Hotel News News / 28 September 2015

Serenity and Adventure -Stonehill River Lodge

You know you’re going to spend your days in relaxed surrounds when even the birds pop in to your kitchen to say an unruffled, unhurried good morning.

Stonehill River Lodge, just a few hours’ drive from Cape Town on the gorgeous Garden Route near Swellendam, is idyllic from every angle. Set on the banks of the Breede river, this luxury self-catering villa-style resort is surrounded by Cape fynbos, milkwood and giant aloes.

The setting is serene; ideal for a family retreat or secluded couples’ hideaway. In fact, you’d be forgiven for never leaving your private deck with its Jacuzzi and braai, or comfortable lounge with stunning views of the gurgling Breede river below. But if you do manage to tear yourself away from the slothing, there is an incredible variety of activities to keep all ages engaged. Here are some of our top picks:

A river runs through it…

You cannot visit the Breede without really ‘visiting it’. Climb aboard one of our canoes and let our qualified and experienced river guide take you down the river on a two-hour trip paddling down the rapids. And if you’re really brave you can jump off a short cliff into the cold water. Face it, you’re going to get wet on this little trip, but for a bit of an adrenalin rush in safe surrounds, this experience is unrivalled.

Back in the saddle…

Mountain bikers will adore the terrain at Stonehill River Lodge with its 7.2km bike trail. What’s more, you won’t need to traipse all the way down to the Breede with your bikes in tow because there are bikes and helmets to rent at reception. Shift gears up and down the purpose-built biking paths that explore this beautiful natural environment, surrounded by small game, fynbos and a vast array of bird species. The area is home to bontebok, eland, Rooi hartebeest, springbok and zebra best viewed in the morning or just before sunset.

Bushwacking at the Breede…

There are two fantastic hiking trails on offer: a 2.5km Green Trail and the more challenging 6km Red Trail. Green is for go on the shorter Green Trail which requires only moderate fitness and is more of a picnic trail really (what’s more, you can borrow a picnic basket from reception and make a morning or afternoon of it). There are benches to sit on and several fishing and swimming spots to enjoy. The longer Red Trail links to the green trail, but you need to be reasonably fit and to enjoy walking to conquer this trail. It should take about two and a half hours to complete.

Reel ‘em in…

Not that you’d need to escape any noise or hustle and bustle at Stonehill River Lodge, but if you’d like some quiet time, what better way to spend an early morning than fishing on the Breede river. Rods are available for hire at reception and hooks and bait are also for sale. Fish to catch in the river include Cat Face Rock cod, Zebra fish and White stumpnose, among other species.

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