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

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

  • Excellent (812)
  • Very good (68)
  • Average (20)
  • Poor (10)
  • Terrible (9)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Absolutely marvellous!

Oct 28, 2020 Tiffany M UK

We left Grootbos 2 days ago and every now and then I have to go have a spoon of Grootbos honey and pretend I'm back there. It's truly an astonishingly beautiful part of the Cape, and the hospitality is unparalleled. Rooms We were in unit 33 at the Forest Lodge (the Garden Lodge is currently closed). The units (a house, really) are spectacular.… Read more
We left Grootbos 2 days ago and every now and then I have to go have a spoon of Grootbos honey and pretend I'm back there. It's truly an astonishingly beautiful part of the Cape, and the hospitality is unparalleled. Rooms We were in unit 33 at the Forest Lodge (the Garden Lodge is currently closed). The units (a house, really) are spectacular. Luxurious, and comprising of a lounge, bedroom, 1.5 bathrooms, an outside shower, coffee nook, and a deck that boasts views of the surrounding biodiversity all the way to the sea. Staff Our guide, Alison, is enthusiastic, engaging, and ridiculously knowledgeable abotu vynbos and everythign that lives in it. The restaurant and kitchen staff are downright delightful. Always friendly and encouraging you to eat the wonderful food on offer. Food Well, I'm currently in witdrawal because no one has tried to feed me a 5 course meal in over 48 hours. The food is fantastic. They have a lovely menu that they will tailor to meet you needs and desires - want 8 courses? Go fo it! They'll assemble taster portions for you. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are inclluded, and when my partner asked fro a little snack to take back to the room they unhesitatignly obliged. Activities Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating An amazing Anniversary

Oct 25, 2020 pieterindia Cape Town, South Africa

The lockdown made it possible for South Africans to also afford and enjoy this amazing treasure of our beautiful country. Grootbos really exceeded our expectations in everything from the service, views, food, activities. Its difficult to translate the experience into words. We were treated with a private dining experience in the cellar for our… Read more
The lockdown made it possible for South Africans to also afford and enjoy this amazing treasure of our beautiful country. Grootbos really exceeded our expectations in everything from the service, views, food, activities. Its difficult to translate the experience into words. We were treated with a private dining experience in the cellar for our wedding anniversary with the sommelier recommending the best wine pairing for each dish. The views from the bedrooms and the restaurant is breathtaking. It really a small piece of paradise on earth. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating One of the most magnificent places on Earth

Oct 21, 2020 mksheikh

I don't know what superlatives I could use that would do this place justice. Every single detail is spectacular. The staff, the setting, the food, the experiences, the views, the residences... I am very thankful our booking agent recommended Grootbos. It is the type of experience you don't forget, and you find yourself longing to go back.… Read more
I don't know what superlatives I could use that would do this place justice. Every single detail is spectacular. The staff, the setting, the food, the experiences, the views, the residences... I am very thankful our booking agent recommended Grootbos. It is the type of experience you don't forget, and you find yourself longing to go back. Completely impeccable. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Superlative experience in every way

Oct 21, 2020 Catherine F London, United Kingdom

Excellent, friendly and welcoming staff that all go the extra mile to making my stay truly unforgettable. Exceptional food with creative twists. Interesting and adventurous things to do like fat biking, quad biking, whale watching, fynbos tour. Jo, our guide for the fynbos biome tour and the visit to the Foundation ( a community based social… Read more
Excellent, friendly and welcoming staff that all go the extra mile to making my stay truly unforgettable. Exceptional food with creative twists. Interesting and adventurous things to do like fat biking, quad biking, whale watching, fynbos tour. Jo, our guide for the fynbos biome tour and the visit to the Foundation ( a community based social project), is passionate and informative. She is a real gem and a massive value-add to the Grootbos experience. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating best get away in South Africa

Sep 15, 2020 322armins

I have been around many places in the world but staying at Grootbos gave a new dimension to hospitality. It was an experience probably long lasting and needs to be shared with fellow travellers wanting to do something different, besides gourmet eating and drinking fine wines. The place offers a comprehensive package of things to do, to primarily… Read more
I have been around many places in the world but staying at Grootbos gave a new dimension to hospitality. It was an experience probably long lasting and needs to be shared with fellow travellers wanting to do something different, besides gourmet eating and drinking fine wines. The place offers a comprehensive package of things to do, to primarily roam around the reserve with knowledgeable guides, Alison was the best, explaining nature, flowers, plants and all other life, insects etc. Most interesting to learn about the famous Cape fynbos and the incredible variety of flowers in this part of the world. We also spent a day watching whales and the big 'five' of the ocean. The lodge is built spaciously, open plan and the suites are beautifully designed, including a superb bathroom. But it was really the quality of food that surpassed all my expectations. For all meal periods, breakfast, lunch and dinner we had interesting combinations and the menu allowed us to taste different dishes each day. The service was competent, friendly and knowledgable. All was simply exceptional. Grootbos is a product unique in South Africa, a new experience highly recommended, certainly not to be missed. It gave as a sense of relief from the dreadful Covid, we felt prtected and well looked after. Read less