River House (Timber Cottage, sleeps 4) R400 nightly for 2 adults, Stone Cottage is R500 nightly for 2 adults; additional guests R100 per person nightly; Children aged 4-11 R70 per child nightly.
Budget Getaways Review
River House and Stone Cottage are secluded cottages appointed on a fruit farm along the banks of the Breede River. Both have a relaxed rustic personality suited to Budget weekenders with Huckleberry Finn leanings.
River House is the more basic of the two – a timber cabin tucked under a rush of milkwood trees. The cottage has electricity (a recent addition), but we reckon leave it in the ‘off’ position as the cosy away-from-it-all ambience created by candles, paraffin lamps and gas is what you are here for.
While still appealingly raw around the edges River House is comfortable, thanks to a Jetmaster, colourful crockery, pretty curtains, bamboo towel rails and other fresh touches. The cottage is equipped; all you need bring is a thick duvet (winters can be chilly as there is little insulation), towels, food and a fishing rod.
Outside, a lazy timber deck, a braai area enclosed by a rickety bamboo fence and thick creeper, picnic spots along the riverbank, and a moored rowing boat or two, set the scene for many a happy weekend memory.
Moving a little downstream, we arrived at Rivierplaas’s all-new double-decker Stone Cottage – built, as the name implies, from local stone. Like River House, Stone Cottage is buried under milkwood trees, with a view of the water peeping through the foliage.
The enticing features in this cosy hideaway include gas and candlelight (as well as electricity), a fireplace, rietdak ceilings, wide windows, an airy open-plan living and kitchen area, a spacious loft fitted with two bedrooms (that sleep six), and a nice braai area at the front door. Stone Cottage is an understated Budget gem in the making.
"Excellent and tranquil. If I am in the area again, I would book this one."
(Dawn Mohr, visited July 2017)
"Absolute beauty... a place where you can find yourself away from the busy city."
(Vinzell Petersen, visited July 2017)
"Wow! The peacefulness of the surroundings, the coziness of the gorgeous,well equipped stone cottage... the picturesque setting and exquisite sounds of nature definitely made this a weekend to remember. Unfortunately due to the nature of our visit, we didn't get to spend as much time relaxing at the cottage as we would have liked, but will definitely be back to take in some more of this little treasure!"
(Paula Leisegang, visited Apr 2017)
"We stayed in Stone Cottage. It is real value for money. We loved that the cottage was very clean. My partner caught fish in the river (on his kayak) which was a bonus. We had a lovely time. Anne-Marie was a kind and wonderful hostess."
(Denise Dyer, visited Apr 2017)
"We had a fantastic time at the Stone Cottage. The cottage had everything we needed and more. My two boys had a great time running through the orchards, swimming, riding on their inflatables and fishing in the river. In the evening we kept the fire burning long after the braai to keep the mosquitoes at bay. At night we could hear the frogs and we loved their little visits every now and then. There were so many different types of birds to watch and the river is teeming with wildlife. We are definitely going back. The surroundings were very relaxing and serene and we didn't want to leave when it was time to go. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking to get away from it all."
(Mel Cubitt, visited Apr 2017)
"We had a wonderful relaxing time at this very comfortable cottage. There was plenty hot water and it was lovely to have an indoor fireplace. There's prolific bird life. It's a pity the river is so low due to the drought but we saw huge grass carp feeding on the banks but one is not able to swim at present."
(Glenda Pietschmann, visited Mar 2017)
"This is lovely place for a rustic stay without kids or with older kids. But I wouldn't recommend it for people with toddlers or babies. The terrain is too rough and steep. There is a bee hive behind the house that ruled out playing there for the kids too. The river is over grown so there is no safe place for little ones to play in the water. I also found the staircase in the stone cottage too steep for toddlers to climb or to be carried on."
(Anee Kruger, visited Nov 2016)
"Absolutely loved it, we will definitely be going back. We really enjoyed the fishing and the surroundings."
(Tracy Cornellissen, visited Sep 2016)
"Amazing, no complaints. Such a spectacular weekend."
(Max Halvorsen, visited Sep 2016)
"We stayed in the Stone Cottage, and it was awesome!"
(John Bam, visited Aug 2016)
"We arrived on Thursday, 16th June to an awesome welcome from Anne-Marie. We were shown to our cottage, which was stunningly decorated with Anne-Marie's quilting skills. The cottage is very rustic and simple, but that is just what we were looking for. Anne-Marie then come down to the cottage and handed us a huge bag of Naartjies from their farm - WOW, they were so yummy and juicy! The cottage has a huge orchard in front of it and then the Breede river runs through the farm as well. We settled down and then went for a walk to the river where we tried our hand at fishing, but we weren't lucky as the river was flowing too fast. There is a Jetmaster in the cottage, which gave us more than enough warmth the whole evening. And as for the homemade bed in the main room - just too beautiful! On the Saturday night we enjoyed a potjie just below the cottage at the outside braai area. We were also told that we were welcome to pick oranges from the trees - this was so awesome! We will definitely be back again. Anne-Marie and Oom Piet are just the most wonderful people to have met. We recommend this venue to anyone who wants to get away from the hustle and bustle from city life!"
(Tanja Smit, visited Jun 2016)
"Fantastic weekend getaway for my birthday. We loved the sounds of the birds, especially the African fish eagle, the scent of the citrus trees and the sight of the Breede river was soul soothing. Every night the sky took our breath away as we braaied till the moon rose in the distance. The cabin was absolutely just what we needed to escape a busy, concrete jungle. We would definitely recommend this place to anyone and will be back."
(Charlotte Hoogenhout , visited May 2016)
"We celebrated the transition from April to May at Stone Cottage, delighting in the crackling sounds and stunning views, birds conversing and orchards beckoning. The most romantic setting, Stone Cottage is splendid and secluded and gives a sense of living in a storybook. Tucked away we were to get lost in each other and walking around the orchards was private too. Take lots of firewood and layers - it does get very cold and go for fry ups and braais when planning your menu. Delicious and straight out of a dream. Can't wait to go back."
(Catherine Riley, visited Apr 2016)
"Wonderfully rustic and a great place to swim."
(Angela Lee-Wright, visited January 2015)
"We really enjoyed our stay at the Stone Cottage on Rivierplaas. The setting is very pretty, nestled amongst the fruit trees and very close to the river. It is so quiet that the sounds of nature actually sound loud, what a change from the hustle and bustle of the city. The cottage was clean, but very dusty due to the rough interior walls, it played havoc with both our sinus, so pack some antihistamine. The facilities are basic and the braai grill was in very bad shape, hopefully this will be replaced soon. Its a lovely spot for a rustic weekend away. The cookware is aluminium, if you don't like cooking on this consider taking your own pots. I always travel with an espresso pot, so wasn't really looking for a coffee plunger, but I don't think I saw one there. Even though there is space to sleep six I would not recommend more than two people go, four at an absolute push. I think it will be very crowded in the small space with more people. I would love to return to this cottage, it was a very relaxing weekend away. Swellendam is beautiful."
(Heino Henning, visited January 2015)
"Loved my stay at the Rivierplaas cottage. It was a simple getaway that is great if you just want to relax in a beautiful and peaceful environment. The level of professionalism and hospitality was impeccable. I want to thank the owners again for all their help. I will be back, next time it will be in summer when I can swim in the river."
(Danielle Crawford, visited January 2015)
"My girlfriend and I had a fantastic stay in the Stone Cottage this weekend. Anne-Marie and co were fantastic hosts. We managed to get stuck twice on the way to & from the cottages (this was due to our terrible navigation skills) but thankfully they were on hand to come to our rescue. The Stone cottage is perfect for a winter getaway. We enjoyed walking around the farm and making roaring fires. We will definitely be back."
(Cameron Bing, visited July 2015)
"What a great experience the little, rustic River House was! We had a great time swimming and relaxing. It is perfect for a romantic weekend away. Cannot wait to go and visit again."
(Barendien Cronje, visited February 2015)
"Me and my husband were there over the weekend, its fantastic, clean, secure, calm, relaxing its just perfect, we had a fantastic time thanks."
(Chrissie le Roux, visited January 2015)
"Overall we enjoyed our stay, and we have a few suggestions which we'll send through!"
(Glyn Jeenes, visited January 2015)
"Amazing setting. Very peaceful and tranquil. Beautiful!"
(Vicky Strumpher, visited July 2014)
"What a fantastic setting! A perfect rustic cabin tucked away under Milkwood trees, Orange Orchards right before you, with the most delicious sweetest oranges and the river only a few meters away. A fantastic, tranquil getaway either romantically or with four close friends. I will definitely b back."
(Natasha Van Harte, visited July 2014)
"Really lovely place to stay. Just requires hotter water for the winter times."
(Hugo Wessels, visited July 2014)
"Our first visit to Rivierplaas Cottages in Swellendam , most certainly will not be our last. Almost too scared to rate the Stone Cottage in fear this little piece of heaven getting overly discovered and having to cue for our next booking. If getting away from the hustle and bustle of city and modern day noises is what you are looking for, this awesome nest hidden between giant Melkbos trees comes as sound advice. The views are breathtaking, the mood magical and can get in touch with your soul with the loudest sound at times that be of birds. At night, sitting in front of an old fashioned firepit you are covered with the thickest blanket of stars not found in the city, whispering the secrets they have kept for ages. Whether it is just you and your heartbeat, the love of your life or with your kids, the Stone House comes highly recommended. We have discovered old earth leaving fresh footprints on our hearts."
(Nelmari Marais, visited June 2014)
"We had a wonderful stay. The indoor fire place in the Hout house was a great assets and really set the ambiance in the evening. We will definitely return to get the summer experience along the river."
(Charmaine Pretorius, visited June 2014)
"Rat poison left in the open and we have two small children. Place was dusty, floor not swept so well, dust on shelves and hair in the shower. Cottage looked quaint from outside but very dark and quite cold inside. Toaster had blackened cord which looked like it would have been a serious fire hazard if we used it. But owner was friendly and accommodating."
(Ashleigh McGugan, visited April 2014)
"It was beautiful, gorgeous surroundings and just the perfect getaway from the busy city life. My husband enjoyed the fishing very much while I could not get enough pictures of the beautiful scenery. Everything was just perfect. I will definitely recommend Rivierplaas Cottages to anyone."
(Nadia Olivier, visited October 2012)
"This is a wonderful place - we thought it might be very cold since we went mid-June, but it was really not unbearable. It felt so cozy and friendly in the stone cottage, and so well equipped and beautiful with all the woodwork inside! It is beautiful next to the river and we sat there fishing for a very long time. The fireplace is very nice, though the smoke gets pretty bad inside the cottage so we couldn't really have the fire going without lots of windows open - but we weren't put off by that at all, it was nice. The only thing that I'd like to point out to future visitors is to take care going there in rainy weather as its a pretty long way that you have to drive on mud. We went with my small Yaris hatchback, and were quite nervous about getting stuck - we were sliding all over the place (this bad piece of road is only about 400 meters, before this point the muddy/gravel road continued for a long time but at least the condition of the road was much better). I'd recommend going in a decent off-road vehicle if it's going to be rainy weather. If not rainy, then I guess any car will do."
(Rinske Van der Bijl, visited June 2012)
"We have been using Budget Getaways as our travel agent for nearly three years and this girl needs a promotion! Stone Cottage is a bit of a mission to find... as all treasures are. Mainly because I am not of the GPS generation and I'm actually quite fond of getting lost at times. Very basic and intimate as the walls are of the "paper-thin" kind. We were 3 couples and had lengthy chats whilst each of us were in our separate rooms... ;) The farming community provided a lovely backdrop on our 17km run amongst cow paddocks and citrus orhards. Highly recommmended."
(Lucille Kirsten, visited June 2011)
"We loved it there.... will be going back soon!"
(Justine Spilsbury, visited July 2009)
"Wow... I am completely speechless. What a beautiful escape the cottages offer to city folk. My husband and I pulled up late in the evening. Parking our car and stepping out to see our abode for the weekend, we were so excited!! What a beautiful timber cottage... The jetmaster is an added gem! Annamarie, thank you so much for such an awesome weekend and GREAT hospitality! We are definately coming back for another beautiful escape!"
(Justine Serrao, visited July 2009)
"We had a great weekend! A bit chilly in winter, but otherwise superb. Stone cottage has a lovely feel, great for a family or close friends!"
(Liselle Raath, visited September 2007)
"We were at Stone Cottage last weekend, and all I can say is that we will be going back over and over for many years to come. We have recommended it to everybody we know. Massive braai outside where one can make a fantastic bonfire! The enormous wooden bed upstairs provided us with the best sleep we've had in years. Absolute silence except for Nature. Truly a fabulous weekend. I recommend Stone Cottage to anybody. And Anne Marie the hostess is a fabulous lady. She can organise wood at R25 a bag - go for it! Best wood around. Burns quite fast, but beautifully dry."
(Bronwin Ravenscroft, visited June 2008)
"Dit was fantasties, so naby die natuur. Die Stone House is pragtig. Lekker braai as die son sak en die rivier blink, met visarend wat roep. Die bome bied sulke lekker koelte en gevoel van woud."
(Charl Hyden, visited January 2007)
"BEAUTIFUL! The perfect place to just 'get away from it all'. The hosts were fantastic, everything we needed was there. The only bad things are the spiders that pop out to say hi and the many many berries!! Boyfriend and I look forward to visiting again."
(Nicole T., visited July 2007)
(Sameul Viljoen, visited September 2006)
"What an awesome spot! Hosts were wonderfully helpful and friendly and we had firewood waiting for us on arrival at our clean well equipped cottage. The setting can't be beat and is ideal for exploring the Bontebok National Park and De Hoop Nature Reserve. If rustic charm and outdoor living is what you're after this is the perfect venue. Have to agree with the authors though, this one should be kept a secret!"
(Jean-Paul Mouton, visited March 2007)
"What a fabulous getaway... Peace & quiet, birdwatching (the fish eagle over the river was a highlight!), huge wooden bed, smell of the orange grove... Oi, hard to get back to reality. The Stone House is beautiful, it even smells like holiday."
(Marietha Brink, visited February 2007)
"It was one of the best getaways ever. The bed was one of the highlights (the bed in the wooden cottage). The peace and quiet is amazing. All in all a great place to escape the life of the city."
(Mornay le Roux, visited November 2003)
"Die kliphuis is 'stunning'. Pragtige omgewing met net die rivier se gekabbel en bye se gezoem. Die roei op die rivier was groot pret. Die spinnekoppe is 'massive' en baie intimiderend maar het gesorg vir 'n krismisbed van giggelende girls. Dankie, sal weer kom met Doom of 'n haelgeweer!"
(Wilma Basson, visited March 2006)
"We had a lovely time in this most beautiful tranquil setting. The wooden house was most appealing and I was quite surprised at the distance to the Stone Cottage. Highly recommended if you want a break to get back to nature."
(Jeanne Melnick, visited December 2005)
"We needed to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and the tranquility of the timber cottage was amazing. Very good for the soul!! Luckily we only discovered the huge spider in our bedroom the day we left :)"
(Nikki van Jaarsveld, visited December 2005)
"Very nice if you just want to get away and have a relaxed weekend. Highly recommended."
(Chiara Loock, visited November 2005)
"Beautiful scenery, the (wooden) house was lovely. My only problem was that the houses were close enough to one another to hear the neighbours children screaming, and see them walking past your front door."
(Sara van As, visited January 2005)
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