The Retreat at Groenfontein

The Retreat at Groenfontein

Traveller (344)
Our room
Room & Suite (83)
breakfast
Dining (15)
What is Travellers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.

View prices for your travel dates

Contact accommodation for availability.
There are similar hotels available.
View all
Did you already book this hotel?

About

5.0
#1 of 4 lodges in Calitzdorp
4.9 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.9 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.7 of 5 bubbles
Value
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
This award winning destination, is in a 560 hectare nature reserve adjoining the Swartberg World heritage site. It is situated 20 kms from Calitzdorp, 48 kms from the Cango caves and 59 kms from Oudtshoorn. The guest-house offers simple luxury, friendly service, and a relaxed ambiance, with delicious, wholesome meals and caters for vegetarians and food intolerances. Evenings are spent in the company of fellow guests and friendly hosts. In this haven of tranquility enjoy birding at the dams or in the garden, challenging walking trails, relaxing in the lovely gardens, or swimming in the dam, river or pool. Stay a few days and do day outings to attractions in the area, such as ostrich farms, Cango caves, the spectacular Swartberg pass, and others.
Read more
Suggest edits to improve what we show.Improve this listing
Property amenities
Free parking
Free internet
Pool
Free breakfast
Hiking
Board games / puzzles
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Massage
Secured parking
Internet
Outdoor pool
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Breakfast available
Breakfast buffet
Special diet menus
Gift shop
Non-smoking hotel
Shared lounge / TV area
Private check-in / check-out
Laundry service
Ironing service
Shoeshine
Room features
Soundproof rooms
Housekeeping
Safe
Seating area
Sofa
Clothes rack
Bath / shower
Complimentary toiletries
Iron
Hair dryer
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL CLASS
Star ratings are intended to indicate the general level of features, amenities, and services to expect. This property is classified according to Giata.
4.0 of 5 stars
HOTEL STYLE
Quaint
Languages Spoken
English, French, Afrikaans, German and 2 more

Location

Groenfontein Valley, Calitzdorp 6660 South Africa
Getting there
Cape Town Intl Airport
300.8 km
See all flights
1 Attraction
within 10 kilometers
5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles516 reviews
Reviews summary
This summary was created by AI, based on recent reviews.
Powered by AI

The Retreat at Groenfontein garners praise for its outstanding value, encompassing inclusive meals in a breathtaking setting, compelling guests to return. The warmth of the rooms, marked by fireplaces and lauded for their cleanliness, provides a cozy retreat. Service at the hotel is often described as heartfelt and attentive, enhancing the stay with a personal touch. Travelers revel in the pristine condition of both accommodations and natural amenities, while the tranquil atmosphere, complete with the ambient sounds of wildlife, ensures a serene escape.
Atmosphere
Serene
Rooms
Comfortable
Value
Excellent
Cleanliness
Immaculate
Service
Warm
Amenities
Relaxing

Was this helpful?
Tripadvisor is not responsible for this summary or the opinions in it. For more information, please read the traveller reviews and learn more about how the site works.
516Reviews1Q+A86Room tips
Traveller rating
  • 424
  • 80
  • 9
  • 1
  • 2
Time of year
Traveller type
Language
Selected filters
  • Filter
  • English
Popular mentions
Sort by:
Detailed Reviews
Curiosity828477 wrote a review Mar 2021
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We loved Marie's quiet intelligence and her dignified, personal welcome as she showed us to our spacious room with a view of the mountain and the astonishingly well landscaped indigenous gardens. We were served with hot tea whilst we studied the information that is thoughtfully provided in the room and we enjoyed a magical walk along one of the well marked, picturesque trails before dinner. Marie and Grant are knowledgeable and courteous and they know exactly when to interact with guests, and when to leave them alone to enjoy the peaceful privacy of this wonderland. Dinner in the grand dining room and breakfast on the veranda were graciously served on collectors porcelain by excellent staff. We regretted having only one night to stay; the Retreat deserves longer, so that you can appreciate the rich bird life and vegetation outside, the objets dárt in the main house and the privacy and comfort of your luxury room whilst you benefit from stylish, satisfying meals in an authentic environment that is lovingly curated by two charming perfectionists.
Read more
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: March 2021
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Marie Holstensson, Owner at The Retreat at Groenfontein
Responded 06 Apr 2021
Thank you VERY much for you most kind words! It was a great pleasure to meet you both and we are very happy that you enjoyed your brief stay! We hope to welcome you another time. With many thanks and best regards Marie
Read more
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
lizdonnelly96 wrote a review Oct 2020
Cape Town, South Africa
5.0 of 5 bubbles
The Retreat at Groenfontein is everything its name suggests. Nestling in a valley near Calitzdorp, one feels like one has stepped back in time. The graciousness and hospitality of our hosts, Marie, Grant, Merle and Ronnie was unsurpassed. They could not have been nicer. Our garden cottages were immaculate and we just loved whiling away time overlooking the beautiful Swartberg Mountains on our verandah. During the day it was wonderful hiking along the very well marked trails up to the rock pools or higher up the mountains with views of the valleys and hills surrounding The Retreat. We spent three nights and wished it could have been longer. Everything from our beautiful cottage to the meals served on the verandah overlooking the colorful birds feeding in front of us, was a magic experience and we can’t wait to return again very soon.
Read more
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: October 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Marie Holstensson, Owner at The Retreat at Groenfontein
Responded 09 Nov 2020
Thanks very much Liz, for your VERY kind review, it was such a pleasure to meet you and thanks for bringing our old friends, your brother Dave and lovely Di! It really was lovely to have the three of you here for those days! We look forward to the next visit! Hugs, Marie
Read more
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
A lot to digest? Read an AI-generated summary of recent traveller reviews.
Annemieke Doyle wrote a review Mar 2022
+1
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Special visit to this unique location ! Just the drive thru the valley is a worthwhile undertaking . Gorgeous setting , beautiful walks and friendly staff.
Food was delicious and sitting around communal table was a wonderful way to meet kindred spirits .
The owner Maria is legendary and still marches up and down the surrounding hills with her dogs in tow ensuring that the ‘trails ‘ are still in perfect condition. She is hard of hearing and can be forgiven for sometimes appearing to speak very loudly ! The entire experience was fabulous and can highly recommend
Read more
Date of stay: March 2022Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Marie Holstensson, Owner at The Retreat at Groenfontein
Responded 27 Mar 2022
Thank you Annemieke for that VERY kind review, much appreciated! Look forward to welcoming you again! Many hugs, Marie
Read more
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
David G wrote a review Nov 2020
Johannesburg, South Africa
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This was my second stay at The Retreat - this time for two nights. And I wish I could stay for
longer. The location is unmatched - in the mountains with incredible views, wonderful walks and absolute tranquility.
Accommodation is generous and comfortable and each room has excellent wifi connectivity despite the remote location. Marie and Grant are welcoming and helpful hosts and they have the warm and efficient support of Merle and Ronnie. Meals are beautifully served in the wonderful garden in good weather. Altogether this is a wonderful place to stay.
Read more
Date of stay: November 2020Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Marie Holstensson, Owner at The Retreat at Groenfontein
Responded 04 Dec 2020
Thanks very much David, for your kind words. It was a great pleasure to welcome you and your lovely dog again, and we look forward to the next visit! With many thanks and best regards, Marie
Read more
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Penelope S wrote a review Mar 2020
Bath, United Kingdom
5.0 of 5 bubbles
The wonderful welcome we received - 18 years after our first visit - set the standard for a memorable 3 days. It is truly a retreat from the stresses and petty annoyances of life. Grant and Marie have created a variety of trails in the mountain, catering to all levels of ability, and all well marked so one is not going to get lost. There is also abundant bird life, and swimming in the dam as well as a swimming pool. All of which enables one to do justice to Marie’s wonderful dinners, before retiring to the very comfortable bedrooms having appreciated the huge night skies.
Read more
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: March 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Marie Holstensson, Owner at The Retreat at Groenfontein
Responded 15 Mar 2020
Thank you SO much P'noo and Antony for your very kind words! It was a pleasure indeed to welcome you to the Retreat again! We're very happy that you enjoyed our trails as well as the swims in our dam and pool! We hope to welcome you to the Retreat during your next visit to SAfrica! With many thanks, best regards and HUGS Marie
Read more
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
343feliciav wrote a review Sept 2020
Cape Town, South Africa
5.0 of 5 bubbles
The Retreat at Groenfontein is a most wonderful place. We booked for my birthday weekend without knowing that we had been here before having stopped by for a refreshment about 20 years ago! The Retreat as it’s known, is nestled at the end of a valley and it operates fully off grid.
The owners, Grant, and Marie Burton couldn’t have been more welcoming when we arrived, showing us around and making sure we were settled in and had a drink in our hands. Breakfast and dinners are served inclusive of the room rates. We stayed in a most wondrous room that looked out over the Grootswartberg mountains. My birthday was acknowledged by one of the staff members who sang with the most angelic voice-for just a moment I was transferred to another place. Morning tea is bought to your room every morning which is such a luxury. The Retreat is indeed a retreat. You can stroll around the premises or hike up one of Marie’s hiking trails. There are benches to sit in and loads of birdlife to look at and listen to. There were zebras on their property as well-they had wondered up to feed on greener grass. The Retreat is an amazing oasis just before the great Karoo. The beds are comfy, the showers are warm and I would highly recommend rooms 8 and 9. They are the best ones for views, and they are large and can accommodate up to four people.
Breakfast was served on the veranda come rain or shine and dinners were served at 6:30. The evening meals were delicious! Always a meat dish with lots of vegetables for those who are vegetarian. You will find plenty to eat. And the desserts were simply scrumptious! We all sat around a large table and got to slowly get to know each other. It was a most wonderful experience! The Burtons have a lovely manager couple, Merle and Ronnie who helped us and organized everyone. They seem to compliment the whole experience as well.
We will most definitely be returning. The Retreat has special prices that run until December. It’s a one those places that stays with you!
Read more
Date of stay: September 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Marie Holstensson, Owner at The Retreat at Groenfontein
Responded 25 Sept 2020
Thank you so VERY much Felicia for your kind words! It really was a pleasure to meet you both and we hope that we will be able to welcome you both anther time! With many thanks and best regards Marie
Read more
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
GrahamCE19l wrote a review Jan 2020
Somerset West, South Africa
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We stayed at Groenfontein en route to the coast. Our experience surpassed any expectations by far.
The Retreat is a Victorian Karroo home with a large veranda which provides shade and shelter to wonderful country style meals and conversations with the other guests. The accommodation includes well appointed and comfortable cottages that have been thoughtfully and tastefully renovated.
There are a range of well-marked walks that cater for all levels of physical ability.
Most of all, everything is done with the generosity that makes travelling around our country such a rewarding experience.
We would love to be back, but next time we'll stay longer than 1 night
Read more
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: January 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Marie H, Owner at The Retreat at Groenfontein
Responded 05 Feb 2020
Thank you very much Graham and Lilly for your very kind review. It was a great pleasure to meet you both and we look forward to hosting you again! With many thanks and best regards Marie
Read more
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Emmarie O wrote a review Mar 2022
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
What a magnificent find. After a 30 min drive on a beautiful scenic gravel road from Calitzdorp we arrive deep in the mountains at the Groenfontein Retreat. This is one of the most unspoilt pieces of nature managed with so much sensitivity and care. Fantastic breakfast awaits you after breathtaking walks. Marie took so much consideration in terms of gluten sensitivity and vegan diet and it made me feel at home. Max my fox-terrier was so spoilt and made to feel at home - it was a treat for both of us. The walks are all well marked with benches at strategic places where you can sit and enjoy the magnificent 360 degree views. The river on its own is a piece of magic with its crystal clear waters and healthy bog vegetation …. its so beautiful ! The pools are a bliss to relax in and to enjoy the magnificence of nature. I will definitely be back and this time for longer ! It is a definite recommendation if you want a unique place to recharge and relax. Marie has so much warmth and style and its such a pleasure to visit. Thank you Merle and all the staff, you made made our visit special.
Read more
Date of stay: March 2022Trip type: Travelled solo
Room Tip: Arrive in daylight in order to enjoy the beautiful road from Calitzdorp and maybe stop along the...
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Marie Holstensson, Owner at The Retreat at Groenfontein
Responded 16 Mar 2022
Thanks SO much Emmarie, for your kind words. It was a real pleasure to meet you and I look forward to your next visit. With very kind regards Marie
Read more
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Charles wrote a review Nov 2021
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I have often travelled along the Groefontein Road, and thought it possibly the most beautiful road in the world. So when looking for a pet-friendly B&B to take a weekend break out of Cape Town to celebrate my partner's birthday, I was delighted to find the Retreat. We recently lost our other dog, and now just have our Jack Russel so it is easy to lock up and go without having to find house sitters. The Retreat is run by the warm and welcoming Marie, who immediately made us feel comfortable. Our room had panoramic views out towards the Swartberg mountains, and as we sat and had our welcome cup of tea, the sense of quiet was overwhelming. Wonderful. We were 2 minutes walk from the dam where you can swim among the terrapins, or if you prefer there is a swimming pool with day beds where you can lie and read. There are all manner of walks for which Marie gave us diagrams - from gentle strolls through the enchanted forest to the river, or three-hour treks into the mountains. Or if you prefer you can just stroll around the magical lush gardens of the guest house. Meals are served on the verandah, or inside the dining room if the weather is inclement, and all guests sit together, making for a jolly evening of camaraderie. Buffet meals are served, and the food is homely but delicious, and all tastes are catered for. Our dog Dottie settled in very well, and was not at all phased by the three dogs from the guest house, nor by the addition of four more dogs for the evening meal. In fact by the end, she thought she owned the place. And there is no reception so we had to throw away our cellphones. It was like being let to of prison. If you want peace and quiet in the most beautiful environment, a place where you can walk and swim and restore your soul, I cannot recommend anywhere better than the Retreat.
Read more
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: November 2021
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Marie Holstensson, Owner at The Retreat at Groenfontein
Responded 19 Jan 2022
Thank you Charles, for your wonderful, well written and descriptive review. It certainly was a pleasure to meet you both and we look forward to having the pleasure of welcoming you again! With many thanks and BEST regards to you both Marie
Read more
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
vic2riareuvers wrote a review Sept 2020
Cape Town Central, South Africa
5.0 of 5 bubbles
What a fabulous find. We had the best time and my husband and I are heading back again in a few months.
The staff and service is excellent. Dinner is served at one bug table every evening and the food is not only delicious, its very healthy too.
We stayed in both the rooms in the house and the suites outside. Personally I prefer the suites but both were great.
The walks are so well marked and sign posted and the rock pools are spectacular. It really is a magical place.
Tip - if are there over a Saturday, ask Marie to book you lunch at the Accidental Baker near town.
Read more
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: September 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Marie Holstensson, Owner at The Retreat at Groenfontein
Responded 03 Oct 2020
Thank you so much Victoria and Ross, for you wonderful review. It was really great to meet you both and your lovely friends! We look forward to seeing you both in December again and to meeting your dogs. With many thanks and best regards HUGS Marie
Read more
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
TrailBlazer708100 asked a question Aug 2019
Newlands, South Africa1 contribution
Is there wifi ?
Answer from MarieLittleKaroo
Western Cape4 contributions
Yes, we do have WiFi - not in all rooms but in the public areas. Best regards, Marie
MichelleJuul wrote a tip May 2024
Sedona, Arizona6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"You pay at the retreat as drinks (wine and beer) are not included in the price so you settle up when you leave"
Read full review
ptazz wrote a tip Apr 2024
Bastrop, Texas3 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Bring hiking shoes for amazing hiking trails. Lots of nature activities close by."
Read full review
M M wrote a tip Mar 2024
Amsterdam, The Netherlands17 contributions33 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Just go there!"
Read full review
Ziglet2014 wrote a tip Nov 2023
Powick, United Kingdom98 contributions37 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Be prepared for the longish drive on the gravel road. Our Toyota Starlet managed fine at a slow pace."
Read full review
Daniel wrote a tip Sept 2023
Durbanville, South Africa7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Although the road to The Retreat from Calitzdorp via Calitz Rd is a gravel road, it is in a good condition and very scenic. It can done in even the smallest sedan. "
Read full review
Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the Calitzdorp area.
PRICE RANGE
R 2,213 - R 2,267 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
LOCATION
South AfricaWestern CapeCalitzdorp
NUMBER OF ROOMS
8
Prices are provided by our partners, and reflect average nightly room rates, including taxes and fees that are fixed, known to our partners, and due at time of booking. Please see our partners for more details.
Is This Your Tripadvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

THE RETREAT AT GROENFONTEIN - Lodge Reviews & Price Comparison (Calitzdorp, South Africa)

Frequently Asked Questions about The Retreat at Groenfontein
What are some of the property amenities at The Retreat at Groenfontein?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
What food & drink options are available at The Retreat at Groenfontein?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at The Retreat at Groenfontein?
Yes, free parking and secured parking are available to guests.
Are there opportunities to exercise at The Retreat at Groenfontein?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Are pets allowed at The Retreat at Groenfontein?
Yes, pets are typically allowed, but it's always best to call ahead to confirm.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at The Retreat at Groenfontein?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Swedish, and Afrikaans.
Does The Retreat at Groenfontein have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the mountain view available here.
Is The Retreat at Groenfontein accessible?
Yes, it offers reduced mobility rooms. For specific enquiries, we recommend calling ahead to confirm.
Things to DoRestaurantsFlightsHoliday HomesTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire