First-hand feedback from Pieter’s recent trip to the Cape Winelands.
Although the smaller neighbouring town of Franschhoek is normally higher on the list of preferred locations for clients to stay when visiting the Cape Winelands, one should not discount the charm and superb offerings of Stellenbosch. This university town, steeped in history offers a well balanced mix of winelands charm and urban sophistication.
Located on the outskirts of town lies Lanzerac offering clients a luxurious retreat with a proud history dating back to 1692. This Stellenbosch Icon offers 53 bedrooms and suites all individually decorated. Set on a working wine farm, guests have easy access to the cellar and the Tasting Room. In addition, guests can enjoy four swimming pools (indoor and outdoor), three restaurants, a Deli or unwind and rejuvenate at the Lanzerac Spa.
A 30-minute drive from Stellenbosch, over the stunning Helshoogte Pass, lies the charming, French influenced town of Franschhoek. With numerous boutique style accommodation offerings I had a look at some of the newer options available.
A boutique hotel located in heart of Franschhoek town, Chapter House offers a great location from which to explore Franschhoek on foot. This hotel is soaked in history and is a very significant building in the history of this charming town. Originally built as a Mission House in 1888, and later serving as the village school right up until 1974, this house has chapters filled with stories to tell. With only 9 rooms the hotel offers an affordable luxury stay for clients looking for a modern property with a heritage design.
La Petite Ferme
La Petite Ferme is renowned for their exceptional cuisine and boutique wines making it a wonderful lunch spot with spectacular views over the Franschhoek valley. In addition they also have a superb accommodation offering comprising of a Manor House and Vineyard Suites each with spectacular views and comfort. The Manor House comprises of 4 suites and there are 5 Vineyard Suites. All suites take full advantage of the views on offer due to the property’s location on the slopes of the Oliphants Pass and Middagkrans Mountain Range. Exceptional hospitality and passionate staff adds to the fabulous offering, providing a luxurious yet homely stay.
La Paris Estate
Located about 8 km outside Franschhoek on route to Paarl lies La Paris Estate. Better known as a venue for weddings and other celebrations, the estate now also offers a boutique hotel. Accommodation is provided in air-conditioned suites with private garden areas. They range from Deluxe Junior Suites, ideal for couples to The Suite with Private Pool that can accommodate a family of four adults and two children.
The onsite La Paris Bistro provides innovative and delicious meals and its open daily for breakfast and lunch. Dinner arrangements can be made on request.
Directly across the road from La Paris lies Groot Drakenstein Prison, home to Nelson Mandela for the last fourteen months of his long political imprisonment and from where we was finally released in 1990. The main attraction is a large statue of Nelson Mandela which is well worth a photo stop.