Fodor's Expert Review Cellars-Hohenort Hotel & Spa

93 Brommersvlei Rd., Cape Town, Western Cape, 7800, South Africa See on Map Fodor's Choice

With acres of gardens and spectacular views across the Constantia Valley, this idyllic getaway, built within the former winery and manor house of an 18th-century wine estate, makes the world beyond disappear. Numerous exquisitely outfitted public areas from a library to nooks and crannies across the stunning garden mean you're never short on private places to disappear, and the on-site amenities are top-notch: brilliant restaurants and bars plus a spa, gym, tennis court and two pools.

room

The large and elegant rooms are furnished in either a grand English-country or more pared-down, contemporary look. All guests are welcomed with fruit and wine. Rooms on the Hohenort side are gorgeous, with four-poster beds, fine draperies, reproduction antiques, and (upstairs) amazing views across the valley from private decks.

There's a lot thrown into your stay here, from a daily newspaper or hot water bottle in winter, to the petanque and croquet sets and mountain bikes available to borrow at reception, to the daily transfers to the V&A Waterfront. Make sure to take advantage of everything on offer.

Photo: The Cellars-Hohenort / The Liz McGrath Collection
Photo: The Cellars-Hohenort / The Liz McGrath Collection
Photo: The Cellars-Hohenort / The Liz McGrath Collection

bathroom

Bathrooms are similarly luxurious, with high-end toiletries and sleek, polished finishes. Some have free-standing baths.

lobby

Staff at the grand, airy reception are friendly and extremely professional, offering old-school service.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Some guests have reported concerns over slow - albeit willing - service, particularly at breakfast, but it's a minor niggle.

Photo: The Cellars-Hohenort / The Liz McGrath Collection

pool

The larger pool, by the Hohenort building, overlooks the gardens and vineyards and guests can have drinks and meals from The Conservatory while they laze on loungers. The smaller Cellars pool is in a secluded walled garden and surrounded by flowers. Both are saltwater chlorinated.

Photo: The Cellars-Hohenort / The Liz McGrath Collection

spa

The refined Fresh Wellness Spa is open every day and has the same light, classic decoration as the rest of the hotel. The signature treatment is the five senses massage, involving avo-shea body butter, volcanic stones, tropical bamboo sticks and various massage techniques.

Photo: The Cellars-Hohenort / The Liz McGrath Collection
Photo: The Cellars-Hohenort / The Liz McGrath Collection
Photo: The Cellars-Hohenort / The Liz McGrath Collection

gym

There's a fitness center but lots of other fitness options too, including the tennis court and tours of the beautiful gardens. To smarten up after your workout, there's also a hairdresser and boutique.

dining

Two fantastic on-site restaurants (the upscale Greenhouse, and the more casual Conservatory) are both beautifully located and dish up gorgeous food. Greenhouse in particular, which is regularly ranked one of the ten best restaurants in the country, is not to be missed. Breakfast is obviously abundant and delicious, and afternoon tea is a great treat.

Photo: The Cellars-Hohenort / The Liz McGrath Collection
Photo: The Cellars-Hohenort / The Liz McGrath Collection
Photo: The Cellars-Hohenort / The Liz McGrath Collection

drinking

Greenhouse has a lovely attached bar overlooking the gardens. Try the hotel's signature Hibiscus & Fynbos Cosmopolitan. Or head to the Martini Bar, with its fun spotty chairs - and you won't need our advice on what drink to try here.

Aroudn 500 bottles of the dessert wine, Vin de Hohenort, are produced on-site annually.

Photo: The Cellars-Hohenort / The Liz McGrath Collection
Photo: The Cellars-Hohenort / The Liz McGrath Collection
Photo: The Cellars-Hohenort / The Liz McGrath Collection

LOCATION

Getting Around

This hotel is a retreat, and guests may well forget about the rest of the area for days on end. But it's not badly placed for venturing out, either: close to the beach at Hout Bay and near the Constantia vineyards, it's a bit more of a drive (around half an hour) to the Cape Town city bowl.

Restaurants

Keep it high-end and head for La Colombe (9-minute drive), a gorgeous vineyard restaurant. Or try the tasty South African specials at moyo Kirstenbosch (7-minute drive), the restaurant located within the beautiful Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens.

Bars

Relaxed tapas and a good vibe can be found at La Parada Constantia Nek (7-minute drive). Or head to Hout Bay for cocktails at sunset overlooking the beach at Dunes Beach Restaurant and Bar (17-minute drive).

WHY WE LIKE IT

Cape Town has its fair share of high-end luxury hotels --heck, it even has its share of historic ones located on vineyards--but this Relais & Chateaux property leapfrogs the competition with outstanding gardens, a destination restaurant, beautifully relaxing rooms and abundant extra little touches for guests.

QUICK FACTS

Hotel
Sophisticated
Residential Area
$$$$

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 021-794–2137

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