Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you could want to know about the farm

Arrival & Departure

Arrival is from 15:00 and check out is 10:00. Early check in and late check out are more than welcome if there are no other guests checking in or out. Please contact Julian to request a change in time.

Please pay a 50% deposit at time of booking to secure your booking, and please settle the remainder prior to arrival.

This can all be done on the website by clicking here, and only website bookings are accepted, as there is a first come first served policy. No email enquiries can be booked manually as we use an online booking system.

The cottages at Underhill are designed to minimise the footprint on the land and environment and as such there is limited extra space. As such the two 4 sleeper cottages are not suited for extra people, and even a baby cot would not easily fit.

Exceptions are Underhill Farmhouse that has an extra large main bedroom with a day bed included that could sleep an extra person, and Underhill Cottage that has a large enclosed stoep and 3 seater couch that could sleep an extra person.

Please inform Julian at time of booking if you wish to include an extra person (at not extra cost) and please bring your own bedding for the extra bed.

At this stage Underhill does not allow camping.

Amenities

Yes. Your dogs (and there have been birds and cats) are most welcome. Each cottage (with the exception of Hobbit Hollow) has an enclosed garden for your dogs (although small dogs have been known to slip through the fences).

But please no dogs on furniture or beds. The farm is popular with Dog owners, so please use the same discretion when walking your dogs around the farm as you would in a local park, bearing in mind there may be other guests with dogs, or who are not fond of dogs. Please also note that the local black and white cat Artemis is not fond of dogs and may make a show of force if they come too close.

Yes – Underhill farm is blessed to be supplied from a local dam that has had sufficient capacity even during the harshest drought. So you are welcome to use the bath in the main farmhouse, and take long showers, but please don’t waste water unnecessarily.

Yes – Whilst the farm is solar powered during the day and has limited batteries for running through the night, there is also an Eskom link as a back up. However the farm is remote and from time to time, there may be a power outage. There are candles and torches provided and gas is used for hot water and cooking.

There is usually extra firewood available at R100 a wheelbarrow. High quality linen is provided for your comfort. Should there be excessive stains or damage that cannot be cleaned, you may be liable for replacement.

Bed linen, one bathroom towel per person, salt pepper and condiments are included as well as a fully stocked kitchen with fridge microwave and dishwasher, braai area and stove and hob are included in each cottage (with the exception of Rivendell that only has a hob). There is also a coffee station.

No, outside activities and star watching as well as cards are encouraged.

No, all bedrooms share their respective cottages’ bathroom, except for the private suite upstairs at Underhill cottage and the second bedroom at Underhill farmhouse.

The cottages are all self-catering and fully stocked kitchens are provided with condiments and a coffee station.

Salt pepper, tea coffee, sugar sweetener, and long-life milk.

For stays exceeding 4 days, yes laundry facilities can be arranged – please pre arrange with Julian via email or speak to Julian or James on arrival.

The Cottages

Yes – The tap water is dam water that has been treated and is safe to drink. There is also 20l rain water supplied to each cottage. Please bring your own water should you wish.

Yes – every cottage has its own stoep and undercover braai area (with the exception of Hobbit hollow where there is a weber next to the stream, that can be moved undercover if it is raining) and braai tongs and grids are included.

Yes – every cottage has its own indoor fireplace.

Yes – every cottage has been very carefully designed so you have your own space and no cottage can be seen from any other cottage window or stoep. Also, as the cottages all point away from each other noise from one cottage does not carry to another.

Yes every cottage has its own pool. The Rivendell pool is a 5,000 litre jojo tank that has been converted into a plunge pool, and the swimming spot at Hobbit Hollow is a rock pool in the Botrivier.

The hot water is gas powered and the gas geyser is powered by batteries. Whilst these are checked regularly it is possible that the gas may run our or the batteries are flat. If you don’t have hot water, please let James or Julian know and it will be rectified.

Please help with recycling with putting clean plastic glass and metal in the crates provided. Please also put aside leftover food scraps so they can be put on the compost heap (under the old oak tree by the lower farm). Otherwise all other rubbish is taken to the local rubbish dump in Villiersdorp. Please help minimising the rubbish that gets dumped by recycling as much as possible.

Each cottage has a septic tank. Please do not throw anything other than toilet paper down the toilet and please do not bring any harsh chemicals, cleaners or bleach to the farm.

In your own cottage, stoep and private river side chill area – yes. As no cottage overlooks another the noise travels away from the other cottages so you won’t bother or be bothered by other parties. Please be respectful of others in the open areas of the farm.

Yes every cottage is equipped with it’s own dishwasher and dishwasher tablets are included in the kitchen. Please put the tablet in the cutlery tray, not in the door, and when you pack the dishwasher make sure everything is pointing downwards so they can be cleaned by the under-tray sprayers.

The Location

Cell phone signal is poor, but there is a strong Wi-Fi network.

Yes absolutely. The farm is remote and 18km from the nearest town which makes it private, secluded and secure.

Yes – there is a forest path that starts in the corner of the farm by Hobbit Hollow that has a easy walk along the Botrivier going to the left back to the farm entrance at the van der Stel pass entrance and the path to the right goes up into the mountains (please ask Julian or James for directions). The van der Stel pass is very popular with cyclists with the pass winding down the valley to Botrivier.

Yes – you are welcome to explore any of the open fields where there is an unlocked gate. Please note that the wine farm next to Underhill and the homestead at the top of the hill (Avondson) are private properties and off limits. The best walks are across the Botrivier and up the valley as noted above.

The streams on either side of the farm are not stocked with fish, but access to a local dam can be arranged with prior arrangement, although fish are scarce.

Yes – Eerste Hoop wine farm is next door but is private and does not offer wine tastings. However we are located at the beginning of the Botrivier wine route (which heads down the scenic van der stel Pass towards Botrivier and along the N2 and on the other side towards Hermanus.

See https://www.botriverwines.com/estates/ for details about the various wine farms.

Yes, in the open fields it can get very hot, but Underhill farm is blessed to be situated between two streams which are forested and shade the cottages and provide cooling breezes. In addition, each cottage has its own plunge pool for relaxing in in summer. So, the cottages and surrounds remain cool even on the hottest of days.

Yes, into the minus degrees at night. However, each cottage has a wood fireplace to keep you warm, and all the cottages are well insulated to keep in the heat and extra blankets are supplied.

Outside Grabouw, the most popular place is Peregrines, and the Elgin Railway Market is a must visit with dozens of food stalls, curios and the steampunk design in the old warehouse – check online for opening times.

In Botrivier The Shunting Shed makes fantastic burgers and pizzas, and the Botrivier Hotel in the town square is a must see.

Further afield there are the tourist towns of Hermanus and Franschhoek.

Directions & Travel

Yes – The dirt road past the farm (van der Stel Pass) is in excellent condition and the road to the farm is also in excellent condition with the road up and down the hill paved so you don’t get stuck if it is raining.

Underhill farm is less than 100km from Cape Town and can be accessed via the N2 over Sir Lowries pass via Grabouw, or the N1 over the Franschhoek pass through Franschhoek.

You can access detailed directions here or use Google Maps – Please note that if you use Google maps you need to make sure the route takes you down Van der Stel Pass. Sometimes Google maps uses inaccessible farm roads if you are coming from the coast.

Still have questions?

Reach out and we'll be happy to help.