Located in a quiet corner of the Cape Winelands, the Babylonstoren is a classic Cape Dutch farm dating back to 1690 and one of the oldest and best-preserved vineyards in South Africa.
Babylonstoren is first and foremost a working farm with vineyards, orchards and a cheerful mob of ducks—but it is just as much a beautiful boutique hotel.
Style and heritage
The designer-owner Karen Roos, once editor of Elle Decoration, rehabilitated the farm in an impeccable style that blends history and contemporary design. Thus the little white cottages are immaculately restored in the historical 17th and 18th century style, with thatched roofs and private terraces—but also with minimalist interiors and plenty of glass and space.
The thick walls make the rooms pleasantly cool in summer and fireplaces create a cosy ambience in winter. Some cottages offer all-glass kitchens facing the garden, from which guests can pick herbs, fruits and vegetables, the same produce used by the chefs at the restaurant, Babel.
The food at Babel restaurant is inspired by the garden and every dish is driven by the seasons and by what has been harvested that day. The food is visual, often surprising, unpretentious and generous.
Guests are invited to join in the harvesting, pruning, planting or picking of our many fruit, herbs, nuts, spices and vegetables, and are free to peep into the kitchen.
Meals can be organized in different areas of the farm: fruit orchards, under olive trees, depending on the weather.
The eight-acre gardens, designed by acclaimed architect Patrice Taravella, feature more than 300 organically grown plants, with areas devoted to fruit, vegetables, berries, indigenous plants, bees—even a prickly pear maze. Near the river, thousands of clivias burst into bloom each spring.
There is a dam on the river, where guests can choose to canoe—and the vineyards and orchards are great for cycling, but activities are not limited to Babylonstoren. The hotel is close to many outside activities—from investigating nearby wine farms to whale watching shark cage diving and golf courses. Cape Town is not far.