If you have been following my Grootbos posts, this is the second part of our family adventure. We arrived at Grootbos on a Friday afternoon and spent the day relaxing and unwinding. Our thought was to begin Exploring The Reserve the following day.
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Inspired Living SA Travel Blog brings you great travel adventures from South Africa, as well as International destinations. You will find out more about the fantastic travel opportunities within the Western Cape and the greater South Africa. Read articles featuring the amazing places I have travelled, as well as what is on my Travel Bucket List.
Recently we were invited to visit Grootbos a stunning Private Nature Reserve, situated on the Whale Coast, in the Western Cape! I was so delighted to be asked and jumped at the opportunity. We love to travel as a family and welcome new experiences, and this sounded like the perfect place to explore.
Grootbos Private Nature Reserve
As I mentioned, Grootbos is situated on the Whale Coast, approximately 13km outside of Gansbaai in the Cape. The drive can take anywhere from 2 to 2½ hours from Cape Town, depending on the traffic. You can either travel over Sir Lowery’s Pass and through Hermanus or take the more scenic coastal road. We decided on the more direct route over Sir Lowery’s, ensuring we would not lose too much daylight, as we were super keen to begin our “family adventure”!
I will split our Grootbos Adventures into a few articles so as not to overwhelm you. My hope is to give you an in-depth look at Grootbos, through the eyes of a family!
In 1991 Grootbos won the heart of owner Michael Lutzeyer. Micheal could not resist the incredible view of Walker Bay, to the distant Cape of Good Hope. He saw great potential for the property. With the stunning natural surroundings, blossoms shining in their most brilliant colours, green fynbos bushes and old Milkwood trees, who could blame him. Here he found the inspiration to create a piece of paradise, now known as Grootbos Private Nature Reserve.
We were fortunate to meet Michael on our first night there! What a truly inspiring man who cares not only for his establishment but also for the community which surrounds it; we could all take a page from his book!
5 Star Luxury
As a family, we are indeed avid travellers. I may have mentioned before, although we love being in touch with nature, luxury is also an important factor. Camping is not my thing. I am more of a 5 Star kind of gal! Well lucky us, not only is Grootbos one of the most beautiful locations, surrounded by the essence of nature, but it also offers 5-star luxury! In saying that, the luxury is not cold and austere but rather warm and inviting.
The other important part of travelling, which can make or break your experience, is service and the staff of the establishment. If these factors are not up to par the luxury or surroundings are of little consequence, but I am happy to report that the service and the staff at Grootbos were excellent! From our first greeting to checking out, nothing was too much trouble, and always done with a friendly smile 🙂
Upon arrival at Grootbos, we were greeted by the front of house staff and offered a refreshing welcome drink. Next was a spot of lunch, not feeling super hungry, we snacked on delicious calamari and salad, which was perfect considering the balmy weather.
The Garden Lodge
The impressive main building, which houses the Garden Lodge’s Reception, Sitting Area, Bar and Restaurant, is the original Grootbos Lodge and has a distinctive African feel about it. The dark-wood furniture, cleverly contrasted by punches of colour, introduced by bold paint colour on the walls. The ethnic art pieces dotted around, create a feeling of understated luxury and warmth.
After our light lunch, we met with one of the Grootbos guides, Christoff, who explained the various activities which we could experience over the next two days. We decided not to do any activities on our first day but rather relax and take in the magnificent surroundings. The girls, who love horse riding, booked themselves a ride for the following day and we also booked the Social Responsibility Tour and exploring the natural caves at De Kelders. We wanted to cram as much into the time we had, to experience all that Grootbos has to offer!
Next, we were whisked off by Bernadette, to settle into our accommodation for the two-night stay. We wound our way along the lovely garden paths to find our suite.
The beautiful Garden Lodge, which we called home for our two-night stay, consists of 11 freestanding suites. The suites are nestled in the surrounding flora and boast spectacular views of Walker Bay. Our family suite was the perfect combination of luxury and comfort, with nuances of African flavour.
Our family suite had two bedrooms, one downstairs for the girls, and ours upstairs just off the living area, giving us the necessary privacy we like, without being too far from the girls. Both bedrooms had en suite bathrooms, ours with a bath and shower. The girl’s bathroom was more of a wet-room style. Off of our bedroom was a lovely private deck with loungers, as well as a four-seater table. The deck offered magical views overlooking the Fynbos, Walker Bay and De Kelders.
As I mentioned previously, I will be breaking up my Grootbos story into separate posts. This post is an overview of Grootbos and the accommodation, and in the upcoming posts, I will share a more detailed account of some of the activities, which you can expect to enjoy when you visit Grootbos.For more information or to make a booking at Grootbos, visit their website by clicking here.
Contact Details and Location
Our accommodation was sponsored by Grootbos for review purposes but this is not, however, a paid post, and all the opinions are my own.
I am spending the weekend, with the family, in the beautiful Walkerbay area at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. Grootbos is approximately 13km outside of Stanford. The Reserve offers luxury accommodation, as well as a host of great activities for guests of all ages. Activities range from exploring the natural wonders of the reserve to shark cage diving! [Read more…]
- The West Coast – My favourite spot up the West Coast, Jacobsbaai, is probably a bit of a biased choice, as it is where our family holiday house is but the West Coast is such a magical, unspoiled piece of Coast line you cannot help but love it! Spending just a few days there is wonderfully relaxing and good for the soul! Jacobsbaai is approximately an hour outside of Cape Town, in the direction of Vredenberg. As I mentioned we have a beautiful family holiday home there, decorated in distinctly beach style decor, which allows the space to be both tranquil and luxurious! It truly is a beach-lovers paradise and wonderful for family holidays. It is also the place you will witness the most stunning sunsets! Other popular holiday spots up the West Coast are Langebaan and Paternoster.
- Franschhoek – Is one of my favourite holiday destinations in the Western Cape. It is approximately an hour’s drive, travelling on the N1, from Cape Town. “Franschhoek” meaning ‘French corner’, is a beautiful town steeped in history and renowned for good food and wine. It is wonderfully romantic and the perfect spot for a weekend away to reconnect with a loved one but equally good for a family holiday. Accommodation in the area is plentiful, with many quaint guest houses, self-catering cottages as well as luxurious boutique hotels; offering travelers many options when visiting the area. One of the most enjoyable places we have stayed at, was Rose Cottage, on the most picturesque Burgundy Bourgogne Estate. The cottage is four-star, self-catering luxury; it has an open plan kitchen, lounge dining room and an exquisite master suite.
- Hermanus – Is a beautiful sea-side town, in the Overberg, which forms part of what is more commonly known as the “Whale Coast”. We love visiting the area and if you are lucky you may even get to see a few whales while you are there. If you are planning a trip to Hermanus, the end of September is a good time to go. You can enjoy the renowned annual Whale Festival, which is a great deal of fun! It can get very busy during this time of year, so pre-booking accommodation is essential. There are many great restaurants to choose from – most of them, with a view of the sea.
- Knysna – The Majestic Garden Route is definitely a very popular holiday destination in South Africa, especially for families. Knysna is one of our favourite Garden Route spots and is approximately six hours by road. Although a long trip, the Garden Route is wonderfully scenic and there are lots of things to see along the way. We enjoy staying on Leisure Isle when we are holidaying there and if you are fortunate enough, you can rent a home directly on the Knysna Lagoon. It offers the peaceful tranquility of island style living, with the most amazing views and the town is a mere 10 minutes away by car. The area is great for families – children can happily bike ride around the island or potter on the Lagoon when the tide is out. Another popular location in Knysna is Thesen Island, a Martha’s Vineyard style development and a very popular choice for holiday rental. We have stayed there in the past but I still prefer the peace and tranquility that Leisure Isle offers. The marina on Thesen Island sports many wonderful shops and restaurants and a boutique Hotel, catering to a holiday makers every need.
You can read more posts in my Top 4 Series by clicking here…
I have always been a very enthusiastic traveller but it does become more difficult to jet off to places unknown once you have children to consider. This fact may deter me slightly when it comes to planning travel but I still have quite a few destinations, which I would like to visit and I have compiled a list of my top dream destinations! A girl can dream can’t she!
- Italy, especially Tuscany, is a dream destination for both me and the hubby! We have decided that this one will probably be sans children as we would love to do a culinary trip to Italy. A gastronomic experience, holidaying in a villa in Tuscany surrounded by vines, learning to cook authentic Italian food. A while back I shared about Tasting Places, they offer an “informal yet intensive exploration of inspirational cooking”, which sounds like exactly what we would enjoy. Combined with the beauty of the country setting, the promise of wine tasting and a demo of cheese making – what more could you ask for. Eating, drinking and soaking up the splendor of the countryside! This is a dream I am hoping to make a reality later this year!!!
- Thailand, was actually a consideration for our honeymoon but way back then we had to watch the pennies and opted for the Maldives instead, which was a truly amazing place! So Thailand is definitely still a place I would like to visit, the scenery is beautiful and Thai Cuisine is one of my favourites. I could think of nothing better than lazing on a beach sipping on a cocktail, with the warm ocean water lapping at my feet!
- The next place on my list may seem a bit odd to some but I think Croatia looks like an amazing destination to visit and I have heard so many great things about this beautiful country, from people who have travelled there. With nearly 2,000 miles of coastline and 50 inhabited islands, Croatia definitely has plenty to offer, if like me you are a lover of sea and sunshine.We would definitely travel in summer, the beaches look stunning and I love the thought of mixing a unique cultural experience with a beach holiday!
- Last but certainly not least is Austria, partly because I really would love to see snow before I die and yes the wild-one in me would love to learn to ski! I have spoken to quite a few of my friends, who live abroad and the consensus is that the ski resorts in Austria are some of the best! I would need to find one that caters for beginners – something of great importance for a novice like me! This will definitely be a trip that would include the girls, an experience that I am sure they would love!
To see more images from my wish-list see my Travel Wishlist Board on Pinterest.
Image Source: Pinterest