Prime luxurious stays inside Three hours drive of Cape City
Words from Lauren Manuel
Home of majestic Table Mountain; Boulders Beachm with its African penguin population; It’s no surprise that the city of Cape Town calls travelers from all over the world.
Untouched landscapes and outdoor adventures await those looking for a breathtaking stay in the Western Cape Province. From luxury houseboats to wineries to five-star suites in a nature reserve, here’s a list of spectacular stays within a three-hour drive of Cape Town that are perfect for romantic getaways or breaks with family and friends.
A natural oasis in the Cascade Country Manor
The centuries-old mansion of the Cascade Country Manor is located in the heart of the Paarl Winelands, surrounded by olive groves, the Drakenstein Mountains and a peaceful garden. Check into your large, spacious room with an indoor fireplace and private deck or patio with pool or garden views. When the morning comes, wake up and order the breakfast picnic in your room and dine inside without leaving your bed.
An easy walk from the mansion takes you to lookout points to see the mansion and the surrounding area. A short walk will take you to the private waterfall just 3,000 meters away, which you can enjoy an outdoor massage in summer. The oasis of the manor and the pampering treatments at Cascade Manor Spa will make you feel worlds away from the busy life that you have left behind, if only for a while.
Luxury houseboat in South Hill Vineyards
Only an hour away from Cape Town and surrounded by the mountain ranges of the Hottentots, Kogelberg and Groenberg is the cool mountain plateau of the Elgin Valley-Home of South Hill Vineyards. A jump, a jump and a steep journey through the vineyards will bring you to a houseboat that is permanently moored on the lake – the perfect combination of off-grid living and luxury for self-catering. It can accommodate up to six adults or four adults and four children.
On a cool winter’s day, keep the fire in the hall and enjoy the mountain and lake views with a glass of South Hill’s finest wines. Discover your favorite wine at one of the wine tastings in the restaurant Come Art gallery and reserve a table for lunch. Kayak along the lake on a hot day or sunbathe on the deck or rooftop and make sure you get some tips on how to make a good South African braai (barbecue) by the fire.
A luxury eco-reserve adventure in Grootbos
When it comes to luxury at Overberg, the award-winning Grootbos does it with such finesse. Voted one of the world’s most unique lodges by Natural Geographic, Grootbos is home to over 2,500 acres of pristine wilderness that is home to over 100 endangered plant species.
The suites offer accommodation options for families or couples and offer unparalleled views of the ocean from the decks, lounge, bedroom and bathroom with views of the vast nature reserve and Walker Bay. Order breakfast in bed or stroll through the old milk forest (over 1,000 years old) to the restaurant, where the best gourmet dishes made with local ingredients are always served with a smile. Host families will be delighted by the childminder who entertains the children every day after 12 noon with cookie decorations, treasure hunts, movies in the evening and much more.
Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of fynbos and abundant bird life on a guided nature tour, ride horses through the reserve, watch whales from a boat trip, or explore the nearby caves with a guide. Don’t forget to find out what the Grootbos Foundation has to offer. Beekeeping visits where they grow organic honey, the nursery where they grow organic and the excellent Green Futures school for adult education and training that offers courses in horticulture, hospitality and leadership.
Stellenbosch hospitality at the Evergreen Manor House
Evergreen Manor House & Spa in the heart of South Africa’s second oldest city, Stellenbosch, offers you the opportunity to experience the best of the hospitality and luxury of the Winelands. After a warm welcome from the staff and a glass of sherry on arrival, relax in time for afternoon tea at check-in at this quaint boutique hotel with its beautiful garden.
Stay in beautiful rooms with antique and antique furniture with old-fashioned charm and enjoy hot, sunny days in the poolside dining area with delicious coffee and excellent meals. Stroll into town or the Botanical Garden just a short walk away, sip a glass of Stellenbosch wine on the veranda as the sun goes down, or book a treatment in the wellness center.
Luxury in the country at the Knorhoek winery
Looking for a rural getaway for a group of friends or for you as a couple? Knorhoek’s luxury farmhouse self-contained rose and lavender cottages next door are the perfect place to exhale and meander barefoot on the green lawns. Wake up to your morning coffee with birds in the oak trees outside your window and views of the mountains from the porch.
Explore the farm on foot or pick up your favorite wines, ice creams and water from the front desk (which guests can access and add to their tab at any time) and have a sip while reading a book from the bookshelves in the rooms read. Visit the restaurant with its small stream, the outdoor tables, the spacious lawns, the children’s playground and the rock pool for a summer swim.
All images courtesy of Lauren Manuel