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“A wonderful stay”

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Farm 215 Nature Retreat & Fynbos Reserve
Ranked #13 of 30 Gansbaai B&B and Inns
Cape Town
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A wonderful stay”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2012

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.

Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank CapeTownRobert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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98 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
johannesburg
Level Contributor
89 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 May 2012

This guest house is very difficult to classify. I suspect that the experience you will have here will depend predominantly on your mood; are you feeling tolerant, exacting, bored, stressed ...?whatever you're feeling, this place will probably intensify it. We stayed here in late April/early May 2012 at around R2 500 per room per night bed & breakfast for 2 adults. There are 3 suites scattered amongst the fynbos, looking down a gradual slope, over a lake in the distance, toward to the sea on the horizon. It is a pleasing view at first; but I must say that the fynbos does not seem to attact birds or much animal life - so there is a sad air of sterility about it somewhat, although the colours and the light (when the winter rain is not lashing the place) are pleasing. The suite itself is of an initially attractive and modern design, lots of glass and wood; some good ideas, but ultimately, I decided, somewhat uncomfortable, impractical and overpriced. It was spacious, has the view, and clean. But the lounge section contains a rigid wooden bench and a kind of beanbag armchair facing a small wood-burning fireplace behind glass which doesn't heat the big open space of the room. A sofa on which to lounge would be great. The king-size bed was not uncomfortable but for the fact that the duvet was too small, as were the fitted sheet and matress cover which kept slipping and sliding .... there was a good reading lamp, however, and great filter coffee. The basin in the bathroom was impossible to use with ease; and it is squashed into a small space at the back, leaving metres of unused space elsewhere. The staff were very friendly and helpful, especially Sam and Maia. The food was rather hit and miss. Dinner (fairly pricey at R220 a head - R2 500 per night should really have included dinner, I thought) consisted of a rather strage starter of smoked kipper and avo, followed by a good salad, a lamb tagine (god quality meat) with couscous and a honeybush creme brulée which would have been great if it had set in time. Breakfast on the first morning was disasterous, rather makeshift and ice cold, although on the second morning excellent, with a particularly good pineapple crumble. Dinner on the second night was good; a sort of pastry with mushrooms and cheese, honey/mustard chicken (with couscous again for some reason!) and a malva pudding which was too rich for me. Honesty bar and impressive wine selection. The whole atmosphere was like being a casual interloper in someone's home; good because one doesn't really feel like a "guest"; but not so good because one is sort of left to one's own devices a lot of the time, wondering whether there is any real organizational structure in place. Staying two nights was probably a mistake and Gansbaai itself is nothing more than an acretion of mean and ugly little houses with nothing at all to redeem it except what appeared to be a good restaurant called Benguela (which we unfortunately did not eat at, since it is probably 30 mins away from the guest house on mainly gravel roads). The whole area, we found, was rather a disappointment, with the exception of Hermanus itself which is more cheerful in a conventional sort of way, and situated quite dramatically on the cliffs above the sea and has a number of OK restaurants. Thers is a rather strange pool - long and thin and apparently fairly shallow, made of raw cement, rather like a long cattle dip I thought, and the water is tinged yellow by the fynbos which is fine (in fact delicious) to drink; but would not, I imagine, make for a very inviting swim. All in all, Farm 215 makes for an interesting one night's stopover, preferably in summer. More than that, I am really not sure. It is a very personal kind of preference or choice, with no one right answer.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jsn_chiaro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
73 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 March 2012

The fynbos suites are like private villas with a clean modern design and beautiful views across the diverse yet smallest floral kingdom in the world. The view continues into the distance accross award winning vineyards a lake and then off to the ocean. We loved our stay and can't wait to return next year!

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JoeyQuest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wiltshire
Level Contributor
40 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 March 2012

Completely love this place; wonderful rooms, fabulous setting, gorgeous food and totally support their eco ethos. Go there!

Stayed March 2012, travelled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank JemmaB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 February 2012

Unfortunately, only had time for 1 night at Farm 215. Would have loved more. Whilst being off the beaten track, directions provided made it easy to find. Arrived to a warm welcome from Maarten and a show around the estate - gorgeous courtyard, dining areas, pool - but the best bit was our Fynbos suite; amazing views, absolute silence (except for birdsong and the breeze), beautifully kitted out and very comfortable. Dinner was lovely and relaxing and food was ok for the money; ditto comments for breakfast. But it's really the location that makes it. Got up early the following morning to enjoy a swim and then a hike around the estate trail. Friendly, accomodating and relaxed. A lovely stay, if only for one night.....

Room Tip: The Fynbos suites are extra but are worth it - we had the one furthest away from the house and, ther...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TimLondon65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 December 2011

We arrived at Farm 215 late in the evening and were greeted by a host a friendly and welcoming faces. The Fynbos Suite was pure luxury, the food was delicious and the views breathtaking. We spent the days reading our books, lazing by the pool and hiking around the farm. The owner of Farm 215, Maarten Goss, was knowledgeable about the area and his passion for eco-tourism and sustainability was refreshing. We'll certainly be back.

Room Tip: Go for one of the suites for pure luxury.
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Karen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 November 2011

I have just ended my stay at farm 215 and I would just like to say in reference to the previous comment that my two daughters, my husband and myself thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and found it to be very child friendly. They were off all day on the hiking trails and horse riding leaving me and my husband to relax and enjoy the view and the good wines available. The staff were so friendly and knowledgeable.
The colour of the water was explained to us on arrival and we thoroughly enjoyed hearing the story of how the mountain water was stained with the vynbos tannins, at least we knew it was fresh and clean and where it was coming from!

I would definitely recommend staying here to families and singles alike!!

  • Stayed November 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank samantha jane gabb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Farm 215 Nature Retreat & Fynbos Reserve

Property: Farm 215 Nature Retreat & Fynbos Reserve
Address: Hartebeeskloof, Baardskeerdersbos - Overstrand | PO Box 1314, Gansbaai 7220, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Overberg District > Gansbaai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 30 B&Bs / Inns in Gansbaai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Farm 215 Nature Retreat & Fynbos Reserve 4*
Number of rooms: 6
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

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