Majeka House - An eccentric epicurean escape in Stellenbosch
Majeka House is discretely tucked away in Paradyskloof, a leafy upmarket suburb of Stellenbosch (the Western Cape's charming university town), which is only an hour's drive from Cape Town. Located on the foothills of the striking Hottentots-Holland Mountains, this characterful boutique hotel is a short distance from the bustling village centre, which is crammed full of trendy restaurants, shops and art galleries. Being wine country, you can lazily saunter to the nearest vineyard in under 15 minutes and the region is home to the world-renowned Stellenbosch wine routes, with over 150 wineries to explore.
Visitors can expect this award-winning and enchanting small inn to make a big visual impact. Its white facade is confined within attractive landscaped grounds, enlivened by unexpected dramatic pops of bright blue sun loungers and timeless cast iron garden furniture. A multitude of emerald green awnings and auburn terra cotta tiles create a chic Mediterranean-like atmosphere. Quirky decor traits like an endearing collection of pig statuettes on show around the hotel emanate the owner-run property's playful personality.
There are 23 inviting guest rooms on the premises, ranging from comfortable Premier and sizable Garden options, to private Mountain View and expansive Poolside suites. All accommodations feature their own theatrical interior themes complimented by lavish furnishings, sensational finishes and of course all the luxury amenities you may need.
For my two night stay I checked into a gorgeous Poolside suite. The botanical inspired boudoir instantly appealed to my senses, and it felt like I was stepping into a personal tropical paradise. A wall of folding glass doors allows natural light to flood the large lounge area, which can be conveniently separated from the bedroom by floor-to-ceiling shutters.
I loved the mesmerizing patterned wallpaper throughout the room, as well as the eclectic mix of old and new pieces. My ensuite bathroom's delightful avian mural invited a bit of birdlife indoors, adding a certain sensuality to an often sterile part of hotel rooms. Most importantly, the comfortable king size bed and thick blackout drapery ensured an undisturbed night's sleep.
Poolside lodgings share a terrace and semi-private swimming pool with adjoining rooms - this is great for when you're traveling with company, as you can book neighbouring suites and have the entire place to yourself. There happened to be no guests staying next door, and I secretly reveled in this pristine leisure zone enclosed in its own walled garden.
Majeka House is known for its fantastic signature restaurant, Makaron. This fashionable eatery serves a small yet scrumptious breakfast buffet in the morning, and diners can also order a la carte. Its fabulous al fresco veranda is the ideal spot to enjoy your morning coffee and a freshly baked canelé...
At night the stylish space is the stage for a spectacular culinary event - their magical dinner menu with optional wine pairing. Expertly prepared small plates arrive at your table one after the other, taking your mouth on a memorable tasting expedition. The different flavours, aromas and textures of these artistically presented dishes makes for an unforgettable gourmet experience I highly recommend.
The hotel's spa and main swimming pool (which is indoors) is located just off the little reception area. This chic natatorium has a retractable ceiling (complete with chandeliers) which makes taking a dip possible in any kind of weather. Guests can also unwind in the sauna or steam room after enjoying an authentic treatment at Majeka's popular spa. Bookings are essential.
For an aperitif or post dinner cocktail and a game of backgammon I suggest reclining in the sexy M Lounge. Find yourself a spot near the roaring fire in this snug library-come-bar, and bask in its seductive mood lighting while sipping on their famous Fynbos Mojito...bliss.
As the property is not dissimilar to a guesthouse, you can expect a very personalised approach. Upon arrival I was heartily welcomed and offered a fragrant cup of delicious homemade tea - the check-in procedure was effortless and a kindhearted manager offered to escort me on a brief tour of the vicinity. Usually I don't cavil, but despite the staff's genuine hospitality, I believe that fresh orientation may equip the team with extra industry intuition to ensure continuous smooth sailing.
Overall, I experienced a thoroughly delightful stay at Majeka House. Its endearing character and homelike atmosphere makes this the perfect place for an intimate and relaxing getaway - especially for gourmands and wine lovers. Take my advice and embrace your inner hedonist by reserving a bit of accessible luxury as soon as possible - it's rare to find it at such excellent value...
* I was kindly invited by the hotel and my stay was partly complimentary
All photos and opinions are my own © Traverate 2017