Babylonstoren is an original werf or farmyard, with a history dating back to 1692. The present manor house was built in 1777 and is a fine example of Cape Dutch architecture, set in some 750 hectares of grounds.
Today the farm hosts guests from around the world, providing a glimpse into present day life on the farm and an insight into traditions of the area. You are welcome to walk around the farm to witness everyday tasks such as pruning vines and picking fruit, joining in if you wish. There's an aftrenoon drive to Simonsberg Mounta8in during which you can learn about the farm's history then enjoy drinks and nibbles as you admire the views. Make yourself at home in the lounge or by the reservoir-pool, stroll among flowers in the garden, doze in a hammock, and have a soothing massage or hammam in the spa.
Accommodation is in cottages and suites which incorporate traditional architectural features such as thick stone walls, wooden doors and large fireplaces, with modern touches like air conditioning, state of the art bathrooms and kitchens, cable TV and free Wi-Fi. All rooms are exquisitely styled. Guest at the fynbos suites have the use of an exclusive pool.
You are served a delicious breakfast each morning with fresh fruits and products made on the farm including yoghurt, bread and honey, supplemented by cooked eggs and bacon if you wish. Dinner is served in a former kraal, now the restaurant, on certain evenings a week, and in the bakery on other nights, and is complimented, of course, by wine from the farm's vineyards.
Open: Babylonstoren is open all year.
Location: The farm in in the Cape Winelands region, and is a working farm with 750 hectares of land, including three hectares of landscaped gardens. It is about a 45 minute (60kms) drive from Cape Town, and 23kms from Franshhoek and 25kms from Stellenbosch. Paarl is just 5kms away.
Rooms: There is a range of accommodation. There are six one-bedroom garden cottage suites, three one-bedroom garden cottages, four two-bedroomed garden cottages, six fynbos suites, of which four have two bedrooms and two have one bedroom. Guests staying in the fynbos suites have access to their own a shared pool. All bedrooms are en-suite. Cottages ans suites have underfloor heating, minibars and patio. Many cottages have fireplaces. The Manor House has 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms and must be booked in its entirety.
Activities: You can walk in the formal gardens, stroll through the orchards, take a guided tour of the farm, cycle round the farm, take a cellar tour, swim in the farm reservoir, do some birdwatching, go rowing, canoeing and fly fishing at the dams, join the afternoon drive to Simonsberg Mountain for wine and canapes, lend a hand to the gardeners or help the duck herder guide the 250 ducks. All these are included in your stay. In additional you can relax with a spa treatment. From Babylonstoren you can visit Paarl, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, tour a local winery, go walking or hiking in the hills, play golf at a local course, explore the Cape Peninsula and go sightseeing in Cape Town.
Facilities: These include a lounge-bar, the restaurant, Babel, the greenhouse used for meals, deli and shop where you can buy farm fresh produce including dairy produce and fruit, a scent room selling homemade face and hand creams and candles, a spa with a massage room, hammam, steam room, sauna and plunge pool, and a gym with weights and cardiovascular exercise machines. Yoga classes can be arranged. There are over three hectares of formal gardens with walking trails, bee gardens and human-sized hanging nests where you can sit and rest. There is a free laundry service.
Dining: Guests are booked on a bed and breakfast basis, with breakfast served in Babel Restaurant between eight and ten each morning. It is also open for lunch and for dinner on certain days of the week. Advance booking is advised. Popular pizza and meat evenings, the latter a seven course taster meal, are held in the Bakery. The tea room is open during the day all week, serving hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, cheese or meat platters, cakes and scones. Meals are eaten at separate tables. Hotel staff are happy to make reservations at nearby restaurants for dinner, and can also arrange transport.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome. The two-bedroomed cottages provide good family accommodation (maximum occupancy four people). Babysitting can be arranged.
Health: This is a non-malarial area.
Communication: There is internet access.