The Villa is the most luxurious of three properties situated within Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. It is also the most exclusive, available for the sole use of a group of up to 12 adults and boasting a full team of staff! The Villa adjoins Garden Lodge, which is our top pick for families.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The reserve is located east of Hermanus and comprises 2,500 hectares of valleys, hills, and mountains clad in colourful fynbos and milkwood trees – the latter inspired the name of the reserve, which means ‘big forest’. All properties in Grootbos overlook Walker Bay, which is famous for whale watching! The reserve is usually accessed from Cape Town, with most travellers opting to self-drive. However, as The Villa has its own landing strip, guests here are able to fly in by helicopter or small plane. If you are approaching by road, you will find the way well signposted and well laid.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
The property has a very contemporary look, not dissimilar to the main building of Forest Lodge. Clean lines, high ceilings, and open-plan living all contribute to a feeling of space and light throughout. The furnishings are very modern too, and they are enhanced by wall art – Walter Battiss, William Kentridge, and Cecil Skotnes are just three of the artists whose works are on display. The Villa also has generously proportioned windows, inviting guests to gaze out at the beauty of the reserve. The communal areas include a media room featuring big screen, projector, and movies, as well as two lounges, one with satellite television, an elegant dining room, a breakfast area, a fully equipped kitchen with scullery and storeroom, a wine cellar, an office with telephone and internet access, a gym, dining decks, and a swimming pool. There is even a piano! All this comes complete with your own team of staff – butler, chef, and guide with private vehicle. There is a valet service too.
The Villa has six bedrooms – two described as Master-Suites and the other four as Luxury Bedrooms. All are very well appointed, featuring a comfy double bed, bedside lighting, a dressing table or desk and chair, an easy chair, ample storage space, and en-suite facilities comprising flush toilet, single or twin washbasin/s, separate shower and bathtub or bath with shower over, and complimentary toiletries! The bedrooms are every inch as beautifully furnished as the communal areas, and just as spacious too – in fact, the entire property has over a thousand square metres of floor space, so there is plenty of room for everyone.
In Grootbos, you can enjoy walks or longer treks along the nature trails, to get to know the resident animal and plant species. The reserve is home to caracal, genet, honey badger, chacma baboon, and six types of antelopes, while the plant count exceeds 765 types of flower! Maps of Grootbos are provided so you can plan a self-guided tour. However, guided walks are available too, in the presence of your very own guide! These are a wonderful way of exploring the reserve in greater detail. The flower safari focuses on the area’s colourful fynbos, but forest tours are possible as well. Guided nature, marine, and coastal drives are also on offer here. Alternatively, you can saddle up and ride out on one of Grootbos stables’ 18 horses – all levels of experience are accommodated. Land-based whale-watching tours take place from June to December.
Outside the reserve, you can enjoy a day trip to Cape Agulhas, on the southernmost tip of Africa. Other excursions include shopping in Hermanus, wine tours in the Overberg estates, and even golf! Dyer Island provides a range of additional ocean experiences. There’s more whale watching, shark cage diving, and viewing the Marine Big Five – whales, sharks, seals, dolphins, and penguins. Scenic flights are available over Cape Point, the Winelands, and much more! You can also take part in quadbiking tours.