What do you think about Lanzerac?

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Aug 19th, 2003, 04:24 AM
  #1
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What do you think about Lanzerac?

Thank all of you for responding to all my questions, as I have alot of them. We have decided to add another night to out itinerary and we are going to stay 2 nights in the winelands. What do you think of Lanzerac? Can we take wine tasting tours by horseback from there?
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Aug 19th, 2003, 07:40 AM
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I stayed one night last June and the rooms were fabulous. I only had a standard room and it is the largest standard room that I have ever had.

I would definitely recommend it.
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Aug 19th, 2003, 10:57 PM
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Lisa,

The Lanzerac is a swanky type hotel. If that is what you are looking for then I would suggest you stay at this venue. To my knowledge you cannot take winetasting tours by horseback from the venue.

If you are trying to stay in a more local type, non swanky setting then I would not recommend the venue and would suggest a good guesthouse or country inn like Cathbert where at least to summarise you stay at the estabslishment you will get to know the owners of the inn and learn a lot about who and what we are as South Africans as opposed to finding out how and what to do from the receptionist employed by a swanky hotel.

Rocco is a very shrewd traveller whom I respect as he looks for great venues and comfortable living. On the other hand I always suggest that visitors to any country should try and find a good, clean place to stay where you can find out about the REAL South Africa and not the commercial one.

Makes you think does it not. -

In finality the choice is yours.

Selwyn Davidowitz
[email protected]
Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa


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Aug 27th, 2003, 07:18 PM
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As they say, different strokes for different folks: we just returned
from staying at the Lanzerac last week for two nights. I concur that
the standard rooms are spacious, but we found them sterile, lacking any
character, even more so after two nights at a country house in
Swellendam. While the service was efficient (rather than warm), we found the food rather mediocre, particularly the set menu which comes with what they call the "Gourmet Gateway 2003" special rate. What disturbed me the most is that with this you are requested to sit at your table at either 6:30 or 9:00 pm and they are inflexible from deviating from the set menu. Our family is not too keen on venison and requested to substitute the main course with another item from a la carte menu, paying extra for the substitution. The manager flat out refused (not even coming to the table to explain) and we ended up ordering everything from the a la carte menu and paying for the dinners. While this was our choice, and the cost of the dinners is not the issue, we found this attitude rather symptomatic of the place. In fact, I would say that of all the wonderful places we stayed (and ate) in the Cape and in the Overberg, Lanzerac was only one of two real disappointments. (The other one was the Constantia Uitsig restaurant: way over-rated.) The rest was absolutely fabulous.

As an side, the Lanzerac wines which are grown on the estate around the hotel (hotel and vineyard only share the name) were also the least interesting of the many we tasted. Go figure...

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Aug 28th, 2003, 03:39 AM
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I agree that the wines at the Lanzerac were not that great. My wife and I enjoyed a winetasting with two other young couples, and out of tasting perhaps a dozen wines, we only agreed that one wine was particularly interesting. We then all ordered a couple bottles of that wine and shared it amongst ourselves.

While I enjoyed the Lanzerac, I could not imagine spending a second night in the Winelands, at the Lanzerac or otherwise. The Winelands are just way too tame compared to many other places available in South Africa and Southern Africa to hold my interest for more than a single night.

I did find the service in the restaurant below average, but in my case the Xhosi busboy was more to blame, and he seemed lost in space rather than attentive enough to clear our table at the appropriate times and offer more drinks, etc. Not the kind of service expected in a 5* hotel.

Still, for one night we appreciated the spacious room, beautiful grounds and two hour massages we each received in the room. Plus, the rates were very good, about $170 USD, well below the usual price.

In the future, however, the only Winelands I will likely visit are those in my home state of California, home of some of the world's best wines.
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Aug 28th, 2003, 06:59 AM
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Is there another place in the winelands that you would recommend? Will we be able to tour other vinyards? (We will have a car) We wanted a place with nice scenery.
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Aug 28th, 2003, 08:04 AM
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Rocco- I agree with you. As a newbie to SA, I was curious to spend a few days in the Winelands tasting the wines. Now that I have done that, I would say that driving up from Cape Town for the day is more than sufficient. And, yes, the Winelands are far from the true SA.

I should have also added that one positive about Lazarac is its proximity (just down the road) to the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve. You can rent mountain bikes there and follow the beautiful 8 km path which I would categorize of easy/medium difficulty. We spent the morning doing so, trying to work off some of the great meals we had in the Cape.

By the way, Rocco, I would make a wine plug for my home state, New York: The Long Island North Fork area now make some decent whites and pinot noirs.


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Aug 30th, 2003, 08:35 AM
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Hello Selwyn--long time no talk!

With respect on your commentary regarding my dear roccco, yes, you are right--roccco is a very shrewd traveller, but also a very lucky one.
He is blessed enough to have the wherewithal to be able to be finicky and choosy. True--there might very well be a side of the great SA that we did not see, however, what we DID experience was quite extraordinary!!!! We were able to really sink our heels into "real-life" South Africa as WE would like to live it--Camps Bay and Constantia style.

We did, though, do a bit of what you talked about in Zambia, with respect to the REAL Africa experience--We went to our ranger's house in Mfuwe and met his family, offered to sponsor his 5 year old daughter in our home as an exchange student and REALLY met the local people. This was NOT in the itenerary--just popped up (I know that now that you've met me you find this impossible, but it's true).

To my dear Roccco's DISCREDIT, however, I would like to see a bit more fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants sort of travel. I WOULD like him to be a bit more budget-minded so that we may continue to enjoy more of the same. I have always wanted to go to a country and be COLDTURKEY. Just airfare and no reservations--just a nice, clean place, as you say. Hopefully we'll try that one of these days.
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Aug 30th, 2003, 01:19 PM
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I love the winelands. The town of Franschoek (spelled approximately like that) has a great restaurant, The French Connection, which I think I recommended here once before. There are lovely B&B's in all the winelands towns; once when we were in Stellenbosch we stayed at a B&B called Orchard Lane, and had a wonderful experience meeting the owners and getting their advice on where to eat, and what wineries have what sort of ambiance. They also suggested that we visit Vergelegen, the restored farm of Willem van der Stel. That was a great suggestion!

International 5-star stuff can be fun, especially at someplace like Sun City where the Lost City is too too swanky, but as Selwyn says, the ambiance is so different to what you get at the less expensive places. At these, you not only get a more personal experience, but you also get a taste of what traveling is like for the average South African.

Both have their charms.
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Aug 30th, 2003, 06:11 PM
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PS--THE MASSAGES AT THE LANZ. WERE HORRIBLE
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Aug 31st, 2003, 09:44 AM
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Regarding massage - I had the worst massage of my life at the airport Sun Intercontinental in J'burg airport. This was a 5 star hotel in every other way. We had asked for deep tissue when we booked. It was as if someone was running a feather over your skin. We noted that in other places "deep tissue" was not on the menu so we never tried it again in Africa.
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Sep 1st, 2003, 10:49 AM
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Lisa, My husband and I stayed at Cathbert, Lanzerac and Cellars Hohenhort in June. Our standard room at Lanzerac was above the Presidential suite- it had a huge terrace and stunning views of the grounds- the pool, mountains and vineyards. I liked that it was off the road a bit, which meant that it was quiet and you never heard traffic; but it was still convenient. We took a horseback tour while we stayed at Cathbert; the owner arranged it. It was from the Mont Rochelle property. Rae Ann was fun- we had 4 stops. I agree; the food wasn't quite up to par at dinner, but we enjoyed our breakfasts and thought service was very good.We especially loved the Wijnhuis restaurant in downtown Stellenbosch (recommended by Lanzerac)Best tuna staek I've ever had! Reasonable, too.Second favorite restaurant was the Haute Cabriere Restaurant near Franschooek. Great food, fabulous atmosphere. Makes a great lunch spot, too. Lunch also lovely under trees at Boschendal. We loved Lanzerac and Cathbert. I would have spent a month there if possible- 8 days wasn't enough, but we also hiked the mountains! I have my trip report posted at traveltalkonline.com. If you can't find it, I'll send you a link.
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Sep 3rd, 2003, 01:19 AM
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Great message LlindaC! We also plan on doing the horseback ride. I've already cut and pasted your comments onto my trip itinerary!
Thanks!
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Sep 10th, 2003, 06:19 AM
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To LlindaC -- I also appreciate your message. The horseback ride sounds great and is also something we are going to have to do in our 4 days in the Winelands, where we'll be in just 2 weeks!
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Sep 11th, 2003, 12:48 AM
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Lisa,

In a past mail you asked:

"Will we be able to tour other vinyards? (We will have a car) We wanted a place with nice scenery."

The answer is YES to all.

My suggestion is that you purchase a local book called the "Platters Guide".

http://www.platterwineguide.com/

Anybody in the Cape region will tell you where to purchase this book if you want to do so locally. Use it as your bible as it will tell you all that you want to know plus lots more about the Winelands.

I guarnatee you that once you have this book in your hands the winelands will become a wonderful exciting journey for you.

Hope this helps.

Selwyn Davidowitz
[email protected]
Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa





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Sep 11th, 2003, 04:33 PM
  #16
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Selwyn

Thank you for telling me about that guide. I ordered it today.
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