Elegant boutique hotel with a pool in the historic town of Swellendam - an ideal stopover between Cape Town and the Garden Route”
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 and a delicious meal. Breakfasts are renowned, but dinners are certainly making a name for themselves too. 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.
- 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
- 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
Our top tips
Always remember that petrol stations aren't that regular along the Garden Route, so top up your tank whenever you get the chance.”
- Boutique Hotel
- 10 rooms
- Restaurant and bar (open daily)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
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 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. 2 of the Luxury 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 small forest. 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 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 Family Cottage 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. For larger families, the Family Suite is ideal, comfortably sleeping up to six people and with plenty of extra space to fit a cot (or 2). Parents can enjoy a delicate afternoon tea from their balcony while the kids play freely in the garden below – a win-win scenario!
- Air conditioning
- Coffee / tea making
- Cots Available
- DVD player
- Extra beds
- Satellite TV
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 fine dining dining with a South African flavour. Unpretentious, yet delicious with interesting flavour inspirations from all over the world. 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. 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 enjoy teas or coffees from the comprehensive selection.
If you fancy eating out, La Sosta, Field & Fork and The Drostdy are well-regarded local eateries, and there’s a choice of places in town (all within walking distance). The Tredici 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.
- Coffee / tea making
- Restaurants nearby
- Vegetarian menu
- 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 short drive to Wildebraam Berry Estate for plenty of berry picking and jam tasting
- Play golf at the 9-hole course overlooking 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 foothills of 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:
- Horse riding
- Mountain biking
- Museums / galleries
- Shopping / markets
- Traditional cultures
- Whale watching
- Wine tasting
Children up to the age of 6 are free when sharing with their parents. The hotel offers children's meals, and highchairs can be provided. There are also cots and spare nappies and wipes if required.
Family friendly accommodation:
Each Luxury Room can accommodate 1 child and 1 baby. The Family Cottage has a kingsize bed downstairs, 2 single beds in a loft area and a small kitchenette. The Family Suite is perfect for large families, 2 adults and 4 children and with extra space for a cot (or 2) in the main bedroom.
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
Families Should Know:
Make sure little ones are supervised around the pool and on the steep steps leading up to The Conservatory . The Family Rooms are positioned at the opposite end of the property to the swimming pool.
- Airport: 2hr40m
Schoone Oordt Country House is in the peaceful town of Swellendam, about 210km from Cape Town along the Garden Route, in the Western Cape, South Africa. It is a small historic farming town with a handful of good restaurants, shops selling essentials, and an interesting museum. The surrounding countryside is beautiful and wild, ranging from rugged mountains to vast prairie-like fields.
Most people fly into Cape Town International (205km away), which has good links from Europe, the USA and elsewhere in South Africa - click on the links below for a list of airlines.
From the Airport
It's a 2 hour and 40-minute drive along good roads from Cape Town to Swellendam.
For car hire see our car rental recommendations. Off-street parking is available at Schoone Oordt.
Detailed directions will be provided when you book through i-escape.
More on getting to South Africa and getting around.
- Cape Town International 205.0 km CPT
- Beach 60.0 km
- Shops 1.0 km
- Restaurant 1.0 km