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Moderate budget winelands accommodation: Franschhoek/ Stellenbosch

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Jan 6th, 2004, 12:35 PM
  #1
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Moderate budget winelands accommodation: Franschhoek/ Stellenbosch

Hi Folks

Am now looking to select and book accommodation for our stay in the eastern winelands area.

This will be for the 12th May for 3 nights.

I'm not firmly decided between Franschhoek and Stellenbosch; Franschhoek seems to be described as more charming, with quirky boutiques but more wholly tourist oriented, Stellenbosch seems to be summed up as larger, with more choice on dining etc and a buzzing university town where tourist are just one segment of the populace.

I'm open to recommendations in either town.

We're looking for somewhere that's inexpensive (200-250 Rand per person per night) but that offers good accommodation (clean, comfortable double rooms with well-equipped, ensuite bathrooms). That budget should include breakfast. Ideally location should allow us to walk safely and quickly to a choice of evening dining locations.

So far I've only found a couple of places that meet my budget (which I'm calling moderate rather than budget only because it's marginally above backpacker hostel prices).

One is Malans Guest House though I can find little feedback about it anywhere.
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Jan 6th, 2004, 02:51 PM
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Kavey

Have a look at Blaauwklippen Lodge at Stellenbosch (fax: +27218800324 (I think!). "Cottage" accommodation in a beautiful setting. Great brekkies. But you'd need to drive a short distance for evening meals. Your assessment of the differences between Stellenbosch and Franschoek is about right: I would go for Stellenbosch out of choice. Make sure you lunch at Boschendal.
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Jan 10th, 2004, 10:05 AM
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Have sent reservation enquiries to the following places:
la Fontaine
Kleindassenberg cottages
Plum Wood Inn
Malans

Does anyone know any of them?
Also, does anyone have a website address for Le Petit Ferme (not that it's in our budget, I assume, but I'd like to take a look anyway!)
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Jan 10th, 2004, 10:24 AM
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Ryetee do you have a website address for your recommendation? I'd love to take a look.
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Jan 12th, 2004, 11:15 PM
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Kavey

They don't have a website sofar as I know. La Petite Ferme (at Franschoek) does not have one either to the best of my knowledge - but you're right that it would be over your suggested budget. This is quite a good site to nose around: http://allcapeaccommodation.com
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Jan 13th, 2004, 04:30 AM
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Thanks!
I have had responses from Kleindassenberg cottages and Plum Wood Inn and both are within my budget.
The choice now is whether we opt for the Inn - a bed and breakfast room in the town of Franschhoek itself or The Barn cottage - a self catering option in a wine estate about 2-3 km from Franschhoek.
The latter is a little cheaper and does give us the option of saving money by self catering a meal or two but means we will have to drive rather than walk to local Franschhoek restaurants in the evening...
Aaaak!
Decisions decisions!
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Jan 13th, 2004, 10:41 AM
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We stayed in the very cottage you are considering - the Barn - back in Nov. It was great - cozy, rustic but well-equipped kitchen and baths. Wood stove for heat, and private braai. And the drive in to eat is all of 5-10 minutes at most. We only wish we'd stayed there longer. It was very private, with a patio view overlooking the vineyard. I don't know your other choice, but seems to be a choice between stroll-ability, and a private retreat - and hard to go wrong w/ either. Just depends on which you prefer.

Two other recs: Stoneybrook for tasting - small-production, family estate nearby. Very good wine, and intimate tastings by the owners, not staff. They chucked medicine to follow their dream, and they made it work. A really nice experience to contrast to the bigger estates you'll visit.

Also, splurge a little on lunch at the Petite Ferme - one of the nicest meals we had in SA. Compared to what we'd pay for comparable in San Francisco/Napa, it's a great deal, too. Smoked trout to die for, and nice presentation and service. Reserve well in advance. There was another world-class restaurant in Fr. that we were unable to book by the time we arrived, so book asap if you are into food.
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Jan 13th, 2004, 11:20 AM
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Thank you SO much for your post - it really helps enormously to have feedback from someone who has stayed in a property I'm considering.

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Jan 14th, 2004, 09:15 AM
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Kavey, I am trying to remember whether the Plum Wood Inn is one whose windows we peered in when we were in Franschoek last year. If so, it looked scrumptious. Sorry I can't remember enough to be helpful.

When we were in Franschoek last year, we stayed at Sunny Lane, 30 Akademie Street, Telephone 021 876 4071. The booking was made for us by the Tourist Info place in Cape Town in the Waldorf Arcade, and was a very last-minute thing. Sunny Lane is right in town, and consists of several small 1 and a half room cottages, each with a bedroom and a small kitchenette and ensuite bath. The cottages are in the grounds of the owner's home. The price was R220 in May 2003. Breakfast was not included. It was fine, the furnishings were comfy, but it isn't a place full of charm or anything. We were happy to find it at the last minute.

Whether you decide to stay in Franschoek or in Stellenbosch, I do recommend The French Connection in Franschoek for dining. We had a pate, lamb cutlets, crumbed calamari, a bottle of Angels Tears, a dessert and a brandy, for R195. I thought it was the best meal of our whole trip; Jim put it second after the Heinitzburg Hotel in Windhoek.
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Jan 14th, 2004, 05:21 PM
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I would imagine the restaurant Tikiwiki is thinking of would be Haut Cabriere, which is on the road to La Petite Ferme. It's a wine estate with an excellent restaurant overlooking the cellars - very attractive: food is outstanding and they offer most if not all of their dishes in starter or main sized portions and wines by the glass. It's not the cheapest restaurant but it is excellent value for money: things won't be so cheap in SA as they have been with the currently weak US$. That said, there are any number of places to eat well in Franschoek. Not too far away the famous Boschendal Estate has a coffee shop where you can sit outside under the trees for lunch: unfortunately you won't be there for the Sunday buffet lunch but it is still more than worth a visit.

One word of caution, though, which may help you decide on your Franschoek accommodation - if two adults share equally a standard bottle of wine, you'll likely be over the limit for driving. And they don't muck about when it comes to that offence. They do random breath tests on motorists.
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Jan 17th, 2004, 02:08 AM
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The Plumwood Inn is definitely a very good choice. We stayed a couple of times in Franschhoek, and tried 3 different guest houses, but Plumwood was for sure the best. Friendly and helpfull guests, good value for more, beautiful decorated and very clean rooms. We stayed there last time 4 nights and booked already for November 2004 (can you believe it....) because I don't want to stay anywhere else anymore. They give a good discount if you come back for the second time and also if you stay 4 nights or longer. dinners are excellent.
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Jan 17th, 2004, 02:10 AM
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SORRY I MADE SOME TYPING MISTAKES:

The Plumwood Inn is definitely a very good choice. We stayed a couple of times in Franschhoek, and tried 3 different guest houses, but Plumwood was for sure the best. Friendly and helpfull HOSTS, good value for MONEY beautiful decorated and very clean rooms. We stayed there last time 4 nights and booked already for November 2004 (can you believe it....) because I don't want to stay anywhere else anymore. They give a good discount if you come back for the second time and also if you stay 4 nights or longer. dinners are excellent.
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Jan 17th, 2004, 03:24 AM
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Thank you all for your help, I think I'm decided on Plumwood and they did give me a very good rate.

I really like the look of The Barn self catering cottage but I think I would like to be closer in to the centre of town.

Donald, as a regular resident of Plumwood could you tell me what you think of individual rooms? We're booking a regular rather than luxury room and have currently plumped for the Vineyard Room but I am sure we could change that at the moment.

Thanks folks for the recommendations for Eats... I'll take them with me!

As for wine, I don't like it/ drink it so I'll be the one driving whenever there is wine to be tasted/ enjoyed. That's fine by me - I do the same when we visit France...

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Jan 19th, 2004, 01:37 AM
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Have now confirmed my reservation at Plumwood and let Kleindassenberg (owners of The Barn) know that I won't be staying with them.

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Feb 12th, 2004, 05:31 AM
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We stayed in the Plum orcard room and in the vineyard room as well. Both rooms have a very good view. nice bathrooms and it is very quiet there. We saw the other rooms as well, they are all beautiful. Luxury room with the balcony is also very nice, but more expensive.
Donald.
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