Opening or rather re-opening on 1st September 2016 Galenia – this new name on the South African hospitality scene – is a rebranding of the estate and four star, bed and breakfast guest lodge previously known as Les Hauts de Montagu.
The Galenia Estate, named for the Galenia africana species of fynbos to be found there, is thought to be more easily pronounced by the majority of visitors, and the local community, and to emphasize the focus of the estate on the preservation of the natural environment to be found there. The Galenia hospitality product lifts the property from its previous bed and breakfast category by offering lunches and dinners to its resident guests and also to increase the interaction between the guests and the natural unspoilt beauty of the estate itself.
The eight walking trails on the estate, of varying levels of complexity, amongst the fynbos and renosterbos allow guests to visit the five dams (one complete with bird hide), the Eastern and Western boundaries, the source and the forested banks of the Boontjierivier (Little Bean River) which flows through the property and the lower slopes of the Langeberg Mountains that protect the estate on its Southern boundary and its adjoining Twistniet Nature Reserve. Guests are free to explore the estate at will, but if they wish to know more about the estate and the bountiful nature to be found there then they can join the daily escorted nature walk which takes place before breakfast each morning.
Each of the ten suites has undergone an intensive programme of refurbishment and redecoration to provide a uniform superior offering. To create additional privacy each suite has been soundproofed and the individual stoeps have been modified and roofed to give protection from the weather and to allow them to be used more as outside lounge areas. The bedrooms have been given a cosier look by adding rugs to cover the bare terracotta tile floors, new soft furnishings, lighting and décor. Blackout curtains and high specification bed linen, duvets and pillows have increased the comfort factor. A full guest house ‘bouquet’ of TV channels is now available in all suites whilst the amazingly efficient log burning open fire places still remain for those chillier evenings. By popular demand the outdoor showers and the free standing baths have been retained together with the underfloor heating in the bathrooms. Ample designated parking to the rear of each suite also remains a very attractive feature of the property.
The main house has also been subject to a redesign and refurbishment programme to enable it to become more of a social centre where residents can relax in comfort to enjoy drinks and refreshments of the appropriate time of day. By enclosing the extensive stoep with sliding glass panels it has allowed this area to be used as a permanent dining veranda. Breakfast can be taken whilst overlooking the olive grove and the lake in the foreground whilst also enjoying the far flung horizons of the Klein Karoo, whilst dinner has become a more cosy and sophisticated candlelit event where guests can linger and enjoy the excellent wines of the neighbouring wine farms.
The main agricultural emphasis of the estate is on the olive grove of one thousand mature olive trees which produces the award winning ‘estate pressed’ extra virgin olive oil and both green and black table olives. Guests can attend a daily late afternoon olive familiarisation and tasting during their stay to learn more about the various cultivars and the complete process from tree to bottle.
The Galenia experience combines the natural beauty of this 1300 acre (550 hectare) estate, with its private and peaceful setting sheltered by the majestic Langeberg Mountains and enjoying magnificent views, with a hospitality offering that is designed to complement and connect to the surroundings, providing a caring and comfortable base from which guests can explore the estate and the neighbouring attractions of the Robertson wine valley and the Klein Karoo.