‘We always had art in our homes, so the idea of having a holiday home without art in it was inconceivable to us.’
Frank Kilbourn
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En-suite bathrooms
Adjacent bathroom
Rates from
115 000
per night*
*Please enquire below for local resident rates

Immerse yourself in paintings and sculptures from prestigious South African artists at an exclusive private villa on the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve in the Western Cape.

For lovers of South African contemporary fine art, Villa 1 at the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is a dream brought to vivid life. The villa is co-owned by Frank Kilbourn, chairman of Strauss & Co Auctioneers, and an enthusiastic collector of fine art. Kilbourn has been collecting art since his student days, so has a keen eye for quality pieces and the villa is home to his private collection.

He doesn’t mind confessing that there are particular paintings he’s partial to, many of which are by renowned painter Cecil Skotnes. ‘There’s one in the passage that was commissioned for me for my 40th birthday. It brings a nice personal dimension to the villa for us.’ Two Skotnes’s above the wood-burning fireplace in the lounge embody the ethos of life at the villa. ‘The works are a combination of a landscape, a seascape and an interior, which pulls everything together that the villa stands for. When we built the villa, we tried to make the building as unobtrusive as possible. It’s very calm, very quiet. The interior is restful and understated.’

This little patch of the Cape is known for its unique biodiversity and breathtaking fynbos. The villa’s panoramic floor-to-ceiling glass windows allow you to take this all in from any room you happen to be in. A series of works by Walter Meyer are a homage to the ebbs and flows of nature on the reserve, depicting the mountainside after a devastating fire in 2008. “It was important to include these works to situate the house where it is. In the mountains, next to the sea,” Kilbourn tells me.

In the dining room, Hardy Botha’s triptych ‘Sirkus Karnaval’ provides intellectual diversion, Kilbourn says. ‘In my mind, it’s one of the most important works he’s ever painted. It’s a nice conversation piece. We’ve spent many hours discussing what’s happening there.’

The Kilbourn Collection ticks all the boxes you’d expect of a body of work curated and displayed in this distinctive part of the world, and it epitomizes one man’s passion and inimitable taste for exemplary local fine art.

While you’re there, don’t miss out on visiting the Grootbos Florilegium on the reserve. It houses a new collection of botanical paintings, an important conservation record of over 400 species of fynbos.

Review by Matthew McClure.

Read more about the new Florilegium in our Journal.

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• Fully equipped private kitchen

• 2 Living rooms

• 3 Barbecue areas

• 8-seater formal dining

• Alfresco dining

• Breakfast area

• Air-conditioning/heating

• Espresso machine

• Sound system
• Media room

• Television

• Security system

• Gym

• Wine cellar

• Balconies/decks with views

• Swimming pool

• Sea views

• Privateairstrip


• Personal chef
• Dedicated team of staff
• All meals(full board)
• Beach picnics and barbecues
• Housekeeping (daily)
• Unlimited Wi-Fi
• Private guide
• Access to private vehicle


Advance notice required

• Activities and excursions
• Babysitting and au pair
• Dry cleaning
• Personal security
• Personal shopping
• Personal trainer
• Spa and beauty treatments

• Our advice would be to stay put and enjoy this pristine reserve to its fullest: go on a drive through the fynbos, have a spa treatment, take walks, go mountain biking or horse riding, fat biking and quad biking.

• Botanical art fans should visit the Florilegium(read more in our Journal) and do a 4x4 botanical tour. However, there’s plenty to do in the area:

• Go down to the beach for sundowners – an archeological site of enormous interest, Walker Bay and the caves have a fascinating history.

• Head out to sea with an experienced marine biologist and birder from the harbour nearby to see whales, dolphins, seals and go shark-cage diving. We’ll book this exhilarating half day experience ahead of time for you.

• Take a drive: some of the best wines the Cape has to offer (especially flinty whites) come from this region and the road towards Baardskeerdersbos and Elim is a good place to start. Combine this with a trip to the famous point at Agulhas, the southern most tip of Africa.

• The village of Stanford, loved by local artists and creatives, is packed with antique stores and country boutiques. Regular markets are held here. Or head to Hermanus and take a walk along the cliffs to the old harbour.

• Book a scenic flight over Walker Bay: spectacular in whale season.



•Check in 14h00
Check out 11h00
• Maximum 12 guests

• No pets allowed
• Non-smoking
• Security deposit
• All bookings subject to final approval by owner

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