Per's Swellendam Diary
   
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What our guests have said about us

 
 

The Hideaway bed & breakfast in Swellendam, Garden Route, South Africa

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Per's Diary


Reviews of the Hideaway on TripAdvisor
   
 

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From our Guestbook




Thank you for such a wonderful stay. Such a welcome! With all the lovely
extra touches. Will certainly be back!!

Meina & Ian Barclay ( 6 February 2010 )




We thoroughly enjoyed our stay - just wish we could have stayed longer

Nikki & Gary Emerton ( 1 February 2010 )




Thanks for a wonderful stay; the room and the hospitality were both outstanding! Not to mention the excellent breakfast!

Jonathan & Jill - UK - ( 22 September 2009 )




We spent just one night in this wonderful place but we really enjoyed it. Lovely rooms, great hospitality - it was a pity to spend only one night, we hope to come back in the future.

Mario & Nadia - Italy ( 6 August 09)



The most perfect place to stay - a home from home. We give you 6 stars and will recommend to everyone we meet! Thank you SO much:)

Steve & Sophie Turner - UK ( 12 August 09)



Extremely enjoyable stay, a home away from home! We loved the dogs & the cat, breakfast was delicious!

Van Gaans Family - Netherlands ( 31 July 09 )


Beautiful place - love all the extra touches! Thanks also for the great restaurant recommendation!

Caroline & Keith - Ireland (8 July 09)



Great service, lovely suites and amazing breakfast! Thanks you we will definately reccommend you to others.

Lars & Fenneke - Netherlands ( 17 May 09 )



Awesome! Love the rooms and your dogs! This is definatelt the best place we have been.

Las Wolff - Australia ( 12 April 09 )



Feels like home here: Diana & Mark give this stunningly beautiful

What an experience at The Hideaway - one night hasn't been sufficient. We hope to be back one day. You are superb hosts.

Pam & Ken Baldrey - UK ( 27 Feb 09 )



Feels like home here: Diana & Mark give this stunningly beautiful
place the touch to make it an unforgettable place to stay.
We'll be back ( in the meanwhile we'll be waiting for you in Italy! )
Renzo Cremona - Venice Italy ( 29 Dec 08 )



It's like a dream to be here.............
Luige Marin - Padova Italy ( 29 Dec 08 )



Excellent Muesli & Bread in your 150% perfect B&B!
Letitia had her first wonderful experiencewith a dog - George.
Steffi & Gunther Schmitt - Germany ( 17 Dec 08 )




Fabulous place - gorgeous rooms - excllent local restaurants -
shame we couldn't stay longer ...................... next time
Simon & Catherine - Yorkshire ( 02 Dec 08 )



What an amazing Hideaway! Can't thank you enough for the
outstanding hospitality you have the real personal touch which
makes all the difference
Shirley & Belinda - UK ( 27 Nov 08 )



Amazing experience, loved every minute, you are both super
hosts,. Thank you for looking after us so well.
Claude & Penny Hallen - UK ( 04 Nov 08 )



Home from Home! What a wonderful place to re - charge
Definately a B&B with a very warm soul. Thank You
Bronwyn Kroon - CT ( 20 Oct 08 )



Thank you for a wonderful welcome and continued attentive
service. We absolutely love your home and all the thoughtfull
little extras that you have provided for us.
We really did feel like friends rather than guests.
Brenda & Steve Partridge - UK ( 04 Oct 08 )



Fantastoc setting & great Hosts, only here for one night
wish it was longer 10/10
Joe & Pauline Guffie - UK ( 06 Sept 08 )



In search of excellence this is the place to be!
Martha & Henk - Amsterdam (22 Jul 08)



A wonderful place - great hospitality and delicious breakfast.
Kate & Jan Cook - Edinburgh (07 Jul 08)

 

From our Letterbox





As its name suggests this B&B is hidden away down a quiet road in this lovely town. From the front small and pretty but it is when you enter the rear garden that you realise just what a wonderful spot this is.

Four large rooms and a tiny plunge pool room. All facing onto a rose-filled garden with wonderful views of the mountains. The rooms have everything you could wish for with complimentary drinks, tea and coffee making facilities, home-made shortbread and the wonderful "lest you forget" box containing all those little things you might suddenly need. Having an awful cold I even found the SA equivalent of a Lemsip in there.

As for breakfast - nearly everything was homemade from jams and preserves to the bread. You could have anything you wanted from continental breakfast with meat and cheese and fruit to the full monty english breakfast (including baked beans - the first we had been offered in SA) or you could have both if you could manage it - and I have never seen such enormous croissants anywhere. You could even fill a doggy bag which was provided to see you through the day. At breakfast you also received a daily bulletin with weather, exchange rate and little thoughts for the day.

Mark and Diana were excellent hosts and nothing was too much trouble from booking some very good restaurants to suggesting some great trips and providing much needed cold remedies. Swellendam is a great little place with some good restaurants, all recommended by Mark and Diana. Thank you to you both - it was the perfect relaxing last three days of our trip to SA (apart from the head cold)

Joyce & Paul Harrison, Yorkshire UK - 17 November 09 - Queen Elizabeth Suite - (Review from Tripadvisor)




Hello Diana & Mark

Having just returned to the UK after a splendid visit to South Africa, we wish to say how much we appreciated your 5 Star+++ facilities, enjoyed your outstanding services, especially that unique hospitality for our very short stay in Swellendam in March.

We got such a friendly welcome at The Hideaway for our closing days on the Cape Winelands journey before we set off on the Garden Route to Plettenberg, that your liberality really became the highlight of our entire ZA visit. We’ve been spoilt for any future stay in a UK hostelry, whether in Cambridge or not.

Very many thanks for everything given with great enthusiasm that made our visit so memorable.

"Two days at The Hideaway is not sufficient time to appreciate the ambience of the place and the real way to live in ZA".

Kind regards

Pam & John Davis, Hawkhurst, UK



We arrived at The Hideaway about 6pm on a Sunday evening, tired from a day of driving and wondering if we would find someplace to eat that night. But fortunately, Mark had thought to make us reservations, because options were few on a Sunday in Swellendam. That was our introduction to the personal care and thoughtfulness that Mark and Diana display to their guests. Whether it's the sundowners Mark serves in late afternoon, the home baked muffins (with doggie bag in case you're too full to eat it at breakfast) or the posy of roses Diana presents to you when you leave, the little details add up to making this guest house 'one of a kind' and a real 'find'. ( TripAdvisor Review )
Sheila & Gerard - Dartmouth - MA USA (13 Jan 09 )



Dear Di and Mark,

Just wanted to thank you again for all your kindness and tell you what a lovely place you have there. We especially appreciated being invited into your home for an evening drink and having the chance to meet the other guests. Also Di I loved all the Aloe goodies you provided in the rooms and having the opportunity to buy them having tried them.

Mark the route you gave us through the Robertson valley and over the pass rather than through the tunnel worked out really well and we bought some Major's Hill to boot!

We certainly didn't do Swellendam and the surrounding area justice so next time it has to be 2 or 3 nights.

Thank you both again you are a lovely couple.

Max and Wendy Fernandes



Hallo Diana, hallo Mark,

Back at home, we looked at your beautiful CD and we enjoyed the pictures very much. They remind us at the fantastic countryside, the animals, the flowers and your wonderfull home. The roses are great, and it was a pitty, that we couldn't see them in bloom. The CD is a wonderful gift and memento.

Thank you for surprising us, for your kindness, your hospitality and the good time, we had in your home.

Kind regards

Margret and Wolfgang




Dear Mark and Diana,

Just a quick note to thank you for giving us such a lovely time at your great B&B we had such a good time in South Africa and your accomodation rates amongst the best, you should be swamped with visitor form Britain, if only they knew the value for money that South Africa offers even for the most demanding travellers.

When Karen and I revisit Swellendam, you will have to put up with us again, many thanks to you both and we hope that you have a really great summer.

Regards,

Terry and Karen, UK




Thank you for making our trip to Africa and beautiful Swellendam memorable & oh, so enjoyable! Mark, your recommendation on dinner was nothing short of fantastic. Then, Diana tops off breakfast with fresh baked croissants - yum! The Ecstasy Rose Suite was beautiful, but so were all the rooms. You are both gracious hosts and lovely people. Our only regret is that we wish we could have stayed longer, but we are happy knowing we have such nice friends in South Africa!

Best wishes,

Kathy (& Alan Bias)

West Palm Beach, Florida USA

P.S. Please say a special hello to George the dog!




Dear Mark and Diana,

Mr. and Mrs. Willis have contacted us following their very long holiday around Southern Africa. They have provided us with a comprehensive report on all the places they stayed (I wish all our travellers were so diligent!) and I just thought you'd like to hear what they said about The Hideaway:-

"This really was exceptional. We were given a tray of tea when we arrived, sitting outside our suite looking onto the garden. Very large room, king size bed and sofa and armchairs. Table was already booked at a restaurant as it was each evening somewhere different. Owners been there only a year. Very keen to please . Breakfast lovely with croissants straight from the oven and innumerable pots of home made preserves. Mark very knowledgeable about area. Swellendam interesting. Bontebok Park tour with Aden was a delight. He invited us to his home where we bought his book and he gave us a DVD of the park. When we left we were given a lovely CD of memories of the Hideaway and a tiny rose spray. Diana refused payment for the washing she did for me. No wonder people return year after year!"
Thank you for looking after our travellers so well! We really must try to persuade more of them to head your way.

With best wishes.

Jan Dunbar
Parkers Tours - Southern Africa's Favourite Travel Specialists




Hello Diana & Mark,

Although we only spent one night at your beautiful B & B in Swellendam we are still remembering the friendliness and hospitality that we enjoyed there.

We are back in sunny but freezing Southampton, England and have just watched a slideshow of the photo CD that you gave us. Oh! How we wish we were back in Swellendam now.
We regretted that we didn't stay longer and are already hoping to return sometime soon.

Thank you again for making our stay so memorable.

Regards and best wishes,

John & Pauline Marten (UK)

P.S. Pauline's roses lasted nearly a week at Knysna in a wine glass on her bedside table. They were beautiful.




Hi Diana, hi Mark,

We managed to return back to good old Germany on time and with out any bruises.

I wish our stay had been longer than one night but we tried to see as much as possible in the 10 days.

The short stay at the “hideaway” in Swellendam was like visiting some old friends, that’s the feeling you gave us and nobody toped this during our stay in South Africa.

All the best to both of you

Claus Müller (Germany)




Dear Diana and Mark

Trevor and I would like to thank you both for all the hospitality shown to us during our short stay with you.

I wish our stay had been longer than one night but we tried to see as much as possible in the 10 days.

I can see why it's called The Hide Away - it's so peaceful and beautiful in your garden and all the rooms are fantastic. Thank you for all the special extras.

We had a great holiday in South Africa maybe one day we will return but I will pass your details to friends.

Today I have collected our photos so can relive the holiday.

Thank you once again for making our stay special.

Regards

Anne and Trevor (UK)

PS I brought my roses home to press and keep.




Dear Diana and Mark,

Just thought I’d drop you a line to let you know that it’s raining cats and dogs to make you feel better if you are puffing in the heat in Swellendam, something I’d rather be doing right now.

We had a wonderful holiday in South Africa, much of which was due to our stay with you both. We have sung your praises many times and will continue to do so, certainly no other guest house could touch your style, grace and hospitality.

Mark, your suggestion of visiting Pumba Reserve was great. We were the only ones in the jeep and had and excellent young girl driving us, who upon spotting a male and female lion (unfortunately not white) drove over bushes and a small tree to get us within 10 meters of them. We also saw the suite at the lodge where Mandela stayed – beautiful, and our breakfast was excellent with our own chef and waiter for just the 2 of us.

Well my dears we hope you are fully booked with lots of lovely people as only the best deserve your beauty and passion that makes your home so special.

Fondest love to you both,

Diana and Bas (Amsterdam, Netherlands)




Hi Diana & Mark,

Thank you so much for your good wishes and fantastic welcome. We wish you all the same and hope that a lot of welfare and success lay ahead for you for the years to come, because you deserve it!

We really enjoyed our stay at your super place and hope to profit longer next time we come to S.A.

Meeting you was a real "cerise sur le gâteau" (a bonus) for our first visit to South Africa! Bravo and best luck.

Can you imagine that I kept your beautiful roses up to my departure from South Africa on 31st and still have some petals on my desk here in Arzac. Of course, one can't help not talking of your special welcome and wonderful place as part of the best memories we bring back from our holidays!

We keep on repeating to whoever wish to listen to us how generous you are and exceptional you made of your Swellendam guest house.

Looking forward to meeting you again, here or there,

With warm regards,

Claude & Melissa (France)




Letters from 2007

Hello Mark & Diana,

Danny and I would like to thank you for your warm hospitality during our stay on 6th and 7th November.

Your bed and breakfast in Swellendam is very comfortable, like a home from home and we loved all the little gestures such as the homemade shortbread, bottle of port, the restaurant bookings etc that amounted to an overall experience that will always stay in our memories and which will be recommended to all our friends and family members travelling out to the western cape.

Now we are back home in the cold, our sunburn is all but a distant memory (started peeling on the long plane journey home!), but we have lots of great photos and fond memories of our trip.

Hope George is being good, give him, Alesha and Cleo a pat from us!

Take care,

Rachel and Danny




Thank you so much Mark & Di for such a wonderful stay in this little bit of paradise. You're such a lovely warm couple we'll never forget you, that's quite easy at our age! Hope to meet up with you both again one day. Love and best wishes.

Sue and David French




This comment was posted on Trip Advisor (Read the full report here )

"The Hideaway, if ever a place was mis-named it is this one!

This name should be in lights and screamed from the rooftops. Forget your 5* hotels, the Hideaway tops them all. From the moment you meet Mark and Diana you realise this is somewhere special.

Although there are only 4 guest suites, each one has a secret which is only revealed when you settle in. My wife and I had the Ecstasy Suite and this is well named!

A bed you don't want to get out of, complimentary mini-bar, Port and Muscadel, tea and coffee and a "lest you forget" box which contains items all too easy to forget - Aspirin, Toothpaste, Elastoplast etc.

After an evening drink in the Lounge with Mark and Diana, where you can meet your fellow guests, you can enjoy a relaxing dinner in one of the restaurants recommneded by your hosts. We were not disappointed with their choices! A gentle stroll back to your suite, a nightcap under a shining South African moon and you are ready for a good night's sleep in one of the comfiest beds I have ever slept in.

When you awaken, your thoughts turn to Breakfast and the only word to describe this is WOW! The French call it Le petit dejeure and that sums it up - it is a "little dinner". The menu is spectacular, so forget the diet! All too soon it is time to leave.

Whether you stay for one night or more, the Hideaway is somewhere you will never forget and as a famous soldier once said "I will return". You too, will want to return."

The Browns, Scotland



Dear Diana and Mark,

We all wish to thank you so much for the fantastic two days we spent at the hide away. It was really a highlight of our tour through South Africa.

Your warmth, enthusiasm, the amount of small pleasures in the room, it all added up to a wonderful stay and we thoroughly enjoyed your company.

The Sondaal Family



Dear Diana and Mark,

We arrived home safely and really enjoyed our holiday in SA. We gave your good wishes to Colin and Dennis at the Beach Hotel. They were interested to hear how you were getting on. I told them your breakfasts were much better than theirs. Seriously though yours was by far the best we had in SA and you can quote us on that!!!!!

We shall definately return to SA and to the Hideaway, you have been warned.

A quote for your publicity material - "where hospitality knows no bounds"

Thanks for a WONDERFUL stay in The Hideaway and every success to you both in the future.

Yours sincerely,

Tony, Diane, Kath and Alan



Thank you for your very good wishes following our recent stay at the hideaway.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay with you and it would be wonderful to think that we may get back to see you both one day. I cannot speak too highly regarding the service that was offered to us and you are both much too generous in every respect. Good luck to you both for the future in all that you do.

Dorothy and Les Oliphant


Dear Mark & Diana

It was a great pleasure to meet you. Roswitha and I miss you and your
lovely HideAway a lot. We hope, we can come back next March.

Thank you very much for your outstanding hospitality. The time you shared
with us was wonderful. And the Steinpilz-Paté was lovely. We will try to
make some in Stuttgart.

While in South Africa, Stuttgart had very nice spring weather. But now the
winter came back with snow and ice, and today it's around Zero. I'd rather
be with you !

Alles van die beste, good success with your Hide Away, tot siens and much
love

Heinz and Roswitha



Dear Mark & Diana

Many thanks for welcome home! Enjoyed our stay in
your home and appreciated very much the hospitality,
cooking and nature drive. Real point, however, is
to wish you both well in your new life style. Enjoy
the moment - but never forget how much you have contributed
for good in other peoples lives. Kind regards and
every,every happiness to you both.

Yours, Yvonne & Tony C



Dear Mark and Diana

Thank you very much for your e-mail. We are back in
the cold now and wishing we were back with you all
in sunny SA! I suppose you two are on your own now
at The Hideaway but from what we have seen, we are
sure you will make the perfect hosts. We were made
to feel so welcome when we stayed with you and our
only regret is that we were not staying longer!

When we next visit SA we will definitely come back
and stay with you again since Swellendam is such a
beautiful place and The Hideaway, such a treat. We
have already told lots of people in SA and UK what
a remarkable guest house you have.

Many thanks again,

Adam & Suzanne




Dear Adin and Sharon

It was a lovely surprise to return home from our
lovely holiday in S. Africa and receive your friendly
message.

We were once told by a friend that occasionally

through life one comes across "magic moments"
to treasure in our memory - staying at your beautiful,
serene, Hideaway was a "Magic Moment" for
us!!

We shall never forget your kindness, the beautiful

bedrooms opening out onto your delightful flower-
filled garden with the backdrop of the mountains,
and oh that never-to-be-forgotten breakfast!! All
the personal touches for which we thank you very much
- the invitation to join you for pre-dinner drinks
on our arrival and the bunch of roses on departure,
not forgetting the excellent CD of Swellendam and
the surrounding area - we have so enjoyed looking
at it.

Our only regret is that we arrived too late to join

you on a drive into Bontebok Park to see the animals
and birds and to listen and learn from your knowledge
of the area Adin - if we ever return to S. Africa
we will ensure not to repeat the error!!

Stephen and Sheila Williams



Now we are home and it's time to reflect on our Western

Cape tour, immediately our thoughts turn to our stay
with you. Such a warm reception, delicious breakfasts,
a very comfortable room in a beautiful setting. We
particularly remember our visit with Adin to Bontebok
Park and his really interesting commentary. (Shame
we didn't see the secretary bird, but maybe next time?).

Adin's photo of the locust is displayed in our kitchen
where we view it and remember out time spent with
him spotting them in the Park.

Throughout our onward journey we carried with us the
comforting reassurance of Adin'sand Mark's parting
words that "You have friends in S.Africa and
should you require any help etc."; as independent
travellers we found this helped us to travel with
easy minds.

It was a pleasure to meet Mark and Diana, we were
impressed by their friendliness and enthusiasm. We
look forward to seeing them truly in situ when next
time we stay at your Hideaway& we wish them every
success. (Have looked at the new website...excellent!).

Now reading Sharon's cook book and Adin's Bontebok
book.May we wish you lots of happy and fulfilled days
in your 'retirement', to Mark and Diana lots of luck
and great success.

Peter and Joan




Letters from 2006 and before...

We want to thank you for a wonderful five days with
you. Your attention to detail be it in the services
you provide, the spotless well equipped rooms. and
of course Sharon’s delicious copious breakfasts
can not be matched by any hotelier. Then comes your
friendly goodselves making it a wonderful experience.

Many many thanks.

Neville Isdell

CEO Coca-Cola International, Atlanta



Dear Adin and Sharon

It was a lovely surprise to return home from our
lovely holiday in S. Africa and receive your friendly
message.

We were once told by a friend that occasionally

through life one comes across "magic moments"
to treasure in our memory - staying at your beautiful,
serene, Hideaway was a "Magic Moment" for
us!!

We shall never forget your kindness, the beautiful

bedrooms opening out onto your delightful flower-
filled garden with the backdrop of the mountains,
and oh that never-to-be-forgotten breakfast!! All
the personal touches for which we thank you very much
- the invitation to join you for pre-dinner drinks
on our arrival and the bunch of roses on departure,
not forgetting the excellent CD of Swellendam and
the surrounding area - we have so enjoyed looking
at it.

Our only regret is that we arrived too late to join

you on a drive into Bontebok Park to see the animals
and birds and to listen and learn from your knowledge
of the area Adin - if we ever return to S. Africa
we will ensure not to repeat the error!!

Stephen and Sheila Williams



Hi Adin and Sharon,

Just a short note to thank you both for your quite

exceptional hospitality during our brief stay with
you last week. Not only are the rooms excellent, but
all aspects of the stay – not forgetting Sharon’s
breakfasts, which would mean an increase in waist
size if we had stayed longer than one day!

In retrospect, we should have stayed longer, but

be very sure we feel very comfortable recommending
you to all our friends.

Tony and Carol Black



Dear Adin, Dear Sharon,

We can only confirm what we already said on leaving

your - Hideaway - It was the best ever B&B we
have stayed in. The only thing we regret is that we
did not stay longer. But as you said, there might
be another holiday for us in SA in the future. Then
we will for shure come to stay with you again.

Robert & Bettina
German Embassy, Ghana


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