Grootbos Private Nature Reserve - Garden Lodge

Hermanus, Garden Route

The hotel

Bestowed with the accolade of being a ‘National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World’, the magnificent Grootbos is an experience rather than a hotel. This luxurious eco-reserve is in a unique part of Africa, close to the southernmost tip amid 2500 hectares of pristine wilderness, home to milkwood forests and over 800 species of flora and fauna. In an unbeatable location overlooking the wild coastline of Gansbaai, the lodges are just minutes from where the great white shark cage diving and whale watching boats depart. As well as nature walks and horse riding throughout the reserve, marine & coastal drives are also included, you can even a guided walk into the Walker Bay Nature Reserve and the De Kelders cliff walk – one of the best spots in the world for land-based whale watching (especially Jun-Dec). All this combined with world-class gastronomy, with fresh organic produce served for breakfast, lunch and sumptuous 5-course dinners.

Amenities

  • Bar
  • Horse Riding
  • Restaurant

Where is it

30 minutes from Hermanus, just outside of Gansbaai in a private nature reserve. Transfer time from Cape Town Airport: 2 hours 30 minutes.

Hotel information

All suites have private decks with panoramic sea views, underfloor heating and cosy fireplaces, separate lounge, separate bath and shower, tea/coffee-making facilities and mini-bar. Forest Lodge is modern and contemporary with 16 free-standing Luxury Suites linked by a walkway through the Milkwood forest, suites sleep maximum 2 adults.

Please note: children under 12 years of age are not permitted in the Forest Lodge Suites.

Full Board includes: welcome drink served upon arrival, all soft drinks, daily fresh fruit, breakfast, lunch and 5-course dinner. Activities including horse riding through the reserve (weight limit applies), guided pony rides for children, guided walks within the reserve, marine and coastal drives and walks including in the Walker Bay Nature Reserve and the De Kelders cliff walk for seasonal land-based whale watching (Jul–Dec), bird-watching and transfers to/from all activities.

Garden Lodge has a homely feel with wooden beams, thatched roofs and is a friendly family lodge, offering 11 luxury free-standing suites. Garden Lodge Luxury Suites have similar facilities to the Forest Lodge Luxury Suites but have a bath and/or shower and sleep maximum 2 adults and 2 children.

Garden Lodge Two-Bedroom Family Suites and Two-Bedroom Luxury Family Suites also feature two private en-suite bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms (one with shower and one with bath) and separate lounge and dining area, sleeping maximum 2 adults and 3 children.

Two Bedroom Suites also have satellite TV and DVD player.

Please note: children under 12 years of age are not permitted in the Forest Lodge Suites.

  • 2020 Honeymooners: Couples celebrating their honeymoon receive a bottle of sparkling wine and fresh fruit in the room on arrival, romantic turndown once per stay and a beach picnic once per stay. Wedding certifcate required. Offer not bookable online and terms and conditions apply.

Choice of accommodation: Forest Lodge (adults-only) and Garden Lodge (for families). Each lodge features: restaurant, lounge, barista bar and boma. Swimming pool. Beauty salon. Library. Information centre. Activities included: guided walks, horse riding, beach walks, fynbos hiking and land-based whale watching (seasonal, Jun-Dec). Activities excluded: Dyer Island whale watching boat trip (Jul–Dec)*, shark cage diving*, beach horse riding*, day trips to Cape Aghulus and Hermanus*, wine tasting at local wine estate* and golf excursions*. New Hive to Home bee excursion*. Riverboat experience*.

2 nights at all times.

* Denotes local charge.

Rating summary

  • Location Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Sleep Quality Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Rooms Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Service Image of the Tripadvisor rating
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Traveller rating

  • Excellent (784)
  • Very good (67)
  • Average (20)
  • Poor (10)
  • Terrible (9)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Unique experience in a protected area

Dec 4, 2019 Guildev-Paris Paris, France

Excellent experience in a fully equipped suite with terrasse with an amazing view on the biosphere and the Atlantic Ocean. Creative cuisine and multiple activities including walking tours, jeep safari and tour to the nearby caves with a rich historical heritage. Free minibar in the rooms.
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Stunning!

Nov 17, 2019 Jayne F

One of the most special places on the planet. From floral safaris to fine dining from horse riding to whale watching from the shore it was all outstanding. And our lodge was the last word in stylish elegance.
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Understandably a National Geographic Unique Lodge

Nov 11, 2019 Susan E Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

What a very special place. This was our first stop in South Africa. From the moment our guide Alison (who was very friendly and informative) greeted us, our stay here was magical. May was a fabulous time to experience one of the most diverse biomes in the world. Our little house had an amazing view and was beautifully decorated with many… Read more
What a very special place. This was our first stop in South Africa. From the moment our guide Alison (who was very friendly and informative) greeted us, our stay here was magical. May was a fabulous time to experience one of the most diverse biomes in the world. Our little house had an amazing view and was beautifully decorated with many thoughtful touches. The plant safari was fascinating and the horseback ride a great overview. We were sad that the weather didn’t allow us to go on a water safari or river ride but hiking to the Klipgat Cave and other things we did were great fun. The wide variety of entrees were all delicious. Make your reservation now!! We stayed here on a private tour booked through National Geographic, they did a fantastic job of putting this trip together. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Best resort ever been to

Nov 11, 2019 283kalinas

We have been spoilt with 5-star hotels but this resort surpassed all our expectations. Everything was perfect: staff was friendly and helpful, food was amazing and the accommodation was better than one could ask for. Incredible attention to detail and consideration for the guest. What differentiates Grootbos from other luxury residences is the… Read more
We have been spoilt with 5-star hotels but this resort surpassed all our expectations. Everything was perfect: staff was friendly and helpful, food was amazing and the accommodation was better than one could ask for. Incredible attention to detail and consideration for the guest. What differentiates Grootbos from other luxury residences is the deep meaning and caring of the owners for the environment and the local community. So visionary! Unforgettable was our guide Jo, who had unforgettable sense of humor, as well as much local knowledge. Can’t wait to come again! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Amazing Experience

Nov 6, 2019 Ms Graham I Northampton, United Kingdom

This was an amazing place to stay. We went in the botanical Safari and also did horse riding. Our host T was amazing. He really gave us the 5 star treatment. We planted a tree for our grandson and hope to visit again in the future.