PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • One of the most stylish hotel in the Winelands, with contemporary detailing offset against historic Cape Dutch architecture, and considered design that delights at every turn.
  • The eight-acre kitchen garden and restaurant are destinations in their own right, but waking up here is the ultimate privilege.
  • The spa is exceptional, the wines award-winning, and the iconic Babel restaurant has a waiting list that is filled two months in advance, but it is the eight-acre kitchen garden that is the star of the show, with more than 300 varieties of edible plants.
  • Daily tours through the farm’s sprawling garden, where guests are invite to join in the planting and harvesting of produce.
  • All food is made from produce grown on the farm. Working wine and fruit farm.
  • Cellar tours and wine tastings in the heart of the Cape Winelands.
  • Beautifully restored Cape Dutch buildings located in incredible gardens.
  • More active pursuits at Babylonstoren include walking or mountain biking through the vineyard, hiking up the Babylons hill, canoeing on the farm dam or swimming in the ‘farm-dam’ style swimming pool.

EXCLUSIVE LUXE VOYAGER VIP BENEFITS & BEST PRICE

We negotiate rates & benefits for our clients directly with the hotels’ senior management. Our rates match or in many cases are lower than the best online rate for the property. Our clients also enjoy a suite of extra VIP privileges and recognition while staying at a partner hotel.

  • Complimentary room upgrade on arrival.
  • Daily complimentary buffet breakfast for two.
  • Up to $100 dining or spa credit per stay, and or in-house dining / spa discounts.
  • Welcome amenities (wine/chocolates/fruit) and card from the GM.
  • Complimentary private airport transfers.
  • Complimentary roll-away bed if required.
  • Early check-in and late check-out.
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi.
  • Enhanced recognition through VIP status at all touch points in the guest experience.

A complete or partial suite of VIP benefits will be offered, subject to the property T&C, including availability, category of room & length of stay.

ACTIVITIES:


Wine Tasting & Cellar Tours

Our wines are produced in a state-of-the-art winery and are made to showcase the soils and climate where their grapes are grown. The Tasting Room sits adjacent to the Wine Cellar, offering views of the conical Babylonstoren hill, Simonsberg and the Banghoek Mountains.



Garden Tours

Set within 3,5 hectares (8 acres) of cultivated fruit and vegetables, the big garden at Babylonstoren is at the heart of the farm. It was inspired by the historic Company’s Garden in Cape Town, which supplied sailing ships of the Dutch East India Company with fresh vegetables and fruit during the days when the Cape was a halfway station between Europe and Asia. But we also link back to the mythological hanging gardens of Babylon. Those were thought to have been created by Nebuchadnezzar in the sixth century BC, for his wife who longed for the mountains and valleys of her youth.



Espalier essentials: learning a bit of arbour

Be inspired by the different forms and patterns of our espaliered fruit trees – apples, pears, quince and nectarines grown in the Babylonstoren garden. Winter is the best time to admire the bare trees in their dormant simplicity, also to plant and prune for summer fruit. Pruning pro Anton Roux helps us to plan before planting and will also provide some tips on selecting the best trees for espaliering. Secateurs in hand, he’ll guide us through the different stages of shaping an espaliered tree from years one to ten. You’ll also start your own espaliered tree to take home as a souvenir.



Grafting & budding

We’ll take a stroll through our garden and visit some of the special trees planted there while Anton Roux shares their history with us. Admire our medlar on quince, rare apple varieties and heritage pears grafted on special rootstocks. Grafting is a very old technique – our grandparents often grafted trees so they could have different types of fruit growing on the same tree. The more modern technique of budding is such an easy skill that anyone can master it. With a bit of practice and a few special tricks up your sleeve, you will soon be growing all kinds of interesting combinations. Set a day aside and join our garden team to learn about the different techniques and try your hand at some of the basics!


Breadmaking

Sift, roll, cut, fold, knead, punch, dust, brush, flour, taste – we’re baking bread! We will be using our own flour (stoneground from wheat sown and reaped on the farm). Jump on the waggon for a ride through the wheat fields where farmer Hannes Aucamp will show us how healthy wheat is grown. We then get our hands dirty with some kneading while master baker Tina Jewell shares her secret recipes. But not before we make our own sourdough starter for taking home and nurturing there. Join us for a dough-inspired lunch in the Bakery – included in the price.



Soapmaking

We are joined by Bev Missing, brand founder of Rain and author of The Rain Book of Natural Soapmaking. She shares with us the artisanal art of soapmaking using natural ingredients that are readily available in the home kitchen. We will work with essential oils that are extracted on our farm – rosemary, lavender and rose geranium. As is the case with most of our workshops, we’ll take a leisurely walk through our formal garden. This time, we’ll take a look at where and how these three herbs grow in our garden. Then we’ll make our way to the distillery and watch how one of them is being distilled. You will be making your own individual soaps to take home, so please bring along an old hand towel.



All about asparagus

Celebrate spring with fresh young asparagus spears – from the garden to the table. We start with the essential basics of growing asparagus in the vegetable garden – from preparing the soil to planting and nurturing the crowns through the seasons. Young plants take up to three years before they are ready for harvest, but once established, they can be cut again and again for many years. Once you have mastered the art of cutting the delicate green tips, we’ll take the harvest to the kitchen where the chefs will demonstrate their skill and create a memorable lunch. Our lunch menu is inspired by the versatile asparagus and will be served in the Bakery – included in the price.



Clivia encounters

We have thousands of clivias growing in the shade of our wild olive trees, as well as the very special Mick Dower collection displayed in the Puff Adder. Enjoy a guided walk through the flowering clivias and learn more about the different species and their selected hybrids. Experienced clivia growers will share their wealth of knowledge on the subject of growing and maintaining clivias – they’ll give you tips on sowing, dividing old plants, potting mixes and fertilisers for clivias as well as on how to treat common clivia diseases. In the House of Shadows, we take a look at some of the best known clivia hybrids and the art of cross-pollination. Then it will be your turn to stick your hands in the soil and plant your very own clivia, a living souvenir to take home with you.



Seasonal vegetables

Want to grow your own fresh, organic vegetables? Join us for a walk through the vegetable garden to harvest a variety of seasonal leaves and edible flowers. We will share growing tips and tell you more about crop rotation, soil preparation, compost, mulches, propagation and planting. You will have the opportunity to sow salads and get some inspiration to plant sweet potatoes, carrots, beetroot, beans, eggplants and fennel in your patch this summer. Lunch will be served at the Greenhouse Restaurant and is included in the price.



The secret life of bees

Warmer weather brings more buzz to our garden. Cape honeybees are VIP residents at Babylonstoren and in spring they are hard at work foraging for pollen and nectar. Not only do they produce sweet honey for the Babel Restaurant, but they also play a key role in pollinating many of our garden fruits, herbs and vegetables. On our walk through the garden we’ll take a look at the plants favoured by bees, from nectar-filled annual flowers to pollen-rich trees. Discover the garden collection of differently shaped beehives – from the traditional woven skep, the practical Langstroth with moveable frames to the much talked about flow hives. Learn more about the local indigenous Cape honeybee and the basics of beekeeping. Inspect the hives with us while we parade in our beekeeping suits. Indulge in a refreshing lunch served in the Greenhouse Restaurant – included in the price.



Healing herbs

We welcome you into the sanctuary of our Healing Garden. Here Gundula, the guardian of this garden, inspires us to look with new eyes at familiar herbs and will provide some guidelines for approaching unfamiliar herbs. Sonia is the medical consultant for this garden. She shares her understanding of how herbs may support and guide the body to health. We will discuss a few simple remedies that are safe to use at home. Indulge in a refreshing lunch in our Healing Garden – included in the price.



Fragrant herbs

Scent takes a short-cut to the brain. We promise a fun day of celebrating the fragrances found in the garden. Explore the different ways to capture memories of the season and how to share these with our loved ones. Constance, our décor diva, will demonstrate how to make a tussie-mussie and Gundula, our Healing Garden guardian, will help you make a wreath to celebrate seasonal festivities. Lunch will be served at the Greenhouse Restaurant and is included in the price.



Building garden structures

Together with architect Patrice Taravella, Gilles was responsible for creating a most exceptional garden at Prieuré d’Orsan in France – a true architectural gem inspired by medieval tapestries and illuminations and noted for its wooden structures. He joins us every year to work alongside our gardeners and initiate us into the art of building different wooden garden structures: climbing frames for beans, tomatoes and squashes, woven edges and delightful screens. Gilles will demonstrate how he plans and builds some of his favourite structures and we’ll join in the fun with wood, hammer and string, building basic structures to take home. Lunch will be served in the Greenhouse Restaurant and is included in the price.



Indigenous succulents

The succulent wealth of South Africa is world renowned: 35 plant families, varying from dwarf stone-plants a few centimetres tall to the gigantic baobab, the largest on earth. Take a walk with us to look at various succulent plants for your garden. Ernst will dish out many tips picked up over the years and tell us all about the succulents of Southern Africa and their various propagation techniques. We then get down and dirty, planting our own succulents. Lunch will be served at the Greenhouse Restaurant and is included in the price.


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Babylonstoren

The Hanging Gardens of ancient Babylon is something none of us will ever get the chance experience. At Babylonstoren in the Cape Winelands, however, you’ll find an equally magical (though decidedly more country-style) reincarnation of this ancient wonder. Halfway between the towns of Paarl and Franschhoek, this historic farm boasts an enormous garden brimming with over 300 varieties of edible plants. The estate’s gardeners give daily tours of the premises, and guests are encouraged to join in the planting and harvesting of produce. For those who’d prefer not to get their hands dirty, there’s the Garden Spa where traditional treatments are infused with fresh herbs from the garden. Simple, farm-to-table cuisine can be savoured at the Babel Restaurant, while light lunches are served at the Greenhouse.

The farm’s 13 Luxury Cottages were designed to resemble the old Cape Dutch farmhouses of the Winelands district, and overlook the area’s rolling vineyards. Every cottage comes with air conditioning, a mini-bar, free breakfast, free parking and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Babylonstoren accommodation consists of 22 rooms in converted Cape Dutch farm buildings. There are three en-suite one-bedroom guest cottages and four en-suite two bedroom guest cottages which are ideal for families. All the cottages have under-floor heating and most have fireplaces.There are nine one-bedroom farmhouse suites, each offering plush four-poster beds, spacious bathrooms and a cast-iron stove. The farmhouse suites have access to a swimming pool, as well as a rejuvenating spa area.For families or guests travelling in a small group, Babylonstoren’s historic Cape Dutch home, the six-bedroom Manor House is available on request only on an exclusive use basis.

Babylonstoren Farmhouse

Farmhouse Suite

A botanical theme combines with moody interiors, incorporating swarthy four-poster king-size beds, dusted moss walls, luxurious en-suite marble bathrooms and generous walk-in cupboards. Each room is fitted with a cast-iron stove, contemporary accessories and furniture such as an extra-length MDF Italia sofa.

Babylonstoren Fynbos Cottages

Fynbos Cottages

Each of the open-plan cottages has a luxurious en-suite bathroom and lounge area with thick walls, elegant gables, a hearty fireplace and bookshelves filled with a wonderful selection. Into this pristine Cape Dutch style, a contemporary glass cube has been seamlessly added to house a kitchen area.

Babylonstoren Garden Cottages

Garden Cottages

Each open-plan suite has a luxurious en-suite bathroom and lounge area with thick walls, elegant gables, bookshelves filled with a wonderful selection and a hearty fireplace.

Babylonstoren Manor House

Manor House

All rooms have a king-size bed, with two of the rooms having the option of twin beds. Breakfast is included in the room rate, as well as a well-stocked personalised larder. Guests have access to the garden at all times, with games set up on the private lawn. Curl up in front of the hearty fireplace and admire the architecture, or enjoy refreshments in the garden whilst savouring the exquisite views.

Due to the relentless demand, bookings for Babel, the main restaurant, now open two months in advance. Almost everything on your plate will be grown in the garden; it’s a classic fork-to-table story but the variety produced by this eight-acre ‘pantry garden’ is quite astonishing. Salads are, understandably, a highlight, with Maranda Engelbrecht combining flavours and species to offer three seasonal ‘red’, ‘green’ and ‘yellow’ salads. Meat portions are generous, much of it served on the bone in the simple country style Engelbrecht favours. Greenhouse is an excellent alternate luncheon spot if you can’t find a table at Babel.Breakfasts are enormous – the spread includes everything from a variety of handmade granolas, honeycomb, eggs and fresh fruit from the garden, delicious yoghurts and a hot breakfast menu that will have you wondering whether you’ll ever feel hungry again.

Babylonstoren Babel

Babel

Housed in the old cow shed, Babel Restaurant is a wonderful mix of Cape Dutch architecture and contemporary glass walls that makes for a simple yet edgy environment in which to try our tasty yet often unconventional combinations. We have a farm-to-fork philosophy which means we like to serve food that is seasonal and that reflects our “pick, clean and serve” approach.

Babylonstoren Greenhouse

Greenhouse

At the rear of the garden, tucked away between the oak trees, our Greenhouse offers guests a wonderful refreshment station after their walk through the garden. All our food is served picnic-style in wooden crates with the preserves, jams and salads served in weck jars, while fresh bread from our wood-fired oven come wrapped in the iconic blue-and-white Babylonstoren paper.

Babylonstoren Tea Ceremony

Tea Ceremony

Enjoy the Healing Garden as a quiet space, where you can slow down and blend herbal teas as guided by our gardener. Guests are seated on the floor of the shaded bamboo structure, where a selection of savoury and sweet confections are served to complement the infusions created by each one. Only seasonal fresh ingredients are used and great care is taken in the preparation.

Babylonstoren Tasting Cellar

Tasting & Cellar

Our wines are produced in a state-of-the-art winery and are made to showcase the soils and climate where their grapes are grown. The Tasting Room sits adjacent to the Wine Cellar, offering views of the conical Babylonstoren hill, Simonsberg and the Banghoek Mountains.

Babylonstoren offers complimentary guided vineyard and garden walks, and use of the spa facilities and gym. Spa treatments are charged additionally. There are complimentary guided cellar tours and wine tastings every day, a beautiful farm dam to canoe on, and a stroll up the Babylonstoren koppie is always worth the effort for the views.There is also a gym on site if you want to keep up a fitness routine during your stay. Alternatively, you could do a few laps in the swimming pool which is very refreshing in the heat of the day.

Babylonstoren Pool

Pool

Like everything here, the newly extended Garden Spa, with its lap pool and jacuzzi is linked to nature, set in sunlight-dappled greenery and with fresh rosemary, lavender and lemon thyme picked fresh for use that day.

Babylonstoren Spa

Spa

Like everything else at Babylonstoren, the Garden Spa is inextricably linked to the garden and the ever-changing seasons. We like to think of it as a living spa, set within a forest of bamboo with tranquil greenery and a myriad leiwater channels to set the tone. Housed in our pavilion constructed of bamboo, it comprises a hammam, chill room, hot spa and gym.

Babylonstoren Gym

Gym

There is also a gym on site if you want to keep up a fitness routine during your stay.

Area & Location

Area, Country
The Winelands, South Africa
Nearest Airport
Cape Town International Airport, Cape Town
Local Currency
South African Rand (ZAR)
Time Change
GMT +2:00
Language
Afrikaans, English
Best time to go
Best visited between September through May.

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