The first of the small and very fine Grootbos Private Nature Reserve portfolio, and located overlooking Walker’s Bay, along the Garden route, Garden Lodge is a first class eco-luxury lodge.
Situated at the end of an entrance road marked on either side by fynbos, amongst a mixed forest of olive, milkwood and sea gaurri, Garden Lodge is a circular thatch and wood build and consists of a main lodge and 11 suites. The main building includes a restaurant, lounge, children’s playroom, salon, bar, large decked area and swimming pool. Characterised by polished wood floors, whitewashed walls, exposed beams, chic leather seating, heavyset handmade furnishings and a great selection in locally sourced art, the design here is both super-smart and very comfortable.
FOOD AND SERVICES
Both the service and food is delightful, with nearly half of all the ingredients coming from the lodge’s Growing the Future food production and social upliftment project. Breakfast – a cold buffet and selection of freshly cooked hot dishes – is satisfying. The three course ‘light’ lunch is anything but, whilst the six course dinner comes with two surprise dishes and a very first-rate wine menu.
All three classes – classic, luxury and two-bedroom luxury – are by most standards an excellent stay. Beginning with the classic, each room includes a double bed, separate lounge, veranda and en suite shower room. Spacious, airy (lit during the day by floor-to-ceiling windows) and surrounded by milkwood trees, they are as beautiful as the main lodge. The luxury suites are similarly fine, only bigger and come with a bath, while the two-bedroom luxury suites would suit a family or two couples.
Activities at Garden Lodge include exploring the reserve by foot, 4×4 or on horseback (with an expert guide) and boat and plane trips to see southern right whales, seals, penguins, sea-bird colonies and great white sharks off Dyer Island.
Please be advised that Garden Lodge is child friendly, and that Dyer Island boat trip frequency is season dependent.