R1500 - R1770 nightly per house for six guests, R295pp nightly thereafter, Couple's unit (Sewejaartjie) R500 nightly
Budget Getaways Review
Tucked away in fynbos-clad hills between sleepy Stanford and Gansbaai, is the 2500ha Grootbos Nature Reserve. Heading into the reserve and motoring a further eight km's along gravel (a high ground clearance vehicle is recommended) brings you to Fynbos Retreat - a getaway surrounded by grand views, dams and fynbos.
On offer within this superb setting are three privately-appointed and kitted abodes, all of which have shunned the Eskom grid and rely on solar power and gas, or the warm ambiance of a few candles in the evening.
Let's kick off with the larger of the three, Arum Lily House. This grand Cape-Dutch style home is built for a relaxed group escape. Sleeping a potential 12 guests in four bedrooms, it offers heaps of space, inside and out. If requested, a further 4 beds can be used in various open areas of the house to bump capacity up to 17.
Within its cool white walls you’ve got a living room with open fireplace, a sprawling simple kitchen and a dining room and table that can seat 12 without grazing elbows.
Ducking outside, there's a generous semi-covered voorstoep, an outdoor braai and a pizza oven. From the stoep a terraced garden leads down to the swimming dam, where you can work off that eisbein with a couple of lengths. Alternatively, remain glued to the deck chair and savour the views over the dam and up the fynbos-carpeted valley.
Further down the track and a little more compact is Fountain Bush Cottage, a timber cottage nestled among trees and also with its own private dam right at hand.
Fountain Bush sleeps up to 10 in five bedrooms - there are two indoor showers and two loo's in the house, while there's also an open-air shower and outside loo as well.
The kitchen is large and open-plan, spilling onto an outdoor entertainment area, with a newly built pizza oven. Great spot to relax when the weather's playing ball.
Great for couples and tucked away in a secluded spot, is Sewejaartjie, a compact little cottage with a king-sized bed, a cosy living room with fireplace, an equipped kitchen and a great braai area outside. Pushing the romantic vibe even further is the outside bath and hot outside shower... Nice!
Keeping yourself busy at Fynbos Retreat isn't something you need worry about. Start off your day with one of three circular hiking trails or a short mountain bike trail - if that doesn't satisfy, try the nearby and more challenging Fynbos Trail.
Birdwatchers will be kept busy with 100 or so species around the property. And then there are the dams: great for summer refreshment and tag and release fishing. There's also a choice of two very different towns close by: Stanford and Gansbaai, each with their own distinct offerings.
With ample beds, yummy scenery, and more than enough to keep you and the team busy, this is one getaway that's close to home but at the same time miles away from it all. Enjoy.
"Beautiful surroundings, beautiful dam, beautiful weekend!"
(Thandi Davies, visited Jun 2017)
"If you love the outdoors and going on walks this is definitely the place for you. The 5 km waterfall walk is extremely special. There is peace and quiet. What more can one ask for?"
(Natalie McCulloch, visited May 2016)
"We stayed in Fountain Bush cottage for three nights in early January and absolutely loved our time there! The rooms are very comfortable, the swimming dam is refreshing and made for awesome family photos on the jetty in the evenings. The cottage has a pizza oven and is very well stocked in terms of catering equipment. More importantly, we had no wind in the evenings and were able to sit outside every night and watch shooting stars. The waterfall hike was great as a trail run in the mornings and there are lots more trails we didn't get a chance to try out. An added bonus was that we were able to do day trips to the Hemel en Aarde wine valley and to De Kelders swimming cove. Great for families and big groups, we will definitely be back to do the Fynbos Trail and for some rest and relaxation in the future."
(Laura Peinke, visited January 2016)
"Wow, amazing setting, great hosts, so peaceful and tranquil! Our own pizza oven in the mountains a very special touch. We will be back."
(Lee Rael, visited January 2015)
"Fynbos Retreat is definitely tucked away in a most magical setting. It is an amazing place for people wanting be be outdoors, walking, running, mountain biking or just doing nothing! It is also incredible for children as there is so much space to explore, run and ride. I would however say that the accommodation is very basic for the price. It is hard to find a house to rent for big groups so it was lovely to stay all together, but we were a little surprised at how basic it was for how much it cost. It could also have done with some extra care with regards to cleaning before we arrived (well with regards to the large house, anyway). If you are aware of that beforehand, it is an amazing place to visit."
(Laura Bird , visited January 2015)
"We stayed at Sewejaartjie Cottage, rustic and simple with all you need, loved the outside bath. Wonderful hikes through the fynbos, which was flowering and beautiful. Such a bonus being able to take our dogs, they had the best time with the owners friendly dogs."
(Bronwyn Lloyd, visited January 2015)
"Friendly and efficient management by Perdita and Jan with a house in the most beautiful of settings. Wonderful walks and challenging cycle routes with the cool waters of the dam to come home to. We really enjoyed our stay."
(Michelle Moller, visited January 2015)
"We really enjoyed the tranquil setting and the amazing hikes. The bedrooms were pretty cold as the only heat source is the main fireplace. We missed having a bath tub, especially for the kids after getting very wet on a hike, but overall we had a great time. Of course it would be very different in summer."
(Allison Baxter, visited July 2014)
"We often make use of Fynbos Retreat for our Dibanisa environmental education groups. We love the house which is spacious and easily houses a large group. The kitchen is also perfect for catering for large groups. Billy is a great host and is always willing to help us with whatever we need. We can't wait to go back in March!"
(Lily Upton, visited November 2012)
"A lovely stay. Beautiful setting in the reserve - we loved the hikes (definitely do the one to the forest to see the waterfalls!). The pizza oven was a big bonus."
(Sarah Duff, visited December 2012)
"24 hours at Fynbos Retreat away from the world feels like a weeks holiday, so just three days should feel like three weeks and therefore your annual vacation taken care of!"
(Brenda Walters, visited December 2011)
"This was our very first Budget-Getaways disappointment! The location is lovely even if far out via a rather bumpy and tricky at times dirt-road (no low cars!). The setting is beautiful, it has a lovely dam+boat and incredible views but the house itself was really run down, smelly and not comfortable at all. There were leaks, plumbing problems, insect infestations, grime, the list goes on. I was refunded a nights stay but it doesn't make it ok. Its more of a hikers stop-over or excursion hut (a large one) for school outings, rustic, basic, not neat but sleeps many. Home comforts and feel good feelings are not to be found within these less than perfect walls even if it looks ok from the outside. A home it is not. It does not have a farm-style kitchen, in case that was the selling point for you when dreaming up a Xmas getaway! For R1500 a night I would have expected way more! Honest advertising goes a long way too! (sell it as basic-rustic) It has huge potential and I hope they fix it up and put some much needed love into it like so many of the other Budget-Getaways Gems on this site! They have a long way to go if they want to compete with the other magic spots to be found here! What a pity!"
(Lee-Ann Schmidt, visited December 2012)
Again I can only apologise for your experience. As your feedback is the first negative response that we've received we have taken every point made to heart and invested effort and money to make the houses more homely and fix up infrastructural inconveniences. While we were at it we also made improvements to the landscaping at the entrance.
Greetings from the Overberg!"
"Billy is a wonderful host making great pizzas in no time. Fynbos Retreat is comfortable and you leave feeling renewed. The hiking routes are not too difficult yet provides sufficient exercise. Can't wait to go back!"
(Frieda Lloyd, visited August 2012)
"Fynbos Retreat really enjoys the perfect setting - hidden away, surrounded by fynbos-covered mountains with a lovely dam in front. We stayed in Arum Lily House, which was great, and had some of the best pizza I've ever had from the pizza oven. A wonderful experience."
(Heather Dalton, visited July 2012)
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