Where to go for foraging, fynbos tastings and apothecary workshops
Accommodation in Stellenbosch
This town redefines the classic, weekend break
Stellenbosch is famous for its art galleries, adventure activities, entertainment, shopping and, of course, stunning wine estates. Because this town deserves more than just a day trip, there are a number of luxury hotels, B&Bs, backpackers and camping spots, sure to make your Stellies weekend break memorable.
The Spier Hotel
The four-star, family-friendly Spier Hotel has the rolling vineyards and historic grounds of one of South Africa’s oldest and most renowned wine farms at its doorstep. Needless to say, it promises a full farm experience. Inspired by the Bo-Kaap, the lodging itself is renowned for its incredibly spacious rooms, which cluster around six private courtyards that each boast their own swimming pool. Both upstairs and downstairs rooms are available (the ground-floor ones open out onto shaded patios perfect for sundowners), and they either have a view of the verdant quad or of the Helderberg mountains and the bubbling Eertse River. What’s more, the hotel matches a focus on modern comforts, like flat-screen televisions with DStv and massive king-size beds, with a very responsible approach to tourism. That is, it’s Fair Trade-certified, eco-friendly (100% of its waste water is recycled) and a proud supporter of neighbouring communities and local arts initiatives. So, you can enjoy a rejuvenating, guilt-free vacation at this Cape Winelands gem.
Unique tip: During your stay, be sure to indulge in some sampling at Spier’s state-of-the-art wine tasting venue (there’s grape juice tasting for the kids) and embark on a Segway tour of the estate and its vineyards.
Spier Wine Farm | R310 | Stellenbosch | +27 (0)21 809 1100
The Dornier Homestead
Tucked away amidst rolling lawns and verdant shrubbery on the tranquil Dornier wine estate, this grand historic homestead, which was designed by renowned architect Sir Herbert Baker, is the perfect place to stay if you’re dreaming of owning your own private Stellenbosch villa for a few days. The double-storey house creaks with history and old-world charm, and if guests book out just two or three of the six beautiful double bedrooms, they can have the whole manor to themselves (it’s advisable to reserve the whole house for a big group of friends or family). In addition to the sleeping spaces, there’s a communal lounge with a television and a large dining room, and visitors can enjoy several modern comforts, including big comfy beds and free Wi-fi. Though the homestead doesn’t offer self-catering opportunities, the delightful Dornier Bodega restaurant is a five-minute walk away and the town of Stellenbosch is only 8km down the road. Essentially, this architectural gem is a number one accommodation option if your idea of a holiday is waking up to the sweet sound of silence and the alluring charm of the countryside.
Unique tip: The Dornier Homestead is also a great venue option for weddings, and the bridal party can stay over before and after the function.
Dornier Wine Estate | Blaauwklippen Road | Stellenbosch | +27 (0)21 880 0557
Devonvale Lodge and Golf Resort
Nestled amidst Stellenbosch’s grand mountains and rolling vineyards, Devonvale Golf and Wine Estate’s charming four-star lodge offers a comfortable, upmarket place to stay for groups on golfing vacations, families with kids, visiting tourists and business travellers (the estate boasts two large conference venues) alike. Three different stylishly-adorned, well-equipped accommodation alternatives are on offer: basic hotel-style rooms, self-catering apartments and double-storey holiday homes (golf packages are available for this option). What’s more, the championship 18-hole golf course, French-focused restaurant, glistening swimming pool and communal braai facilities on-site all go towards making for an especially memorable time away.
Unique tip: Boasting an outdoor gazebo and two sizeable function rooms alongside its lodge, Devonvale estate is also ideal for a destination wedding.
Devonvale Golf and Wine Estate | Bottelary Road | Stellenbosch | Western Cape | +27 (0) 21 888 4734
Kleine Zalze Lodge
An overnight at the four-star Kleine Zalze Lodge, accommodation just minutes away from the heart of Stellenbosch, is more than just a chance to indulge in some serious shut-eye in a storybook setting. The intimate hotel – it has fewer than 50 rooms – is perched on one of the region’s most lauded working wine farms, above a championship 18-hole golf course and within walking distance of one of the most consistently rated top 10 restaurants in South Africa. Thus, whether you’re looking for a good round on the green, a world-class culinary experience or a leisurely day tasting internationally recognised vintages, distraction is within easy reach from the doorstep of this charming country-style lodge. What’s more, hiking, mountain biking and jogging trails weave their way through the property’s ranks of Chenin Blanc, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon vines.
Unique Tip: Bring your swimming costume (bathing suit)! There’s no better place to drink in the undulating Stellenbosch scenery than from the lodge’s glamorous rim-flow swimming pool.
Strand Road (R44) | Stellenbosch | Western Cape | +27 (0) 21 880 0740
Aaldering Luxury Lodges
Aaldering Vineyards & Wines, a working wine farm in Stellenbosch’s Devon Valley, offers guests a relaxing retreat from the hustle and bustle of life. The 24-hectare estate is a picture of pastoral bliss, so overnighters can count on a peaceful night’s sleep. Boasting Cape Dutch-style architecture, the semi-self-catering guest houses marry traditional farm features with a number of modern comforts that ooze luxury. The hearty farm-style breakfast is not to be missed at this luxury five-star accommodation.
Unique tip: All guests are entitled to a free wine tasting session and cellar tour with viticulturist and winemaker PJ Geyer, book this experience on your arrival.
Aaldering Vineyards & Wines | Devon Valley Road | Devon Valley | Stellenbosch | +27 (0) 21 865 2495
Rent a three-bedroom villa, featuring a lounge, dining room, fully fitted kitchen and private pool. At the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, Makaron, head chef, Anri Diener, cooks culinary delights, to be enjoyed by a roaring, winter fire, or alfresco in the summer. Try Magret of duck breast, with rocket leaves and spiced red figs picked from the garden, finished off with a sprinkling of toasted, macadamia nuts.
Unique tip:the Sanctuary Spa uses Vitaderm, with therapeutic, natural plant extracts and essential oils.
26 – 32 Houtkapper Street | Paradyskloof | Stellenbosch | Western Cape | +27 (0)21 880 1549
Knorhoek Guest House
Knorhoek Guest House features eight rooms, including a family and honeymoon suite, in what was originally the stables, blacksmith room and coach house on the farm. Each room has a private stoep or balcony and is tastefully furnished with brass chandeliers and warm, polished terracotta tiles. The traditional, home-y style is apparent here too: antique plates on the walls and other elements like old photographs. There are also two self-catering cottages with names like Rose and Lavender - each of them have a braai area.
Unique tip: the estate makes fabulous wine; Wine Tasting: Mon to Sun 10:00 – 17:00 (R15 for 5 wines; free if you buy a bottle of wine).
Knorhoek Wine Farm | Knorhoek Road | off R44 | Koelenhof | Stellenbosch | Western Cape | +27 (0)21 865 2627
Black Horse B&B
In one of five spacious and contemporary, en-suite, studio apartments you’ll find twin beds, a kitchenette, DSTV, wireless internet and stunning artworks hanging from the walls. You can pop down to local deli, Cupcake, for breakfast. Or head to nearby Rock Room for a cocktail or two.
Unique tip: dine at a variety of different restaurants, downstairs at the Blackhorse centre.
Corner of Dorp and Market Streets | Stellenbosch | Western Cape | +27 (0)21 882 8995
The central location, calm atmosphere and helpful staff make this the ideal pit-stop for backpackers wanting to explore Stellenbosch. Stay in a double en-suite room with a comfy, queen-sized bed, spanking-fresh linen and bathroom facilities. Relax in one of their hammocks; poolside.
Unique tip: discover the Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl Winelands on an Easy Rider, specialist wine tour of four different estates. Your tour includes cheese tasting, a cellar tour and lunch at a restaurant (R400 per person).
193 Banghoek Road | Stellenbosch | Western Cape | +27 (0)21 887 0048
Mountain Breeze Caravan Park
This peaceful caravan park has 70 well maintained stands with ample electricity points, water sources and braai facilities. Tall trees shade children from the South Easter wind on their adventures in the play park, which includes trampolines and an indoors TV room.
Unique tip: an ideal base camp from where to venture to Strand beach, the historic town of Stellenbosch and six, world class golf courses.
Strand Road (R44) | Stellenbosch | Western Cape | +27 (0)21 880 1700
African Valley Estate
Where lush, green gardens surround a large, sparkling swimming pool, 12 luxurious suites feature a spacious bathroom and private adjoining lounge, with satellite television and an open fireplace.
Unique tip: each one of the 12 rooms are named after the months of the year, decorated with seasonal fruit and vegetables.
Helschoogte Road | Stellenbosch | Western Cape | +27 (0)21 882 8369
Be sure to read our overviews of restaurants at wine estates, things to do, eating out and nightlife in Stellenbosch. Also check out the Love of Craft Market in Stellenbosch.
By Lisa Nevitt
Check out a run with seven huge inflatable obstacles happening at Vergenoegd Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, The Gajiga Run.