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Jan Harmsgat Country House

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

Highlights

- Authentic working farmhouse
- 680 hectares of land to explore
- Fine dining restaurant on site
- Historic property with original features

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Overview

Tucked away in a picturesque valley between the towns of Ashton and Swellendam is Jan Harmsgat County House. Dating back to 1723, this smart yet charming period property has always functioned as a working farmhouse. Today, the hotel’s interior is decorated in a traditional Victorian style with plenty of modern touches, making it a very comfortable base from which to explore South Africa’s Western Cape province.

This five-star property has a total of 10 rooms, each with their own distinct style and unique historic features. There are four Classic Quarters rooms housed in a thatched-roof building that once served as the sleeping quarters for the estate’s slaves. This building also has two communal lounges and a private courtyard, and the salt-water pool is very close by. Above the original wine cellar are a number of Superior Suites, while the wine cellar itself serves as the top notch Executive Suite. Rounding off the accommodation options are two Executive Family Suites which are housed in their own 19th century quarters adjacent to the main building.

Guests are free to explore the property’s 680 hectares of land, most of which is set aside for agricultural purposes. A number of small mammals and birds can be spotted and there are several orchards whose produce is served up in the property’s restaurant, Just Amy. The restaurant is open for three meals a day and offers a delicious array of homemade food. While breakfast and lunch are fairly casual, dinner is very much a fine dining experience. The property lies in the southern part of the Robertson Wine Valley - wine production is a key activity here and there are plenty of opportunities for tasting and buying the locally cultivated wines.

Popular activities include going on a drive through the estate’s vineyards, enjoying a soak in the pool or an open-air picnic complete with sunset views. Many take the opportunity to explore the wider area and embark on a range of outdoor activities from hiking up the towering Langeberg Mountains, to horse riding, exploring scenic nature reserves and going sailing down the Breede River.

Children are welcome, and the two Executive Family Suites provide the perfect accommodation for families.

Nearby Alternatives

Mimosa Lodge

Swellendam

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Great Route 62 location
- Gourmet dining
- Picturesque gardens with pool

Rothman Manor

Swellendam

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Boutique Guesthouse
- 3.5 ha estate with Zebra & Springboks
- Swimming Pool

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Restored Victorian Treasure
- Lush Gardens
- Fine Dining
- Swimming Pool

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Stunning views
- Beautiful Landscapes
- Big Five
- Convenient Garden Route Location

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 504 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • Hi Lisa,

    The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.

    Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)

    Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!

    Best regards,
    Woan Chyi

    MissingWoan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019

  • We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
    We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
    Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
    Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
    Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
    Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
    Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
    Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
    Level of service, quality of food throughout

    MissingCatherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019

  • We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!

    The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).

    A few points:
    Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.

    Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
    They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.

    Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!

    The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!

    MissingKatrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019

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