BabylonstorenCape Winelands / South Africa
What to love
- The resort’s quintessential garden spa is equipped with steam room, sauna, heated jet pool, cold plunge pool and marble hammam. Treatments include salt scrubs, massages and detoxifying body wraps.
- Head up into the hills by Landrover at sunset where it is possible to see as far as Table Mountain as the sun slips beyond the horizon.
- Sample deliciously prepared seasonal food fresh from the garden in the contemporary Babel restaurant, housed in the old cow shed.
- Just like the every part of the Babylonstoren resort, the farm hotel’s rooms are bathed in rustic charm. Each room’s simple design is offset by rich wooden accents and crisp, white furnishings.
What to know
- Babylonstoren’s own farm shop is open seven days a week and is home to a delicatessen selling a range of dressed meats, handmade cheeses and artisan breads. Handmade soaps are also available from the soap room.
- The resort prizes itself on its tradition of home-produced wines. Not only can guests sample a bottle, but tours of the wine cellar and wine tasting experiences are also available.
- A main attraction of the resort is its eight acres of gardens, divided into sections filled with vegetables, fruit, a new healing garden and spice garden, bees, ducks, chickens and even a maze.
- Despite being located in the idyllic Drakenstein Valley, Babylonstoren is located a mere 60-minute drive from Cape Town and a 45-minute drive from Cape Town International Airport.
Experience the rural beauty that South Africa has to offer by staying at the idyllic Babylonstoren resort. Looking out across the Drakenstein Valley, where many of its farm buildings have stood since the eighteenth century, this 750 hectare wine farm is a treasure trove for those interested in the country’s heritage, and a picturesque marvel even for those who aren’t.
The farm is left entirely at the luxury of its guests, free to wonder amongst the ornate fowl house, the leaning bell tower and the traditional courtyard. Then there is the eight acres of gardens to roam, filled with exotic wildlife and lush vegetation and farm animals to see including donkeys, chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese.
Guests at Babylonstoren will feel like they’re at home from home. The exterior has been designed to imitate traditional Cape Dutch buildings, with whitewashed walls and thatched roofs. The main Farmhouse is set beneath a copse of trees and combines authentic architecture with modern design. A green communal library known as the Butterfly Room contains a rare collection of butterflies bequeathed to the farm. The loft above it has become one of the most beautiful honeymoon suites in Africa and every spacious suite has been arranged with a charming minimalist décor, accented by rich rustic furnishings a cosy lounge area and an elegantly designed bathroom suite.
The surrounding farm buildings have been transformed into sophisticated guest suites and cottages characterised by thick whitewashed walls, elegant gables and hearty fireplaces that emulate an authentic farm stay experience enhanced by contemporary styled interiors .
Located near the dam and adjacent to vineyards and orchards, the stunning newly built Fynbos Cottages allow guests to fully immerse themselves in the beauty of the natural plant habitat of the Western Cape's mountains. Guests at the cottages have use of their own golf cart to provide easy access to the restaurant and resort facilities.
Babylonstoren ensures that all of its guests are kept well fed with distinct flavours that celebrate the seasons. Housed in the old cow shed, Babel Restaurant is a wonderful mix of Cape Dutch architecture and contemporary glass walls that makes for a simple yet edgy environment in which to try the tasty yet often unconventional combinations. At the rear of the garden, tucked away between the oak trees, the Greenhouse is a spectacular tea room serving delicious locally produced food picnic-style in wooden crates with preserves, jams and salads served in weck jars and fresh bread wrapped in the iconic blue-and-white Babylonstoren paper. Guests are also invited to dine in the Bakery which is transformed at night into a relaxed and lively dining room with food served family style from wooden boards on the table.
Once you’ve fully acquainted yourself with both the hotel and grounds, there’s still plenty more for guests to explore. Guests can enjoy the private gardens including the new healing garden and spice garden, guided walks around the farm through the vineyards and orchards and up the Babylonstoring Koppie. Bicycles are available and guests can also enjoy rowing and fishing on the farm dam. The garden spa offers a range of private relaxation therapies and treatments, including wraps, massages and body scrubs and the resort also features an outdoor pool and well equipped gym. The farm shop sells a range of home-produced meats, cheeses and wines. There are daily wine and olive oil tasting tours and a weekly tea ceremony in the healing garden.
When to Travel
The Cape Winelands has a Mediterranean climate, hence it is typical to expect dry, warm summers and cold and wet winters. The average summer temperature (December-February) is 26.5°C and the average winter temperature (June- August) is 17°C. That said the region experiences in excess of 250 days of sunshine per year.
September through to March is considered spring and summer which is the ideal time for travel, especially for beach goers. May to September is also a great time when the visibility is best and whale watching commences in June.
Babylonstoren lies in the Drakenstein Valley between Franschhoek and Paarl, 60km from the city of Cape Town. Surrounded by the Simonsberg, Du Toitskloof and Franschhoek Mountains, Babylonstoren is in the heart of the Cape Winelands.
From Cape Town International Airport it is approx. 45 minutes drive to Babylonstoren.
The farm is a paradise for children! The beloved donkeys live opposite the Farm Shop and young guests are invited to help feed the donkeys, collect eggs and to help harvest fruit and vegetables from the garden, especially for the breakfast table. Children are also welcome to help the bakers knead and bake delicious farm breads and to go on the scavenger hunt.
Activities: Guests can choose to row on the farm dam, cycle through the vineyards and orchards or amble down the spruit which is lined with 7000 clivias. There are 200 hectares of this working farm to explore.
Nature Reserves: With both the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve and the Kogelberg Nature Reserve located a short drive away from the Babylonstoren resort, there’s plenty of opportunity to encounter the areas local flora and wildlife.
Birdwatching: Babylonstoren is the perfect place to catch sight of an extensive collection of exotic birds. That’s not including the variety of domestic farm fowls and pigeons housed the historic Fowl House.
Rooms can fit one cot or child bed. Children under 2 years of age can share their parents room free of charge.