Capetown, Hermanus, Franschhoek/Stellenbosch

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May 3rd, 2004, 03:48 AM
  #21
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Kavey,
Thanks so much for all the detailed information! I visited the website and the place looks really interesting. Unfortunately we won't have enough time to take such a long an excursion from Capetown. Oh well. Guess we'll just have to go back some day.
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May 6th, 2004, 07:58 AM
  #22
 
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We went to Hermanus last year in the first week of August and saw loads of whales very close to the shore. (We did 'phone the tourist office in Hermanus first to check they were in the bay apparently they had been there since June)
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Jul 11th, 2004, 12:48 PM
  #23
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We are just back from our trip and wishing we could have stayed longer. Thanks to all of you for your excellent advice.

The highlight of our week in Cape Town was the day spent with Selwyn driving to Cape Point. Selwyn is not only a fount of information, but the most generous, fun, interesting, and companionable tour guide one could ever hope to encounter. He stayed in touch with us by cell phone the whole time we were in South Africa, making us feel truly well-cared for from the beginning to end of our trip.

Selwyn's advice for our accomodations was "sharp"! Atlantic View in Cape Town, the Auberge Burgundy in Hermanus, and Cathbert Country Inn near Franschhoek were all beautiful places, with great views, delicious breakfasts, and lovely hosts. We were lucky to get off-season winter rates and at the same time to have glorious cool, sunny weather almost every day.

Uh-oh Busted, we followed your advice and decided not to rent the car at the airport. As it turned out, we didn't pick up the rental car till we were almost ready to leave Cape Town. We found that taxis, while a bit pricy, were much more convenient in the city.

The car was a necessary part of our days in the Winelands and we did pretty well driving on the 'wrong' side of the road. Only one mishap -- a flat tire on the curvy mountain road between Hermanus and Franschhoek. And as soon as we heard the 'splat' of the tire, we found ourselves surrounded by a group of about 25 baboons! So we did see some wildlife after all.

Thankfully a very nice truckdriver stopped immediately to give us a hand with changing the tire. This was typical of the amazing kindness and warmth we encountered everywhere we went in South Africa.

Judy, we DID see whales in Hermanus. Fantastic!!!

Mfleming, we had a terrific meal at Moyo and had unforgettable dinners at Africa Cafe and Mama Africa as well. Also heard wonderful music at each of these places.

Kavey, I thought of you when we caught sight of the Plumwood Inn. Hope you had a great trip!

Before we left home, we copied out Selwyn's post of recommended activities, and found each one very worthwhile. What a fabulous resource Selwyn is! Thanks again, Selwyn!!

And now to unpack....
Skie (Susan & Richard)


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Jul 12th, 2004, 02:51 AM
  #24
 
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the Auberge looks beautiful when I went on line. I was wondering if anyone had any information about the Windsor hotel? Thanks.
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Jul 12th, 2004, 03:34 AM
  #25
 
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So glad you had a great trip, we too were blown away by the high standards of accommodation AND the friendliness and helpfulness of everyone we encountered.
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Jul 12th, 2004, 05:04 AM
  #26
 
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Firstly Skie (Susan) thank you for the very kind words. I have to mention to all that Richard and yourself were wonderful visitors to travel with and that also made the day so much better for all. I really enjoyed our day together immensely.

Davek the Windsor Hotel is a good place to stay. If you do elect to stay there make sure you choose a sea facing room. In all fairness the Windsor still remains a hotel and the warmth and friendship that one generally finds from guesthouse owners understandably does not exist at this venue. With that said the rooms are simple yet comfortable. The breakfast at the hotel is good and they have ample parking fro guests (This is very valuable during the whale season) The Windsors accommodation is spotless and well priced but what is most important is that during whale season it is my opinion that the Windsor affords one the best view for a place of stay in Hermanus. You simply sit on your balcony (tiny as it may be ) and watch the whales frolicking 300 yards away in Walker Bay.

For a one or two night stayover I would recommend the Windsor however if you intend staying for a longer period in Hermanus look towards a guesthouse like the Auberge.

Hope the above helps.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
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Jul 16th, 2004, 03:10 AM
  #27
 
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Thanks so much for your help on Windsor; I did book...I am wondering if you have information about Lanzerac compared to Cathbart. I have been looking at each. Thanks, davek
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Jul 16th, 2004, 12:48 PM
  #28
 
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Davek,

The Lanzerac is a full on hotel right on the outskirts of Stellenbosch. They claim 5 stars whereas I would be more inclined to call the establishment as being a 4 star establshment. The rooms are well appointed but the overall structure remains a coldish atmosphere hotel. The meals at the Lanzerac are good (and pricey) but one still has the feeling of sitting in a commercial venue when dining at this hotel. Even thought the Lanzerac is on the outskirts of Stellnebosch you would still need a car to get to and fro.

Cathbert is far away from Stellnebsoch and is slap bang in the middle of a vineyard in the Winelands. The Lanzerac is also in the middle of a vineyard but the difference in setting just is not the same where Cathbert has a farm/home feel and even though you will have your own cottage at the Lanzerac it still has a hotel feel about it. The personal touch of a friendly host is very evident at Cathbert while the Lanszerac lacks this because of size and staff compliment. Meals at Cathbert, if not for the food, then simply for the setting and ambience surpasses the Lanzerac by far. The views from Cathbert are unbeatable and the Lanzerac does not even touch sides with Cathbert in this department

Rates wise there is absolutely no comparison between Cathbert and the Lanzerac where the Lanzerac is close to double the costs Cathbert at the lowest level of accommodation. It just gets worse as you increase your room status at the Lanzerac.

If you have not guessed it by now I am a Cathbert fan but then let me tell you that I spent my honeymoon at the old lanzerac which was a classy affair in its day so I do have some feeling fro the establishment. At the end of the day you need to ask yourself whether you want to have anonimity as a guest in excellent accommodation at a steep price or whether you want to enjoy warmth and friendship with your host in excellent accommodation at an excellent cost.

The choice is yours to make.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
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Jul 16th, 2004, 01:04 PM
  #29
 
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Selwyn there's a sort of review of Le Bon Vivante in my long trip report. Have you been yet? I know you hadn't when we saw you in May but I really do think you should try it...
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Jul 16th, 2004, 02:22 PM
  #30
 
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Hi Kavey,

I saw your review on Bon vivant and it definitely sounds wonderful. I also know that Bon Vivant has an excellent reputation. I understand that the restaurant operates very similarly to KleinOliphantsHoek and Serendipity in The Wilderness. The problem is that they close for the Winter months and that is when I would love to try out the venue as I firmly believe that Franschhoek is a "Winter town". I will make an attempt, when the couple who own Bon Vivant come back from annual leave, to visit the establishment.

I am enjoying your great trip report. Please continue soonest!

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
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Jul 17th, 2004, 10:05 AM
  #31
 
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If someone is searching this thread for a rec of a guesthouse in Hermanus, we stayed at a lovely place, Avalon on Sea B&B. The address is 1 Marine Drive, Hermanus. Right across from a park with unobstructed view of the bay. We stayed in what's probably the nicest room, a large double with a 4-poster bed, ensuite bath with a shower, and along with views from the big windows, it has a balcony with a table an chairs where you can spend lots of time watching for whales Walking distance to town for dinner. It's run by an energetic, friendly and delightful gal named Sue Leber. You can contact her at: [email protected] Their website is www.avalononsea.co.za Everything is exactly as pictured! Our off-season rate was 500R (250R per person).
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