Set in a much-photographed Victorian landmark dating from 1853, the charming Schoone Oordt Country House is surrounded by rolling fields and the majestic Langeberg Mountain range in the picturesque village of Swellendam. It has been lovingly restored over many years by Richard and Alison Walker and is tucked away on over 5000m² of lush grounds, with guests having access a stunning saltwater swimming pool and a fragrant rose garden. Schoone Oordt (beautiful place in Afrikaans), possibly Swellendam’s premier boutique hotel, puts an emphasis on unpretentious luxury, elegance, love and attention to detail.
In newly built annexes in the gardens and accessed by private entrances, the refined, antiques-filled rooms are designed to blend in with the character of the main house. All feature en suite bathrooms with Victorian free-standing tubs, TVs, tea and coffee making facilities, heated floors and balconies. The (honeymoon) suite features a fireplace and a 4-poster bed, while a cosy family cottage has a kitchenette.
An extensive, gourmet breakfast is included in the rate and is served in the sunlight-filled conservatory. Guests can enjoy dinner at the Conservatory Restaurant at Schoone Oordt by prior reservation, and complimentary afternoon tea with home-baked savoury and sweet goodies. In winter, complimentary snack platters and a warming welcome drink are offered on arrival.
Your hosts: Alison, Richard & family
✅ free Wi-Fi • 10 rooms & suites (25-61m2) • hotel opened: November 2007 • bathroom amenities: Healing Earth (Cape Town) ✅ free on-site parking • Marloth Nature Reserve: 2 km • Bontebok National Park: 5 km • Montagu Springs: 41 km • Cape Town: 2-hour drive • 24-hour front desk • no pets allowed • facilities for weddings and events
The DNA: Owners Richard and Alison had always wanted to live and raise children in the country. Richard’s dream was building a game farm; Alison’s a beautiful old guesthouse filled with artists, poets, writers and children. After a short holiday where a pregnancy test proved positive, they drove home to Cape Town via Swellendam and found this aging Victorian Grande Dame. It wasn’t quite a farm, but definitely enough of a project to inspire both. They fell in love. After scraping together everything they owned they acquired Schoone Oordt. After years of renovating, with Richard doing most work himself, camping in what basically was a building site, moving back and forth to Cape Town (and having four children) the grande dame has returned to her gracious self.