“The Western Cape offers groups so much variety to choose from”, says Michael Lutzeyer, owner of Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, who describes Cape Town as one of the must–see cities in the world and a culinary destination in its own right. He notes the pastoral beauty of the winelands, the remoteness of the West Coast, the splendour of the Garden Route and his beloved Overberg – the location that he chose to build his award-winning eco-lodge.
With the Western Cape in such demand as a destination, Michael says that it is becoming increasingly important to book group events far in advance in order to secure your first choice of property. Whether your budget encompasses five–star luxury or one–star affordability, Michael says that the Cape has something to offer. He also describes the accommodation and cuisine in this region as being of a particularly high global standard.
Michael chose the Overberg – a coastal region roughly two-hours’ drive from Cape Town, which has become famous for its whale sightings – as the location to establish Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. He explains that the marine wildlife sightings in this region are not limited to whale watching and says that excursions can easily be organised for groups to view ‘The Big Marine Five’, which consists of whales, penguins, sharks, dolphins and seals.
“This region is also where the in-vogue wine farms are being established. There are now over 70 wine estates in the region, and we have become particularly well–known for our pinot noir,” advises Michael. While wine tours can be easily arranged for guests, he adds that the estates are also very open to attending in-house events and partnering with accommodation establishments to create fantastic food and wine pairing experiences.
Michael also recommends flower safaris in this area reporting that the region is one of the most diverse botanical areas in the world. He says that guests love to be driven past fields of flowers and to experience the sights, scents and textures of the diverse Cape fynbos.
Michael says that he has definitely noticed a recent drive of groups looking for sustainable accommodation offerings that pair with their organisational goals of ecological and social responsibility. “Companies are looking for accommodation establishments that limit plastic use, that take measures to reduce their carbon, water and electricity footprints and give back to the communities that they operate in. The Western Cape is forging ahead in his respect.”