Superlatives in a superlative setting

I went to sleep to a chorus of frogs worthy of an orchestra.  The lake at Bramasole Guest House in Magoebaskloof lay across the lawn from my bedroom, while the other side looked into an ancient indigenous forest.  The trees are like none I have ever seen with names like Forest Cabbage Tree (Cussonia sphaerocephala) and Jackal-coffee (Tricalysia lanceolata).

Bramasole lies alongside a dam and nestled against an ancient indigineous forest. Kenya prefers watching the camera.

I had anticipated something special after visiting their website and discovering that the owner is an architect – Robin McIntosh of Intersect Architects.  I worked with architects and planners for 25 years on projects like Mitchells Plain, St George’s Mall and the V&A Waterfront, and started Architecture SA in 1978 (becoming the journal of the Institute of SA Architects the following year).  Architects and planners can be the most enjoyable people to work and socialise with.

I wasn’t disappointed!  He bought a truly spectacular property before prices started rising which just had a massive shed — a really massive shed.  It had been used variously for breeding rabbits, as stables, growing magic mushrooms, and storing trucks.

The old shed and its new lease of life as Bramasole

The interiors by Melanie McIntosh and sister Kathy Moulder are stunning.

Robin says that using the old shed meant it could never be a pretty building, but that’s only half true… from the moment you arrive you are aware of QUALITY and attention to detail.  But it is a surprising building to find in rural Magoebaskloof.

But stepping inside is breathtaking.  The spaces, materials used and quality of the furnishings are superb.  This is four star, but it’s four star that’s also exceptionally well designed.

A few things set Bramasole apart.  It is self-catering and it has the best self-catering facilities I’ve come across in a comparable establishment.  It also offers bed and breakfast.

Then, Bramasole’s setting showcases the splendour of indigenous Africa.  The bedrooms look straight into a dense forest that almost seems a set for samango_monkeyLord of the Rings.  We saw a really cute, young Samango monkey (rare, CITES Appendix II) but a rooibok had been on one of the paths we took not long before we were there. Birdlife is prolific and a birder’s dream.  But it was the variety of trees that fascinated me most.

Walking in the forest is escaping into another world

The suites and bedrooms are luxurious and stylish. If you appreciate good taste, this is the place for you. Each of the five rooms has a different theme, so pick your fantasy.  And best of all, Bramasole offers real value for money - from about R450 a person.

Magoebaskloof itself is a very special place.  Haenerstburg, a charming village, is just a few minutes away. The area offers an abundance of activities and interesting people.

The scenery is spectacular - the view across Bramasole's neighbours.

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