Shades of Africa could not have been a more perfect spot for a few days in Oudtshoorn. Lizanne and Graham and the girls were fantastic hosts, with attention to every detail. The Carriage House was beautiful and perfect for our family of four. Shades of Africa is safe, clean, beautifully decorated, and close to everything.
We stayed here one night while travelling through and wished we’d had longer. Our room was king-size en-suite and in a stand alone building with another room. Both bedrooms shared a communal lounge/kitchen area, very spacious and would have been ideal for 4 people travelling together. We were lucky enough to have this building to ourselves for our visit. We spent a pleasant afternoon on the deck,accessed from our room, and around the pool. Despite the water shortage problems in the area, the pool was in use and very clean. Our host Graham was very hospitable and breakfast was more than adequate. We will be back if we are ever in this part of SA again.
Thank you Lizanne & Graham for your warm reception and special care towards your guests. You made our day very special ! Thank you for all the love you put into your establishment. It was an amazing experience to take Carmen's matric farewell photo's at your lovely guest house. All the best for the future!
Two years ago we stayed at this property and had a fabulous time. How things have changed. Despite directly booking over a year ago with a lot of emailing conversation, they had no knowledge of our reservation. Luckily, the lovely Apronia managed to clean the room and accommodate us..much to our relief. I send a factual email to the owner,as I had booked directly with her...for clarity this is my email.. Just arrived and to my shock we haven't got a booking. How annoying is that? Lucky it's available. Also just been told we now have to pay for the cooked breakfast. You should have told me this prior to booking as it was all included last time. All very disappointing I was then summoned to the phone by the owner, Lizanne, started ranting at me that she could have us thrown off the property and how dare I email her and disturb her on a sunday!! Literally, she yelled at me for 20 minutes...i was in shock at her utter rudeness and belligerence. I just wanted to leave but as we were 4 people travelling in January I worried we wouldn't find anywhere else. However, I wish we'd have moved. The pool was dirty, slimy and green, the wifi useless, the bedroom had been prepared for decorating and abandoned, the bath enamel chipping off, grass needed cutting, no aircon, dog poo in the garden. Poor Apronia tried her best but it was so so disappointing to be so abused by an owner of a guest house and that totally spoilt our time there. Unfortunately our next location could not accommodate us early so we had to stay. The vile manager didn't even attempt an apology although gave a small discount which was the same price she had already agreed! Oh and a very sweet unlabelled bottle of fizzy plonk. Nothing would make me return. Do yourself a favour...stay away…
Such a gorgeous property and extremely helpful hosts who made our experience of Oudtshoorn one of our favourite places. The accommodation was very comfortable, clean and stylish. Graham was very interesting and hospitable. Breakfast on the veranda was delicious. I would highly recommend a stay here - can’t wait to go back!
Looking at the reviews on here it seems that a couple of other people have had a similar experience, which seems to come about when there is an issue. Unfortunately for us, the owners were so rude and aggressive that we decided not to stay for the night and found accommodation elsewhere. We had just made the long 5 hour drive from Cape Town and were looking forward to a comfortable stay prior to our visit to Cango Caves the next day. The price was relatively high for one night in Outdshoorn (NZD177/ 1,667 ZAR), but we had decided it would be worth it as we needed cooking facilities, as well as a good night's sleep. Our son has a serious medical condition which means we need to prepare his meals ourselves, and the listing was very clear that cooking facilities were available in our room, with our reservation stating the following were included: refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher, dining area, electric kettle, kitchenware, toaster, tea/ coffee maker, wine glasses. I've included a screen shot so you can see what we were told was included. To us this sounds like a decent kitchen - right? However, when the on-site manager showed us to the room, it was obvious these items were not in the room. Although it was very nicely furnished, with many attractive touches, there was no ability to store the food we had travelled with, prepare a meal, or even make a cup of tea. We raised this immediately with the manager hoping they could provide us with the room we had reserved, and although she was very understanding and pleasant, ultimately she could not help. She explained the property does not do self-catering and none of the rooms have kitchens or even kitchenettes - which clearly would not work for us. She said she may be able to talk to the owner and see if we could use the communal kitchen in the main house, i.e. a separate building and quite a walk away. This was also not really ideal for us after a long drive, being tired and with a small child, and for the price we were paying, we really didn't feel it was an acceptable solution. However, we asked to speak to the owner to see how we could resolve the situation - we understand that misunderstandings can occur, and were expecting to have a solution-focused discussion that would help us deal with the issue at hand. However, the response from the owner was pretty much the opposite of what we were expecting. Instead of trying to understand our situation and fix it, the owners (specifically the female owner, who did not provide her name) were defensive, angry and downright aggressive. I can honestly say that in all my years of travelling (which are quite a few, we're no spring chickens) I have never come across such appalling customer service. As soon as we pointed out that we were expecting kitchen facilities (which are stated as being included, in black and white on our confirmation), the discussion escalated into an enraged rant about how they had been extremely hospitable, we were completely wrong, and everything was our fault. We had previously emailed to confirm that the room would have a single bed (for our son) and a double (for us), as we understand that bed configurations can vary in the same room, based on requirements. According to the owners, we should also have confirmed any other "special requests" at this time via email - i.e. the inclusion of kitchen facilities in our room. Of course, since kitchen facilities were written on the listing, we hadn't bothered to confirm they were included, any more than we had bothered to confirm the room had a bathroom and the bed had pillows. However according to the female owner (shouted to us down the phone, with a few swear words thrown in - "You're making an a*se out of you and me!"), we should have known that a 44sm room could not possibly have cooking facilities, with the implication being that we were crazy and unrealistic, and perhaps just a bit stupid. We have all travelled a lot all over the world for both business and pleasure (including in South Africa), and are familiar with how accommodation listings work - it is totally possible to fit kitchen facilities into a room of that size, and if those facilities are listed as part of the room, it means...they are in the room. Having a kitchen (or washing machine, or tumble dryer) in another room, or another BUILDING - is certainly not the same thing, and to list these items under the room description is at best misleading, and bordering on fraudulent. Anyway - by now things were unbearably heated and it seemed that the female owner was more focused on proving a point than assisting us. She told us we could use the communal kitchen in the building that our room was in, and it should be "good enough" for us. At this point the manager explained to the owner that this would not actually be possible, as they were out of gas. The owner then told us we should just leave if we didn't want to stay at their property, and "Oudtshoorn is fully booked, so good luck finding anywhere else to stay". Quite charming. She became so aggressive that the manager took the phone back and ended the call, as it was embarrassing for everyone else involved. By this stage it was around 5pm so it was pretty upsetting to find out that on top of having been given a room that did not meet the description, we had no way to feed our child, and possibly nowhere else to stay. However, we felt we really didn't have a choice given how unpleasant the owner was being, and fortunately within about five minutes we were able to make a reservation 5 minutes from the Cango Caves, at less than half the price of Shades of Africa, and with kitchen facilities in the (smaller than 44sm) room. I guess the owner didn't like this outcome and wanted to keep berating us, as she subsequently sent us four long text messages telling us why we were wrong to expect kitchen facilities, and that we should have used "a degree of logic" to understand that the facilities we were expecting "can not all possibly be inside a 44sm room". We didn't respond, as by this time we felt we were dealing with a rather childish playground bully, and just wanted to find somewhere to eat and rest for the night - which we achieved quite easily. Probably worth mentioning that it wasn't just the kitchen facilities that were misrepresented on the room details. We found out that there was also no wifi in the room ('due to the thick walls'?), and there was also no 'separate entrance', no washing machine, no tumble dryer, and of the two pools on the property, one was empty, and the other was green and not suitable for swimming. I guess if you are expecting a straight-forward B&B, this could be a good place to stay, as long as you don't end up with an issue that requires involvement from the owners. For us, no amount of tasteful decor can make up for the abusive attitude we received. This could be a great property if the listings were updated to be accurate, and the owners learned how to treat their guests when things don't go as expected. When travelling you get used to things not always being perfect, but empathy and a professional, courteous approach can go a long way. Unfortunately in this situation, that was sorely lacking.…
What a nice place. Lizanne was super helpfull and Graham her husband also. Helped us with early breakfast too. The ladies that work there are super friendly and helpfull. I will definitely recommend to stay here.
When I arrived at the entrance to the property I was not very hopeful of finding a nice place. Wrong! Once inside the gates it is large with various cottages spread in extensive grounds. I had a big bedroom which led into a huge lounge/kitchen shared with another bedroom but thankfully I was the only resident. The TV was on the blink as the aerial had been moved in a recent storm but I was invited into the main building to watch a large TV there in the evening. The lady in charge could not have been more helpful. Excellent breakfast sitting outside on the veranda.
I would highly recommend this Guesthouse if staying in this area, the hosts are friendly, informative and can’t do enough for you. We were fortunate to be offered the chance to upgrade to the Manor House which we did at very little extra cost and it was worth every penny, the House is spacious, comfortable and beautifully furnished and there is a lovely decking area and pool. Breakfast was fabulous too, I have no hesitation in recommending Shades of Africa to anyone touring this area.
We booked to stay at SoA for 2 nights as we were attending a swimming gala in the town. Having never been to Oudtshoorn before I was a bit unsure of what to expect. I am happy to say that my fears about 'small town' setup were not realised and we had a great stay at SoA. We (family of 4) stayed in the Manor House and had the whole house to ourselves. In fact, we had the whole place to ourselves as there was no one else on site for the whole of Saturday (incl. the owner)!! We had the run of the place :). A pity that we had the gala otherwise we would have loved to spend more time on site as it is a great little oasis in a semi-desert landscape. Shades of Africa SoA is slightly unusual in that it consists of 3/4 separate properties on the land. The Manor House, the Carriage House, the owners cottage and a storage? house at the back of the property. The property is very spacious and easily accommodates all these little dwellings as well as an olive garden, rose garden, main swimming pool, farmyard, and then some. All the space makes for a very relaxing atmosphere not to mention to excellent groundsman who maintains a beautiful garden. The Manor House Our stay at the Manor House was perfect. Liz has excellent taste and the accommodation was impeccably put together. Retro-modern would be my description, making best use of the old house structure with modern aethetic touches. The self-contained kitchen area was fully equipped and very useful. Lovely old fashioned size with a good mix of modern and old eclectic furniture (and floor tiles) all complemented to the aesthetic of the place. The beautiful yellow wood? floors lead into one of two suites. Both Suites were tastefully decorated and very comfortable, consisting of a tv area, bedroom and full ensuite bathroom. Aircon included. We were quite comfortable and happy with the amenities. The house also has a sitting area/lounge with fireplace. Great for after dinner drinks or reading a nice book. The Manor House also has a wrap-around veranda (stoep) with an 18m lap pool on the veranda. A really great setup and a real bonus to be able to swim in our own private pool. Food We ate breakfast at the main house on the stoep which was also a nice treat. Karen cooked our eggs to order and the food was very nice. A very basic but perfectly acceptable breakfast. We ate out for dinner which is quaint as there are a number of great little restaurants catering to the tourist market. Overall We were very happy at Shades of Africa and would be very happy to come back. Karen, our host, did her best to ensure that our stay was most pleasant. SoA accommodated our late arrival (11.30pm!) and early breakfast requests due to the gala. We were very pleasantly surprised and I would be happy to recommend SoA to anyone visiting Outshoorn soon.…