Babylonstoren lies in the Drakenstein Valley in the scenic Western Cape winelands between Franschhoek and Paarl. It is one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms in the area, dating back to 1690. The original farm structures are beautifully preserved, reflecting the simplified Cape Dutch architecture of the era of white washed walls and thick thatched roofs. The magnificent gardens incorporate an ever changing seasonal variety of organic citrus, vegetables, herbs and vines. The old kraal has been converted into the Babel restaurant which serves wonderfully fresh and healthy fare using ingredients straight from the gardens.
Accommodation & Facilities
There are five rooms in the Manor House which is booked on an exclusive use basis. All rooms have a king-size bed with two of the rooms having the option of twin beds. Guests have access to the garden at all times with games set up on the private lawn. The house has a living room, kitchen, TV room and library. The Manor House sleeps up to ten and guests staying here have full use of the hotel’s facilities. The remaining cottages and suites are scattered around the grounds and are all free standing buildings adorned with simple gables. The contemporary white and glass interiors are softened by red brick fireplaces, deep shuttered windows and open-beamed roofs. Each room is equipped with a high definition TV, ducted air conditioning, under floor heating and a DVD player. The cottages have a fully equipped stainless steel kitchen. For families, there are four two bedroomed cottages sleeping up to four people. Both bedrooms (king-sized double and king or two single beds) have a luxurious en-suite bathroom. In addition, there are five one-bedroom suites housed in one structure and two stand alone one-bedroom cottages.
Eating & Sleeping
Children’s food and mealtimes and can be arranged with the restaurants (Babel, Greenhouse and Bakery). The chefs are flexible and can accommodate according to requests/dietary requirements. Guests can also self-cater. Should parents prefer to enjoy a romantic dinner, a babysitter can be arranged and supper can be served for the child(ren) in your room. Babysitting is supplied by an outside company at a cost of R200 per hour.
The focus of the farm is the diverse garden with beautiful pergolas defining the different ‘rooms’. There is an indigenous section, a meditation garden, and a maze and manicured labyrinths to wander through. The resident horticulturists guide tours around the garden, and these are often attended by scientists, academics and botanists from all over the world. Walking with the ducks or following the fynbos hiking trails are other highlights. There are rowing boats to take out on the natural dam or you can find a shady spot to relax by the pool which has been converted from a former farm reservoir. Four huge buildings make up the wine cellar and guests are welcome to view the wine making process and do some tasting.
Specifically for children …
• There are three heated pools where children can swim under the supervision of their parents.
• Bread baking.
• Collecting eggs.
• Feeding the donkeys.
• Harvesting with gardeners.