Staying at Cape Town's most picturesque hotel: The Cellars-Hohenhort
Cape Town is South Africa's oldest city, and apart from its spectacular natural beauty, great weather, fabulous cuisine and scrumptious wines it has an abundance of interesting history on offer too. Since the permanent arrival of the Dutch, there has been a significant European influence on many parts of the city and it's surrounding areas.
The Cellars-Hohenhort (meaning "high-place") is a beautiful piece of this rich history, dating back to 1693. Originally a working farm, today it is a luxury hotel with oodles of charm, spanning over 9 acres of land. It lies tucked away in the Constantia Valley or "Cape Town's Vineyard", the oldest wine producing area in the Southern Hemisphere.
From Cape Town International Airport it is a short 20 min trip to get to the hotel. The city centre of Cape Town is only a 15 min drive away, but you may not want to leave Hohenort, as it is the perfect hideaway.
The hotel rests at the foothills of the breathtaking Table Mountain and has 52 individually decorated rooms and suites - all with views of the gardens or mountain. I stayed in room 44, which is in the main manor (built in 1906). My room was enormous, with extremely high ceilings and a large balcony overlooking Cape Town's famous natural wonder. Furnished in a characterful historical style and with all the modern comforts, I immediately felt right at home. The modern bathroom had a good range of amenities, and some soft white towels and quality gowns. A nice touch was the signed note from the hotel manager and complimentary bottle of wine waiting for me.
Set within the garden are the pools, tennis court and wellness spa, the main recreational facilities on site. I absolutely loved exploring the romantic and award-winning gardens, featuring 300-year old trees and more than 2500 roses! Of course there was the tranquil vineyard with its 95 vines as well. A hair salon, boutique shop and golf putting green designed by Gary Player adds to the leisure amenities. Additionally, there are many adventure activities that the hotel is able to arrange for you - from mountain biking to wine tastings. It's a pity that there is no fitness centre on site, luckily they offer complimentary access and transport to the nearby Virgin Active Health Club.
Aside from its idyllic setting, what makes this hotel even more brilliant is its dining options. The Conservatory is the main restaurant where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a pretty fantastic high tea. The restaurant is designed around an enormous tree in its center, and also features a terrace with views of the gorgeous garden and mountain. The lunch/ dinner menu comprises of many best-loved dishes in local cuisine, and some classics as well.
Furthermore, there are two relaxed and intimate cocktail lounges on site - the Greenhouse Bar and Martini Bar. Both are uniquely decorated and exude character and sophistication. Finally, the pièce de résistance is the famous and award winning Greenhouse Restaurant. An intimate and airy space that offers a seasonal tasting menu, with much of the produce coming from the Constantia Valley and the hotel gardens.
Upon arrival a porter greeted me by hand and offered to attended to my luggage. Check-in took a little while, but luckily there were some cold welcome drinks to distract me. Usually luggage is delivered to the room after a guest arrives, and it felt a bit crowded as I was escorted to my room by a manager, receptionist and porter in tow.
The service at breakfast and afternoon tea was a tad slow, however, the dinner waitressing at The Conservatory was excellent. I also ordered supper to my room, which arrived within 15 min - impressive as it was after 9:30pm. Sadly they had no availability at the gourmet Greenhouse restaurant during my stay.
The turn down service was a little disappointing - my bed wasn't completely made up. However, it was quickly rectified and I didn't have a problem on the second night.
In general all the staff I encountered were very friendly and happy to engage in conversation.
Overall, I had a very pleasant stay at this unique property, and I recommend it to anyone who loves nature, fine cuisine and appreciates tranquility whilst not being totally isolated from the city.
All opinions and photos are mine. © Traverate