Glorious, gorgeous Grootbos

September 12, 2022 (Last Updated: September 26, 2022)
Gloriously, gorgeous Grootbos

Glorious, gorgeous Grootbos

Effortlessly tucked away between mountain, sea and forest, Grootbos Nature Reserve is the epitome of luxury and relaxation.

With numerous awards and accolades, it’s easy to see why Grootbos was voted as the best hotel in South Africa for 2022. The award winning, 5-star luxury eco-reserve has everything that a dream holiday is made of, namely mountain, sea and forest. Unobtrusive to the environment around it and built with an innate respect for the land, Grootbos is the epitome of the awe-striking Western Cape nature at its best.

Glorious, gorgeous Grootbos

 First impressions

The magic of Grootbos began for me when we stepped out of our car and were met by our personal guide. But the actual magic, the kind where you feel all of your senses simultaneously explode and relax at the same time, was when we stepped into the building and took in the extraordinary view through the gleaming glass windows. The first thing you do when you arrive is sit down with your guide (each family gets one) to plan your itinerary, from horse-riding to cave exploring and tours through the Milkwood forest, the activities on offer are endless. I found my attention flitting to and from the classy interior to the lush outdoors, desperate to take in as much of the reserve as possible. We were then shown to our cottage which exceeded all expectations, unassuming from the outside, save for a small part of the front of the cottage on show yet hidden between a windy path and an array of trees. The doors to the cottage open to reveal a luxurious and beautifully created suite that immediately calms the mind and starts the holiday mood.

The food
The lodge

With 16 free-standing suites, the Forest Lodge (which is where we stayed) serves as the perfect romantic escape complete with an infinity pool overlooking the reserve and the brilliant blue Walker Bay. The lodge is also built around the historical Milkwood forest where the magical boma dinners are served in warmer weather. Each lodge is built with a modern design and has beautifully large bathrooms, a private, outdoor shower, large canopy beds and cozy fireplaces, complete with a comfortable lounge and an extra bathroom. Each suite is exceptionally designed and it is clear that the comfort and relaxation of each guest has played a big role during the process of getting the lodge to where it is today.

Alongside Forest Lodge, Grootbos also offers 2 other accommodation styles, namely the Villas and the newly reopened Garden Lodge which has been designed with families in mind. All three are separate from each other, ensuring that your holiday is exactly what you want. While Grootbos is the epitome of luxury, what many guests appreciate is that it is child-friendly too. With an array of activities suited to little ones such as egg collecting, pony rides, feeding the bunnies and coastal safari’s to name a few. The lodge also offers other activities such as their famous marine safari, river cruises and whale watching (when season permits).


The food

With head Chef, Ben Conradie at the helm, the menu at Forest Lodge restaurant is nothing short of an utter delight. Using only the freshest ingredients that are sourced as locally as possible or produced from their Growing the Future food production, meals at the restaurant are a taste explosion. Their tapas platters, gnocchi, steak and chicken dishes exceeded all expectations and left us feeling as if we ate at a Michelin star restaurant. We were also treated to an exceptional dinner in the cellar which comes at no extra charge to guests staying over and is certainly a must whilst at the reserve. The Boma dinner was also an incredible experience and something that I highly recommend guests attend during the warmer months. A clearing in the Milkwood forest is giving 5-star treatments with beautifully decorated dining tables and chairs surrounded by gas heaters and a wonderful fire. Food is prepared outdoors where you can watch the chefs make your meal.

The lodge

Did you know

The 2500 hectares large reserve is home to 868 plant species with 7 species new to science discovered on the reserve and guests can enjoy guided tours through the reserve where lessons about the plants are aplenty.

The spa

As if our experience could get any better, we visited the spa in the middle of the natural environment. Their luxurious treatments can be done at the spa or in the privacy of your own suite but I highly recommend taking a leisurely walk through the Milkwood forest to get to the spa. With treatment from shiatsu and facials to manicures and massages, even just 30 minutes at the spa will leave you feeling relaxed and revitalised all at the same time.

While the lodge in itself was something that I won’t soon forget, what made the experience all the more special was the personal touches to our stay, the incredible staff and the fact that the owner of the reserve takes the time to chat to guests and make them feel as if they are stepping inside of his home. The feeling of welcomeness and belonging that Grootbos has curated is one that is not very often experienced and it is for that reason and so much more why the reserve has won the hearts of so many.



Grootbos Honeycomb Crunch

Make your very own honeycomb crunch, a perfect complement to any ice cream. Alternatively, dip the honey crunch into dark chocolate to enjoy all on its own. Please see your recipe for your very own bit of Grootbos sweetness below:







  • 100 grams caster sugar 
  • 4 tbsp fynbos honey salt
  • 1 ½ tsp bicarb


COMBINE the sugar and fynbos honey into a saucepan and stir together to mix.
PLACE the pan on the heat and let the mixture start to melt. It will become a darker brown colour and start to make bubbles. Avoid stirring it too much at this stage. It will take about 3 minutes.
TURN off the heat, and whisk in the bicarbonate of soda, It will become a cloudy, pale gold. Pour this immediately onto a piece of reusable baking parchment. or greased foil.
LEAVE until set and then bash at it using a wooden spoon, so that it splinters into many glinting pieces.


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