Situated on the foothills of the Simonsberg Mountains, named after Simon Van Derstel, 1st Governor of the Cape Dutch Colony you will find Babylonstoren.
Babylonstoren is a working wine and olive farm, thought to be named after the koppie (hill), within the grounds of the farm, as the Dutch settlers believed it to be the Tower of Babel from the bible. Dating back to 1692, Babylonstoren is a historic Cape Dutch farm, being the 2nd longest family owned farm, that boasts one of the best-preserved farmyards in the Cape, after plenty of hard work!
Just 8 years ago, there were not even earthworms living in the soil, due to the lack of fertility. Now, however, its magnificent gardens sprawl out over 3,5 hectares (8 acres).
The garden is divided into 15 sections that comprise of fruit, vegetables, berries, bees for pollinating, indigenous plants, fragrant lawns (like the spongy chamomile lawn that’s great for a lie down), a prickly pear maze, ducks and chickens, and so much more.
But it’s not just the farm and gardens that make Babylonstoren so special; it’s also home to jaw-dropping accommodation, a fabulous spa, award-winning food, great tasting wines and delicious olive oil.
What’s overwhelming as soon as you arrive at Babylonstoren is the feeling of inclusion and education. There’s an ethos of healthy living with a holistic farm lifestyle, anything from the farm that can be used is utilized within the restaurants, at the spa, in your bath, even the waste product from the olives is used as fertilizer.
As mentioned previously, there is so much to do on the farm, with 8 hiking trails, 2 restaurants (Babel and The Greenhouse), garden walks, a bakery, a scent room, wine tastings and cellar tours, animals (which the kids love), the spa, really something for everyone.
There are 14 beautiful cottages at Babylonstoren, which used to be farm workers cottages. These have now been converted into luxury homesteads, where anyone would be more than happy to permanently live. A small stream running past your front door, and views into the garden and citrus orchards, make this a truly heavenly place to stay. In addition to these, there are 9 new one-bedroom suites located in the main Farmhouse with direct access to an outdoor swimming pool and hot spa area which includes a salt room, sauna and vitality pool and lounge area.
We had the pleasure of staying in Cottage 5, the first cottage to be converted. As you step over the stream, the green stable door leads into a spacious living room with super high ceilings. This leads to the modern, farm style kitchen, enclosed in a glass extension, which is what allows such great light to stream in and views into the working farm.
A large bedroom, with a 4-poster bed takes the spotlight and greets you with the warmth only a farm cottage can. The bedroom leads to a massive bathroom, complete with a high-sided freestanding bathtub. As if you weren’t relaxed enough already!
Housed in what used to be a cowshed, is now one of the most well known restaurants in Cape Town, Babel. As they proudly say, “we prepare your meal long before you arrive”. Using only the freshest produce from their gardens, the menu changes depending on what is in season throughout the year. You need to experience their menu!
One needs a few days at least to properly experience all that Babylonstoren has to offer. In the short time that we were there, we got to go on a great cellar tour and witness the wine and olive oil making process, taste great wines in their spectacular, new tasting room, go for a bike ride around the farm on one of the trails (children’s bikes are also freely available), learn about the gardens that are based on the hanging gardens of Babylon, hold the resident hedgehogs, experience some of the best hospitality ever and of course, relax. We will definitely be back to experience everything else on offer here soon, because there is more!
Our stay at Babylonstoren was phenomenal, so much made it special, we particularly loved that we were treated to an exceptional farm-to-fork dinner at Babel, inspired by a magnificent guided farm walk by Gundula and spoilt with such wonderful gifts which made this visit the most impactful that we have ever experienced.
We'd highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fantastic weekend break, romantic occasion or to simply spend a few days in nature where you're able to truly relax, unwind and appreciate your environment.
If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment below, we'd love to hear from you. And if you are planning a trip to the Cape Winelands anytime soon email us with any/all your questions and enquiries, it would be our pleasure to assist you in arranging a memorable experience like ours.
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Disclaimer: Our stay at Babylonstoren was complimentary, however all views remain our own and we do not trade off complimentary stays for a positive reflection of any kind. We will only give credit where credit is due.
All opinions within this blog are our own and any hosted stays will be disclosed in the relevant blog posts. We do not trade off complimentary stays for a positive reflection of any kind, and we will only give credit where credit is due. We put in a lot of time and effort researching the properties we visit, we want to build long standing trust with you, our readers, with honesty and integrity being incredibly important to us.
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