It was roughly a year ago when my Twitter feed was suddenly alight with flame and ashes; Pictures of the Lanzerac, the historic wine estate in Stellenbosch, ablaze against the night sky. The main restaurant building was already a lost case, and along with it irreplaceable artwork and antique furniture pieces. At that stage they were doing everything they could to keep the fire contained and prevent it from spreading to the manor house and hotel. I followed the news, heartbroken.
Luckily you can’t keep a good man down and a few weeks ago I was invited to visit the newly renovated estate. I am happy to report that they’re looking better than ever.
There are a handful of hotels in the Western Cape that truly take you into the lap of luxury, and Lanzerac is one of these. More than hotel rooms, these spaces have a sense of home.
The spacious rooms have been decorated with meticulous care, each in a unique way, to give you a sense of pure comfort. They have paid attention to so many little details, from USB chargers and a dimmer light switch next to the bed, to underfloor heating and ultra soft bedding. At bedtime a call comes in to make sure we’re completely settled in, and would we like a newspaper in the morning. Well yes please, bring us some coffee and the paper at 8am.
Aside from the plush rooms, guests have access to a range of perks. The spa amenities, including the heated pool, sauna, steam room and gym, are all open to guests. They also have a cold outdoor swimming pool for those balmy summer afternoons (some rooms have their own private pool as well), and a jacuzzi for a quick dip after dinner. And for Capetonians, borehole water means you can actually fill up that bath tub!
It might sound crude to say that the fire was a blessing in disguise but Lanzerac certainly benefited from the recent renovations. A previously small, divided restaurant space has now been transformed into a spacious dining room with double story ceilings and tall windows to flood the room with light.
From dinner you can step out into the Craven Cigar Lounge where they stock an impressive selection of whiskeys and other liquors – try the Japanese whiskey Hibiki. They have also added a selection of beautiful boardrooms that will appeal to corporate clients.
The estate offers plenty to keep you entertained for a day. The spa is beautiful, with a wide range of treatment options that are actually really decently priced. You’ll want to linger a little longer here, taking a dip in the pool, or lounging on the deck outside with a glass of wine and views of the vineyards stretched in front of you.
Alternatively, head over to the tasting room to work through their wines – the Pionier Pinotage is a must – and have lunch at the Deli. The Ploughman’s Platter is a treat and more than enough for two people.
Of course one ultimate perk of staying at Lanzerac is that you’re practically in the heart of Stellenbosch, neighbouring one of the town’s most pristine neighbourhoods. Hop in an Uber, grab a bicycle or go for a nice stroll and you’ll soon find yourself right in the middle of town. Or head out into the mountains to explore some of the exquisite hiking and biking trails the area has to offer.
Lanzerac is offering a special Winter Retreat Package, available from 1 July till 30 September.
- Accommodation in a king or twin room, with a full continental and English Breakfast the next morning.
- Select mini-bar, replenished once daily
- Turn down service daily, including bottled water
- Full use of the spa’s hydro facilities Transfer service between the Hotel and Stellenbosch town at set times
- One 60 minute AromaVine™ Pinotage Full Body Massage, per person per stay
- Lunch at the Lanzerac Deli, including a Plougman’s Board with a bottle of Lanzerac Pinotage
- Premium wine tasting of five Lanzerac Estate wines & a guided cellar tour, one per person per stay.
- Pre-dinner canapés with a glass of bubbles in the cosy bar, complete with roaring fireplace
The Winter Retreat Package costs R6,500 per couple per night. Additional nights can be added to the Package at a fixed rate of R4,550 per sharing room and includes breakfast.
To book, or for more information, visit http://www.lanzerac.co.za.