Fossil Hills R1200 nightly, Aloe Cottage R1000 nightly, Lavender Cottage R900 nightly, Pinotage House R4000 nightly, minimum two nights stay.
Budget Getaways Review
Up for a few days in the fossil-filled koppies of McGregor? Fossil Hills Cottage, Aloe Cottage, Lavender Cottage and Pinotage House on Thornvilla Wine Farm could be your spot - a nice mix of simple comfort, adventure and tranquillity.
Lying a secluded 1km apart in a picturesque valley outside McGregor, each settings is quite different: Fossil Hills Cottage perches up on a rugged mountainside while Aloe and Pinotage are down on the valley floor.
Aloe Cottage sleeps up to four guests and sports a double room with ensuite shower and bath, with a second room with two single beds. The open-plan, fully-equipped kitchen has an indoor braai and fireplace for chilly Boland nights, while an air-conditioned lounge takes care of summer. This opens to an (uncovered) stoep, with views onto McGregor and the farm dam. An outside braai is on hand for balmy summer evenings.
A two-seater canoe and a pair of mountain bikes are part of the Aloe Cottage deal - heading out for a spot of fishing on the dam, embarking on a brisk 3km pedal to town… Decisions, decisions.
Up on the hillside with great views over the farm and valley, Fossil Hills Cottage is a cozy stone cottage with thatched roof. As one frazzled parent proposes, “I could watch my kids cycling for hours on the many farm tracks below us.” Maybe you should follow suit and earn some well-deserved R&R on the covered stoep.
The cottage sleeps four and is well equipped with a double room, lounge, open-plan kitchen and bathroom with bath and shower on the ground floor. Two single beds can be found tucked in the comfortable loft room. There’s a fireplace in the lounge and outside braai area for that perfect evening under the stars.
From the front veranda of Lavender Cottage you have a beautiful view over the vineyards as well as the McGregor Winery and McGregor town on to the Riviersonderend Mountains. There is an indoor braai or fireplace as well as outdoor braai facilities. Two mountain bikes and a two-seater canoe with fishing rods come standard. The double room with bathroom (shower-only) make for a perfect spot for a little romantic break.
If you need a roof for that big family bash that includes your second cousins, then best opt for Pinotage House, a big old farm house with annex and large garden kitted out with jungle gym, kiddies slide and swings. Sleeping a grand total of 16, the main house is air conditioned and comprises five bedrooms (two ensuite) sleeping 10 in total, a living room with built-in braai and an equipped kitchen. Adjacent to this is the annex, sleeping an additional six in a double bedroom and two twin bedrooms.
Nearby activities? Plenty. Dust off your favourite Indiana Jones hat and go fossil-hunting in the surrounding hills. Explore miles of farm tracks on bike or foot. Go rowing, go fishing, go swimming in the dam. Do a spot of wine-tasting. Amble around pretty McGregor, refueling on caffeine as you go.
Or, just kick back on the stoep and make like a fossil, bru.
"We spent the most amazing weekend at Pinotage House. The house was lovely, but oh my word - the garden and setting was breathtaking. The kids could ride their bikes or swim while the adults relaxed. The house was well stocked (loved all the white dishes in the kitchen). Our hostess Ina was very friendly and made us feel most welcome. We will definitely go back there."
(Sue Mc Vean-Nicol, visited Feb 2018)
"Excellent! Went there to celebrate the birthday of my in-laws. The facilities are great, hostess sorted out issues promptly (one light wasn't working, but was quickly fixed). Absolutely great value for money and very safe for kids! Plenty of sleeping space so a great venue for a large family / friends get together."
(Stadler van Zyl, visited Jan 2018)
"Very nice all round. We will definitely visit again."
(Kevin Tromp, visited May 2017)
"The Fossil Hills cottage is all that it promises to be - and more!"
(Michael Stanton , visited Apr 2017)
"We had a blissful stay at Aloe Cottage. The cottage is gorgeous, well equipped and has lots of extra touches and creature comforts. The setting is beautiful and a total break from city life. Our hostess Ina was wonderful and very helpful. We will definitely be back!"
(Tracey Ward, visited Mar 2017)
"Perched atop one of the fossil hills, Stone Cottage has breathtaking views across the valley and a magical 'starscape' at night. Tastefully furnished and equipped with everything you need for a weekend getaway it is perfectly placed between Robertson and McGregor for non-stop wine tasting at the loads of wine farms in the area. The only downside for us (a party of three adults) was discovering that the 'shared bathroom' is actually a bathroom-en-suite to the downstairs bedroom, so whoever has the upstairs room has to walk (or tiptoe) through the main to gain access. The upstairs bedroom is actually an open loft above the kitchen-cum-living room with no privacy at all. Could cramp your style! I'd say this cottage is ideal for mom, dad and two kids rather than three or four adults. The dam, advertised as 800m away, is in fact 3km away so don't think about a quick dip to cool down during the heat of the day - which is fierce from about 9am to 6pm in December. There's no shade at all. The cottage itself is thatched and cool so we spent more time indoors than out. We still had a great stay and would come back in winter (just the two of us!) to cosy up to the wood-burning fireplace. We appreciated the generous little touches like a delish bottle of shiraz and fabulous wingerd stokkies firewood which burned forever while we stargazed late into the night and polished off the smooth shiraz!"
(Shirley Wilson, visited Dec 2016)
"Pinotage House was the perfect place to go with a large group. The house was very clean and had everything we needed, catering well to a full house. It was such a treat having aircon in the rooms. The enormous garden/grounds were so well tended and the kids loved the play area and exploring the garden. The dog loved it too and we could relax knowing the area was large, but fully enclosed. The pool was just the right size so young ones could still stand in it. We also enjoyed paddling on and swimming in the dam."
(Joanne Louw, visited Dec 2016)
"A magical place and perfect for reconnecting with nature, yourself and your family. A soul awakening experience - pure bliss. The accommodation was superb. It has everything you need - you will want for nothing on your stay - except to never leave. We'll be back to this little 'peace' of heaven - soon!"
(Nicky Brand, visited Oct 2016)
"This is highly recommended for a breakaway. It is as advertised - tranquil with beautiful scenery. You can cycle, hike, go fishing or just sit on the stoep and enjoy the peace and quiet. The little cottage is well-equipped and cosy. We will definitely be back."
(Estelle Swart, visited Sep 2016)
"Such a great place, very relaxing and it had everything we needed. We will definitely go back!"
(Michael Ball, visited Aug 2016)
"Magical getaway! Words don't do it justice."
(Cyrese Johnston, visited Jul 2016)
"We stayed at Pinotage house. The children loved the huge safe garden, walking out the gate and into the mountains. It's perfect for a large family getaway with indoor fireplace and braai, and plenty of outdoor seating areas. The accommodation was clean with lovely touches like soap, body lotion, etc in the bathrooms and fresh flowers in the lounge. It would've been nice to have an oven but we improvised! It was lovely to find a place of this quality that allows dogs."
(Kim Edwards, visited Jun 2016)
"Our getaway to Fossil Hills Cottage was one of the most enjoyable getaways we've had. We were treated to a display exquisite views from every vantage point. The cottage itself was well equipped, warm and cozy with an indoor fireplace and unending firewood available. The complimentary bottle of plonk we received went down very well and was one of the nicest bottles of non budget plonk we received. Robertson's wine region itself is a very exciting place for all wine lovers. McGregor is a quaint and beautiful village with nooks and crannies and interesting people. We spent a lot of time interacting with the donkeys at the Donkey Sanctuary and enjoyed more plonk at their restaurant. Our budget getaway was worth every penny."
(Malcolm Knipe, visited May 2016)
"We loved this place! Aloe cottage was so well equipped - plenty of firewood, all the kitchen tools we needed, a heater and electric blankets for the cold and even a bath with bubble bath. The scenery is really really beautiful and the area is extremely peaceful and quiet. We had a wonderful relaxing time and we definitely recommend Fossil Hills to anyone who needs a break from city life."
(Dine Bennett, visited May 2016)
"We loved the absolute peace and quiet of this rustic getaway. Our boys disappeared down the dirt road on bikes and bare feet and reappeared dirty, happy and hungry. It was amazing!"
(Jeanine Rentschler, visited Mar 2016)
"AWESOME! You have to go there to understand."
(Janet Homan, visited Feb 2016)
"Well equipped, comfortable and welcoming. Peaceful and ideal for walking and relaxing."
(Malcolm Law, visited Feb 2016)
"We all had a wonderful stay and can't wait to go back!"
(Kirstin O'Sullivan, visited Jan 2016)
"What an amazing place and great hostess Ina. Best vacation we have had in a long time. We are definitely going back soon."
(Tim Halls, visited January 2015)
"Wonderful, relaxing weekend. Thank you."
(Linda Botes, visited May 2015)
"What a magic cottage in the country! Views are incredible and the host provided all the little touches that make a weekend away enjoyable. We loved it and so did our dogs. Thank you for sharing it."
(Michelle Bailey, visited May 2015)
"This well appointed and beautiful stone cottage on the hill was beyond our expectations for a relaxing weekend. With two adults, two teenage kids and 4 dogs in tow, it's not always easy to please everyone. But what a pleasure it was at Fossil hills. The dogs could run freely without annoying any neighbours (their are none!) and we didn't need to worry about oncoming cars (none of those either!). Between fishing and lazing around, both kids had a great time. The adults could relax without a care in the world and we thoroughly enjoyed our peace and quiet. The cottage is spacious and very well equipped. The ample supply of wood, lovely bathroom with nice big shower-head and the lazy-boy style deck chairs are little extras that make the place special and certainly above average."
(Lisa Vermeulen, visited April 2015)
"We took our dogs to Aloe Cottage for a long weekend. it was so nice. Our Afrikanis, Mila had a blast! And there was no stress as we were the only ones on our part of the farm. We took long walks, the kids attempted fishing in the dam and it really was just the most awesome spot for the whole family (dogs included) to refresh and recharge our batteries for city life. The house had everything we needed and the complimentary bottle of wine was a lovely touch. We will definitely be back."
(Retha Carter, visited April 2015)
(Sarel van der Westhuizen, visited March 2015)
"It was a awesome weekend. We climbed the 'koppies' and went on wine tours. I will definitely go again. Big thanks to Ina Naude your place was so great did not want to go home. Love it. Thank you."
(Moira Van Niekerk, visited January 2015)
"Ina was absolutely amazing, I cannot wait to go back. Peaceful surroundings."
(Tamsyn Adams, visited November 2014)
"This was a true gem of a find, every possible convenience has been thought of and supplied. From the oversized fridge and freezer to the ice maker, took kit and various plug points. My family and I had a spectacular four-day break and will definitely return and recommend this getaway! The only shortcoming is lack of a full sized swimming pool."
(Carmen Timm, visited December 2014)
"We booked both Pinotage house and its annexe (sleeping 18 altogether). The accommodation is spacious, beautifully decorated, and well-equipped, from electric blankets, to ice makers, plenty of good crockery and cutlery, quality linen and towels. Ina was a pleasure to deal with from the first interaction. Downsides are that the dam is a 10 minute walk away or a short trip by car, the house is quite close to the main road into McGregor (but that road eventually ends in a cul-de-sac so this is not a major highway), there is no oven (there is a microwave, and our baked veg and fish were done on the fire), and two of the single beds in the annexe are in the open living area (usually fine for kids anyway but worth considering if adults end up sleeping there). A nice surprise also that four bedrooms had their spacious bathrooms, plus two additional bathrooms for the rest of the house. There is not much in the way of shops in McGregor so if you plan on shopping in town once you get there, do that in Robertson before turning off on the road to McGregor. Ina was kind enough to leave a bottle of Pinotage as a welcome gift, which was a nice touch. All in all, this is a fantastic getaway for groups."
(Carolyn Duangprom, visited December 2014)
"This is the perfect place to go to if you want alone time. There was so much to do in the McGregor and we cycled 4km to town on the bicycles. It's very peace full and all the people are friendly."
(Alric FArmer, visited December 2014)
"So tranquil and perfect for early morning walks! Ideal for kids and dogs and/or romantic getaways. Have been here twice now. Once for a girls weekend away (mom, sister, myself) which was so peaceful and relaxing. And just returned from a weekend with the family (two small people!) and the family dog. What a treat. Great weather, scenery, even used the kayak in the dam! Beaut."
(Shelley Bolle, visited December 2014)
"Loved the peacefulness of the setting.We had rain the two days which kept us inside with a book! A lovely quiet spot, friendly host, and next time definitely my mutts are coming with, they will have a ball."
(Dawn Mohr, visited December 2014)
"The electricity was a bit weak. The stove takes very long to get to temperature and microwave oven does not heat the food up. We had to put the food in for a long time before it got a little heat. The toaster also did not work 100%. The place was clean and comfortable. Very nice setting and friendly hosts."
(Minke Strydom, visited July 2014)
"The setting is amazing, and a bonus to be able to take our dog along."
(Rene Du Plessis, visited July 2014)
"Aloe Cottage is basic but comfortable, and has everything you need for a quiet weekend away. The dogs explored and swam in the dam, and we caught some sizeable bass. No one else around, absolute peace and quiet, beautiful starlit night sky - what a gem! We will without a doubt return."
(Amy Bufe', visited March 2014)
"It was just lovely."
(Amanda Otto, visited March 2014)
"We were pleasantly surprised when Anton (I gather the owner's son) met us on the main road and showed us the way to the cottage as the normal route had been washed away. The cottage is very well equipped, but if you plan to make a six course meal consider taking a few of your own pots & dishes (and if you're into cooking your own knives are a must). Thoughtful touches abound: a bottle of Muscadel, a few chocolates, and a well stocked firewood drum to mention but a few. Lowlights would be the fact that the cottage got smoked out as the wind was absolutely manic and there is not a cowl on the chimney, and a slightly obnoxious power pylon plonked on the plain in front of the cottage (which slightly detracts from the "we're miles from civilisation" vibe). Overall a highly recommended getaway for the people that need a convenient getaway that's not too far from Cape Town (2hrs max), has every conceivable modcon (the shower is to die for), and need the security blanket of civilisation (MacGregor is 10 minutes away), and don't mind paying a bit extra for luxuries."
(Anton Twigg, visited July 2012)
"This is a warm and inviting cottage in a most tranquil spot, spacious, immaculately clean with everything you need, from all the right kitchen implements, good crockery to lovely bedlinen and great towels. The brass bathroom fittings are charming and as my husband said 'this is the best weekend away shower that I have ever experienced'. The view from the cottage is mesmerising in its layers of colour and light as your eyes move across the valley. We were lulled into a relaxed stupor as we sat on the sunny stoep drinking our morning coffee looking across the vineyards below. The setting is quite remarkable. Our dogs had a fantastic time too (thank you for allowing our dogs to join us). The fireplace is a treat and there is loads of firewood to get you through the entire weekend. One bit of info we'd have appreciated was where to find some enjoyable local walks, as well as where to find the dam for a spot of fishing. This is a superb place to visit for its nature and tranquillity as well as its proximity to the town of McGregor."
(Tania Miglietta, visited June 2012)
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