God’s Window

“A place so beautiful even God has a window.”

Tucked away nested in a valley in the mountains of Langeberg Mountains in southern South Africa is a place where the natural landscape is the best activity. Located between the towns of Ashton and Swellendam, God’s Window is a different kind of resort. Designed by Johannesburg-based architect Georg van Gass of GASS Architecture Design Studio, the structure is a minimalist U-shaped set of glass buildings surrounding a courtyard on three sides.

Outdoors you can relax by the 16-meter pool with an unmatched view of the lush, green mountainside. Besides the mountains, also surrounding the retreat is a forest with a river bordering the Marloth Reserve and a 4-hour hiking path. Two horses are also available for riding and exploring the natural surroundings.

Despite the feeling of isolation and tranquility, the nearby towns have restaurants that offer delectable cuisine and nightlife.

According to the architect, the buildings were constructed using largely local textures and materials and all the water used in the house is harvested from the site itself, therefore it is not connected to a municipal water supply line.

The open kitchen area features a wall of wood cabinets, and there is even a walk-in wine cellar. A music room and home theater room will keep you entertained in the evenings. The drypacked stone fireplace is the focus of the living room, a perfect place to cozy up and enjoy some picks from the wine cellar (pets are welcome!).

There are two quest suites that can accommodate up to six guests, making this retreat a very private and intimate one. Each guest room is practically all made of glass, allowing you to feel at one with the outdoors at all times.

Architect: GASS Architecture Design Studio, Georg van Gass (B.Arch UP); Jimmy MacDonald (MLS tech. NDArch)
Structural Engineer: BraamAuret and Partners, BraamAuret
Jeremy Peuren Bouers, Jeremy Peuren, Jean Peuren
Photos: Courtesy of GASS

Are you packed yet?

What: God’s Window
Where: R60 Leeurivier Swellendam 6740 South Africa (map it)
How much:~$275 USD per person, per night includes taxes and breakfast. Dinner can be arranged prior for about $40 per person.
Highlights: The retreat home has two suites and can accommodate up to six guests, or three couples.
Design draw: Designed by local architect Georg van Gass of GASS Architecture Design Studio, the home channels other great architectural marvels such as the Farnsworth House.
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Jaime Derringer, Founder + Executive Editor of Design Milk, is a Jersey girl living in SoCal. She dreams about funky, artistic jewelry + having enough free time to enjoy some of her favorite things—running, reading, making music, and drawing.