We just returned from a 3 night stay at Farm 215 and we would be failing to honour the generosity and time we enjoyed if we did not submit a glowing review of our stay there. The weather happened to be wet and cold, but I could hardly imagine any other place you would want to be in the entire area. The staff were all friendly, sincere and very competent. Sam's management, interest and happy attitude made us feel completely welcome. You sense that this is a place where sustainability is not a marketing ploy but a philosophy shared by everyone participating in the venture. It is clear that this starts at the top with Maarten living his vision and seeing it through. The food Dianne served, much of which she has grown herself with her pioneering husband Luke, on the property, was creative, generous and delicious. Even my lactose and wheat intolerant mother-in-law was indulged with care and specially prepared dishes that even I would have wanted to have. We had some of the Lomond Wines, (a neighbouring estate that has opened up its property to form part of the Farm 215 experience), the Catstail and Conebush...which are firmly on our "must drink again" list. We had visitors during our stay, and they were welcomed and the children indulged, and we had a feast of a lunch. The children felt free to move around and explore and they all want to go back again. The horse ride was a also a real pleasure. Again, sustainability is lived. The horses roam free, so they had to be found first, and the fact that the horse ride starts an hour later because they were hiding is part of the authenticity of the offering. Its clear that Howard and Breyton care for the horses and made all of us inexperienced riders, including the children, feel safe and free to enjoy an unhurried trek over the back hills on farm to enjoy some spectacular vistas. Dianne and Luke generously spent time with us showing us their permaculture project, which is avant-garde to say the least. The accommodation was very comfortable and the fireplace worked like a charm to ward of the extreme cold weather during our stay. Another thing that struck us was the inclusive and cooperative relations between everyone contributing to each others offerings. which brings me to want to reply to the last review "Unusual sojourn.." Its not an unfair review if the expectation is a conventional guest house experience using conventional and unsustainable resources. But when you choose Farm 215 you have to be open to the fact that this place appears to be designed, built and operated within the constraints of sustainability. The prices are not cheap, but why should a sustainable country experience have to be cheaper than what would be a normal price for a 25 square meter city hotel room. I was happy to pay my bill, as I felt that the money was going back into something constructive and positive, and not towards executive salaries and dividends of a corporation. I agree that Gansbaai is hardly a highlight, but we found the location of Farm 215 very convenient for day trips to Elim and Baardskeerdersbos, and to L'Aghulas and the Blackoystercatcher winery (generously recommended by Sam even though her dad owns Lomond), where we spent a happy time over a delicious cheese platter. So, I hope I have done some justice to Farm 215. We look forward to going back there again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Farm 215 is located in the Cape's undisturbed Overberg. Farm 215 offers luxury, tranquility, privacy, space, original food and exceptional floral beauty. Panoramic views over the plains towards the ocean, vineyards hugging the lake and endless mountains. Located in a pristine private nature reserve of 800 hectares, farm 215 is a shelter from the daily routines of life and a haven for the conscious traveler. Certified by Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Farm 215 Nature Retreat & Fynbos Reserve South Africa/Gansbaai