Mooiplaas Guesthouse: Our full report
In the heart of the Klein Karoo, only 10km from the town of Oudtshoorn, the family-run Mooiplaas Guesthouse ...... is situated on the owner’s working ostrich farm. Bound to the north by South Africa’s Swartberg Mountains and to the south by the Langeberg and Outeniqua mountains, there are three spectacular passes in the area – the Swartberg, Meiringspoort and Seweweekspoort.
Offering an authentic and homely farm stay, Mooiplaas Guest House is a great spot to kick back and unwind, with its laid-back atmosphere and warm and friendly staff.
The guesthouse has a total of 29 suites and four rooms The suites – made up of ‘luxury’, family and ‘superior/honeymoon’ suites – are spread around the grounds, which means the guesthouse does not feel too big. All are well-appointed, with a comfortable lounge area, air conditioning in the bedroom area, and their own patio or balcony with table and chairs. They also have coffee- and tea-making facilities with homemade rusks, a safe, and free WiFi and satellite TV with eight cable channels. The pictures in the rooms are all painted by the owner’s sister, adding a wonderfully personal touch.
- The 21 ‘luxury’ suites are spacious and well-furnished. The carpeted bedroom is decorated in neutral tones, with orange scatter cushions providing a splash of colour. Along with beds that can be made into either a double or twins, there is a dressing table with a large wall-mounted mirror, and a hanging rail for clothes. The large modern bathroom has a separate bath and shower with a selection of Charlotte Rhys toiletries. In the terracotta-tiled lounge, a comfortable leather sofa is the perfect place to relax and read or watch the TV. Some of these suites include a kitchenette with a kettle, microwave and fridge, plus a minibar (payable to your account).
Several of the luxury suites are located in a double-storey block and three can connect with the suites upstairs, via a staircase, to make a larger ‘inter-leading’ room, which is great for families with children.
- Mooiplaas also has five family suites sleeping up to four people. Three of these suites have a king-size bed, full bathroom (bath and shower) and a lounge area, while the fourth has a queen-size bed, shower-only bathroom and two single beds in the lounge area. Larger families can book two of these suites, which have inter-leading doors.
- The three ‘superior’/honeymoon suites are spacious and luxurious. Each has a separate lounge area, bedroom and large modern bathroom and, from the patio, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the Swartberg Mountains.
- Having taken over and converted a neighbouring farmhouse (just over the road), Mooiplaas Guesthouse now also has four ‘luxury’ rooms with kitchenette. Within the farmhouse is a large comfortable lounge, wood-burning fire and dining room for communal use, and the four rooms also share the gardens and private pool. Each bedroom has its own en-suite bathroom, a kitchenette and patio with barbecue facilities. These rooms can be booked individually, or the whole farmhouse can be booked exclusively for a group and, with prior arrangement, a large farmhouse kitchen can be made available for use. Staying here gives peace, tranquillity and privacy.
In front of this is a large lawn with space for children to run around. There is also a decent-sized swimming pool to one side, with a few loungers. During our latest visit in March 2016, our four-year-old found it a very sociable area and loved this space; she also enjoyed the climbing frame and swings around the back.
Mooiplaas also has its own spa, which offers a variety of treatments including massages, facials and pedicures.
The main activity on site is a tour of the Mooiplaas Ostrich Farm with Koos, the knowledgeable guide. It's an interesting tour, taking an hour or two, during which you'll see how a commercial ostrich farm operates, learn about the history of ostriches in the area, and find out how the farm breeds and rears the birds.
The guesthouse also offers an hour’s stargazing using an in-house telescope to guide you around the night sky; they even provide a crib sheet in your room to get you started.
There are a good number of attractions around Mooiplaas, too. These include the the Cango Caves, about 30km from Oudtshoorn. This extensive network of caverns and tunnels stretches over 5km (with about a quarter open to the public), and contains sparkling limestone formations sculpted over 20 million years.
You can also go horseriding at a nearby ranch, which caters for beginners and advanced riders alike with rides of varying lengths into the wild areas of the Karoo.
The Swartberg Mountain range runs roughly east–west along the northern edge of the semi-arid Klein Karoo. It is over 2,000m high, with some amazing views from the Swartberg Pass. We can arrange for a good guide to show you around.
Mooiplaas Guesthouse is warm and welcoming and has incredibly friendly staff, making for a delightfully relaxing stay. Adults will enjoy the rural setting, informal atmosphere and opportunities to venture out and explore the beautiful scenery. It is also a firm favourite with families, for whom it caters well, with suitable room types, outdoor space, a jungle gym and the ostrich farm visit – which was a huge hit with our child.
Country manager: South Africa
- Little Karoo, South Africa
- Ideal length of stay
- Two to three nights is ideal to give you time to explore the area.
- Mooiplaas Guest House is a short 10km drive from the centre of Oudtshoorn, heading towards Mossel Bay.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Bed & Breakfast
- Food quality
- When we last stayed at Mooiplaas, in March 2016, one the whole we found the food to be wholesome and tasty.
Breakfast, available from 8.00am to 10.00am, comprises a continental buffet, as well as some hot dishes cooked to order.
For lunch, they are happy to put together a picnic basket if you wish to head out for the day.
Dinner is a tasty two- or four-course meal, made with local ingredients - both offer a choice of three main dishes, which you order earlier in the day. The meat for the main course is cooked fresh on the outside barbecue. The menus are not cheap but the atmosphere is convivial and it saves having to drive into Oudtshoorn.
We started with a delicious roasted butternut soup with citrus and farm-style fresh bread, followed by a timbale of salmon on marinated cucumber tagliatelle with a caper-dill dressing. For our main, we had barbecued fillet of ostrich with green peppercorn cream and a cranberry port-wine jus, served with seasonal vegetables. (Other options were Karoo lamb with mint sauce or a roulade of chicken and smoked pork with Chardonnay velouté.) For dessert we had a delicious Malva pudding with vanilla crème, but there was also a fruit platter on offer.
Although everything else at Mooiplaas is very child-friendly, unfortunately we found the evening meal was not. There was no children’s menu and the evening meal was too sophisticated and ‘fussy’ for most young children. When asked for a suitable alternative, the kitchen came up with a far less than adequate meal, which was disappointing. However, the staff did listen to our comments so we are hopeful that this will improve in the future.
- Dining style
- Individual Tables
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Further dining info, including room service
- Room service is available from 07:00 – 20:00
- Drinks included
- No drinks are included except tea/coffee/juice at breakfast.
- Family holidays
- For a relaxing, family stay in Oudtshoorn, Mooiplaas Guesthouse offers very comfortable, farm-style accommodation, in a safe environment suitable for young children. Family room (some with kitchenettes), plenty of outdoor space, and only a short drive to the areas main attractions.
- See ideas for Family holidays
- Attitude towards children
- Children of all ages are made to feel very welcome at the Mooiplaas Guest House
- Property’s age restrictions
- There are no age restrictions at Mooiplaas.
- Special activities & services
- Babysitting can be arranged at a small cost but do note that they may not be qualified childminders.
The guesthouse will gladly arrange early dining times for children.
- Both cots and highchairs are available.
- Generally recommended for children
- We think that Mooiplaas is a great place to stay with children, although the dinner menu when we visited was not ideal for young children.
- Power supply notes
- There is an LED battery light in the bedrooms that lasts for four hours if electricity fails.
- Free WiFi is available throughout and there is cellphone reception too.
- TV & radio
- Each room has a satellite TV.
- Water supply
Health & safety
- Medical care
- There are doctors and a small hospital in Oudtshoorn.
- Dangerous animals
- Low Risk
- Security measures
- Fire safety
- Fire extinguishers are scattered around the property.
- Disabled access
- Laundry facilities
- A laundry service is available at an additional cost.
- There is a key operated safe is in every room.
- Accepted payment on location
- All major credit cards are accepted with the exception of Amex. They also accept cash payments in South African rand.
Other lodges in Little Karoo
Alternative places to stay in this same area.
Rosenhof Country House
Rosenhof Country House is a luxurious country house in South Africa’s Little Karoo, ideal for exploring the nearby Cango Caves and various ostrich farms.
Just outside Montagu, Galenia Estate is a newly refurbished guesthouse nestled on a hillside estate with over a thousand olive trees.