Rural does not have to mean rustic – if you’re a lover of the countryside and wide open space, but don’t like basic accommodation, Barton Villas in Caledon, South Africa may be just the place for you.
Situated right between the western winelands, the beautiful Overberg coastal region and the Atlantic Ocean, yet under an hour from Cape Town International, you really do get the best of both worlds here.
Each villa’s veranda looks out over the vines and then to sprawling mountain vistas beyond – this is a place of long sunset dinners, lazy days of swimming, horse and bike riding and a bit of landscape painting. A proper rural retreat, but with enough to do in the area to keep things interesting.
Barton is actually first and foremost a vineyard, but the villas were built by the owner, Peter Neill, to a standard that he would accept for his own home: as such, you really get a villa that actually lives up to its name.
Loosely based on a Tuscan style, there are five villas, each of which have en suite bedrooms, private outdoor pools, outdoor spa baths (jacuzzis), cable TV and wi-fi. The standard of décor is also first class, with bedding coming from The White Company (Cape Town’s premier linen supplier).
Unusually for South African self-catering establishments, the furnishings are not standard builder’s merchant fare but individually chosen pieces: as such, each house has its own style of décor adding warmth and personality to the rooms, rather than them feeling like identikit hotel bulk buys.
Pricing is a very pleasant R2 200 - R4 500 ($315 / £250 / €300) per night, which when you consider you can sleep up to six guests in total comfort per villa is very good value indeed.