Simonsberg, South Africa


Named after a nearby mountain which was thought to look like the biblical tower of Babel, Babylonstoren provides all the freshness and virility of a working farm with uncompromised luxury. For the most stylish farm stay, look no further.

Key Features

  • Daily guided cellar tours, lush vineyards and exclusive wine tastings – make sure you sample their ruling Nebukadneser grape
  • Fascinating seasonal workshops on how in-house chefs gain inspiration from asparagus, or how to fuse tea herbs and flowers to rejuvenate the body
  • Take an exciting excursion on the Franschhoek wine tram, covering eight wine luxury wine estates in the Franschhoek Winelands valley
  • Beautiful interiors designed by Karen Roos; majestic garden reconstructed from 12th-century monastery by Patrice Taravella


Set on the doorstep of Simonsberg in Franschhoek wine valley, Babylonstoren is a boutique farm excelling in local produce. With some of its buildings dating back as far as the 1750s, Babylonstoren is one of the best-preserved examples of a Cape Dutch farm. The authentic historical exterior highlights the romance of rural Dutch Cape. Cosy cottages are elevated to spacious and light-filled spaces. Refreshingly simple elegance of thick, white-washed walls are complemented by rich oak features of hearty fireplaces. Verdant gardens rich in biodiversity balance the clean-line and contemporary cottage interiors.


It’s the kitchen garden that is at the heart of Babylonstoren, with the abundance of produce celebrated at every turn. The restaurants operate with a “farm-to-fork” philosophy, creating delicious dishes using their own produce. Their main outlet, Babel, is a triumph. Housed in the old cow shed, it’s a beautiful blend of Cape Dutch architecture and contemporary glass walls. From the enormous breakfast spread to the salads, it sets the bar for sustainable gastronomy.


Collaborating with Cape Nature, Babylonstoren has established a stewardship programme to ensure the conservation of biodiversity. To this end, they are housing and restoring 10 critically endangered vegetation.

In the grounds, the produce is grown as organically as possible in a biologically sustainable manner, including being watered from a running stream. In the restaurants, the seasonal menus have been meticulously developed to embody the fork-to-table philosophy.

Why we love it

Karen Roos’s design touch has elevated this traditional farmhouse to something truly magnificent. Contrasting the historic, rough outbuildings with clean, contemporary elements, she’s brought the cottages into the 21st century in style. But her influence doesn’t end here: this juxtaposition between old and new extends to the restaurant, the spa, and the main hotel building.

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