We love exploring Africa for little hidden gems and our recent visit unearthed a few crackers in the Cape Winelands accommodation list! So if you are thinking about a Cape Town holiday, we highly recommend a few nights up in the mountains exploring winelands and staying at one of these places!
Majeka House – boutique hotel
This is a fantastic privately owned 19 room hotel, in a suburban setting of Stellenbosch. The orderly neighborhood belies a quirky, idiosyncratic side to the hotel, which is a mix of nostalgic and very contemporary elements. It certainly gives it a unique appeal – bright blue sun loungers outside for instance contrast with the classical French conservatory style dining area. Does that sound appealing? It certainly works in a very interesting way and makes for an awesome stay.
The 12 Premier collection entry-level rooms are housed in one wing and perfectly well sized for the lead in room type – also good for small groups, while the 3 garden suites are larger, well laid out and share a common pool. There are two large – pool suites that open onto a semi-private pool (shared between the two rooms and would only be private if both were taken, a great option for families). If not taken privately you share it with your neighbours.
The 2 mountain suites makes best use of the stunning views, stretching towards the Stellenbosch mountains and would be our first choice for those with a healthy budget.
The restaurant delivers in a big way, intimate, yet sophisticated, with a huge selection of wine by the glass, and suggested pairings with each course. We highly recommend at least one dining experience here. Breakfast too is impressive and perhaps one of the best we’ve experienced world wide! The highlight is the output of their inhouse patisserie chef who certainly creates masterpieces that reflect the French ownership.
The only downer is that it’s not on a wine estate and instead set in suburbia. The benefit is it’s well priced and set in stunning grounds like a private little oasis, so once we settled in it wasn’t an issue. You do need your own car or we simply arrange private driver/tours for you each day with our Wine Guru, Keith!
All in all, this is perfect for families wanting shared and large rooms (and awesome swimming pools for summer months), romantics wanting a little uber luxury in the mountain suites and small groups because you can combine rooms.
Le Jardin – private house
Not many of our guests get to experience the magic of the Devon Valley. We know it as a beautiful area just outside Stellenbosch with small boutiue wine estates, rural mountain setting and stunning little gems like this one!
Le Jardin is available on an exclusive use rental. It’s so much more than a ‘house’… thanks to the charm of resident Manager, Joanne it is casual elegance at its best. Joanne is fresh from managing a superior concierge service in London so you can only imagine her exceptional customer service skills.
What’s so special about it you ask? In order of magic… this is an elegant Herbert Baker 1920’s style house, with the facade and verandah flowing onto a croquet lawn and down to a private dam where your time can be spent relaxing and savouring the setting and culinary cuisine you collect on your journey throughout the day.
The size is also impressive – 4 rooms in total that can sleep up to 10 PLUS children sharing options into the mix create the ideal family paradise. A huge swimming pool, resident friendly dogs, a zip line into the dam and gardens that run forever, the kids will be exhausted by night time when the parents can indulge in sampling their goodies.
Bedroom breakdown for you – Three of the four rooms are located upstairs. The master suite is large and the other two are decent, not so large though but all you need for a few nights’ stay. The impressive ‘honeymoon suite’ is outside by the pool and whilst it should WOW guests, it is the least impressive because it’s due for a refurb which should bring it up to the great standard of the others.
Dining can be done alfresco on the verandah, more formally inside or alongside the dam where a giant pizza oven is housed – another unique wow experience for kids. You have a team of staff who are available to you if you wish or you can have it on room only basis. We recommend the fully staffed affair because the team then ensure everything is provided including great braais (BBqs), mean pizzas down by the dam to name two of our favourites!
The final impressive factor for us is an Arabian style gazebo that is located right beside the pool so parents can flop on the couch and cushions and watch the kids play in the pool.
We recommend this for families of course. It’s great combined with time in Cape Town for more fast paced action and a safari. but time here allows you to actually be ‘on holiday’ and have a few days relaxing. So it’s a 4 star experience, a little English country in feel inside but the highlights are certainly outside..