The Retreat is a Victorian farmhouse set in 560ha of the beautiful Groenfontein Valley Conservancy, bordering on the 129 000ha Swartberg Nature Reserve in the District Calitzdorp, and offers dinner and bed and breakfast accommodation. The house, filled with yellow-wood and mellow Oregon pine, has a lounge and dining room – each with its own ceramic fireplace to keep them cosy on chilly winter evenings – leading onto a wide verandah, overlooking the sweeping gardens and majestic Swartberg mountains.
Your Hosts, Grant and Marie, enjoy treating guests to true Klein Karoo hospitality. The smell of fresh coffee welcomes you back from a morning walk, to a hearty breakfast on the terrace, where dinner – cooked with Marie’s continental flair – is also served when the weather is warm. Guests and hosts eat together at a long table and the conversation is convivial and lively! By request we can do a separate table.
The meals at Groenfontein have a health emphasis, vegetarians are welcome and we cater for problem diets. Our Guests can enjoy Karoo lamb dishes and local Cape specialties. Meals are served under the stars on the verandah in the summer or in the beautiful dining room, with a crackling fire, during the cold winter evenings.
The Retreat has a full liquor licence and carries a selection of fine wines of the region.
There are two suites and two garden rooms away from the house with breathtaking views of the mountains from their private terraces, and 4 comfortable en-suite bedrooms in the main house, with French doors opening onto a patio.
Here, there is no cellphone reception so the tranquility is unbroken by loud conversations that command attention. Likewise, there are no TV sets blaring forth from guest rooms to disturb the peace (we do have TV in the main lounge, mainly to entertain young children with suitable DVDs while their parents are enjoying dinner). We operate on solar power plus generator backup, so no inconvenient power-outs! It does mean there are no fridges or kettles in the rooms but we supply ice, cold drinks, tea and coffee on request. It also means that we have limited cooling systems – ceiling-fans only in the 4 garden rooms, but our ‘micro-climate’ and location in the mountains produces a prevailing coolth by late evening which makes sleeping comfortable – and windows can be thrown wide open because we have no mosquitoes.
We are pet friendly and love our own well–behaved, disciplined dogs!
Enjoy energetic hill walks or mountain biking in the clear air – or lazy summer afternoons cooling off in the shady, secluded rock pools that sparkle like jewels along the length of the tree-fringed river – or simply stroll along the peaceful, winding lanes of the Groenfontein Valley.