In South Africa, we are absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to great wine, food and luxurious accommodation. The Western Cape Winelands is one of those iconic destinations in South Africa that have been making tourists green with envy, simply because they cannot visit every weekend. I recently discovered Lanzerac Wine Estate’s New Hotel which has re-opened after a devastating fire in 2017, and the renovations have left me totally lovestruck! Here’s why…
Lanzerac Wine Estate is steeped in History
Lanzerac Wine Estate, in the heart of Stellenbosch, is widely known for being the “Pioneers of Pinotage” as they were the first estate to commercially produce and sell a Pinotage wine. The estate has a rich history having been established over 326 years ago in 1692. In 2017, the historic building called the Governers Hall and the original 100-year old bar was burnt down to the ground losing countless antiques and paintings worth millions.
Lanzerac did an incredible job over the 13 months that followed to re-opening by ensuring that the staff kept their jobs and that the building would not lose its original charm. In fact, one of the staff was able to save two paintings and a couch which stands in the newly renovated building today.
This is what it looked like before the fire…I snapped this one week before the fire. You can see a few walls were opened up.
The Grounds are a Vibrant, Lush Green
Tourists may be hesitant to hear that Cape Town is struggling with water supply. We simply have too many people and not enough dams but Lanzerac Wine Estate, on the other hand, is totally off the municipal grid and therefore manages their own water supply very effectively. After a very abundant and rainy winter, their dams and reservoirs are actually overflowing. That’s why the first thing you will notice, are all the beautifully manicured lawns and abundance of flowers, birds and butterflies around the estate. It’s like visiting another country for us locals!
The Rooms are dream central
Designed by Van der Kolff interior design, the rooms still have an antique look with a modern twist. Van der Kolff is my new favourite interior designer by a mile! Each room is different and unique and there are 53 on the estate! From girly, pink charm…
To sophisticated masculinity…
Each room is fit for royalty equipped with fully stocked a bar fridge that is completely free (yup no extra room charges), heated towel rails and flooring, climate control, TV, gowns, full room service, lounge area and a private patio leading out onto the picturesque gardens.
For locals this is sheer luxury worthy of a romantic anniversary retreat; For foreigners, it would probably be really great value for money, especially if you are earning Pounds. Each room is priced between R6800 – R12 900 a night for two people sharing and it really does come with all the bells and whistles including 24-hour room service. There are 5 swimming pools on the estate including a pool bar and spa facility. Some of the rooms even have private steam rooms and even pools. Yeah, this is honeymoon bliss!
If you check into the hotel you can enjoy a complimentary wine tasting worth R70 to taste 5 wines from the Premium range or R150 for the amazing Heritage range. I was pleased to enjoy wine tasting with Vicky who has completed her WSET wine training course and is now studying to be a Sommelier. Having a wine expert pour the wine makes the experience that much more informative. Whilst I was enjoying the wine tasting, we tucked into a delicious Ploughman’s Platter. Lanzerac Wine Estate is well known for the Pinotage and Chardonnay so be sure to taste these wines upon your visit. On a hot summer’s day, the MCC and Pinotage Rosé can be wonderful!
You may also enjoy the Lanzerac Deli and outside area. It was quite sweet to see a family having a picnic on the lawn.
Lanzerac Wine Estate’s modern and sophisticated Spa is very popular with wedding parties and romantic escapes mainly because of the amazing hydro facilities on offer. Enjoy a jacuzzi, heated indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam rooms and views of nature in all its glory. It is hands down my favourite Spa in Cape Town.
As a hotel guest, you can make use of the hydro facilities for free which includes a jaccuzzi, indoor heated swimming pool, steam room and sauna.
The Pool Bar
A luxurious hotel just would not be complete without a pool bar! Sip on ice cold Gin and Tonics or MCC whilst you relax in sheer bliss around the pool. The round pool as depicted in the image below is heated whilst the main pool is a lot cooler.
The main restaurant on Lanzerac Wine Estate is called The Manor Kitchen headed up by Executive Chef, Stephen Fraser. I had the pleasure of meeting Stephen as he is one to personally welcome guests. I must say that since Stephen has joined the team, the food has been ramped up quite a few levels in terms of taste and creativity. He’s a very friendly guy too so don’t be surprised if he rocks up at your table to see how everything is going.
I enjoyed freshly baked rolls with truffle infused butter to begin the evening. For starters, I opted for Confit Duck Leg Salad with whipped Dijon mousse, pickled onion, shimeji mushrooms & herbs (R90) paired with the Lanzerac Pinotage Rosé 2017. For mains, I just had to indulge in the slow braised lamb shank, potato puree, raspberry, walnut, pistachio, balsamic and herbs (R220). I cannot explain to you how wonderful the Lamb Shank dish was. The meat just fell off the bone and the potato puree was incredibly smooth and creamy. It paired incredibly well with the Lanzerac Pinotage 2016 with thanks to the in-house Sommelier on duty.
Take in all the splendour of the opulent surrounds. Watch in awe as the ceiling changes colour from a light blue to a warm pink as the sun sets over the Stellenbosch mountains. All whilst listening to the sounds of elegant piano music whilst being attended to by the professional waitron service – ok I literally felt like I was on the Titanic and it was pure bliss!
I was absolutely stuffed by the time dessert arrived but this is when my second stomach made an appearance – there’s always room for dessert as they say 🙂 I was recommended to try the salted caramel dessert and was not disappointed. At this stage, the lighting was very low and my camera struggled to take the pic of this dessert that was like art on a plate. You will simply just have to try it for yourself.
After a wonderful night’s sleep, I woke up to the birds chirping and enjoyed an espresso whilst watching the sun peak over the mountains, engulfing the vineyards below. By 7 am I was swimming and by 9 am I was enjoying breakfast.
Breakfast is also served in the Manor Kitchen and I was absolutely blown away by the amount of choice that lay for picking on the buffet table. From scones and fresh fruit to oysters and MCC – I was in breakfast heaven. I mean, the buffet table is probably about 15 metres long! Guests also have the option of ordering a hot breakfast from the kitchen. To start I enjoyed oysters and MCC of course from the buffet table, and then for second breakfast, I enjoyed flapjacks in all its delicious glory.
Before the fire the Manor Kitchen looked like this…yeah, it was outside.
Although I only stayed one night, this getaway made me feel like I was the queen for a week. The service is so incredibly professional and friendly, I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone who enjoys wine, food and relaxation.
Guests staying at the Lanzerac Hotel & Spa are offered the following complimentary services:
- Breakfast – a full continental buffet and hot breakfast on order, complete with tea & coffee
- Select mini-bar, replenished once daily
- Complimentary use of the Spa’s hydro facilities
- A complimentary wine tasting of 5 Lanzerac Estate wines at the – Lanzerac Tasting Room
- A complimentary cellar tour of the Lanzerac Winery (tours run daily at 11am)
- A complimentary transfer service between the Hotel and Stellenbosch town at set times
- Turn down service daily, including bottled water
- Wireless internet
- Stellenbosch tourism levy
Contact Lanzerac on +27 (0)21 887 1132 or make an enquiry at firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com or visit the Lanzerac Wine Estate Website.
BOOKINGS: Bookings are a must. Please inquire online here: http://www.lanzerac.co.za/
WHEN TO GO: Summer or Winter. You will be sheltered anywhere you go. I noticed umbrellas on standby too.
SERVICE: The service is super professional – everything that you would expect from a 5-star establishment.
CHILD/PET FRIENDLY? No, this is definitely a more sophisticated crowd
LARGER OR SMALL GROUPS? Smaller groups of around 4-6 people are perfect.
LOCATION: About a 45 minute drive from Cape Town in, Stellenbosch. Google Map
OTHER RATINGS: Check out what others say about this farm on Trip Advisor by CLICKING HERE.
Also read my previous visit to Lanzerac posts below where you can also see what it looked like before the fire: