Babylonstoren: all you need to know

Posted on 22 August 2022 By Nelson Kalula

If you are looking for something more than just wine, then explore this enchanted escape

Babylonstoren is a 200-hectare farm that dates back to 1692 and is located in the Drakenstein Valley in the Cape Winelands, nearly halfway between Franschhoek and Paarl. Owner Karen Roos has expertly crafted the ideal farm haven here, where the luxury is in the setting’s authenticity and integrity.

A stylish hotel, a 3.5-hectare garden that supplies three restaurants and a tranquil spa, a contemporary wine-tasting facility, a boathouse with a row boat, endless dirt roads, and a pervasive sense of tranquility that follows you everywhere can also be found here.

Here are 15 reasons to visit Babylonstoren today

Babylonstoren is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and there are so many reasons why you should visit it today. From the stunning gardens and fruit orchards to the award-winning wine estate and restaurants, Babylonstoren has something for everyone. Plus, with its charming cottages and luxurious suites, it’s the perfect place to relax and escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. If you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable travel experience, then make sure to add Babylonstoren to your list!

Address: Klapmuts – Simondium Rd, Simondium, 7670
Opening hours: Weekly 9am – 5pm
Phone: 021 863 3852

1. Start your journey at the Babylonstoren Garden

Babylonstoren Babylonstoren Garden

Image Credit: Paarl Wellington

The garden at Babylonstoren serves as the farm’s epicenter, surrounded by a total of 3.5 hectares (8 acres) of fruit and vegetable orchards.

The garden is divided into 15 clusters, each of which includes vegetable areas, stone and pome fruits, nuts, citrus, berries, bees, herbs, ducks and chickens, a prickly pear maze, and other features.

Water flows into the garden via rills from a stream, passing through ponds planted with edible lotus, nymphaea lilies, and waterblommetjies.

Every one of the garden’s more than 300 plant varieties is edible or has medicinal value. They are also grown as organically and biologically sustainable as possible. The garden’s fruits and vegetables are harvested all year for use in two farm-to-fork restaurants. A natural stream flows from Simonsberg Mountain to the Berg River along the garden’s edge, providing a habitat for indigenous wild olives. Every spring, a collection of approximately 7000 clivia lilies explode in a spectacular display in their shade.

2. Stay at the Babylonstoren Farm Hotel

Babylonstoren Babylonstoren Farm Hotel

Image Credit:

The Babylonstoren Hotel is surrounded by a stunning 9-acre garden with historical significance. Located in the Simondium area of the Cape Winelands, this luxury boutique hotel offers guests a beautiful and relaxing retreat.

The words ‘luxury’ and ‘rural setting’ go hand in hand at Babylonstoren Hotel Cape Town; nestled between Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, they are more than a fitting description of this one-of-a-kind destination.

Many of the original farm buildings have been converted into beautiful, elegant guest rooms. There are nine one-bedroom suites, each with access to an outdoor pool and a hot spa. The salt room, vitality pool, and sauna are all housed in a decked wooden building, adding to the facility’s tranquil atmosphere. White-washed walls enhance the Babylonstoren farmhouse hotel’s character.

Address: Klapmuts – Simondium Rd, Simondium, 7670
Check-in: Check-in from 14h00

3. Relax at the Babylonstoren Garden Spa

Babylonstoren: Babylonstoren Garden Spa

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The Garden Spa at Babylonstoren, like everything else at the resort, is inextricably linked to the garden and the changing seasons. We like to think of it as a living spa because it is set in a bamboo grove with serene greenery and a plethora of leiwater channels to help set the mood. Our bamboo pavilion, which houses the facility, houses the hammam, the chill room, the hot spa, and the gym.

Address: Klapmuts – Simondium Rd, Simondium, 7670
Opening hours: Weekly 9am – 6pm
Phone: 021 300 3929

4. Get an olive oil and balsamic vinegar tour

olive oil and balsamic vinegar tour

The latest experience on the Babylonstoren farm is an olive oil tour. The walking tour begins with a visit to their balsamic vinegar cellar, where guests will learn about the traditional methods and production processes used to make DOP-style three-year-old and IGP-style twelve-year-old balsamic vinegar, including grape picking and pressing, boiling the grape juice, and the lengthy maturation process in our battery of wooden kegs. Guests will be able to sample both of their aged vinegar before venturing outside to learn about their farm and its history.

Duration: 11h00, 13h00 or 15h00 (duration 60 min)
Cost: R200 per person (includes tasting). To reserve a space, payment is necessary.

5. Sample delicious confectionary at the Babylonstoren Bakery

Babylonstoren Babylonstoren Bakery

Image Credit: Babylonstoren Website

The Bakery not only serves delicious Italian-inspired evening meals, but it also supplies the shop with freshly baked bread to pair with our Cheese Room’s delicious cheeses. Sourdough, rye, white, and whole wheat bread are among the options. At Bakery dinners, our food is served family style, with guests dishing up for themselves from wooden boards placed on their table. The Italian-inspired set menu begins with antipasti and salad. Then, enjoy the main course to your heart’s content. Finally, the meal is completed with a delicious dolce and our famous coffee.

Italian-inspired evenings: Every Monday and Friday, the Bakery offers dishes with an Italian theme. R420 per adult and R200 per child.
Carnivore evenings: A five-course carnivore evening every Wednesday. R650 per adult and R200 per child. (Starts at 18:30)

6. Babel at Babylonstoren

Babel Restaurant

Image Credit: Paarl Wellington

Babel Restaurant, housed in an old cow shed, is a beautiful mix of Cape Dutch architecture and contemporary glass walls that creates a simple yet edgy environment in which to try our tasty but often unconventional combinations. We follow a farm-to-fork philosophy, which means we prefer to serve seasonal food that reflects our “pick, clean, and serve” approach.

Address: Klapmuts – Simondium Rd, Simondium, 7670
Opening hours: Weekly 8am – 8:30pm
Phone: 021 863 3852

7. Authentic hammam at the New Hot Spa

New Hot Spa

The new Hot Spa is an addition to the existing Garden Spa, and it includes a large new indoor pool, sauna, salt room, and two vitality pools. It has a traditional Rasul chamber for mud scrubs and deep soaks, as well as an authentic hammam with floor-to-ceiling marble.

8. Greenhouse Restaurant

The Greenhouse Restaurant, located at the back of the garden at Babylonstoren, is a sight to behold. There’s no better place to enjoy an informal, picnic-style snack of tea and buttermilk scones or a more substantial meal of artisanal bread with handcrafted cheeses and dressed meats served with our homemade herb oils, chutneys, preserves, and relishes than here under our recently planted oak trees.

Address: Klapmuts – Simondium Rd, Simondium, 7670
Opening hours: Weekly 9am – 6pm (summer) 5pm (winter)
Phone: 021 863 3852

9. Hop on the Franschhoek Wine Tram

The Franschhoek Wine Tram is without a doubt the best way to explore the many wine farms, restaurants, and wine-related activities in the area: a vintage-style, open-air railway system that transports visitors from estate to estate, with a seasoned and knowledgeable guide weaving the region’s tales into their experience.

You could spend a few hours strolling through the gardens, sipping wine while overlooking the vines, or perusing our farm stall for delicious padkos (slang for a road snack). You can board the bus and continue your explorations when you’re finished.

Address: Corner of Main Road and, Cabriere St, Franschhoek, 7690
Opening hours: Weekly 9am – 5pm
Phone: 021 300 0338
Cost: Purple line R270

10. Sample a variety of world-class teas

Rooibos Tea

South African drinks such as Rooibos and Honeybush have gained popularity at home and abroad. Made from indigenous Cape fynbos, which gives them their distinct amber color and sweet, earthy, and floral flavor.

i. Rooibos tea

Their organic Rooibos Tea, available in teabags or loose leaf, has a herbal, fruity flavor and a distinctive crimson color. This drink is made from the dried leaves of the Rooibos plant and is not only naturally sugar- and caffeine-free, but it is also popular for its great flavor and health benefits.

ii. Honeybush tea

Honeybush tea

The organic Honeybush Tea is infused with the flavor of the Southern Cape and is made from the native Honeybush plant, which is a component of the fynbos biome. This tea is a delightful alternative to your standard cup of tea, loved for its herbal-flowery flavor, light sweetness, and honey aroma. It is entirely natural, low in tannin, and free of sugar and caffeine. Honeybush Tea is the perfect beverage to go along with a healthy lifestyle because of its calming and relaxing properties.

11. Endulge in a variety of flavors with Babylonstoren Wine Tasting

Babylonstoren Wine Tasting

Wine tasting starts at R90 per person for seven wines (Flagship wines can be added to your tasting at an additional cost: Chardonnay R25, Nebukadnesar R30, and Sprankle R40). A three-wine express tasting is also available for R50 per person. Seating is done on a first-come, first-served basis.

Cost: R90 per person

12. Book a cellar tour

Babylonstoren olive oil and balsamic vinegar tour

Image Credit: Twitter

The tour begins with some fascinating facts about our farm’s history and wine heritage. There are pictures of various vines (both table grapes and wine grapes). The winemaking process is explained in the production cellar. The tour also includes a stop at our new wine tunnel, which takes guests on a journey through centuries of winemaking and storage. After touring the barrel cellar, it’s time to sample our wines. During the tasting, guests gather around the large wooden table in the wine tunnel. Accompaniments are served to complement each wine perfectly.

Duration: 10h00, 13h00 or 16h00 (duration 90 min)
Cost: R325 per person (includes tasting). To reserve a space, payment is necessary.

13. Have a row at the Babylonstoren dam

Babylonstoren Have a row at the dam

Image Credit: Babylonstoren Website

The Babylonstoren dam has breathtaking scenery and a diverse bird population. Get a bag from the front desk. They provide three canoes and life jackets for rowing expeditions. It should be noted that minors must always be supervised by an adult.

14. Mountain drive

Babylonstoren Mountain drive

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You can join a guided mountain drive up the slopes of Simonsberg every day at 16:00 and 17:00 in the summer. The views from the top are breathtaking, with breathtaking views of the valley and Table Mountain in the distance. Then, as the sun sets, you can relax with a glass of wine and take in the scenery.

15. Babylonstoren Seasonal fly and bass fishing

Babylonstoren Seasonal fly and bass fishing

In their trout dam, you can try your hand at fly fishing. A guide accompanies guests, and reservations are required. On request, at 14h00. You can go bass fishing at the farm dam. Fishing rods are available at reception.

If you want to escape the city for a day and explore some of South Africa’s natural beauty, Babylonstoren is the perfect place for you. With stunning gardens, a fantastic restaurant, and plenty of activities to keep you busy, this farm stay has something for everyone. Make sure to visit today!

Also read: Babylonstoren launches new interactive museum about wine

Babylonstoren launches new interactive museum about wine

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