Every so often, life hands you one of those days that really just can’t be beaten. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, the roses are in full bloom and the scent of summer is in the air… We were lucky enough to spend a night at the gorgeous Cellars-Hohenort in Constantia recently, and it was one of those days. Which, let’s be honest, was probably entirely because we were at the Cellars-Hohenort!
It is, quite simply, a stunning place to spend a few days, and I can’t imagine a sweeter spot to soak up the after-wedding glow with your new husband – it’s ideal for honeymoons, especially for those not from Cape Town. (Although, as a Capetonian couple, I’m always amazed how faraway it can feel to hop over to the other side of the mountain!)
Constantia is not only one of Cape Town’s loveliest suburbs, all leafy green avenues and stunning views of the mountain, but also really convenient if you want to pop into town, or to Hout Bay, spend a day picnicking in Kirstenbosch Gardens or go on a wine tasting tour around the many Constantia vineyards. The hotel has more than enough to keep you busy, with an on-site spa (more on that later), a tennis court, two swimming pools, three restaurants, a Gary Player designed putting green, a boutique, and a fabulous bar.
The Cellars-Hohenort is a combination of traditional and contemporary, with the Hohenort building (above) the more traditional decor, and the Cellars building (where we stayed) more contemporary, while still keeping with the Cape Dutch style. It’s an interesting concept for a hotel – two in one, really – and part of the reason it works so well is because everything is tied together by the gardens.
Oh, the gardens! They are absolutely spectacular – a riot of colour and flowers and the most heavenly scents from the multitude of roses and every other kind of flowering plant. The gardens are such a big deal at the Cellars-Hohenort, in fact, that they do garden tours: we spent a wonderful hour being shown around the garden by the gardening guru herself, Jean Almon. It’s a really unusual offering for a hotel, and lets you appreciate the diverse beauty of these nine acres of land.
Of course, it also gives you a chance to meet some of the resident ducks, who are so ever-present that the waiters even wear duck-embossed ties! While away a few hours over afternoon tea out on the lawn, sip on a sundowner from the privacy of your private verandah, or spend a few hours in the fabulous Fresh Wellness Spa. I was lucky enough to experience a Grape Cleanse and Hydrating Milk Ceremony: a full-body exfoliation, milk wrap, facial massage and full body moisturise… Simply heavenly!
Part of the joy of honeymooning is also indulging in delicious food, and the Cellars-Hohenort has got that side sorted as well. Choose from the award-winning Greenhouse restaurant, the Cape Malay Experience or the Conservatory, where we ate the most superb three-course dinner, perched on top of the gardens as the sun slowly faded from the sky… Ending off the day with a glass of bubbly, a cheese souffle and the company of your favourite person in the world is the stuff that memories are made of.
But it’s the gardens that I will always remember from our golden day at the Cellars-Hohenort. I didn’t realise how garden-starved I was until I could spend a few hours surrounded by lush green wilderness, scattered with flowers and butterflies. It truly was one of those days that just can’t be beaten…
Until next time!