The gracious Cellars-Hohenort Hotel rests in Constantia’s exquisite wine-producing basin in Cape Town. The prestigious estate has stood the test of time since the late 17th century, flourishing through its seasons of history as vineyards, wine cellars and ‘high-place’ farmstead, and as one of Cape Town’s foremost luxury garden-estate hotels developed by the late Mrs Liz McGrath. We had the great pleasure of staying there this weekend – and it was nothing short of a monumental hospitality experience.
The Cellars-Hohenort is a superlative integration of the finest lodgings, stellar dining events, serene wellbeing experiences and impeccably warm and friendly hospitality. The hotel is set in Constantia, a prime green enclave enfolding celebrated old wine farms, affluent residential lands and the vast and very walkable Cecilia Forest on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain.
What began as a 9-room guesthouse in the 1950s has, in the masterly hands of McGrath Hotels, developed and matured into a premier establishment offering 52 exquisite rooms and suites, some in The Cellars section and others in The Hohenort section – The Hohenort a later but no less auspicious integration into the hotel complex. Modernized to provide the most distinctive and luxurious experience to its guests, the estate still provides a number of clues to its grand old history.
A walkabout in the spectacular, award-winning gardens was one of the many high points of our stay. Moody winter skies remained dry, and so we headed out into the bountiful gardens that unfolded their beauty to us over all of 9-plus acres. This is a place for a love affair with green, serene space. There’s an enchanted forest to explore, and leafy glades and pathways to tread where one would not be surprised to meet the odd little sprite. The great old camphor trees that grow here are the second oldest camphors in South Africa (older even than those in the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens), and the vineyards are an integral part of the estate’s history as an early Cape wine-producer.
Many a good leisure hour can be spent on the estate – on the tree-secluded tennis court and around two swimming pools (one agreeably heated for Cape Town’s chilly snaps). Indoors, The Martini Bar is a sophisticated drinks and high-tea spot in The Cellars section, and the Greenhouse Bar in the Hohenort section of the hotel is an appealing seclusion spot overlooking the gardens. Fresh wellness spa is a pamper-zone well worth a visit. Natural and indigenous ingredients are used there, to great effect! The hotel also has a very alluring boutique stocking quality garments and decor items, and some gorgeous jewellery pieces.
Superbly luxurious rooms and suites make incredibly comfy havens for privileged guests. So does a private villa – The Madiba Villa – ideal for families or small groups and fondly named after Nelson Mandela. No comfort-making provisions and touches have been overlooked or spared. Everything conspires to create a stay that is simply exceptional.
Dining at The Cellars-Hohenort is an unforgettable journey with food – and food of the very highest order. The maestro behind it all is Peter Tempelhoff. He insists that everything on his menu is local, seasonal and bursting with freshness. Every plate from his kitchen is a work of sensory beauty. The Greenhouse is a “multi-sensory, modernist dining experience”, whilst The Conservatory – where we dined – is a dining space featuring “the best of comfort food” and a wonderfully relaxed ambience.
Mail us to book at stay at The Cellars-Hohenort, a member of Relais & Chateaux, or call +27 21 797-7122 (international) or 0860 102 907 (local).