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We recently stayed at Grootbos in the Overberg. While we’ve traveled quite extensively in and around Cape Town, this is hands down our favourite family retreat in the Western Cape.
It’s incredibly difficult to summarise the Grootbos experience to a single post but here are my top 5 reasons to choose Grootbos as your next family travel destination:
Can’t decide if you want a beach or bush travel experience? Grootbos has both. It has glorious beaches, an extensive nature reserve, farmyard, clear pools, whale watching, nature drives, trail running, hiking, forests and more. Upon arrival you’re greeted with a delicious welcome drink as you choose from several activities and experiences. As you arrive, all the facilities are explained to you and one of the guides helps you plan your activities for your stay. Start your day with a horse ride, plant a Milkwood tree, go on a guided walk, whale watching, shark cage diving, enjoy a nature drive, explore the caves at the beach, have a picnic with an ocean view or book a spa treatment. Really – I am not messing with you when I say they have everything. And if you don’t want to go anywhere, then that’s okay too because...
Got kids? Great! They’re going to love it. Take them swimming in the sky-blue swimming pool or let them loose in the gaming room. Not just any gaming room. At Grootbos, the kids activity area is on the same floor as the dining hall, lounge, deck and bar area. While you’re enjoying a sunset cocktail, a leisurely and romantic dinner, playing chess, reading a book or even lazing at the pool – your children will hardly be interested. The gaming room has a big screen projector, pool table, fooseball table, library, arts and crafts, lounge, games and the sweetest child minders.
Can’t get your kids out the gaming room? They can have their meals, snacks and refreshments in there with the other kids. Each time we go to Grootbos this is the case. There are always loads of other kiddies running about and making friends. Running late at dinner? Sort of on purpose? Let the kids fall asleep with a blanket and a movie in the next room. You’re on holiday after all! Noah did this and we carried him around the corner to our villa after supper because the rooms are quite close. And after a fun-filled Grootbos day, your kids tend to fall asleep for power naps all over the place. And there’s no judgment because...
The staff love kids. They chat to them, play with them. At one point Noah had rallied four guides in for a pool game. They really cater and care about the kids. Once a movie is on, they’ll pop some popcorn for them. One morning when I fetched the boys after a walk, they were all making waffles in the game room. There are incredible child minders that keep an eye and stimulate the kids with games, stories and snacks. By the time we left, each staff member knew our kids by name and had formed solid friendships.
It’s great to be in an environment where everyone cares about your kids – even the other parents. While having dinner, one of the parents went to check the kids and came back with “they’re all fine!” and we all smiled at our tables and enjoyed our wine and catch up with our partners in the most exquisite setting. It makes a difference when you don’t have to keep shushing your kids, or worrying and stressing all the time. It makes every difference.
The words “children” and “luxury” aren’t usually (ever) strung into the same sentence, because as parents we know that this combination doesn’t really exist. Ask us, we’ve all been trying for years. I don’t know how they do it, but Grootbos has managed to mould the two into every combining shape. It’s a 5 Star Nature Reserve, after all.
Your family villa will leave you gasping at the extravagance of it all. With a private deck, mini bar, hold-your-heart views and only the finest furniture, textiles and finishes – you’ll have trouble leaving your room in the first place. And if you must leave your room, head straight to the dining room because...
From Seared Duck Breast with Pepper Coulis & Plum Sichuan. Venison Loin with Vanilla Gnocchi & Chocolate Chip Cheesecake – you will not be disappointed with the incredible daily menus. Dinner is 4 course with appetizers, canapés, breads and refreshers served in-between so arrive hungry. The kids menu is extensive with many healthy options. I mean, at a 5 Star Reserve, my 5 year old son ordered a peanut butter sandwich and even though it’s not on the menu, they whipped it up for him on a delicious ciabatta. Heading out for the day?
Picnics are packed on request and trust me you want one. Roasted Vegetable Penne, berries, cheeses, nuts, fruit, crackers, prawns and chicken wraps were served for ours. You can also have your breakfast served in your room if you’re having a lazy morning, have lunch on the deck or enjoy delectable snacks at the poolside. We’ve never enjoyed such incredible food anywhere else – you are in for a treat. Food is also served in the kids’ gaming room like DIY waffles, snacks, popcorn and any meals off the kids menu too.
We’ll be back at Grootbos again and again. Keep an eye on the site for specials and all-inclusive packages. You will create memories for your precious family that will last a lifetime. Savour every moment at this incredibly special reserve.