I’ve mentioned before that Stellenbosch often gets sold short as a day-trip destination; somewhere you go from Cape Town for a day of wine tasting. But really, it’s the perfect place to spend a couple of days eating, drinking and exploring.
First of all, it’s one of the country’s oldest towns and is dripping in history. The streets are lined with beautiful old Cape Dutch buildings, iconic for their curved gables. These historic sites have been expertly preserved so you get the feeling of being transported to another time as you wander beneath the ancient oak trees.
Secondly, and most important in my opinion; there are so many good things to eat and drink that spending just a day there is, in actual fact, a travesty. I’ve listed a few of my favourite places to eat in Stellenbosch here.
Of course, the natural beauty is another reason to spend a couple of days in Stellenbosch. Particularly now, in autumn, when the leaves turn crimson and golden and the vineyards shine like fire twice a day as the sun rises and sets. The enormous mountains towering above create a truly spectacular backdrop.
If that’s enough to whet your appetite, here are a few places I would recommend staying in Stellenbosch.
These are both stunning options for anyone who prefers to prepare their own meals – or more likely, eat out three times a day. Both properties are centrally located and within walking distance from the center of town. The rooms are cosy and offer that quintessential Stellenbosch feeling. Most importantly, they are both run by a truly wonderful compliment of staff who will make you feel at home from the second you arrive.
Centrally Located Guest Houses
Three of Stellenbosch’s most central and beautiful small hotels/guest houses. Coompanhuijs is one of the town’s oldest buildings, converted into a guest house after one too many tourists mistook it’s historic beauty for accommodation. Roosenwijn is housed in an iconic redbrick building with beautiful white broekielace trimmings. The rooms are large and comfortable and mine had a Victorian ball and claw bath, which is my kryptonite. Oude Werf has recently been renovated and is a tranquil, luxurious haven in the middle of the bustling town.
If you didn’t know where to look, you might miss this shining jewel in the suburbs of Stellenbosch. Majeka House has beautifully decorated rooms – each one unique. They also have a spa and a sparkling pool as well as one of the wine region’s top restaurants.
While Kleine Zalze offers fully self-catering units with beautiful views of the golf course or swimming pool, it’s perfectl understandable if you end up eating at their restaurant, Terroir every evening. The rooms are huge and you might find yourself unable to leave and just cuddle up with a bottle of their awesome Chenin Blanc instead.
The Spier Hotel is the perfect place for families or couples, since the farms offers loads to do. You could go wine tasting, take a picnic under the trees or head into the vineyard on a Segway. They also have a resident cat who will probably sleep on your bed all night and steel your heart (or maybe that was just me).
These newly-launched suites offer every luxury you could possibly need, including mega winelands views. The farm makes some wonderful wines too, so you potentially never have to leave the property, what with Jordan Restaurant just a few steps away.
The Oldenburg Homestead gave me actual goosebumps the first time I arrived. Imagine having your own mansion for the holidays, complete with heated pool, cellar, mountain backdrop and personal butler. This place is the absolute ultimate in winelands luxury.
The absolute best part about this time of year is that most places in Stellenbosch offer some insane winter rates. Contact any of the above establishments to ask for their winter rates and keep your eyes on this blog, where I’ll be sharing some amazing winter offers soon.