Quirky small stays in the Western Cape

Winona Griggs

Quirky Small Stays in the Western Cape

Hey there! So, I recently had this really cool staycation at the Grand Daddy Boutique Hotel in Cape Town. It got me thinking, you know? I wanted to find other unique places to stay that were just as awesome. So, I hit the road and discovered three amazing small stays along Route 62 in McGregor and Montagu. These places are something else; they have this mix of old-time charm and modern innovation that you can’t help but fall in love with. Let me tell you about them!

Written by Allison Foat

Quirky Stays

Airstream of Dreams


Imagine this – staying in a super snazzy airstream trailer right in the heart of Cape Town! How awesome would that be? Well, at the Grand Daddy Boutique Hotel, they have a Rooftop Airstream Trailer Park that’s the only one of its kind in the world! It’s like a dream come true.

When it comes to well-preserved Victorian architecture, The Grand Daddy is a shining example. This CBD landmark, originally known as The Metropole and built in 1895, has been cherished for decades. However, in the mid-2000s, the building was sold, leading to a remarkable transformation. The innovative developers behind the renovation and rebrand had a sensational idea – they brought over a collection of Airstreams from the United States and placed them on the roof in a breathtaking display. And just like that, the wow factor was born!

And that’s only the beginning of the story. Today, The Grand Daddy has cemented itself as a convivial and lively hotel, filled with vibrant colors and a joyful atmosphere. It is a place that values meticulous service, paying attention to every little detail and radiating a sense of pure enthusiasm. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, a visit to The Grand Daddy is an absolute must.

The real magic happens when you have a sleepover in one of the Grand Daddy Airstreams. From the moment you check-in, the whole experience feels like a thrilling adventure. The vintage elevator takes you up to the third floor, and it’s like stepping into a whole new world.

Hey there! Just wanted to give you the scoop on this amazing spot up top. Prepare to be amazed by the breathtaking 360-degree views over the high rises and Table Mountain. It’s like being in the middle of a skyscraper wonderland! But what really sets this place apart is the cool trailer park vibe. The caravans are set up in an adorable way, with a wooden walkway connecting each coach. And the best part? There are small trees and pot plants all around, giving it a cozy and chill atmosphere. You’ll also find fairy lights, vintage memorabilia, and kitschy decorations that add to the old-school charm.

Speaking of charm, the seven silver bullets (aka caravans) are the stars of the show. They’re positioned in a circle, like shiny capsules in a laager formation. It’s such a cool setup! Right in the center, there’s an open-air lounge under a canvas canopy. Inside, you’ll find comfy couches, tall tables, and bar stools. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a cocktail, rain or shine. And guess what? They even have a movie night every Thursday at a spot called The Pink Flamingo. You can grab some popcorn and watch a film under the stars, as long as the South-Easter wind isn’t causing any trouble.

Hey there! I wanted to tell you about this awesome communal area at our campsite. It’s a place where everyone can hang out, and even people from the public can come and enjoy it too. The best part is that it closes at 9pm, so you can get a good night’s sleep without any disturbances. Oh, and if you’re a digital nomad, you’ll love the fact that it’s a great spot for remote working during the day.

You know, the interiors of the Airstream trailers at our campsite were actually designed by local artists. They wanted to make them super cool and unique, so they took a flamboyant approach. And guess what? In 2021, they decided to give them a makeover inspired by a road trip across South Africa. So now, each trailer represents a different part of South Africa. It’s like taking a journey without leaving your campsite!

Hey there! Let me tell you about these awesome trailers at The Grand Daddy Hotel. They’re called ‘streams’ and they can comfortably fit two people. Each stream has a bathroom and a loo, all in one neat package. And get this – they even have cool names like Cape Winelands, Karoo Dorp, Gold Rush, and Beach House. To add to the old-school charm, they even have post-mount mailboxes. How cool is that?

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But wait, there’s more! When you stay at The Grand Daddy Hotel, you also get to enjoy a delicious breakfast at Trailer 38 Café. This café is open every day of the week and serves up some amazing dishes. From locally inspired delicacies to gourmet sandwiches, wraps, burgers, and even vegetarian options – they have it all. I personally recommend getting a flat white and a pastry, finding a cozy spot by the window, and enjoying the view of Long Street as you sip your coffee.

Now, let me tell you a little something about the heart of the mother city – The Grand Daddy Hotel. Owner Jan van Heteren describes it as your charming home away from home, and I couldn’t agree more. The hotel has a funky vibe that will make your stay memorable. In fact, it might even inspire you to hit the open road and explore more of what the world has to offer.

Oh, and one more thing before I go – have you heard about The Red Caboose in McGregor? It’s another cool place you should check out if you’re in the area. McGregor is known for its charm, and The Red Caboose fits right in. So, make sure to add it to your list of must-visit places!

In a charming corner of McGregor Village, just a few minutes away, there’s a special place where adventure comes to rest. It’s called The Red Caboose – a delightful railway carriage tucked away among the beauty of Red Earth Farm, marked by its yellow stripes.

This old rail car has been given new life as a cozy retreat in the heart of Langeberg. The living quarters of a conductor have been transformed into a one-of-a-kind place to stay, thanks to the efforts of Dustin and Steph Taljaard, who left city life behind and took on this unique project.

It wasn’t an easy journey, though. The couple faced many obstacles along the way, including bureaucratic red tape and the challenge of transporting the carriage. But they never gave up, and after much hard work, they were able to proudly open their creation to the public, offering a fresh and inviting experience.

When you arrive at the farm, I’ll be there to welcome you. We’ll start off by exploring my vegetable garden, and I’ll give you a basket filled with fresh leafy greens for your first meal on the boat. Then, it’s time for the grand tour! As we step inside, you’ll notice a long and narrow corridor that stretches from one end to the other.

On one side of the corridor is the main bedroom, where you’ll find a cozy double bed. It’s the perfect spot to relax and get a good night’s sleep. On the other side of the corridor is the spacious kitchen. This area used to be the old galley and engine room, but it has been transformed into a modern and well-equipped space for all your self-catering needs.

It’s important to me that you have a comfortable and enjoyable stay aboard the boat. That’s why I’ve made sure to create a cozy and functional living space. Whether you’re cooking up a delicious meal in the kitchen or getting some much-needed rest in the bedroom, I want you to feel right at home.

So, if you’re looking for a unique and relaxing getaway, then you’ll love staying on my boat. It’s the perfect place to unwind, immerse yourself in nature, and create unforgettable memories. Come aboard and experience the magic for yourself!

As I step into the cabin, I can’t help but notice the thoughtful attention to detail. Every element has been lovingly restored to capture the essence of the past. The vintage windows, delicately etched with the South African Railways bokkie, offer a glimpse into history. I find myself drawn to the pedal-flushing loo, a relic from a bygone era. The teak pull-up shutters add a touch of elegance, while the fold-up wash basin is a clever space-saving solution.

Dustin, the mastermind behind this restoration, didn’t stop at the aesthetics. He also reimagined the layout to maximize functionality. The result is four beautifully appointed rooms. The master bedroom offers a cozy sanctuary, while the second room is perfect for children with its double bunks. A separate bathroom ensures privacy and convenience, while the dining nook, with its seating for four, invites shared meals and laughter.

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I love being outside. It’s so peaceful and inviting. My favorite spot is on the cozy couch, where I can take endless naps. The couch is surrounded by succulents and shrubs, giving it a beautiful garden feel. Right next to it is a dipping pool, perfect for refreshing swims, and a fire pit for cozy barbecues and late-night conversations. On the other side, there’s a wooden table where you can enjoy a delicious meal while taking in the breathtaking view.

It’s so nice here that you won’t want to leave until it’s time to check out. But if you do need to step out for some supplies or fancy dining out, McGregor has everything you need. There are corner shops, cafés, delis, and restaurants where you can find whatever you’re looking for. And just across the road, you’ll find the Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary. It’s a great place to visit, with a charity bookshop and friendly donkeys that will steal your heart.

If you love wine, you should definitely check out Tanagra and De Kaap vineyards nearby. They are all about preserving nature and sustainability. And if you enjoy being in nature, you can go on a refreshing hike in the beautiful Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve that connects to these vineyards. No matter what you’re interested in, the Red Caboose on Taljaard’s working farm is the perfect place to stay for an exciting Route 62 adventure.

Experience the Gypsy Wagons on Glen Eden Farm

Visit Montagu

Just 14 kilometers down Route 62 from Montagu, there’s a special place called Glen Eden Farm. It’s a place that people love to visit for their vacations. At Glen Eden Farm, you can stay in one of five luxury cottages or set up camp in one of the six camping sites. The camping sites are perfect for tents, camper vans, and caravans. You’ll have everything you need with a nice bathroom and kitchen. But wait, there’s more! Glen Eden Farm also has something unique called Glen Eden Ranch. They have these cool gypsy wagon glamping spots that are really special.

A long time ago, Glen Eden Farm used to be a cheese farm. Then, in 2012, it was bought by two people who love to climb mountains, Claudette Bricknell and Andy Cooper. They came all the way from Birmingham, a place in England. Since they bought the farm, it has become a great place to visit.

“So, we came to the Cape to try our hand at free climbing in the Cederberg, and you won’t believe what happened next,” I start, my voice filled with excitement, “we ended up buying this amazing farm!”

Claudette, the lively visionary and gracious hostess, jumps in to continue the story, her eyes sparkling with enthusiasm. “It was like fate had a different plan for us. From scaling rocks to building a life, our journey took an unexpected turn on the other side of the world. And now, with two little ones by our side, we’ve never looked back.”

As I listen, I can’t help but admire their resilience and determination. But, I can’t resist asking Claudette how all of this came about. “Tell me more about this farm,” I inquire.

She grins and begins to explain, “Well, you see, the farm grew naturally, evolving as time and money allowed. It wasn’t an overnight transformation. We started with our first wagon eight years ago, and the response was overwhelming. Seeing the potential, I wasted no time ordering more from a talented craftsman named Howard Dunbar.”

She goes on to describe Howard and his incredible skill in making these exquisite miniature homes. “Howard is based right outside of Stanford,” she shares, “and his craftsmanship is truly remarkable. He works wonders with the limited space in these tiny dwellings, using beech and spruce to create the Glen Eden ‘bow-top caravans.'”

I can’t help but nod in awe as she describes the unique features of these caravans. “They’re not just pretty on the outside,” she continues, “but also highly functional. With insulated walls and ceilings, they ensure a comfortable temperature indoors, no matter what the weather is like outside.”

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I can’t help but imagine myself inside one of those caravans, experiencing the coziness and tranquility of such a space. “It sounds like a dream come true,” I remark, unable to hide my excitement.

Claudette smiles warmly, her eyes sparkling with joy. “It truly is. Our farm and these beautiful caravans have given us a unique and fulfilling life. We’re living our dreams, and we couldn’t be happier.”

As I bid farewell to Claudette and her family, I can’t help but feel inspired by their story. It’s a reminder that sometimes, life takes us on unexpected journeys, and it’s up to us to embrace them and create our own extraordinary adventures.”

I have some fascinating insight from Claudette regarding the design of these accommodations. Her specific requirements have truly elevated the glamping experience to an entirely new level.

Let’s start with the three wagons: Protea, Lilly, and Aloe. Each wagon has its own unique and secluded area, offering a sense of privacy and tranquility. Within these enclaves, you’ll come across a cozy two-person tepee tent, perfect for a comfortable night’s sleep. Additionally, there’s a private pod equipped with a well-stocked kitchenette, allowing you to prepare your meals with ease. And of course, there’s a bathroom complete with a shower. What makes this bathroom special is its cleverly designed open roof, providing an open-air feel.

Stepping outside, you’ll discover a delightful outdoor space. There’s a table where you can enjoy a meal, a designated braai area for those who love to grill, and a fire pit to cozy up to on chilly evenings. But the pièce de résistance is the freestanding hot tub, which also doubles as a refreshing dipping pool. And to ensure your safety, it’s lit up by an external KolKol, adding an extra layer of magic to the experience.

All these thoughtful details come together to create a truly extraordinary glamping experience. Claudette’s attention to details and her understanding of what makes a memorable getaway shine through in every aspect of these accommodations. So, if you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable retreat, you’ll absolutely love what these wagons have to offer.

When you stay in Aloe, you’ll sleep in a luxurious king-size bed that can also be split into two single beds. The other two wagons have extra-long double beds. And don’t worry about being disconnected – there’s Wifi available throughout our beautiful glampsites. (Please keep in mind that we don’t allow pets on the Ranch, and there are no bathrooms inside the wagons).

But our ranch offers more than just a cozy place to sleep. You can explore our walking trails, go fishing, or even take a boat out on the dam. There’s no shortage of activities to make your stay with us memorable!

When you visit Glen Eden, you’ll discover an amazing recreation area right at the main reception. It’s a fantastic bonus that adds so much to your glamping experience. You can cool off in the swimming pool or relax on the sun loungers. And if you’re hungry, the Beany Peanut eatery is the perfect place to satisfy your cravings. They’re famous for their delicious pizza, artisanal coffee, mouthwatering milkshakes, and creamy ice cream. It’s a wonderful spot to hang out and connect with other glampers, creating lasting memories.

But the fun doesn’t stop there; Glen Eden has something for everyone. They have a shiny red tractor that kids will adore. Plus, there’s a fantastic jungle gym where they can climb, slide, and explore to their heart’s content. And if your little ones have a soft spot for animals, they’ll absolutely love the touch farm. Glen Eden is home to rescued animals like donkeys, alpacas, and potbellied pigs that will melt your heart. These adorable creatures just can’t get enough belly rubs!

Whether you’re planning a family vacation or a solo escape, Glen Eden is the perfect getaway. They have something to cater to all your needs and ensure you have an incredible time. So pack your bags, get ready for adventure, and head to Glen Eden for a glamping experience like no other.

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