Grootbos Private Nature Reserve covers 1740 hectares and has vast Milkwood forests with ancient trees. There are 2 luxury lodges, Garden Lodge and Forest Lodge, both with accommodation in individual 1 and 2 bedroom suites. All suites have a sitting room with open fireplace, spacious bedroom or bedrooms with ensuite bathroom and wooden decks with sea views. All are equipped with tea and coffee making facilities, minibar and safe. They are located within the gardens, a tranquil and relaxing setting. There are walkways and ponds throughout for guests to explore and there are several pools for swimming. Garden Lodge is ideal for families and offers many activities for children and families. Forest Lodge is aimed at adults and older children, accepting children of 12 years of age and older.
The emphasis is on exploring the outdoors, whether by 4x4 vehicles, guided nature walks and hikes, beach walks, horse riding or bird watching. Dedicated conservationists will accompany guests, if wanted, to explain about current projects and aims. This is also a good area for whale watching.
Back at the lodges guests can enjoy a relaxing massage at the Bloom Salon or in the privacy of their own suite. Other treatments offered include relexology, manicures, pedicures and facials.
There are 2 restaurants serving the freshest food including locally caught seafood and a range of meats and homegrown vegetables. Meals are accompanied by a fine selection of Cape wines.
Fair Trade / Responsible Travel
The Grootbos Foundation runs a number of conservation projects including the forest restoration project. Guests can learn about this as they take a guided walk through the forest and are invited to plant a sapling in an area destroyed by fire. The foundation also operates a horticultural and life skills college on the reserve, training young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Guests are welcome to visit the college and talk to the students.
Open: Grootbos Garden and Forest Lodges are open all year.
Location: The lodge is in Grootbos Private Nature Reserve in the Cape Floral Kingdom between Cape Town and the Garden Route. It is about a 2 hour drive from Cape Town.
Rooms: Garden Lodge: There are 11 suites in total, some with 1 bedroom and others with 2 bedroom, all, air conditioned. Each has a sitting room with TV, DVD player and fireplace, tea and coffee maker, minibar, and a private deck. Both types of suite have 2 bathrooms.
Forest Lodge: There are 10 suites, all with 1 en-suite bedroom plus an additoinal shower room and toilet, a lounge and fireplace, satellite TV, DVD player, minibar, tea coffee maker, and safe. They are air conditioned and have underfloor heating. All have a private deck and the pool suites also feature a plunge pool.
Activities: Guides lead nature walks in the Milkwood Forests and on mountain tracks. Maps can be provided and there are waymarked trails for independent exploring. The best months for observing flowers are July to December. This is a good bird watching location. Horse riding is available for both experienced and novice riders. Whale watching boat rides (seasonal from June to December), boat trips, shark cave diving, kayaking, scenic flights and wine tasting tours can be organised locally. Beach picnics are available.
Facilities: The Garden Restaurant overlooks Walker Bay and has a terrace for outdoor dining. Red Indigo Restaurant at Forest Lodge also has views of the bay and includes a lounge-bar. The Wine Cellar at Forest Lodge is ideal for private meals, and there's a champagne bar and terrace. Guests at both lodges can enjoy barbecues in the boma. Central areas include a lounge complete with an open fire, bar, outdoor swimming pool and sundeck. The spa offers massages, reflexology, shiatsu, facials, manicures and pedicures, to be booked and paid for locally.
Dining: Breakfast is served as a buffet, lunch is usually a 3-course meal and dinner consists of a 5 courses. Menus change daily. Meals are eaten at individual tables.
Children: Garden Lodge: children of all ages are welcome at Garden Lodge. There is a playroom indoors and a playground outside for youngsters. There is a children’s menu.
Forest Lodge: children aged 12 years and over are welcome.
Health: This is not a malarial area.
Communication: There is internet access in the suites and the main areas.