The Babylonstoren is owned by Karen Roos Bekker and her husband, Koos Bekker – a billionaire businessman who serves as the chairman of media group Naspers.
The farmhouse, which dates back to the 17th century, was opened to the public in 2010 after undergoing a series of renovations. Its garden covers 3.5 hectares of formal beds and has 300 varieties of plants that are either edible or have medicinal value. Also, inside the historic Dutch farm situated around the Cape vineyards surrounding Stellenbosch are other facilities such as a hotel, wine cellar, spa, shop, and restaurants.
Who Is the Babylonstoren Owner?
Karen Roos Bekker and Koos Bekker are the owners of Babylonstoren. However, Karen has been at the forefront of the business as she was the one who commissioned French architect Patrice Taravella to plan the garden’s layout in 2007. After transforming it into an extraordinary formal garden, Karen and Koos opened the farm in 2010.
Babylonstoren is located in the Drakenstein Valley close to Franschhoek in the Western Cape. Its garden is comprised of fifteen clusters spanning herbs, vegetable areas, nuts, berries, citrus, stone and pome fruits, a prickly pear maze, ducks and chicken, and more. The fruit and vegetables are grown as organically as possible and are harvested all year round for use in two farm-to-fork restaurants― Babel and Greenhouse situated on the farm.
Koos Bekker & Karen Roos' Babylonstoren is an incredible place to stay, explore & eat at. Well worth it. pic.twitter.com/Ovf30IrhqR
— Mike Abel (@abelmike) June 15, 2014
Does Koos Bekker Own Babylonstoren?
Yes, Koos Bekker is a co-owner of Babylonstoren. The Cape Dutch farm is best known for its vegetable and fruit garden. In the year 2019, the billionaire businessman recreated Babylonstoren in the United Kingdom. He, alongside his wife, renovated a property they purchased in the UK in 2013 known as Hadspen House and renamed it ‘The Newt in Somerset’.
The renovated estate has a number of attractions similar to those at Babylonstoren. The Newt has a maze with 460 apple trees and 267 varieties. It is located on 30 hectares of land with a mix of woodland, planted gardens, and landscape parklands. Also known as Babylonstoren 2, The Newt in Somerset has been designed as a celebration of local beauty, produce, and history.
Its stone mansion dates back to 1745. Amazingly, the estate features a hotel, bakery, cider cellar, orchards, gardens, restaurants, spa, garden museum, and buffalo herd.
Other Facilities Inside Babylonstoren
Besides having an extraordinary garden, Babylonstoren has other establishments erected inside it, which makes it a tourist attraction. They include a hotel, restaurants, farm, spa, and a shop. Of course, the properties on the Dutch farm are owned by Koos Bekker and Karen Roos.
- Hotel: Babylonstoren has a hotel that serves free breakfast. On the farm, there are also family houses, garden cottages, fynbos cottages, and farmhouses.
- Babel Restaurant: It is Babylonstoren’s flagship restaurant. It’s open for lunch from Wednesday to Sunday and serves seasonal foods.
- A custom-built Greenhouse: This is an eatery that opens seven days a week and serves tea, light lunches of fresh salads, as well as loaves of bread from a wood-fired oven dressed with cheeses and meats.
- The Bakery: This is another restaurant on the farm that offers dinner experiences. Italian-inspired evening meals are served on Monday and Friday evenings.
- Farm: Wine, Olive oil, and tea farms are found in Babylonstoren. The wine cellar is on about 94 hectares and produces 13 different grape varieties. Wines are produced on the farm in a state-of-the-art winery.
- Shop: Babylonstoren has a shop that sells home décor items, meats, hats, loaves of bread, cheeses, and wines.
- Spa: Set within a forest of bamboo with tranquil greenery, the spa comprises a chill room, hammam, hot spa, and gym. Also, massage, facials, wraps, pedicures, and manicures are among Babylonstoren’s spa treatments.
What to Know About Babylonstoren’s Owner, Karen Roos Bekker
Karen Kross is a décor genius who has authored several local décor books. She began her journalism career in the ’80s as Glamour Magazine’s fashion editor in New York. And later launched Red Magazine in South Africa.
In 2003, she collaborated with Annemarie Meintjes, a fellow décor journalist, to publish a décor book, South which provides a definitive look at distinctively South African attitudes and approaches to interior decoration. The book was both locally and internationally acclaimed and sold numerous copies in Europe.
Roos also worked together with Meintjes to produce a highly successful décor program, Huis-Huis, that aired on SABC2. In July 2005, she was appointed the editor of Elle Decoration – a leading South African décor magazine. She later resigned from the job to focus on her business.
As a highly skilled décor journalist, Karen Roos Bekker has been deeply involved in the decoration of Babylonstoren and The Newt in Somerset. She did the latter’s interior design, blending traditional and contemporary décor touches.