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From a distance, Cottage 1685 is splash of whitewashed walls, a modest cottage amidst the green expanse of vineyards and paddocks on property now under the banner of one of the most prestigious wine farms in the Western Cape, Boschendal. The driveway, allegedly commissioned by Rhodes so that he could take his required daily constitutional, is almost 2 km long and as straight as an arrow from the road to the steps of the covered porch. If your eye continued the line, it would settle high on the Simonsberg beyond but not before you were distracted by grazing Sable antelope and a herd of well-fed Black Angus cattle. It could very well be what Rhodes might have seen in those last months of his life in the early 1900s – although there is no empirical evidence that he stayed here. Over a hundred years later, one can’t help imagining that the business tycoon would have rather liked the mod cons: today’s guest is spoilt by underfloor heating, hot showers, fast Wi-Fi and rather than a secretary and discreet butler in Rhodes’ time, a contemporary and versatile ‘Jeeves’ on tap for your stay with every culinary whim a call away.

But the cottage’s history is the real attraction.  It was designed by Sir Herbert Baker in the Cape vernacular with polished yellowwood, rosewood and teak giving the interior a subtle gleam. The broad deep veranda and back stoep with a dramatic view of Simonsberg, will coax you outdoors for teas and lunches. The cottage is wonderfully secluded and channels the history of this influential 19th/ 20th century mogul whose life was coloured so dramatically – gold, diamonds, land development, politics, ill-timed military raids and modern farming all packed into his 49 years.

You might sit on the porch reading of his exploits or listen to the castanet clatter of frogs at sunset, thinking of a time when Southern Africa pulsed with prospectors and primitive machinery unearthing what would become the country’s riches beyond imagining. Or perhaps use the cottage as a quiet home base from which to explore the surrounding area: wine tastings, hiking, cycling or a cool-off dip in the eco pool at the height of a hot Franschhoek summer.  All this might have been rather too strenuous for Rhodes but channel his spirit, wake early, and especially in autumn, with mist blanketing the surrounding world and with all sound softened, take a book from the library, sip tea on the stoep and shut out the world beyond the driveway.


Reviewed by Les Aupiais

There are three bedrooms in the main house and two bedrooms in the garden annex.


  • 5 x Bedrooms
  • Serviced (daily)
  • Swimming pool
  • TV (satellite)
  • Wifi

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Based on 1 reviews

Guest reviews are written by our customers after their stay at Cottage 1685.


Guest reviews

  • Guest

    Cottage 1685 was absolutely perfect for us. Children and Adults a like had the best time and the service from the on site butler and cleaners were superb. We will definitely be returning. Thank you once again !

Franschhoek, Winelands

  Beautiful village with a French feel and excellent dining

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Cancellation / Prepayment

The 50% rental deposit and the 50% balance of payment due 30 days prior to arrival are non-refundable. However, in the event of a cancellation management may consider refunds where those days can be rebooked after deducting any costs incurred with respect to the re-booking and preparation of the residence.