{The Grootbos Chronicles} Living in Paradise

   
 
A few weeks ago, you'll remember that we were invited to visit the spectacular Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. I've shared their wonderful food with you, and the inspiring Growing the Futures project they have - but now, perhaps for the most obvious aspect of the reserve - their location and luxurious accommodation.


This next bit is from their website, as I I don't really speak "plant" too well - I can generally determine what is a tree, shrub and flower - and that wont' really do the amazing variety at Grootbos justice.

Our guide, Christoff, showing the lovely man around.

At latest count the number of positively identified, herbarium-catalogued plant species on Grootbos was an astouring 765 species on just 1800 hectares. Eighty three of the species found are species of conservation concern, while a total of six species new to science have been recorded. . The reserve is home to a wide variety of vegetation types including critically endangered Overberg sandstone fynbos, endangered milkwood forests, afromontane forests tucked away in fire proof kloofs, locally rare Agulhas limestone fynbos restricted to the limestone outcrops of the area, Overberg dune strandveld near the coast and wetland vegetation.  
 
    To your left...
...and to your right.  
There's also a field guide in each room, allowing you to discover a little more about the area and the plants you'll see, if like me, you can't tell your Erica magnisylvae from your Lachenalia lutzeyeri (also available for purchase should you wish to buy one to take home). I was kindly given one - I think they could sense my lack of plant knowledge - and I got a little thrill each time I could identify a plant on our walks around the reserve. 

Of course - on to the rooms - or more accurately, suites. We stayed in one of the 16 luxury suites that make up the Forest Lodge. All free standing, each suite has a lounge with fireplace, bedroom, en suite bathroom with double washbasins, double showers and bath and heated towel rails - even though you are living among hectares of forest and bush, you are definitely not "roughing it". You travel through the forest, down a meandering path to get between the suites, and to the Forest Lodge itself-  where the main restaurant and pool are situated, so there's always an opportunity to marvel at the variety of vegetation and life around you.

Everything at Grootbos is understated - there is no flashy gold, shiny chrome or rich velvet. The neutral decor is well thought out, but doesn't intrude on your surroundings. A fine balance to have found.

I'll keep the beauty of the suites a surprise for you - but if you're really keen to see what awaits, there are a few photographs here.

The lounge area in the Forest Lodge main reception  
Sunset from the deck of our suite, with the Forest Lodge Reception on the left.   
Perhaps what I loved most about "living" at Grootbos for a night was how understated the luxury was - you had everything you could ever need (including a spare bathroom, underfloor heating and a turn down before bed) but nothing felt over-the-top or brash. It was 5* but without intruding or cheapening your surroundings. It's luxury that blends with the natural beauty - and doesn't try to compete with it. Surely that is truly the best of all worlds?

Note : We enjoyed our stay as guests of Grootbos - all views, opinions and images are my own. 







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