The Cellars-Hohenort, Cape Town, South Africa – Hotel Review

By Ramsey Qubein on 13 February 2013
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Imagine, far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, a countryside paradise that brims withIMG_0980 smiling faces, massive gardens, and prim and proper furnishings that seem to ooze from the pages of the latest design magazines. That is the definition of the Cellars Hohenort, located on the outskirts of Cape Town (on the other side of Table Mountain) in the Constantia winelands.

Owned and operated by Liz McGrath, a sophisticated South African grande dame who is as sweet as she is proper, this hotel shines as a Relais & Châteaux property. In fact, Ms. McGrath chose to open a trio of hotels (this is just one of them) after having vacationed often with her late husband at Relais & Châteaux hotels across the globe and falling in love with their unique style. Indeed, she is the only woman on the planet to own and operate three R & C properties.


Rooms are spread about the Cape Dutch style estate either in separate buildings with their own private terrace or the main manor house wings,IMG_0960 where guests can access the gardens directly from their rooms. My room featured a graceful décor of chintzy fabrics, plush armchair, and a luxurious bed topped with duvets and mountains of thick pillows. For some reason, I was exhausted when I arrived at the hotel, and the bed was luring me closer. I slipped in for a nap before dinner and immediately felt the danger of deep slumber. The pillowtop mattress swallowed me in seconds, leaving me cozy and comfy with oversized clouds beneath my neck. Luckily though, my phone alarm woke me up at the preset time, and I felt refreshed.

Most notable are the fresh flowers (plucked from just outside),  plate of fruit, coffee and tea tray (including South African rooibos flavor), and makeup area with a vanity stool.

The bathroom is  rich with lighting and mirrors, and sports a plethora of toiletries with the owner’s own name (McGrath has crafted her own scent; nothing is too small for her).


IMG_0963The desktop sports instructions on how to access the free wireless Internet (easily accessible just as guests pick up the phone to call with the typical questions), and flat-screen TVs (yes, there were two) proffer a variety of channels for international guests.

The desk was large enough to spread out paperwork, a laptop with charger, and a briefcase. A soft, cushioned chair was comfortable enough to work for a few hours, but a long sofa paired well with the magazine tray that can double as laptop support.

There is no formal meeting space, although the front desk can set up a meeting anywhere guests would like, including al fresco.

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