- Grootbos is luxury eco-reserve close to Cape Town tucked between mountains, forest and the ocean. This award winning reserve is a world leader in sustainable social and eco-tourism and a member of the exclusive National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World.
- One of the best places on the planet to see the marine Big Five: Whales, Sharks, Dolphins, Seals and Penguins.
- Spacious and modern suites with sweeping views across the whole stretch of Walker Bay.
- Delicious fresh and locally sourced food at both lodges, and an enviable wine cellar. Savor a delicious breakfast with a view on the terrace at the Garden Restaurant, and enjoy a traditional braai, or barbecue, in the Milkwood boma.
- Stretch out with a book on your private deck at Forest Lodge and gaze out at the mountains across the bay.
- Ride a horse across hills blooming with exotic flowers or along the beach, explore the rock pools and caves of the coast and pause for a picnic lunch. Take a “flower safari” by 4×4 or ATV.
- Wander through the organic gardens and meet some of the horticulture students sponsored by Grootbos.
- Other activities include hiking, whale watching, great white shark cage diving, sea kayaking, para gliding, scenic flights, quad biking, cave tour, bird watching and wine tours.
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.
There’s something special about seeing a place on horseback. Take a slow trot as you appreciate the views or ride down the sweeping sand dunes, the fresh air filling your lungs and exhilaration pumping through your veins. Horse riding at Grootbos is suitable for anyone, whether you’re a complete novice or a more experienced rider. Go for a relaxed ride through the fynbos or ride one of our special horses that are specifically trained for the beach. Our 22 horses at the Grootbos stables are well exercised and expertly trained, while all of our guides have years of experience in dealing with these noble animals.
We also offer a 3-hour beach horse ride along the Walker Bay coastline. The gentle ride starts in the fynbos through the dunes and then onto the beach. The beach is ideal for a gallop or a gentle canter. The Beach outride is not part of the standard Grootbos activities included in the rates and this activity is advised for experienced riders only.
The Southern Right whales visit Walker Bay each year and being witness to them in action whilst they breach and blow is a very special experience to observe. These peaceful giants of the deep come to Walker Bay to mate and calf in the sanctuary of the Bay. The Walker Bay rocky outcrops offer close viewing points from elevated positions. The Grootbos guides know all the best spots and this guided experience is an experience of a lifetime.
Grootbos Nature Reserve has an exclusive boat trip, through Dyer Island Cruises, leaving every morning from Kleinbaai harbour. Besides seeing the amazing whales, this trip offers a complete experience of the Marine Big5, which includes the whales, dolphins, African Penguins, Cape Fur Seals and surface viewing of the Great White Shark. The boat comfortably accommodates 20 guests, has a toilet, upper decks, shelter from the sun as well as snacks and drinks provided onboard. The boat also has specialized guides, who can provide all the facts about the whales as well as other interesting information about the magnificent marine life. As these gentle giants are very curious, they often swim right up to the boat to get a better view of the boat and the guests. This trip takes about 2 hours and is a marine experience not to be missed!
One of the most exciting experiences at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is the Great White Shark cage diving. Gansbaai has the reputation for being the shark capital of the world. Divers and adventurers travel from all over the world to watch this magnificent creature in the waters around Dyer Island. Every day a number of boats leave Kleinbaai harbour to spend a few hours on the water to view the Great White Sharks from the boat or to go diving in a cage with these elegant and large predators. This is a once in a lifetime experience not to be missed!
Keep still, listen intently and you’ll be amazed at the things you learn on a botanical safari. With the richest temperate flora in the world and six completely new species never discovered by science before, your time at Grootbos will mean that you’ll never look at plants and flowers in quite the same way again. The 800 recorded plant species in our 2500 hectares of pristine wilderness will bring the fascinating story of fynbos and forest to life as you touch, smell and see the natural miracles that surround you. Learn how a sunbird’s beak fits perfectly into a flower, why the honey our bees produce is completely unique and how important ravaging fires are for bringing forth new life.
As a guest at Grootbos, there are so many different ways to enjoy the beach. You can take a long, relaxing walk on a solitary shore; laze in the sun on the luxurious white sand; or explore the unique coastal ecosystem while looking out for frolicking whales. Our guides know exactly where to take you for the best swimming, tanning, walking, whale watching, angling and several other oceanic experiences on offer. We’ll transport you to and from the beach and provide you with a picnic lunch and all the beach accessories you need to enjoy your day in the sun. Grootbos also offers guided beach tours where you can learn about the unique intertidal ecosystem; the abundant marine life; the coastal vegetation; and the geological forces that gave this coast its dramatic form.
During season up to 160 whales and calves can be spotted in the Walker Bay. Only from the sky is it possible to comprehend the size of the Southern Right communities that visit our waters. The confluence of the warm Indian and the cold Atlantic Ocean create a vibrant and colourful seascape. Teaming full of wildlife these abundant oceans often provide great ‘game viewing’ opportunities. The majestic Cape Mountains frame these perfect white beaches and rocky shorelines. When a picture speaks a thousand words…the actual flight will render you speechless. Whether you wish to explore your environment or simply see what’s around you – African Wings, together with Grootbos, offer you the freedom of the skies, and a whale watching experience of a life time.
The Grootbos reserve and surrounding areas are a magnet to a wide variety of rare and endemic bird species feeding and breeding in the rich and diverse habitats. You know birding is not for the birds when you see how the Malachite Sunbird, with its bright green iridescent plumage, compete for attention with the flowering aloes and proteas. Grootbos is a birder friendly establishment endorsed by Birdlife SA. Our knowledgeable guides are geared to give bird watchers of all levels a winged overview of these magnificent creatures that enliven our skies and flora with their beauty and procreative activities.
Explore the stunning coastline of WalkerBay and see some of its abundant marine life at close range. All of the guides are extremely experienced and after a short training session, you will head out to the Marine Reserve for a unique and fun experience.
Take an unforgettable flight over Hermanus and Walkerbay with experienced and professional pilots. With easy take off and landing spots, all you need is a warm jumper and a sense of adventure!
Explore the landscapes and wonders of Grootbos by quad bike; a fun activity for the whole family.
The Klipgat Cave outside De Kelders evokes vivid images of pre-historic times when modern man lived haply in symbiotic harmony with nature off the bounty of land and sea when the coastline was still kilometres away. This historical site in the Walker Bay was home to Middle Stone Age peoples some 70 000 to 80 000 years ago when large antelope such as black wildebeest and the extinct “blaauwbok” still abounded in the bay where dolphins, seals and whales now flourish. Archaeological findings indicate that these primitive folks mainly lived off plants and smaller animals such as dune mole rats, tortoises and hares. They hunted steenbok and eland, while seabirds, shellfish and seals also formed an important part of their diet.
The continued conservation, planting and maintaining of trees is vitally important to the survival of the earth we inhabit. Trees absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) as a raw material with which to produce oxygen; one of the building blocks of life as we know it. Production of CO2 due to human activity has increased exponentially in recent history due to expansion of industry and our reliance on fuel fired electricity and transport. Logically this would necessitate an increase in oxygen producing trees and plants. Drastically, the opposite is happening and mass deforestation has greatly diminished the density of trees and seriously compromised our planets CO2 recycling and conversion system.
Enjoy an entrancing stroll through our Milkwood forest or a more revitalising hike up our fynbos-clad mountains, as you begin to understand what makes Grootbos quite so special. From a sunbird sipping from a flower to an ocean vista that leaves you breathless, surprises await you around every corner. Trails are all well marked and you can choose between self-guided walks or guided walks, to learn more about these fascinating and secretive eco-systems. Gaze into the petals of a King Protea, breathe in the blackcurrant scent of buchu or simply listen to the exquisite silence that surrounds you.
Nestled between mountain and sea, the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is a luxury eco-paradise showcasing the incredible flora and marine life of Walker Bay, located in the Southern Tip of Africa. Home of the “Marine Big 5” – whales, sharks, dolphins, seals and penguins; and with unparalleled floral diversity, Grootbos offers you a one-of-a-kind luxury African experience. Only 2 hours from Cape Town and 30 minutes from Hermanus on the way to the world-renowned Garden Route, Grootbos is perfectly situated between the classic attractions of the Cape and is most certainly a highlight on any itinerary. Grootbos – an Afrikaans word meaning “big forest” – offers 27 luxurious suites divided between two lodges and two private villas, set amongst ancient milkwood trees with sweeping views over the bay and out to sea. The large suites, each with a private deck (some with plunge pools) and well appointed bathrooms with large windows overlook a carpet of diverse flora stretching down towards the sea and offer guests the chance to unwind amidst the splendours of nature, while enjoying all the comforts of home.
In addition to guided nature walks and drives, activities at Grootbos include horse riding, fishing, birdwatching, great white shark cage diving, whale watching, para gliding and sea kayaking. Southern right whales migrate into Walker Bay to shelter from the storms in the south Atlantic and to calve from June to November. The cliffs of Walker Bay offer some of the best land-based whale viewing in the world and you can get even closer to these beautiful creatures by boat. Watch spellbound as mothers, calves and energetic bulls come to within 30 metres of the rocky shoreline.
Grootbos Private Nature Reserve offers 11 Suites at Garden Lodge and 16 suites at Forest Lodge. Suites in both lodges feature a spacious bedroom with en suite bathroom, separate lounge with tea & coffee making facilities, minibar, cosy fireplace and satellite TV / DVD player for in-room entertainment. The spacious suites open out onto a private outside deck overlooking Walker Bay. The freestanding luxury suites are accessed via an enchanted cobbled pathway beneath the ancient forest canopy. Each of the freestanding suites are stylishly furnished with luxurious canopy beds, spacious en suite bathrooms, separate lounges with cosy fireplaces and private wooden decks with spectacular panoramic views. Meander through an ancient Milkwood forest, soak up the beauty of the fynbos or admire dramatic mountain and sea views as you wind your way towards your private suite. All of our accommodation at Grootbos has been designed to complement our pristine natural setting, while never compromising on style or luxury.
All 11 Garden Lodge suites of timber, stone and thatch have private decks overlooking the crescent of Walker Bay. The one or two-bedroom Luxury Suites are ideal for families. Amble through our abundant indigenous gardens until you reach your spacious Luxury Suite in the Garden Lodge. Feel like you’ve reached your own holiday home in the fynbos as you enjoy your indulgent en-suite bathroom, canopy bed, your own stylish lounge, a minibar, warming fireplace and DVD player for in-room entertainment. With its heavy wooden beams and homely feel, the Garden Lodge reception area, pool and restaurant is a relaxing setting for those who enjoy a traditional aesthetic. Your breath will be taken by the magnificent view of Walker Bay at its front door.
Garden Lodge - Luxury Suite
Private, peaceful and luxurious, our Garden Lodge suites are ideal for enjoying time with loved ones, soaking up the silence or simply connecting with nature. Curl up in the sun-filled lounge with a book, enjoy a cup of tea on your own wooden deck or simply appreciate the gorgeous views from every room in your exquisitely furnished suite. Spacious bedroom with large en-suite bathroom, 85 sqm.
A stay at Forest Lodge is the ultimate way to restore, destress and reconnect. Fling open the doors and let nature flood in, relax on your private wooden deck, or listen to the distant sounds of the ocean, as you feel the rest of the world melt away. Every free standing suite is exquisitely furnished in soft natural palettes with furnishings that ooze indulgence. Forest Lodge has 16 suites in brick and timber cottages, some with private pools, with decks overlooking the bay and living rooms with open fires. The contemporary design and décor of Forest Lodge could place it in any of the top cities in the world. But nowhere else would you be able to enjoy one of the world’s most biodiverse landscapes, the changing colours in the southern sky and the occasional little buck that comes feeding nearby.
Forest Lodge - Luxury Suite
Secluded, tranquil and opulent, these 85 -90 sqm are suites for romance, contemplation and connecting deeply with both nature and yourself – with large bathrooms, cosy fireplaces and panoramic views of the sun setting. A luxurious canopy bed with private, untouched forest and ocean vistas, an outdoor shower, private wooden deck (some with plunge pools) and separate lounge. Stroll under a natural green canopy until you discover your Luxury Suite set apart on top of a hill, with endless ocean and fynbos vistas laid out before you. Relax on your sumptuous bed, feel revived in the expansive bathrooms and then contemplate life with a glass of award-winning wine in hand.
The Private Villas are the most exclusive offering at Grootbos. Our two private villas are the last word in secluded luxury, offering unforgettable experiences to our discerning guests. With intuitive service provided by your own private chef, butler and nature guides, your every need will be met in a home-away-from-home environment of unsurpassed quality.
Private Villas-6 Bedroom Villa
The most exclusive offering at Grootbos, set apart from the rest of the estate the 6-Bedroom Villa with 2 luxurious master suites and 4 suites with spacious en-suite bathrooms provides you with 1000 square metres in which to unwind, indulge and connect. The design of every room is both gracious, yet thoughtful, while the intuitive service you’ll receive from the private villa staff will meet your every need. Every room in the 6-Bedroom Villa offers you that something special: whether it’s an ocean vista that leaves you serene, a grand piano that inspires or a dining room table you simply won’t want to leave.
Private Villas - 4 Bedroom Villa
The Private Villas are the most exclusive offering at Grootbos. Set apart from the rest of the estate, the 4-Bedroom Villa with 1 luxurious master suite and 3 suites with spacious en-suite bathrooms provides you with 800 square metres in which to unwind, indulge and connect. The design of each room is both gracious, yet thoughtful, while the intuitive service you’ll receive from the private villa staff will meet your every need. Every room in the 4-Bedroom Villa offers you that something special: whether it’s an ocean vista that leaves you serene, or a dining room table you simply won’t want to leave.
We believe that food is about more than feeding your body. It’s about connecting with others. Taking time to savour each mouthful. And tasting the freshness and wildness of this unique place. Dining at Grootbos is an experience in its own right, with its unique combination of fresh organic produce, a world-class natural setting and our hugely experienced culinary team. Using the freshest ingredients sourced mostly from our organic farm, we create dishes that burst with goodness and delight your senses. Enjoy these culinary experiences at one of our two distinctive lodge restaurants, each with their own character and atmosphere. From picnics on the beach to our legendary six-course dinners – you’ll leave with culinary memories to last a lifetime.
Red Indigo Restaurant at Forest Lodge
Our Forest Lodge restaurant with its striking contemporary design is a masterpiece in itself. Head out on to the wide deck and enjoy breakfast in the open air, or sit inside and marvel at the endless views as you enjoy a dining experience second to none. Every meal at our Forest Lodge restaurant is planned down to the finest detail, from the herbs sprinkled delicately on top of our popular Eggs Benedict to the onion chutney we make ourselves. We use only the freshest ingredients, sourced as locally as possible, and in fact nearly half of them come from our Growing the Future food production and social upliftment project, based right here, on the reserve.
You’ll taste the difference because every meal here bursts with colour, flavour and texture. Meals at our restaurant are perfect for enjoying time with loved ones, as you gaze at the ocean views and taste award-winning wines from local producers, all recommended by our expert sommelier. Whether you sit out on our deck in the fresh air or snuggle by the fire, you’ll enjoy a culinary and sensory experience here that you won’t soon forget.
Garden Restaurant & Bar - Garden Lodge
Garden Lodge was designed to let the magic of nature flood in through all of its doors and windows. Enjoy its warm cosy interior and spectacular ocean and fynbos views, as you savour memorable meals with loved ones.
Culinary Experiences - Destination Dining
We love getting out into nature which is why our culinary experiences are not restricted to our fine dining restaurants. Enjoy an al fresco picnic with your toes in the beach sand, sip on cocktails as you see the sun set or enjoy a uniquely South African meal in our boma as you watch the fire embers burning low.
Picnics on Beach
Picnics on the Reserve
South Africa is renowned for its wine and we’re proud to showcase this depth and variety in our wine selection at Grootbos. At Grootbos we know a lot about wine. But we’re not pretentious about it. We believe that everyone will enjoy discovering and experiencing the award winning wines of this region, whether they’re sampling a food and wine pairing, hearing from one of our sommeliers on what makes this vintage particularly special or going on a guided tour to the wine farm itself.
Facilities at the lodges include a family pool and an infinity pool with breathtaking views of Walker Bay and the surrounding fynbos reserve, spa surrounded by lovely natural scenery, organic gardens, boma nestled in the lush surroundings of Milkwood Forest, two acclaimed restaurants showcasing local seafood, bars, spacious lounge areas, gallery and conference centre.
For those who just want to relax we offer an array of spa treatments. It is time to tip-toe into a slower world where the mind can drift away on the vapors of luxurious scents, such as sandalwood, arnica and buchu, while the body melts under the soothing touch of our fully qualified beauty therapist. Pampering takes place in the comfort of your own suite. For the tired body, a therapeutic full body massage is a definite must, leaving you in a state of absolute calmness. For the weary feet, reflexology, including a footbath, will most certainly do the trick. Manicures, pedicures, facials and a host of other treatments are available on request in our Bloom Beauty Salon or in the privacy of the suites at Grootbos.
A family swimming pool and infinity pool with dramatic ocean and fynbos views. The Luxury Pool Suites have the same features as the luxury suites, but also come with private plunge pool.