Places To Stay: Ondervlei Cottage – Rosendal, South Africa

Name:  Ondervlei Cottage

Location:  Located on the fringes of Rosendal, a small town in the Eastern Free State, bordered by the Witteberge, Ondervlei Cottage has no immediate neighbours, which is ideal when one wants to get away from it all.

Description:  The rectangular cottage, reminding one of a shipping container, has a cozy bedroom with a double bed, a small bathroom with a toilet and bath, and an open-plan kitchen/living area. There is a wall heater in the bedroom, an electric blanket on the bed, and a fireplace in the living area to keep the winter chill at bay. The large windows, at the front, frame the landscape perfectly, especially when the early morning cold keeps one indoors. There is a circular, enclosed outdoor shower at the back of the cottage, with piping hot water, which makes for a very invigorating experience early on a winter’s morning. It is cozy and rustic, yet comfortable and homely with everything one needs for a restful stay, including filter coffee and milk. The large stoep (veranda), out front, is a wonderful place for that first cup of coffee in the morning, to curl up in the sun to read, watch the sunset with a glass of wine in hand, or sit and watch the world drift by. There is also a fire-pit and braai (barbecue) area from where one can gaze up into the night sky, where thousands of stars blink back.

Surroundings:  It has spectacular views across the veldt towards the mountains, and no immediate neighbours, although one can see various neighbouring houses in the distance.

What makes it special:  The fireplace works really well, and was my favourite feature, apart from watching amazing sunrises and sunsets from the stoep (veranda), where there is a daybed, as well as a table and chairs. It is the perfect antidote to life’s stresses.

Contact:  Bonni  –

Bonni has perfected the art of making one feel welcome, even when not present. Her messages are as welcoming, and filled with information, as if she is physically present. Elmo, who takes care of the cottage for her, is a delight, and on hand to welcome one, answer any questions, and provide an extra supply of firewood if needed.

Things to do in Rosendal:

Rosendal is the perfect town for walking. With only one paved street, the others remind one of farm roads, and as it is a sleepy town, there is more foot traffic than cars around. And even then, not much is happening.

Despite the fact that it is a small town, there are three different places one can have a meal: Chris se stoep; Die Stoor; or Die Kos-Huis. I had two lovely vegetarian meals on Chris’ Stoep, while Die Stoor often serves pizzas on a Friday night from a wood fired oven, so call ahead to book, or check what is happening. Take note that they mostly operate over weekends only, except perhaps for Die Kos-Huis, which appears to be the local watering hole, and even then they may close completely or early.

There are various galleries and craft stores dotted across town (often only open over weekends or by appointment only), so take your time to stroll through the dusty streets, and discover the unusual and the quirky.

For more information about galleries, stores, accommodation, and interesting things to do in the area, visit the official Rosendal website.


Visited:  August 2017