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When To Visit South Africa's Winelands:
When To Visit South Africa's Winelands:
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"Babylonstoren is a superb option for families and for people wanting to stay on a working vineyard complete with tortoises, chickens, geese, and amazing wine cellars! High standards of accommodation and really very good food (especially the breakfasts) make Babylon a popular option at YZ."


Babylonstoren is privately owned and run. Its known history begins in 1692, when it was granted to burgher Pieter van der Byl by the Governor of the Cape. About a decade ago it was restored to its current condition by Karen Roos, formerly a magazine editor, and today its werf (farmyards) receive ample praise for their well-preserved appearance. The price of your stay includes luxury accommodation, breakfast, on-site activities (see below), parking, Wi-Fi, and a laundry service. The hotel is open all year round.


The hotel can be accessed via 45 minutes’ road transfer from Cape Town. It’s situated in the Drakenstein valley, between Franschhoek and Paarl, and the farm gardens cover 3.5 hectares!


Guest accommodation comes in several categories. At entry level is the Farmhouse Suite, offering one en-suite bedroom, lounge, and pantry. Furnishings include a four-poster king-size bed or twin beds, walk-in cupboards, plush seating around a cosy stove, and well-laden bookshelves. The en-suite bathroom features a marble bath! This option boasts a wealth of amenities, not least air conditioning, under-floor heating, telephone, satellite flatscreen television, DVD player, tea-and-coffee station, mini-bar, safe, Wi-Fi, and hairdryer. The Garden Cottages are either one-bed suites or one- and two-bed cottages and are similarly appointed with gorgeous garden or vineyard views. The cottages provide deluxe living and sleeping spaces within classic Cape Dutch structures, beautifully restored. The Fynbos Cottages merge seamlessly into the natural surroundings with one-or two-bed cottages available. These are wonderful cottages with Cape Dutch style exteriors and very contemporary interiors, including a glass cube kitchen area. Finally, the family houses, which include the Fynbos Family House and the Manor House. Both sleep a maximum of ten travellers in five bedrooms and are excellent options for a group of friends or family members. Just get in touch with a member of YZ for further details!

Among Babylonstoren’s communal facilities are two high-class restaurants. Babel, which occupies an old cow shed, prides itself on a farm-to-fork approach, guaranteeing tantalisingly fresh cuisine throughout the year. It’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and patrons are welcome to dine in the courtyard in the shade of plane trees. Greenhouse restaurant, nestling amidst oaks, has a more café feel, specialising in tasty treats and a great range of teas, coffees, and garden juices. Here too, farm to fork is key. The hotel has a cellar as well, conveniently positioned next to a tasting room! Guests also enjoy access to the Bakery, for homely cooking and a very convivial atmosphere. A farm shop stocks all manner of goodies to purchase for yourself or to take home as souvenirs. Keep-fit fans can head to the well-equipped gym for a thorough work-out, while anyone in need of a little pampering can pop to the spa for massages, mani-pedis, wraps, and more. The gardens are perfect for a gentle stroll, and they include the hotel’s highly inviting swimming pool!


Guests of Babylonstoren enjoy activities and experiences on site, in the nearby towns of Franschhoek and Paarl, and throughout the Winelands. Here are a few examples:

  • Explore the farm

    - Take a walk around the garden or enjoy a tour in the company of a knowledgeable gardener. There are garden, cellar, and olive oil and balsamic tours. You’ll find out a lot about plants and meet chooks, ducks, and turkeys on your way! The farm activities also include a mountain drive up the slopes of Simonsberg, making balms in the scented room, wine-tasting, fishing, canoeing, and visiting the farm shop and bakery to pick up plenty of goodies.
  • Garden workshops

    - Incorporating a stroll through Babylonstoren’s extensive grounds, this activity involves the entire gardening team. Examples of recent workshops include building garden structures and growing summer salads.
  • Visit Franschhoek

    - Packed with art galleries, curio shops, museums, monuments, and gourmet restaurants, the French Corner of The Winelands has ample attractions to enjoy.
  • Visit Paarl 

    - This Cape Winelands town also holds ample interest for foodies and culture buffs!
  • Biking and hiking 

    - See as much of the Franschhoek region as you wish from the saddle, or set out on foot along many of the area’s hiking trails.
  • Fishing

    - Head out to the Wemmers river, for trout fishing amidst spectacular scenery!
  • Golf

    - The Winelands boasts an outstanding variety of courses, not least in Pearl Valley, which has hosted the South African Golf Championship for the past three years in a row.

South Africa's Winelands

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