Arriving at Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa, post-ascent of the beautiful Helshoogte Pass, you couldn’t be blamed for thinking you’d landed in paradise. “From the sky” – delaire – is a quality etched not only in the name itself, but thoroughly textured in the whole heavenly experience. This is an utterly sumptuous stay on a wine farm (it wears the prestigious Relais & Chateaux crown), right at the pinnacle of the Cape’s most celebrated wine region – Stellenbosch, where vineyards blanket the mountain slopes and ambrosial wines are all in a day’s enjoyment. But that’s not all. Art is another of Delaire Graff’s emblematic features, with originals calling out to be delighted in, whether in the privacy of your own lodge or in the large, striking spaces of the hotel and winery.
At Delaire Graff the hospitality is gracious and thoughtful, and the sense of escape wonderful. Once ushered to your private lodge set above the vineyards or the gardens, you have a spacious indulgence-pad of your own, with generous spaces of beauty indoors and out. A serene bedroom, a separate sofa-comfy lounge, a spoil-size bathroom, a kitchen and pantry kept at the ready for an organic coffee or an impulse-snack, and a gorgeous private pooldeck running the entire length of your lodge, are yours to enjoy. (The pool, of course, is heated – yet another of so many thoughtful touches that never leave you wanting for comfort.)
Right at the moment, the winelands have the special enchantment of late autumn. The trees are unveiling, wearing just their last flimsy leafage and making exquisite silhouettes against clear skies. Good days in this lazy, bronze-leaf season are made for deck-living and equally, for slow, appreciative garden walks. The gardens, mainly indigenous, are another element of pride and joy, the creation of renowned horticulturalist Keith Kirsten.
Everywhere on this beautiful estate one comes face-to-face with exquisite pieces of art. These form part of an impressive and diverse contemporary collection assembled by the owner Lawrence Graff. The collection celebrates some of South Africa’s most inspiring contemporary artists, and does so abundantly. Dylan Lewis cheetahs have pride of place in the gardens, and some of the interiors have in fact been designed expressly to show pivotal works to best effect. Indeed, they do.
Attractions on the estate are a destination Spa, and alongside it a gorgeous sundeck with 22 metre infinity pool and postcard views over wine country and beyond, as far as Table Mountain. There are two gourmet restaurants – one Asian-themed, and both offer a tantalising choice of indoor and outdoor dining. The dining experience is of the highest order.
A super-modern winery sports a copper roof and full-length glass walls, offset by old-world dry-packed stone and oak-trussed ceilings. The Tasting Lounge is just the kind of place to begin a love-affair with the wines of the estate!
The Delaire Graff complex also houses an exclusive diamond salon and a signature Italian linen boutique, its offerings seam-to-seam expressions of the lifestyle-indulgences of Capri. There is also a gym and small cinema on-site.
Mail us for information and bookings, or call +27 21 797-7122.