Old School Winter Getaways
Sometimes a cold, wet Cape winter can bring about a feeling of nostalgia. There’s a longing for the comfort of home, but overlaid with desire for luxury imbued with a sense of the past. You want to get away – but in a strange way you seek the comfort of half-remembered moments: holiday homes where you went as a child, the creak and scent of things that are old and well-polished, the old-fashioned sink-down sensation of deep sofas, and the reassurance of classic yet homely touches of tradition.
Well, they’re all still there! And perhaps some newer places that you haven’t savoured yet. Winter is an excellent time to get away in the Cape for all these reasons. Here are a smattering of delightful choices that await you
The Lanzerac – Stellenbosch
This 5-star country hotel has become synonymous with old-world charm and the rich history of the area. Lush vineyards and gardens surround the historic main building, which hosts popular bars, restaurants, a tasting venue and day spa.
Established in 1692 and steeped in spellbinding history, it is the third oldest farm in the area. The first owner was Isaac Schrijver who planted the very first vineyards and named the farm Schoongezicht, meaning wonderful view. In the early 1800’s the first cellar was erected and subsequently complemented by the iconic Manor House with its main gable dating back to 1830.
Here you can relax in true comfort, style and old-fashioned grace. Whether you travel the winelands or stay in the warm lounges and pubs, savouring the cosy atmosphere of fires and Irish coffees, you can be sure that your winter getaway will be underpinned by a sense of country chic, historical legacy, and the glory of the scenic mountains in winter. Here’s a mix of sophisticated grandeur and 21st century splendour and service. A weekend here – and you’re a world away.
The Royal – Riebeeck-Kasteel
This grand old lady, the oldest hotel in the Western Cape, offers old-world luxury at affordable prices. The rooms have been upgraded to the highest standards, and all areas are air-conditioned – so no chilly draughts in the corridors! Give the 150-year old bar a visit and soak up the history. And don’t miss the tradition of drinks on the stoep, once named the longest stoep south of the Limpopo. In fact, some think this is where Jan Smuts sat to write the preamble of one of the world’s most important institutions, the United Nations.
In the summer great views can be enjoyed from the garden, the swimming pool and the pool deck. But in winter there’s the special joy of the fire in the lounge where you can relax surrounded by an extraordinary collection of Boer War memorabilia and other South African items of historical interest. There’s a spa service to warm up those aching muscles in total relaxation in the privacy of your room or, weather permitting, in the gazebo in the garden.
Today the town houses more than 2700 residents, including some of South Africa’s most famous artists attracted by the picturesque surroundings of the valley, which is especially popular for its scenic beauty and rural atmosphere. The Riebeek Valley hosts 3 festivals each year: The Medfest in March, The Olive Festival in May, and the Shiraz and Art festival in September. Within an hour’s drive from Cape Town you will find yourself in the warm comfort of the quiet countryside, and the charm of an old-style atmosphere and service.
The Cellars-Hohenort – Constantia
Originally known as Klaasenbosch (Claasenbosch), The Cellars-Hohenort was the sprawling estate that belonged to the chief surgeon of the Dutch East India Company, Hendrik ten Damme. The land was given to him in 1693 by the Governor of the Cape, Simon van der Stel.
For the ultimate mix of history, luxury and charm, you are in good hands from the moment you drive through the main gates of this established, nurtured and historical homestead. Peace, and the warm embrace of superbly appointed accommodation, private nooks, walks through 9 acres of award-winning gardens, restaurants and a delightful old-world pub, will see you relaxing in style in front of fires, or strolling along manicured paths with the fresh scent of winter in the barren trees. This is the perfect intimate and private getaway; close to all amenities, yet suffused with sophisticated country tranquillity and historical elegance.
The Devon Valley Hotel – Stellenbosch
When you want to truly hide away from the action, this tranquil old hotel is a perfect choice. It’s chief delight is unsurpassed views over the valley from the terrace, as well as from nearly every one of its 50 well-appointed rooms. What adds to the homely charm of this hotel is the fact it has been constructed entirely of Canadian Cedarwood. While the feel is old-world, there is a contemporary feel which appeals to visitors; they feel they are getting the best of both worlds.
For a romantic idyll, it has no peer. There is a ‘cabin’ getaway charm supported by the serenity of the building and its surrounds, the creak of pine trees in the night, the view of the stars in a chilly, clear sky, and the cosy warmth of in-house dining and comfortable lounge. This is the quiet retreat you keep for special occasions and time-out. Far from the madding crowd, soaked in the wintry quiet of a cold Cape afternoon, and offering all the warmth and comfort of home, this is the perfect place to relax, rejuvenate and re-charge.
Monkey Valley – Noordhoek
Considered one of the most unique properties in the world, and surrounded by a nature reserve on three sides, Monkey Valley offers an old-fashioned winter getaway like no other. The views across Noordhoek beach to startling displays of winter sunsets are unsurpassed. A superb restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, offers organic, farm-style cuisine, plus those extraordinary views.
With the woody and thatched-roof feel of cabin-built cottages and rooms, you will feel you have travelled deep into rural living, but complemented with mod-cons and top-class service. Fires in winter, a herbal sauna set in the treetops, 3 swimming pools, seafood braais, beach walks, horse riding, your winter getaway will be primed by privacy and peace. For some real old-fashioned charm, this is your chance to get away to the woods, to the solace of winter fires and real downtime in cosy, old-school class.
The raison d’etre for My Lifestyle Collections
The Western Cape offers a rich history of architecture, beautiful fauna and flora, together with captivating views of magnificent mountain ranges and the scenic blue of the oceans. In fact, it offers the best in experience and lifestyle anywhere in the world. And we believe in making the best of what both nature and refined living can offer, including:
- finding those quiet, sophisticated and beautiful places to relax and indulge your senses
- offering fitness and health information that goes hand-in-glove with the enjoyment of open spaces and splendid vistas
- adding lifestyle enhancement through the promotion of brilliantly refurbished antique items, brought to life in superbly crafted reflections of artistry, comfort and elegance.
If this sounds like an intriguing combination of services, find out more about our unique lifestyle offerings at: www.mylifestylecollections.com