A Weekend Escape to The Cellars-Hohenort
I love Cape Town. Joburg is my home and my happy place and where my roots are, but I really do love a cheeky trip to The Mother City. The funny thing is, after travelling to Cape Town hundreds of times in my life, going there doesn’t even really feel like a holiday – it’s more like visiting an old friend for a catch-up. We’ve stayed in spots all over the place, from Seapoint to Claremont to Camps Bay, and I always love how each area manages to be distinctly Cape Tonian while being completely unique. A few weeks ago, Ant and I took a few days out to visit the Cape again to celebrate my 26th birthday and found a whole new slice of loveliness at The Cellars-Hohenort: a beautiful luxury gem hidden in the heart of Constantia.
Discovering The Cellars-Hohenort is like stumbling upon a magical secret. It might seem impossible that something would be hidden in the midst of a bustling city like Cape Town, but the ability to remain exclusive while also accessible is a huge part of what makes this spot so special. Just 15 minutes from the city centre, you’d expect to have some sense of staying in a city, but its location in the Constantia Valley makes it feels like you’ve travelled miles to escape the hustle and bustle. Turn off the main road, drive a couple of minutes through the trees, and The Cellars-Hohenort appears before you like some mythical creature.
Part of The Collection by Liz McGrath, and a Relais & Châteaux member (like Royal Chundu), luxury comes standard at this five-star destination. First off, my favourite thing about The Cellars-Hohenort was the beautiful Cape Dutch architecture and the incredible in-room decor and design. Each of the 52 rooms is unique, with views of Table Mountain, their manicured gardens, and the small on-site vineyard. The property is quiet and expertly managed, with a real focus on helping you to relax. Once we were in our room, I went a little crazy for the GIGANTIC bed (sleep is life, guys) and the florals covering the chairs in the room. If I could have, I would have put these chairs in my bag and taken them home.
I loved that our room, a Luxury Double Room with a Verandah, had it’s own little space to sit outside and look out the Constantia Valley towards False Bay. Every morning we would be woken with fresh coffee and would sit and drink it out on the verandah – if that’s not the ultimate way to start the day, I really don’t know what is. Where do I sign up to move in permanently, please?
As a special birthday treat, we also got to spend a morning at the incredible Fresh Wellness Spa on the property. I love a massage (honestly, one of my very very favourite things on earth) and the massage I received at The Cellars-Hohenort was one of the most amazing that I’ve ever had. I was ready to propose to the beauty therapist by the end of my appointment.
And then there was the food. The food, the food, the food. I wish I could have gone full bovine and gained an extra three stomachs just so that I could have eaten even more. The Cellars-Hohenort has two different restaurants, both of which have won a bunch of awards. Greenhouse has been ranked in the top ten restaurants in South Africa for the last few years, and The Conservatory has the most incredible view, sitting right in the middle of the incredible gardens with its beautiful glass walls. Both are run by Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef, Peter Tempelhoff, and both are INCREDIBLE. Each morning we would be treated to an amazing breakfast at The Conservatory, and on my birthday we also had dinner there, which I’m pretty positive I’ll be dreaming about for months. There’s a focus on traditional South African recipes, but with an updated (and, in my opinion, often improved) twist. If I have one piece of advice for your trip to The Conservatory at The Cellars-Hohenort, it’s that you order the cheese souffle – it’s truly life changing.
As always though, it’s the people that make you fall in love with a place – and it’s the people that will always keep me coming back. From the second we arrived at The Cellars-Hohenort, we were made to feel that we were at home. I loved how friendly all the staff were – from the porter who helped us with our luggage, to the serving staff in the restaurant, we got to know each person that we came into contact with and fell in love with them by the time we left. Ultimately, they’re the thing I loved most about The Cellars-Hohenort, and we’re already planning our next trip to see them again.
If you’re looking for somewhere truly special for a weekend escape or just a delicious meal out, I genuinely can’t reccommend this place highly enough. It’s honestly one of my favourite hotels not just in South Africa, but anywehere, and I can’t wait to go back. If you love nice things, this is your spot.
Tel: +27 (0)21 794 2137