Budget Getaways Review
An easy-to-reach bolthole from the Mother City, UnderHill Farm offers a soothing setting under giant oak trees and a poplar-lined river bank.
Totally off-grid and solar-powered, the farm lies just off the Van der Stel Pass, 17 kays from Botrivier village and within easy reach of Grabouw's MTB and hiking routes, the local wine routes and Theewaterskloof Dam (17km).
Taking a look at the accommodation on offer, this comes in the form of a tastefully decorated and homely Underhill Farmhouse - ideal for a family or group of buddies, as it can sleep six total - plus a second unit called Rivendell Cottage. Underhill Cottage and the recently added Hobbit Hollow are well suited to couples and families alike. To maximise your enjoyment, we reckon rustle up a tribe and book the whole lot, as they do lie close together.
Oak trees above, rolling lawns to the front and side, a gurgling stream, you can't ask for a much prettier location.
Drilling into the Farmhouse layout, you’ve got two double bedrooms, the main of these ensuite. Both bedrooms flow onto the garden. There are an additional two single beds in a mezzanine area off the lounge, which your kids will love. Besides the two indoor bathrooms, you will find an open-air affair outside with bath and shower. Nice.
The living area is compact and cozy and comes with a fireplace. It's open-plan to a small, well-equipped kitchen. This spills onto the covered patio and its built-in braai and a plunge pool to ward off those sweltering summers.
Set alongside the farmhouse is Rivendell Cottage, with its views of the gurgling stream and local hillsides. This little spot sleeps four in a King room and two single beds in the sunken bedroom. Rivendell sports its own plunge pool as well as a large stoep and braai area.
Underhill Cottage, a cozy and quirky six-sleeper, set up over two levels. This unit is well suited to a couple with small kids, or two couples sharing. The cottage has a comfy living area, a sunny enclosed patio with indoor fireplace, and a well equipped kitchen. Stack doors take you out onto the garden, where you’ve got a weber braai and plunge pool. Bedroom wise, on ground level there a king bedroom and a separate double bedroom. The bathroom is shared. Upstairs, via its own entrance you've got a double room, opening onto a balcony and an outdoor hot shower.
Hobbit Hollow is a unique four sleeper, with a subterranian twist. From the upper banks of the Bot Rivier, this quirky little four sleeper appears to be little more than a patch of grass, with a chimney stack emerging from it. Head down the bank to the water's edge, and you've got a whole different kettle of fish. This two bedroom cottage has been dug into the river bank and creatively set up to open out onto a various levels of outdoor living space, just above the river. There is a cozy lounge with fire place, a fully equipped kitchen and an outdoor braai area. If you're after something completely different, this one's bound to be great fun.
Sustainability, reusability and privacy are central to the Underhill ethos. Get out there and enjoy it.
"We loved our stay at Underhill! The cottages are really cleverly and attractively built with up-cycled materials, lots of fun, very practical and comfortable with gorgeous patio areas. Julian is a fantastic host, very professional and helpful. Its helpful to know that if you have a larger group that the Underhill Farmhouse, Underhill Cottage and Rivendell cottage are all close. Hobbits hollow is a bit further away. The swimming pools are a big plus in the heat. The Van der Stel Pass is great if you enjoy mountain biking. The beds are so comfy and the outside shower for the upstairs room in the Underhill cottage is lovely."
(HEATHER Van Zyl-smit, visited December 2019)
"Peaceful setting with beautiful nature. We stayed in Underhill Cottage. Was neat and clean. Cozy & lots of atmosphere. Highly recommended."
(Ansie Viljoen, visited Apr 2019)
"We had a wonderul weekend away. The setting was peaceful and our host, Julian was very friendly and showed us his farm."
(Hilly Olckers, visited Apr 2019)
"When I got there the place looked so rustic, and my thoughts went, am I gonna like it! Well, I will definitely go again, we enjoyed it so much - well done Julian!"
(Monica Sias, visited Mar 2019)
"Underhill Farm surrounded by trees and the color green. It is between 2 rivers which are literally a stones throw away from the house. We took our dogs for walks along the river and saw pear orchards and cattle and other farm animals. It was very quiet and tranquil. On arrival we were met by James who later brought us some of their home brewed beer cider to try - delicious. We loved our stay. I fell in love with the art in the house."
(Diane Erasmus, visited Feb 2019)
"Awesome place to wash your soul."
(Lecia de Waal, visited Jan 2019)
"Beautiful Farm, with lovely lush surrounds, would not reccomend during colder seasons though. The shower facility was gas opperated & only allowed for seconds of warm water which was not ideal. We asked about the gas levels for the shower, but no feedback was supplied. We used the kitchen water as this was the only option for warm water. Other than that its a quite rustic & relaxing gettaway, where your pets can roam around with no problem."
(Natasha Hanslo, visited Aug 2018)
"Lovely quiet cottage set on stream- ideal chilled getaway. Wifi to stay in touch but otherwise remote. Host Julian pleasant and accomodating. Cottage equipped with everything needed. We will be back."
(Anton Fourie, visited Jun 2018)
"We loved it here ! It is a great farm enviroment with no one around. We loved the house that had an amazing outdoors area to hang out at . The kids loved the small paddling pool and swam although it was a little bit too cold for the Adults. We were lucky with nice warm enough weather and would have loved to stay another day or two to make use of the outdoor bathroom as well."
(Liesl Bush, visited Mar 2018)
"Every tiny detail was perfection. From the privacy to the warm welcome from Julian to the freedom and fun our whole family, including the dog, experienced. We will absolutely be back!"
(Sasha Henderson, visited Dec 2017)
"We enjoyed it a lot. The house and surroundings are beautiful and tranquil. We will definitively visit again."
(Marda Smit, visited Dec 2017)
"We decided on a whim to break away from the city and spend a weekend in the fresh air. We stayed in the Rivendell Cottage, which was very nice. I especially loved the coffee bags used as the ceiling and the raised king sized bed made you feel like royalty. Sitting on the couch with an indoor fire while building blocks with our son was just one of the highlights of the weekend. The cottage was well equipped with most things you might need for the weekend, and not having to wash dishes, thanks to the dishwasher was a huge pro. Julian (the host) is very pleasant and makes you feel right at home. The directions to the cottage is very accurate for a farm route and even in dusk we had no problem finding our way to the accommodation. All in all, the dogs loved it, we loved it, we will be back real soon."
(Nicola du Toit, visited Oct 2017)
"We came as a family of 4 adults and stayed for 5 nights at the Farm House. What a super place and the paintings simply make the rooms with its bright colors. The wooden floors and old rustic doors and shutter windows just make the place special. It was fantastic and peaceful. We came at a bit of a bad time as the peace was broken at times by the builders hammering away while building a new cottage close by. It did not hinder our stay though and we still had a great time of just being lazy. A great place to get away and have a warm and comfy homely feel with the resident cats visiting and sleeping on your lap or at your feet at night. The fireplace in the lounge was great and the dishwasher a total bonus. Comfy beds and feather duvets and lovely rooms. My son just loved the loft room with the big sunny window. Julian left us alone as he does not stay there during the week but all was in place and he was there when we arrived to greet us. Maria at the other cottage who oversees the cleaning was a super host and super sales lady and showed us all the other places as well and how things work. The farm manager was on hand with the wood supply and overall service was great. Julian, you must just get another small pot or two for the kitchen. Other than that the kitchen was well stocked and had all we needed. Wifi available but no cell phone reception which I just loved! It has a sort of "off the grid" feel to it. The great outside stoop and braai with two great tables and chairs make a great "kuier" stoop and the little pool (dam) is sweet but it was a bit cold to swim so we did not use it. Overall a fantastic getaway for family and friends and the kids will love it to. We will recommend it anytime. We will be back for sure."
(Wilna Van der Heide, visited May 2017)
"UnderHill Farm is a great place to relax and soak up the atmosphere of a farm while still feeling like you are surrounded by comfort. Julian is a great host and goes out of his way to make sure his guests are comfortable and happy. The accommodation is of a high standard. The farm uses solar power and is highly eco-friendly, but you definitely do not feel it one bit!"
(Jaimie Corbishley, visited Oct 2016)
"As you approach the farm on the gravel road leading to it, you really feel as if you've departed from modern life. As a kid having grown up on a farm, if you're looking for a 5 star resort with marble floors this is not the place. But if you want to escape the world for a while, you've definitely come to the right spot. It felt like 5 stars to me because of the rustic no-frills simplicity of the entire place and the top notch hospitality Julian offered. Where else can you sit up at nights next to the open fireplace playing guitar, sipping wine as the frogs croak and the river gently babbles in the distance? Despite being off the grid, all the amenities you would find elsewhere were offered including a well stocked kitchen, access to a fridge, stove, freezer, and showers. I slept in the rooftop room and was lulled to sleep by the wind in the poplars. I plan to return many more times and would highly suggest booking your next escape at UnderHill Farm."
(Caleb Belanger, visited Oct 2016)
"Fantastic accommodation and a great vibe. Jullian was a great host."
(Sam Ares, visited Oct 2016)
"Thank you for a lovely stay at Underhill! We are all feeling super relaxed and recharged after our peaceful weekend! Thank you for being so accommodating with Max! It was his first break away with us so we learnt a lot. He loved running around on the farm. We loved the fireplace with comfy couches and the little loft (great morning sun!) and had a lovely walk to Eerste Hoop through the vineyards. The dishwasher was awesome - great not to have to worry about that! The pool looked super inviting, even in winter - I'm sure its going to be a hit in summer. And we absolutely loved the little benches under the tree - I see you made an arch there for jasmine to grow on. We stopped at Fred and Max for a coffee - it is so cute, definitely looks like a lovely spot for dinner and live music. We will try the Pool Room next time. I am already planning our next stay!"
(Michelle Urry, visited Aug 2016)
"We just spent four days in this beautiful part of the world and a very special cottage and I feel quite sad to be back home. Nestled in a quiet and peaceful corner of the magical Overberg, this unassuming cottage offers a fabulous respite from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. Surrounded by a rich diversity of trees and abundant bird life - not to forget the cows on the neighboring farm heading home at dusk - this place is a haven I will most certainly return to. And I would love to share in Julian's wonderful ideas and plans which he has for this very special place. We all had such a special time and I think our little Yorkie will never be the same again after she tasted so much freedom. I want to recommend this wonderful place to everybody, but I also feel that I want to keep it a selfish secret, so that I can keep going back."
(Wicolene Botes, visited Aug 2016)
"I really enjoyed the tranquil setting of this farmhouse, an ideal place to just relax and rejuvenate. The accommodation is well equipped and unexpectedly luxurious for a farmhouse with 2 en-suite bedrooms, a loft, lounge and a lovely fitted kitchen with a dishwasher. Evenings are beautifully cold, only to unwind indoors in front of the burning fireplace. I loved the fact that it had no TV which allowed us to have some awesome bonding family time. Our little Daschund also had a holiday, and loved being able to run free & explore the surrounding grounds. Waking up to sounds of the cows & the running river water was the highlight, while relaxing under the beautiful tree on a swing sipping my morning coffee...need to do it again!"
(Fiona Fortuin, visited Jun 2016)
"Lovely getaway not far from Cape Town in a great location. The owner only recently took over the property and there are still a couple of small teething problems to sort out. We had a fantastic evening cuddled up in front of the fire playing cards. The outdoor area is fantastic with a new braai which worked a dream."
(Jenny Smith, visited May 2016)
"We spent a weekend at UnderHill Farm and it is the perfect place to relax and unwind in a beautiful setting. The charming farmhouse has a lovely entertainment area with fireplaces both within and outside the house, and the little pool is perfect for summer. A wonderful, safe location for kids with its huge lawn and various areas to explore. We will definitely be back!"
(Bronagh Hammond, visited Apr 2016)
"A very cozy cottage for a very chilled weekend - I would highly recommend if this is what you're after. It is located in peaceful surroundings with lots of trees. There is a pretty stream that runs past the cottage, and although it is not really suitable for swimming there is a swimming pool to keep you cool in the hot summer months. There's a big lawn for games or for the kids to run around and a swing under the oak tree for the kids. The farm cats frequent the cottage so just a warning if you're allergic to them. There's also a nice outdoor seating area with braai as well as an indoor fireplace for a very cozy evening around the fire with nice comfy leather couches. I slept in the loft upstairs. It was quite steep to get up the stairs but the bed was very comfy. The loft is not suitable for very old or very young but the older kids will probably love sleeping up here. There was also a dishwasher which is always a bonus! Overall we had a lovely, chilled weekend."
(Carolyn Holness, visited Apr 2016)
"Underhill farm is situated in a very scenic position surrounded by mountains, trees and streams. I would highly recommend a stay in this lovely peaceful accommodation. The clear night skies are wonderful for stargazing Ideally Underhill farm is a perfect place to relax and unwind. It is also in close proximity of the Franschhoek Pass and Hermanus, home of the Southern Right Whales."
(Diane Stephen, visited Apr 2016)
"Comfortable warm bed, hot shower and value for money. Convenient base if you plan to do the Canopy tour, which is awesome. Not too far from Franschhoek if you want to wine taste and have plenty of places to eat. This is a self-catering establishment so make sure you have all you need as the shops are half an hour away. Will we be back, yes."
(Jeremy Porzig, visited April 2016)
"A lovely weekend spot to chill and relax away from the hubbub of the city. Great setting and views with amazing stars at night! Accommodation great with everything that you need.Outside entertainment area particularly welcoming."
(Tina Gough, visited Apr 2016)
"This is a gem in Elgin Valley. It's almost surreal that there is a place like this. Surrounded by the sounds of the river during the day or the stars at night. I thoroughly enjoyed staying here and just get away from the busyness of city life. Waking up every morning and opening the door to nature or sipping champagne in the pool; Underhill has everything that I needed to just relax and enjoy life. I highly recommend that you give Underhill a try and I promise you would want to return. I know I will."
(Justin Meintjes, visited Mar 2016)
"Beautiful tranquil setting, activities such as wine tasting, canopy tours and mountain bike trails on its doorstep. Rolling green lawns for kids and adults alike to play Boules. Highly recommended for a chill-out weekend."
(Adele Kriel, visited Mar 2016)
"Very hospitable host, lovely place for young children to run around and have fun."
(Joanne Hardman, visited Feb 2016)
"Underhill is the best kept secret in Villiersdorp. Beautiful surroundings with the creature comforts of home from home. Take your wellington boots and enjoy a lovely walk along the river. There is a lawn that is perfect for Boulle (Lawn bowls)."
(Belinda Kets, visited Feb 2016)
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Arniston (Waenhuiskrans) • Barrydale • Baviaanskloof • Betty's Bay • Bonnievale • Bredasdorp • Caledon • Calitzdorp • Cape Agulhas & Struisbaai • Cape Peninsula & Surrounds • Ceres • Citrusdal • Clanwilliam & Cederberg • Darling • De Rust • Elands Bay • Franschhoek • Gansbaai • George • Grabouw & Elgin Valley • Greyton • Hermanus • Hogsback • Knysna • Ladismith • Malgas • Matjiesfontein • McGregor • Montagu • Mossel Bay • Napier • Oudtshoorn • Paarl • Plettenberg Bay • Porterville • Pringle Bay, Betty's Bay and Kleinmond • Riebeek West & Riebeek-Kasteel • Robertson • St Helena Bay • Stanford • Stellenbosch • Stilbaai • Sutherland • Swellendam • Tulbagh • Velddrif • Vermaaklikheid • Wellington • Wilderness • Worcester & Hex Valley • Yzerfontein