Escape to the Alphen Hotel, Constantia

Words: Julie Velosa

The Alphen Hotel has been a part of the fabric of the Constantia landscape for over 300 years and truly is an iconic part of the area’s history. Despite her years, this grand old dame has only improved with age and truly is a wonderful ode to the cultural richness of the valley.

A walk around the grounds will make you feel like as though you’ve stepped back in time but in the best way possible.

It’s a bit like being transported into a secret garden with the lushest green lawns you can imagine, hedges trimmed to absolute perfection and rose bushes that would be at home in the Queen of Hearts’ garden.

The estate, originally a part of Groot Constantia, was sold off after the passing of owner at the time, Simon van der Stel. The homestead was was built in 1753 by dutchman Abraham Leever and in 1963 was converted into a hotel. The hotel and onsite restaurants are now operated by the Kove Collection and this union has blended the estate’s old world charm, with slick, modern amenities and a super efficient team that keep things running smoothly at all times.

Visiting the Alphen is an all-encompassing experience; the facilities run from everything you would need to enjoy a luxury leisurely stay, to an organised business trip and everything in between. We visited for a brief midweek escape and experienced a little of the Alphen’s renowned hospitality.

Our check-in was seamless and efficient and we were able to retire to our room to relax before dinner. Rooms at the Alphen are plushly decorated and blend modern touches with classic Constantia charm.

In the bathroom, ornate gilded mirrors are hung against contemporary, glossy subway tiles and in the room, a king size bed is framed by a tufted, velvet Victorian-style headboard. After enjoying a glass of complimentary bubbly and relaxing we headed out to dinner at the restaurant onsite – Blanko.

What was previously 5 Rooms has been refreshed and replaced by the modern Italian feel and fare of Blanko restaurant. The menu and the décor tick all the boxes that a modern Italian restaurant should. The space, as the name suggests, is decorated primarily in white, which makes it the perfect blank canvas to showcase art pieces from local names.

Three courses of food revealed a menu that is unfussy and that focuses on delivering delicious flavour above all. Standouts were most certainly the asparagus antipasti – delicately steamed asparagus spears with baked ricotta and asparagus pesto. Also, the fillet – absolutely cooked to perfection and meltingly tender (see here for the full review).

After a very restful nights sleep in the perfect quietness of the Constantia valley, we awoke to enjoy breakfast at La Belle Bistro, well-known for its fabulous pastries. Cappuccinos and croissants later we checked out refreshed and ready to tackle the day.

For guests enjoying a longer stay, the pool area will be utterly delightful – with luxurious pool beds, The Rose Bar just steps away and absolute privacy from the outside world, it’s the perfect place to kick back and soak up the African sunshine. All of this is of course ensconced in the stunning gardens of the property; guests will find The Alphen Hotel the perfect blend of English countryside and modern day Mother City luxury.

The Alphen Hotel
Alphen Drive, Constantia
Open from Monday to Sunday, 12h00 to 24h00 | +27 (0) 21 795 6313 | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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