At Barton’s villas you do it in luxury and style!

The four villas are snugly situated against the lower slopes, each offering complete privacy and much, much more.

Villas are places of accommodation in Italy, right! In South Africa, when you stay on a wine estate, you can choose anything from self catering accommodation and BxB’s to luxurious, star-studded guesthouses and boutique hotels. But not villas. Well, until now, that is.

When the Bot River winemakers invited us to attend their annual harvest celebration, Barrels and Beards, earlier this year, we decided to make a weekend of it, and after some enquiries discovered that great accommodation was to be found on a new wine and olive estate, Barton Vineyards & Villas. It’s situated on the R43 about 5 km from Bot River and 25 km from Hermanus, in other words, close to every possible convenience.

Two things before we get into our weekend stay at Barton Vineyards & Villas. Firstly, if you haven’t visited the Bot River winemakers yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. Make a point and go and taste their super wines. They have shaved off their beards by now and look a lot more respectable and less scary!

Secondly, my test vehicle over this period was Chevrolet’s super sexy Captiva, the diesel version, which I found better than the V6 petrol model in terms of performance, but they shared the same little “jackals” that annoyed me and took some of the lustre off an otherwise lovely SUV. Read more at http://planeetwyn.co.za/node/3673.

Left: Barton Villas certainly deserve their four-star rating. It's all about luxury and comfort and making a getaway special.

But back to Barton. Lying at the foot of the Hottentots Holland mountain range in the Bot River valley, it borders the Kogelberg Eco Park on the one side and looks across the vineyard and olive grove covered valley to the Babilonsberg mountains on the other. Right at the bottom of the valley lies Walker Bay.

Barton is a working farm of 30 hectares consisting of vineyards, olive groves and fynbos. The Neill family from England purchased the estate in 2001 with only 6 hectares under 20 year old vines. In 2003 they started planting vines on a further 20 hectares. Today Barton boasts its own chenin blanc, sauvignon blanc, semillon, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, merlot, malbec, pinot noir and mourvèdre grapes. Its tasting room opened in 2007, while the cellar was fully operational for the 2008 harvest.

But enough of Barton Vineyards. More of Barton Villas. The four spacious and luxurious Tuscan-style self-catering villas, set against the lower slopes of the mountain, are designed to maximise the stunning views over the valley, vineyards, olive groves and fynbos, as well as the Kogelberg Nature Reserve. Completely separated from each other, each villa provides great privacy.

Each villa has three double (right) or twin bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. The spacious living areas have well-equipped open-plan kitchens with dishwasher and laundry facilities, while the living rooms have DSTV and a fireplace. Each villa has its own pool , jacuzzi built into the rocks and gazebo. The pools, one of which is indoors, are solar heated. A cleaning service and a cot can be provided on request, while Internet and Wi-fi facilities are also available.

We spent our weekend in the Blue Crane Villa, and as we knew there was much to see, do and experience around this area, which includes Bot River and its winemakers, the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and Hermanus, to name but a few, we gave the mobile braai or barbecue outside on the veranda and the hearth in the kitchen a miss. And believe me, there’s enough to see and do in this area to keep anybody from being bored.

Incidentally, Blue Crane Villa has two en-suite double bedrooms (one with shower and bath, and the other with shower only) and one twin room with en-suite bathroom with shower and bath. The swimming pool close to the house, next to a vast and lusciously green lawn, is set into the natural rock with its water pouring down the rockface into the pool. Guests can also relax under the gazebo or even braai there on the mobile barbecue, and if you enjoy hitting a few balls, there’s even a tennis court just behind the gazebo. There were even two tennis rackets in the villa, but apart from visiting many of the numerous amenities in and around Hermanus, we spent much of our time, day and night, in the steaming jaccuzi, me with a glass of wine in one hand, of course!

Left: The pool, tennis court and gazebo at Blue Crane Villa. Now this is what my wife calls "roughing it"!

Next time I’ll definitely take my mountain bike and hiking boots along as there is ample opportunity to use both.

It costs R1 900 per night in the so-called green season (1 May – 30 September), which  is very reasonable when one considers that three couples can stay in four-star luxury and in heavenly peace and quiet at just over R600 per night, but goes up to R4 500 per night in the peak season (15 December – 15 January), which unfortunately limits the villas to the well-heeled. In the so-called mid-season (22 – 30 April and 1 – 31 October) the accommodation costs R2 250, and R3 250 in the summer season (1 November – 21 April, excluding the peak season). But don’t get your knickers in a knot because Barton Luxury Villas always have special offers going, so do enquire. This truly is a special experience and one not to be missed.

For any queries or to book, call 028-284-9283, send a fax to 028-284-9776 or an email to info@bartonvineyards.co.za  or visit www.bartonvineyards.co.za.

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