Experience the Charm of Constantia at The Cellars Hohenort Hotel

Words: Julie Velosa

There are few places that can evoke a sense of timelessness and grandeur quite like the Constantia Valley and, at the Cellars Hohenort Hotel, both of these qualities are evident. As you drive into the property the striking buildings of the hotel stand proudly and are set amongst some of the lushest and most meticulously manicured gardens you can find.

The property has a long and mercurial history of ownership; from its first owner Hendrik ten Damme in 1693 (chief surgeon of the Dutch East India Company) it has changed hands many times in its 324-year history and is now part of The Collection by Liz McGrath portfolio (also includes The Marine and The Plettenberg). The Cellars building (originally a wine cellar) and the Hohenort building were built independently of one another, at different times and by different owners. During the property’s history, the original farm (Klaasenbosch), was split and sold off in pieces but when they were acquired by Liz McGrath, it was her desire to put the property back together as one and thus The Cellars Hohenort Hotel came into being.

The hotel has 65 rooms located across the property and all are surrounded and overlook the lush landscaped gardens. There are some suites that are set apart from the main building, as well as the Madiba Villa, a large and private space separate from the main hotel building – perfect for a longer stay.

The suites and rooms are beautifully appointed with finishings that exude sophisticated country charm. This is complemented by luxurious features such as thick carpeting, rich textiles and tasteful finishings that all come together in a beautiful palette and add to the overall luxurious feel.

Afternoon tea is offered at The Conservatory daily and the good news is that a low carb option is available. Tea treats are served on a tiered stand and can be enjoyed while relaxing in the lounge area, or in the restaurant with views over the garden. The tea includes savouries such as Vietnamese Prawn Rice Paper Rolls and Grass Fed Beef & Peppadew Sosaties and sweets such as Dark Chocolate Beetroot Cupcakes and Panna Cotta. It’s a lovely way to unwind, catch up with a friend and enjoy the hotel’s surroundings. The staff that will look after you are meticulous in their approach and will make sure that you are well taken care of.

You can enjoy lunch and dinner at The Conservatory as well, with an exciting menu that celebrates local flavour and ingredients. If however, you are looking for a unique dining experience or are celebrating something special, then you must book in for dinner at Greenhouse Restaurant, the hotel’s flagship fine dining restaurant. Headed up by the hotel group’s Executive Chef Peter Tempelhoff, Head Chef Ashley Moss and the team that back them, the restaurant is a culinary adventure not to be missed.

If you have the time to spend while at Cellars Hohenort you can visit the Fresh Wellness Spa (recently awarded Best Boutique Hotel Spa in South Africa)  and indulge in a luxurious treatment. Or, have your hair done at the on-site salon. If getting some exercise is on the cards, you can enjoy a game of tennis, take a dip in the pool or arrange a workout at a local Constantia gym.

It is very likely though that you’ll find yourself content to not do very much at all. The valley is renowned for its incredible wine offering and you really should get out to experience this (the hotel will happily help arrange) but you will be forgiven for not wanting to leave the comfortable confines of the Cellars Hohenort Hotel, where a sunny corner or a walk around the gardens will be all the escape you will need.

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