Vineyard Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa
Will Ross, September 7, 2017
When one of your end-of-trip objectives is to perfect your summer colour and return to Northern Europe in January in pristine form, Cape Town’s Vineyard Hotel provides a very reliable platform. Complete with the comforts of beautiful bedrooms and wonderful cuisine, the Vineyard’s hotel is also outstanding, in the the leafy Newlands neighbourhood within a mile of entry points to the eastern foothills of Table Mountain.
Originally built in 1799, the Vineyard combines old charm with modern architectural finishes. Its 208-room capacity is matched by a breadth of facilities, while retaining a sense of intimacy, with various wings stretching out across the property to make the most of views of Table Mountain. Though substantial, these built furnishings hardly compare with the lawns, pathways, indigeneous plant and trees, shrubs and water gardens that connect the hotel with the Liesbeek River.
Of course there is no shortage of gastronomic – you’re within South Africa’s viticulture heartland afterall with the Constantia growing area next door. Breakfasts at the Square restaurant are worth waking early for with low-carb options including grilled Atlantic kipper, poached haddock and sautéed lambs kidneys, as well as homemade waffles if you veer slightly off track. Either way, the Long Café is located next to the hotel’s main foyer – a facility entirely dedicated to the bean.
Enjoy evenings with carefully selected wine pairings from the Western Cape, or else take a snack at the Splash Cafe alongside the pool from noon until 10pm. Other dining options include an independent restaurant, Myoga, and a restaurant fronting the hotel’s gardens, the Garden Lounge. It’s also worth noting that complimentary wine tastings take place for guests every Monday from 6-7pm.
The health and fitness facilities haven’t failed to keep in step with the velocity of 21st century wellness trends, with yoga classes being a recent addition. Other modern advances include the hosting of FITCO in the fitness pavilion, a performance training service awaits. For swimmers, the pavilion is fronted by a magnificent 20m outdoor pool for early morning swims. The pool itself is an example of senstive design, using e-clear water filtering system to reducing the amount of chlorine needed to maintain an acceptable pH level.
Step beyond the property to one of Africa’s best sports training facilities, Sports Science Institute of South Africa, who offer day rates to access their gym, Wattbikes and 25m pool. Head in the other direction to enjoy Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens or else leap up Skeleton Gorge with a trail run via the Newlands Forest to summit Table Mountain. On Saturdays at 8am, free-to-enter 5km parkruns are organised at Rondebosch Common and Constantia Greenbelt, each around two miles north and south of the property, respectively.
Head to vineyard.co.za for more information, specials and the colourful menu options.