Trail’s End in Grabouw is a real trailblazer, writes PAMELA COOPER
This new bike hotel is the brainchild of Pieter Silberbauer, a local businessman with a reputation for building top-notch timber homes across the Western Cape.
Retirement didn’t suit him and – together with two partners – he converted his factory building into a light, airy, practical space for bikers and hikers, catering for every convenience, without over-the-top frills. There is a bike wash for the bikes, a mud wash for the bikers, and a long pool (heated) for those who didn’t get enough exercise on the trail (or chose to lounge on the verandah with a book, chosen from the shelves of the well stocked library).
Inside the spacious open-plan relaxing area (think chic factory shed décor), you can enjoy a large cup of great cappuccino with a generous slice of warm blueberry cake straight from the oven. Canadian chef, Brenna Coupland, runs the well-equipped kitchen, making mealtimes something look forward to at Trail’s End.
The entire hotel is eco-friendly, recycling everything (apt for a bike hotel) and using solar power for the lighting, and pristine groundwater for water needs. Local craft beer and ciders are served, vegetables are locally grown and the small retail section of the hotel supports a community project.
Facilities are suitable for families, groups, and solo guests, with private en-suite rooms or dormitory accommodation for serious teambuilding. A total of 60 beds are available. A secure indoor area is provided for bicycle storage – these babies can cost the same as a small car!
Coaching clinics are held for training in triathlons, nutrition, and cycling. There is a chiropractic, massage, and Pilates facility, as well as a physiotherapist on hand to soother aching muscles.
The hotel is perfect for conferences, teambuilding outings, weddings and other special occasions. A children’s pump track and a climbing wall provide energy-burning entertainment for the youngsters, while their parents enjoy a sundowner in the courtyard, while maintaining a watchful eye.
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