Guests of Babylonstoren Hotel in South Africa find themselves transported back to the 18th century in South Africa's Drakenstein Valley. This prestigious Cape Winelands hotel has won countless awards for art, architecture, wine, and cuisine. Its wondrous historic buildings on the nearly 500-acre working farm are all anchored by a Cape Dutch manor house.

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When decor expert Karen Roos reimagined one of the best preserved farms in the area, she kept the integrity of the stunning Cape Dutch architecture. Babylonstoren Hotel in South Africa is composed of the main home, a koornhuis storage for hay and grain, a quirky bell tower and a walled pen for farm fowl, among other historic buildings. Exteriors are kept in line with Cape Dutch standards: whitewashed walls with interesting gables and thatched roofs. Light and modern decor throughout is grounded by warm natural wood accents and an inviting fireplace in most of the suites. The luscious interiors have been featured in Elle Decor and other prestigious publications. Suite options include one or two bedrooms housed in the former service buildings that were converted into luxury accommodations. The five-bedroom Manor House has been fully restored to its colonial glory and is available for guests’ exclusive use.

The lodge’s farms feature some 135 acres of fruit trees and a vineyard with both red and white grapes, while the eight-acre formal garden sports a variety of herbs, vegetables, and flowering plants winding through the walkways. Guests are welcome to explore the gardens at their leisure or with a guide and may even roll up their sleeves with the lodge staff and assist with picking and planting. Set in an unused livestock enclosure, the restaurant Babel serves seasonal offerings inspired by the freshest produce found in the garden. Partake in surprise dining experiences around the farm and in the gardens, next to the pool, or in the comfort of your suite.

Venture away from the sprawling gardens for day trips to surrounding historic wineries in Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. Cycling the surrounding area, canoeing on the lodge’s dam, or hiking up the koppie for a thrilling view of the farm from above. For more relaxing pursuits, a gracious spa features a variety of professional treatments, indoor plunge pool and sauna.

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