Unwind and Relax at the Lanzerac Hotel and Spa

Words: Julie Velosa

The Lanzerac name is synonymous with many things, a luxurious place to stay, a relaxing spa and world-class wines. However, it has been somewhat under the radar of late, as it underwent a rebuild and refurb after sustaining damage from a fire in 2017. In July 2018 however, it reopened its doors and has been welcoming guests into its new space.

Part of the damage was to the Governer’s Hall, which has since been remodelled and is now a spacious and welcoming reception area, with the most awe-inspiring beamed roof. Original sections blend seamlessly with new, more contemporary additions, and make this a unique and worldly way to be welcomed to the hotel.

Lanzerac Hotel and Spa

The 53-roomed hotel is set across an expansive estate that sits at the foot of the iconic Jonkershoek mountain range. Almost a little off the beaten track, this gem is tucked away up a tree-lined entrance way that leads up to the Manor House and surrounding estate. Rooms are dotted around the property in sections and range from suites to uber luxurious cottages with private pools.

No matter where you select to stay, you can be assured of the utmost in comfort and style; each room has been individually decorated with hand-selected pieces by interior designer, Con van der Colff.

He brings together unique antique choices with more contemporary pieces, maintaining Lanerac’s old world Cape Dutch charm but bringing it into the 21st century.

The Junior Suite we stayed in had deep olive green walls with plush olive velvet cushions and upholstery, complemented by thoughtful finishings in gold, patterned rugs and fresh orchids. The room had French doors that opened up to reveal Lanzerac’s impeccable grounds and gardens.

Lanzerac Spa

After settling into our room we headed down to the spa for some ‘us time’. As we walked into the spa we found ourselves immediately sighing and slowing down. A table burgeoning with gorgeous white floral arrangements of varying sizes greeted us, followed by views of the indoor pool area and the backdrop of the mountains in the distance. It was immediately calming and tranquil.

The staff whisked us off to the change rooms, where we changed into cozzies and headed straight for the indoor jacuzzi. After a bubbly few minutes, we opted for a dip in the main pool before heading upstairs for our massages.

The spa is split over two levels and treatment rooms are located up a curving statement staircase. Pedi stations overlook the vineyards outside, as do the relaxation beds where we chilled in-between treatments.

The spa also includes a kitted out gym area and a juice bar where you can order healthy snacks and treats while you enjoy the spa.

After a massage that ironed out all the kinks and stresses of the week, we retired to the loungers outside to enjoy the last rays of sunshine of the day feeling thoroughly relaxed.

Dinner at the Manor Kitchen

Lanzerac has set its sights on offering an epicurean adventure second to none and guests at the hotel, as well as visitors, are spoilt for choice at the various offerings. Breakfasts, light lunches and pastries are served at the farm-chic deli, which has a lovely shady courtyard outside. There is also the Taphuis, offering drinks and lighter meals and then the Manor Kitchen, which is the elevated dining experience.

Chef Stephan Fraser is head of all the restaurants and his menu at The Manor Kitchen is a blend of local favourites with a twist. The dining room is gorgeously decorated with black damask-like glass sections, complemented by glittering chandeliers. This is offset by lightwood tables and upholstered chairs, giving an overall feel of modern chic without feeling overly pretentious.

On the Menu

We started our meal with fresh oysters and they were honestly some of the best we’ve had, fresh and silky with adornments including cucumber caviar and vichyssoise. Minimally interfered with and totally sublime.

Following the oysters was a gin cured salmon salad, as well as a butternut and prawn bisque that was just full of hearty shellfish flavour.

The pork belly main was hard to pass up – the promise of well-rendered belly served with barley risotto and crisp sage. I could not have asked for a more delicious dish, it simply ticked every box and was inventive, full of flavour, perfectly seasoned and balanced. The meat simply melted in the mouth, and, as promised, had been well-rendered resulting in it being succulent but not fatty.

To end on a high, we finished with the Tonka Bean Brûlée and the Cape Malva. Both were contemporary takes on these dishes and, while a Malva can be overly sweet and heavy, this version was not at all. And, while I am a brulee purist, the addition of a thyme ice cream was actually a well-matched addition.

One overall aspect of our dining experience that really stood out at The Manor Kitchen was portion size. Getting this right seems to be something that is not as easy to achieve as one thinks but chef Stephen seems to have it spot on. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal and made our way back to our room not feeling heavily weighed down.

A standout mention must also be the Lanzerac Mrs English Chardonnay, an elegant white, named for a previous owner of the estate who gave it it’s name Lanzerac.

Mornings at Lanzerac

If the moment grabs you, we recommend a wander around the beautiful grounds of the property before you head in for breakfast (also served at The Manor Kitchen). There are also walks and running trails that you can make use of. If your style is rather to lie in and appreciate the tranquillity, this is quite acceptable too.

Breakfast is a beautiful spread of continental items, pastries and even oysters and estate bubbly if you’re so inclined.

Following this is a menu of hot options as well (we loved the Ham & Eggs). Enjoy with a freshly brewed cappuccino and plan out your exploration of the Winelands for the day.

Tranquil Corners

The Lanzerac Hotel and Spa has risen from its tragic fire and evolved its spaces to offer even more to its guests. From tranquil corners of the garden to a comfy leather couch in the library. You can enjoy a craft cocktail in the Craven Lounge, enjoy a wine tasting experience or spend a little extra time on yourself at the spa.

No matter how you choose to spend your time at Lanzerac Hotel and Spa, you can be assured that when it comes time to leave, you’ll already be thinking about when you can next return.

No. 1 Lanzerac Road, Stellenbosch | Tel:+27 021 887 1132

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