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October 2021 – Condé Nast Traveler this week announced the results of its annual Readers’ Choice Awards with Babylonstoren recognised as the #1 hotel in Southern Africa.
More than 800,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers submitted responses rating their travel experiences across the globe to provide a full snapshot of the places they can’t wait to return to next. The Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry. The full list of winners can be found here.
“We’re delighted to be voted number one hotel in Southern Africa in the Condé Nast Traveler 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards! We are excited to welcome visitors back to Babylonstoren as global travel restrictions begin to ease. There is so much to explore – from our renowned wines and local dishes to our expansive gardens and historic Cape Dutch cottages offering spectacular mountain and vineyard views. We’re grateful for the votes and we look forward to seeing CNT readers soon,” says Dalené Claassens, General Manager at Babylonstoren Farm Hotel.
Much loved hotel and working fruit and wine farm, South Africa’s Babylonstoren is located in the Drakenstein Valley, in the heart of the Cape Winelands and surrounded by picturesque mountains. This restored Cape Dutch farm dates back to 1692 and is renowned for its magnificent garden with pergolas, gravel pathways and water canals. In fact, it is the only Royal Horticultural Society partner garden in Africa. Every single aspect of Babylonstoren – including the contemporary Farm Hotel and Spa with 22 rooms, the newest exclusive-use, five-bedroom Fynbos Family House, the Farm Shop, winery, farm-to-fork restaurants, Scented Room and Bakery – is led by the ever-changing tapestry and botanical diversity of the garden.
The design was inspired by the historic Company’s Garden in Cape Town, which for centuries supplied ships sailing between Europe and Asia with fresh fruit and vegetables. The estate makes a playful nod to the mythological Hanging Gardens of Babylon, once believed to have been created in the sixth century BC by the second king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, Nebuchadnezzar, for his wife who longed
for the mountains and valleys of her youth. The garden features more than 300 varieties of trees alone and thousands of plant species. Guests can meander through orchards of fruits and nuts as well as a prickly pear maze, and there’s a good chance of stumbling upon fragrant indigenous plants, ducks, chickens and bees. There’s a Healing Garden, a splendid Succulent House, the Kitchen Garden (Moestuin) planted with a variety of seasonal vegetables as well as the Spice House, which tells the story of the spice trade with the East.
After spending the day exploring the gardens, rejuvenating in the Garden Spa or devouring delicious local cuisine, guests can rest their heads at the Farm Hotel. With its thick whitewashed walls, elegant gables and hearty fireplaces, the hotel promises to give guests an authentic South African farm stay experience.
The 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards are published on Condé Nast Traveler’s website here and will be celebrated in the magazine’s November issue.