alongside isn't very busy and never bothered us
  • This place is all about relaxing and enjoying your surroundings; if you're looking for buzz and excitement you may want to try elsewhere

Best time to go

This part of South Africa has a Mediterranean climate with long, hot summers, mild springs and autumns, and the possibility of rain or even frost during the Cape winter (May to July). The Garden Route can get busy during the months of January, February and March.

Our top tips

Swellendam makes for a natural stopover if you're travelling the Garden Route between Cape Town and Plettenberg Bay. If you're planning just to see the town then a night or 2 would be enough, but book at least 3 if you want to explore the national park or use Schoone Oordt as a springboard for the beaches of the Indian Ocean.

Always remember that petrol stations aren't that regular along the Garden Route, so top up your tank whenever you get the chance.

Great for...

Family
Wedding
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 10
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • 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
  • Excursions
  • Wildlife
Room:

Rooms

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.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Fireplace
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Satellite tv
  • WiFi

Eating

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.

Features include:

  • Afternoon tea
  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity: The Tradouws Pass

Activities

  • Visit the Drostdy Museum, with the adjoining Old Gaol, a simple but interesting museum that's a 5-minute walk from the guesthouse

  • Explore the Marloth Nature Reserve (3km away) with its fynbos peaks and many walking trails (there are some mountain bike trails too)

  • Take a scenic drive over Tradouws Pass to Route 62 (45 minutes away)

  • Play golf at the 9-hole course over looking Hermitage Valley (3km away)

  • Head for the coast, making sure to take in the De Hoop Nature Reserve (60km away). Between June and October it's one of the country's top whale-watching locations

  • Go kayaking on the Buffeljags Dam or hike in the Bontebok National Park (10km away)

  • Go horse riding in the nearby Langeberg Mountains

  • Visit the wine estates of Barrydale, Montagu and Robertson (20km away)

  • Put your feet up by the pool or take a swim

  • Massages and other pampering treatments can be arranged

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Horse-riding
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Trekking
  • Whalewatching
  • Wine tasting

Kids

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.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

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:

Babysitting is available by arrangement

Baby equipment:

Baby cots and highchairs are available on request

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Families Should Know:

Make sure little ones are supervised around the pool and on the steep steps leading up to the Conservatory Restaurant

Distances:

  • Airport: 2hr40m
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
9/
Food
10/
Service
10/
Value
10/
Overall

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