Trends & Shopping

Wanderlust: Babylonstoren in South Africa

This gorgeous colonial Dutch farm hotel shows us that there is a lot more to enjoy in South Africa than great white wines and exhilarating safaris.

Copy: Victoria de la Camara, Photography: Christine Meintjes

For those of us who don’t have incredibly hip, bohemian relatives in South Africa (a girl can dream can’t she?) there is Babylonstoren. Hard to put a label on this hotel experience, it’s a truly magical place where you are shrouded in fantastic minimalist design as well as encouraged to explore the gratifyingly quiet moments of the Drakenstein Valley. You can have a traditional hotel experience complete with intense gym training, indulging in the freshly made cuisine at the establishment’s restaurant Babel, and excursions around the Capetown area. But who wants to limit themselves to a traditional experience when you can explore the unique aspects that Babylonstoren has to offer.

Originally a 17th century home to a Dutch family, Babylonstoren was both farm and manor. With its white washed walls and sharply angled roofs, the outside structure of its buildings pay tribute to its original Cape Dutch period. The inside has been given a complete redesign, following a modern sensibility but with hints of colonial characteristics. But its most defining feature is its unique mix between hospitality, design and farm-life. We’ve been seeing a resurgence of high quality restaurants with private gardens as a way to ensure only the best product, as well as a menu that is both seasonal and interesting. Babylonstoren encourages its guests to pick herbs and lettuce for a personalized salad or chamomile flowers for their very own infusion. It’s a new wave of hospitality that provides all of the luxury you would expect in such a gorgeous establishment as well as an interactivity that keeps you connected with the experience.

That idea of connectivity is felt throughout the hotel. Whether its a connection between the modern luxuries and the simplicity of the land, or the building’s defining historical origins with its contemporary transformation, you can see harmony throughout. We’re hoping that some day our travels will take us to the Drakenstein Valley so that we can pay a visit to one of the most unique farm hotels in the world.

Shop Rue: 1. Throw // 2. Glasses // 3. Cutting board // 4. Sectional // 5. Lamp // 6. Basket

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