Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat is only three and a half hours drive from Cape Town, but once you’re here it’s easy to forget that you share the planet with 5 billion other people and that it’s actually the 21st century!
This is a huge part of the appeal – the fact that you are so close to nature, and to the ancient past, without all the clutter and clamour of modern civilization. When I look around at the timeless rocks I feel closer to the bushmen who roamed this landscape 10,000 years ago than I do to the people I see on the television, and when I gaze up into the inky black sky the rest of the world seems farther away than the moon and stars!
It’s therefore a rather surreal feeling when our little world is picked out by the full glare of the media spotlight. It happened a few months ago, when we were named Number 1 Hotel in the World by Travel & Leisure 2009. That’s quite an accolade, and whilst everyone on the team was absolutely delighted, we did feel a bit like an antelope caught in headlights!
Well, as you know, the media has a short attention span and soon moved on to their next story, leaving us in peace once more. We just went back about our business, concentrating on giving guests the most extraordinary wilderness and wellness experiences imaginable, whilst also continuing our various conservation projects.
Then, just last week, it happened again! We were plunged into the full glare of the limelight once more with the news that we’d been named in the Condé Nast Traveller Gold List 2010.
This is described by Condé Nast Traveller as “our ultimate guide to the world’s best hotels”. It’s is highly selective, only picking the very best three hotels, across six regions of the globe, under the headings of service, location, food, rooms, leisure facilities and ambience & design. The judges selected Bushmans Kloof as one of the three best hotels in the food category for Africa, Middle East and Indian Ocean.
The judges commended us for offering a choice “between elegant formal dining at the Homestead or relaxed BBQs at Embers” commenting that “Head Chef Floris Smith excels in contemporary Cape cuisine using local ingredients and indigenous herbs.”
All I would add to that, besides my congratulations to Floris and his team, is that much of the local produce consists of organically home-grown fruit and vegetables, freshly picked from our very own gardens. The kitchen also makes full use of the indigenous fynbos (fine bush) herbs, which grow in abundance on the reserve – these are used to add a distinctly ‘Cape’ flavour to many of the dishes. Of these, the Rooibos plant, naturally occurring only in the Cederberg region, is the most prominent, and an essential part of the gastronomic experience here.
We look forward to welcoming you soon and serving you the wholesome, colourful and flavourful local cuisine that’s now winning awards on the world stage!