Fantastic trip and well organised
We loved South Africa, really surpassed all expectations and we'll return.
We loved Bantry Bay hotel, the staff really make it, especially "G" who couldn't do enough for us and was a really fun host. Our Suite was enormous and had fabulous views and a nice private garden. For those who want a true 5* experience with all the polish this isn't the right option (one and only probably) but for those who want a bit more intimacy, character and less formal this is a great option (though not sure I would have paid the rack rate for our room having seen the online tariff!)
This was the highlight of our trip - we LOVED this place. the Cottage was perfect retreat in the wilds of the property and felt really magical (particularly when an African eagle owl came to visit us whilst cooking on our own braii with meat/produce from the farm shop). It seems the property had recently been re-furbed and was really comfortable and excellently equipped (in honesty better in that sense to Bantry Bay which was a bit tired). This property has so much to offer whether wine tasting, moutain bike trails, or simply wondering around or relaxing in your own oasis of beauty. Staff and breakfasts too were second to none - can't rate Boschendal highly enough..
Appreciate this property is a lower cost property compared to the other two but we were pretty dissapointed. Apart from Marianne (the boss I think who was really nice) the rest of the staff were pretty uninterested in helping with bags, information or frankly smiling much! The hotel itself was okay, although very garish interior decor, but the Honeymoon suite is rather out there, no separate bathroom (tho loo essentially in a cupboard!) so water literally goes everywhere! and the room not really that nice in general. I think the property is undergoing major work as well as there were building sites dotted around the place -- the pool is also round the back of the car park and tiny! It could be fantastic as it's in a wonderful position but needs a bit of an upgrade all round before I'd recommend it.
Bjorn, thank you so much for organising such a wonderful trip. We really enjoyed it and fell in love with SA. The itinerary was perfect in terms of logistics and timings etc - we took a few road detours (like Clarens drive) as the printed Google maps document tended to indicate the quickest route rather than the prettiest, though it was useful to have all the information printed out and in one place (sat nav from Bidvest next to useless!). Hermanus was a little disappointing as there were no whales (apparently numbers down this year) and the hotel was pretty budget but it was still an interesting detour even though 2 days was definitely enough. Our resounding memory will be Boschendal which was just perfect (and in retrospect much more romantic than a hotel in Franschoek itself ;-). Best wishes Randall Gordon Duff