Luxury self-catering stays in the Karoo

Posted on 4 July 2023 By David Henning

Whitewashed walls, wind pumps and koppies dotting the landscape typify the Karoo aesthetic. But a renaissance is happening in the Platteland, its old homes reimagined.

The Karoo is where you go to escape, and although the area has caught up to the rest of the world, it still prefers to keep itself at an arm’s distance.

De Kleine Prince in Prince Albert and Mukti in Nieu-Bethesda retain that element of a country escape with splashes of modern pizazz.

Contemporary art adorns the thick walls. The wooden floors are glossy with a fresh coat of paint but still creak underfoot. The characteristic plaas dam is still outside but is now a swimming pool.

De Kleine Prince – A Karoo Village Home

Taking a heritage site into the 21st century is no small feat. Often without reverence for its period fittings, a renovation can look tacky. Jumping through those bureaucratic hoops, the heritage council has got it right, having wielded a masterpiece so sumptuous you can’t help but gawk. 

Outside, spekboom and olive trees line the side of the main street in Prince Albert, a town already saturated with quaint guesthouses. This is exactly what owner Adrian Lombard did with De Kleine Prince. 

He didn’t just buy things from a store registry or source them online but carefully, purposefully and pedantically selected them. The homestead stands out on the corner of the street, its white walls reflecting brightly in the Karoo sun.

But as you enter through the doors, you encounter original Oregon pine floors and high ceilings characteristic of old Victorian homes, complemented tastefully with modern art hanging on the walls. 

The entry hall from the front door


De Kleine Prince’s extensive spice shelf. With the kitchen and various cooking stations throughout the house, this is a foodie’s escape.

The Emerald Room and Fire Kitchen also double as an entertainment space. There’s also a World War I Niendorf Piano.

Adriaan designed the copper lights that flank the piano.

The Garden Suite bathroom’s cascading plants serve as a natural shower curtain.

The Conservatory Suite opens to an opaque ceiling with a large Natal mahogany tree creating a space. This creates a sense of being outside minus the harsh Karoo heat.

Luxury stays in the Karoo

A masseuse can be arranged. The space outside under a massive ficus tree is the ideal location for self-pampering.

Luxury stays in the Karoo

The Pool House studio kitchen is made from recycled wood boards.

For more information or to make a booking, visit De Kleine Prince

Mukti, Nieu-Bethesda

Luxury stays in the Karoo

Bringing the charm of the Karoo to the present, Mark and James have converted an old derelict cottage into a living cabinet of curiosity that defines a new interior aesthetic: Karoo chic.

In 2018, they were charmed by the town, extended their stay and boldly decided to buy the dilapidated building.’Mukti was for sale as part of a deceased estate. She was very run down, but we loved her friezes and traditional Karoo architecture. So, we made an offer without even stepping inside.’

Read: Karoo enchantment: things to do in Nieu-Bethesda

High ceilings, generous rooms, Oregon pine floors and attentive light fittings… this decor transports you to a dreamy space, a time warp. Outside, you can hear horses galloping on the hard Karoo earth, and the ragged mountain landscape surrounds Mukti.

Luxury stays in the Karoo

The front door from inside the passage.

Luxury stays in the Karoo Luxury stays in the Karoo
Luxury stays in the Karoo

Mukti from the street.

Luxury stays in the Karoo Luxury stays in the Karoo
Luxury stays in the Karoo

The old farm dam was converted into a pool and is next to a woodfired hot tub.


For more information or to book, visit Mukti

Pictures: Jared Ruttenberg/ @Jaredincpt

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