is this the perfect mountain cabin?

Fazenda: The Perfect Escape Cabin, Swellendam

One of the greatest joys of life is discovering hidden escapes. Places that force you to slow down and be in the moment. Social Media has created such a drive for unique spaces, that these types of escapes seem to spring up everywhere – yet they can be difficult to reach and can be a few hours’ drive over rocky terrain.

So imagine our delight when we found a jewel called The Perfect Escape – surrounded by mountains, forest, and nature – not 10 minutes from the heart of Swellendam. It felt like the needed balance between a luxury escape from reality and access to one of the most beautiful towns in South Africa. What could be more perfect … Luxury.

Luxury and quality meet the perfect location – and Fazenda knows what this is al about. From the natural Africology products in the forest-view-bathroom, and soft, fluffy bedding, to the warm glow of the bedroom fireplace – everything is curated for perfection. This is why we believe this cabin should be on your South African Travel Bucket list.

Why Fazenda is the perfect weekend escape

The Perfect Escape Cabin is part of the Fazenda Estate, which lies at the foot of the glorious Langeberg Mountain Range (which translates to Long Mountain Range). This country escape is around a 2.5-hour drive from Cape Town or George. For tourists, this can mean a scenic drive straight from either airport.

The location is what lays the foundation of the overall Fazenda magic. Swellendam is a small town known for its surrounding nature trails which provide superb hiking opportunities. The town is idyllic, with oak and maple-tree-lined streets, famous Cape Dutch architecture, and rolling hills leading uo to the giant mountain.This natural wonder forms part of the lush Marloth nature reserve, of which Fazenda forms the boundary. The location creates a view one would expect from a cabin in Switzerland and not South Africa.

As the surrounding area is filled with pine trees which create a natural forest, the Perfect Escape Cabin is surrounded by a wall of nature- a forest at the back, and a mountain at the front. Because of the large sliding doors, the air is filled with the scent of pine and local fynbos. In the morning the call of birds and waking baboons seems surreal so close to an urban location. Yet this is what creates the magical appeal! You feel like you are miles away from people, yet a drive to the local bakery or wine boutique is 10 minutes away. Thus, you are spoiled for choice with hiking trails, picnic locations, and a vibrant village all within your reach. 

The cabin’s Best Features

The cabin’s interior and exterior layout

The Perfect Escape cabin is ideal for any season, with constant, uninterrupted views of the mountain being the main focus of its design. It is made up of bedroom on the left, a modern kitchen in the middle, and a partly enclosed bathroom on the right. Glass sliding doors open up fully so that the kitchen sprawls out unto the front deck. The bedroom’s sliding doors open up to a splash pool, giving the cottage a spacious, yet cozy feel. I loved how the forest peeked through various slitted windows; It gives the cabin a delightfully secluded atmosphere. However, the most enjoyable feature is the proximity to the mountain. I swear you can almost touch it, while having a cup of coffee in bed.

The bedroom has a cozy fireplace which spreads easy warmth around the room. There is also a well-stocked braai ( The South-African form of Barbecuing) on the covered deck in front of the kitchen. The cabin is set up so that you can have mountain views where ever you decide to enjoy the fire. Nothing is better than waking up to a mountain view from a warm, fluffy bed. For the perfect morning, light the fire and enjoy a cup of hot choclate

How is the cabin decorated?

Speaking of hot drinks, the cottage also has a well-laid-out kitchen. It is sleek yet practical,fitted with a dark granite counter, a gas stove, a microwave, a mini fridge, and a capsule-coffee machine. The deck in front of the kitchen makes for a comfortable space to create delicious dishes while still enjoying the braai conversation and mountain views.

Lastly, the bathroom has a lovely shower that lets steam roll out into the rest of the cabin, enhancing the romantic feel of this cabin. Add quality fixtures (yes- this is where I judge the true quality of accommodation- there is nothing worse than the towel railing coming off the wall when stepping out of the shower), great products ,and a bed that seems to hug you, and you have the perfect mountain cabin. It also has plenty of seating options inside and out and a charming vintage closet with enough space for a weekend’s worth of clothes (Even when you pack a lot, like me).

The Perfect’s Escape cabin’s perfect Atmosphere

The cabin has an alluring and romantic atmosphere with tasteful decor which leans on natural elements. It has bare concrete floors with scattered animal-skin-mats and bare brick walls alternating with nature-themed wallpaper. The dark granite, and black kitchen fixtures, add to the smoldering feel of the Perfect Escape Cabin, setting off the green of the forest surrounding it.

Steam enhances the already romantic mood this Cabin oozes

A lovely touch is the simple yet interesting black-and white travel photos of Guatemala.Pencil notes in a flowing hand brushes the space beneath each memory. It is such a small detail, but gives the cabin a more personal feel. Over-all, every decor element seemed to be thoughtfully selected and arranged, creating a moody, romantic and lavish atmosphere.

Best Features at a glance
  • Fireplace
  • Deck with a braai
  • Mountain views from the bed
  • Surrounded by a private forest
  • Coffee Capsule Machine
  • Fast Wifi and power 24/7
  • 10 min from Swellendam

Details that matter

Small touches and gestures can make or break even the most expensive accommodation. Fazenda mostly excelled in this department too. Marlouise, the host, already lit the fire for our arrival and checked that we connected to the wifi before leaving us to settle in. She also reached out later during the evening to check if we needed anything.

Though we do not drink any alcohol, we know most guests would enjoy the rum, lemon, and Indian Tonic set out. Wine lovers will be impressed by the array of wine glasses and other utensils ready in the kitchen. South Africa is a wine country, and Fazenda clearly understands this by providing everything you need to enjoy perfect moments.

The only element the kitchen lacked was sugar and so we had our morning coffee on the bitter side. But the hearty fire and lovely view sweetened us up quickly enough. The cabin had constant power, good wifi, and a extra wood for hours in front of a cozy fire. Overall the details are well thought through, and the experience is planned to accommodate even the most difficult guests.

What you need to know

There was no under-cover parking, but we never felt like our vehicle was unsafe or too exposed to the elements. The road to Fazenda is in good condition, but take it slow in the winter-rainy season. Even the best roads can become slippery in the Swellendam mountains.

If you enjoy sweet coffee or are particular about your tea rituals, pack filter coffee, a teapot, and some milk and sugar. Alternatively, pop into the local Country-Deli, Eco-shop, or grocery stores in town for your coffee/tea/food needs.

Lastly, even though the fire makes the bedroom very toasty and cozy, I still like my bed to be warm when I hop in, so pack a warm water bottle and extra warm clothing like wool socks and a soft robe, so your winter experience will be perfectly rounded-off.

Last thoughts about our stay at The Cabin

This estate and Perfect Escape Cabin were absolute bliss, and next time we hope to book their famous Greenhouse for some forest bathing over a long weekend. This property is quite popular, so book ahead and keep an eye on their socials for any updates or cancelations.

Remember that the surrounding nature is precious to the locals, so leave no trace when you go hiking, and take care not to litter when exploring the area. We want to keep our mountains, forests, and towns clean and healthy for everyone to enjoy!

How to book one of the amazing cabins at Fazenda

You can book through airbnb or their website. Alternativly, send Marlouise and email at info@fazendaswellendam.co.za. Lastly, for more inspiration, check out their their instagram here.