Babylonstoren, Franschhoek $$$$
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:A 500-acre Cape Dutch winery and fruit farm dating to 1692 has been reincarnated way beyond its former glory by former Elle Decoration editor Karen Roos into the Cape's most authentic and comforting farm stay. Located between Franschhoek and Paarl, this meticulously restored estate is anchored by eight acres of formal vegetable, flower, and fruit gardens. The simple, whitewashed exteriors of the 12 suites, overlooking gardens or vineyards, give little hint of the graceful interiors that mingle old and new, rustic and contemporaryfrom the posy of indigenous flowers in the bathroom, to the bookshelves packed with highbrow South African literature, to the modern glass-walled full kitchens in select suites that enable fantasy DIY farm-to-table cooking (guests can pluck their own heirloom vegetables and organic fruit on-site). For those happy to leave the cooking to the pros, Babel, a restaurant in a converted cowshed, presents a fresh daily menu whose organizing principle is seasonal colors (a red salada plate of watermelon, strawberries, beets, radishes, and mulberriesfor instance) served in a dining room or under umbrellas in a courtyard. Even the pool's design reinforces the pastoral experienceit resembles a traditional farm dam. 2011 Hot List
Which room to book: Opt for a suite with a kitchen, facing the gardens.Subscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›
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