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Babylonstoren

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We’re collecting passport stamps in Africa. Today, we’ve chosen the Cape Winelands in South Africa as our next destination. The Cape Winelands, known as the culinary capital of South Africa, boasts fantastic wine estates and amazing restaurants, whether award-winning or stylishly simple.

Searching for a place to stay in the heart of the Cape Winelands where nature and style meet? Nestled in the Drakenstein Valley between Franschhoek and Paarl, less than an hour from Cape Town, you can find an unexpected dream retreat dating back to 1690.

Once you arrive you’ll realize this is not an ordinary South African hotel. This is one of a kind. In fact, Babylonstoren is a blend of a luxurious wine estate, fabulous farm hotel, spa hideaway and foodie heaven. Offering a brilliant farming concept, Babylonstoren is a place full of love, passion and pureness. But, what makes this gorgeous green oasis in the Cape Winelands so special? The country views, the smells, the giant garden, the farm-to-table food, the serene wellness, the unique experience, the stylish accommodations… it’s just perfect! Most impressive part? Definitely Babylonstoren’s peaceful, organic garden, home to tortoises, donkeys, chickens, ducks, geese and beautiful birds.

The designer-owner Karen Roos, once editor of Elle Decoration, has dressed the interiors of this fantastic farmstay in the Cape Winelands. As you’d expect the style is simply stunning: a marriage of authentic elements, urban sophistication and elegant details.

Set amid a dramatic landscape of mountains & valleys, the Cape Dutch-style buildings house rooms, suites and cottages varying in sizes and styles. The all-white cottages, with either one – or two bedrooms, have plenty of space, vintage four-poster beds and are soulful & restful places to stay. We stayed in cottage number five featuring a kitchen with high glass walls providing a dreamy view of the South African countryside. Here, you can light up a cozy fire, enjoy a romantic dinner and watch a movie to enhance the feeling of staying in your own Cape Winelands home. Absolute African bliss! From the fresh flowers from the garden, homemade hot chocolate, brownies and sparkling wine, we absolutely loved Babylonstoren’s little extras in the room.

One of Babylonstoren’s highlights is the famous Babel Restaurant, serving no frills bio-chic meals dominated by innovative varieties of vegetables from the organic garden. Bookings for both lunch and dinner are essential here. Fancy a simple lunch? Check out the farm shop & bakery, buy some fresh bread plus cheeses, pick your own vegetables from the garden – if you can’t choose, ask for help – and enjoy it in the privacy or your cottage. How chill is that? Alternatively, visit the Greenhouse, tucked away between oak trees, where you can make up your own sandwich and order freshly-made fruit & veggies juices. But what’s for breakfast? Think of toasted coconut bread with smoked trout, free range scrambled eggs and avocado or muesli, Greek yoghurt and fresh fruit from Babylonstoren’s garden. The delicious homemade muesli is absolutely one of the best we’ve ever eaten.

This five-star farm hotel in South Africa is also home to the Garden Spa. What would you say to a Private Hammam Water Ritual, Hot Stone Massage, Lavender & Rooibos Body Wrap or Africology Bespoke Facial? Heated Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, a chill room and delicious healthy cuisine? Mmmmm… We thought so. There’s an outdoor pool too. Do you want to be active? With a 350 hectares playground to explore, you can go cycling, running or walking. Also, check out the gym with garden view, where the modern Technogym fitness equipment keeps you fit.

As the name suggests, the ethereal landscape is inspired by “the mythical garden of Babylon”, as well as its geographic heritage as the halfway point for merchants traveling between Europe and Asia. The Babylonstoren garden offers more than 300 varieties of organically grown plants. Meander through the garden on your own or join the daily garden tour, which we can highly recommend. The extremely passionate gardeners can tell you absolutely everything about each plant. Another must-try is the wine cellar tour. And, of course… the wine itself.

Babylonstoren is the farm we all dream about: charming, enchanting and inspiring, full of style and simplicity.

NAME
Babylonstoren hotel, Cape Winelands
PRICERANGE
LOCATION
RATING
9.3
LOCATION
9.4
SERVICE
9.1
VIBE
9
STYLE
9.2
ROOMS
9.3
FOOD & DRINK
9.3
FACILITIES
9.5