Babylonstoren is a Cape Dutch farm (one of the oldest!) in the Cape Winelands, South Africa, with vineyards and orchards surrounded by the dramatic mountains of the Drakenstein Valley. It has an exceptionally well–preserved werf dating from 1690. A fruit and vegetable garden of botanical diversity supplies a remarkable restaurant. Guests staying at an exclusive farm hotel enjoy access to the entire farm, plus facilities like a spa and gym. The aim is to have guests feel more comfortable, more alive among warm smiles and the simple daily rhythm of the farm.
The guest suites echo Cape Dutch farm buildings. The style developed in the Cape Colony of the 17th and 18th century: outer walls are whitewashed and decorated with ornate gables and thatched roofs. Interiors are pleasantly cool in summer (due to thick walls) and are heated by open hearths in winter.
Babylonstoren has an exceptionally well-preserved werf. It consists of a main residence, old cellar, koornhuis (where wheat and hay was stored) and row of service buildings, bell tower, ornate fowl pen and dove cote surrounded by the traditional low whitewashed walls. Some of these have been converted into guest accommodation, while a disused kraal was turned into a restaurant, Babel.
The days are intentionally unscripted at Babylonstoren, leaving guests free to do as they please. Stroll out onto the farm of 200 hectares and see fruit being picked in the orchards or vines being pruned – depending on the season. Enjoy a walk in the remarkable fruit and vegetable garden (guided if you feel like learning, or unguided for relaxation). Pick your own salad or enjoy a meal in the superb restaurant. Or rather sample some of the excellent wines grown on the slopes all around the Simonsberg, possibly the finest terroir for wine in Africa? You can choose. Or simply lounge and read, in summer in a hammock strung among tree trunks, in winter curled up before a fire.
Cape Dutch architecture is named for the style of the 17th and 18th century Cape of Good Hope. Characteristic features include soft, whitewashed walls of stone or primitive brick, ornate gables and thatched roofs.
Visit Babylonstoren’s website for more information and bookings.