The Constantia Uitsig is set on a beautiful wine estate and still has the original buildings.
Constantia Uitsig: Our full report
Constantia Uitsig stands in the middle of a working wine estate in the chic Cape Town suburb of Constantia. It is surrounded by rows of vineyards which stretch up the mountain slopes of the Constantia Valley. 'Uitsig' means 'view', and the vineyards of Constantia Uitsig have superb views of the Constantiaberg mountains.
Approaching along Constantia Uitsig's long driveway, between rows of vines, the hotel is located in lovely lavender-filled gardens under shady oak trees. Constantia Uitsig has the feeling of a rural Cape wine farm, and all the guest rooms are traditional cottages dotted around its manicured gardens. Ducks and Egyptian geese waddle around the lawns, and there is a private cricket oval with a small pavilion where small functions can be held.
There are three popular restaurants at Constantia Uitsig. The casual River Café, with a sunny courtyard and views of the garden and vineyards, is open for lunch and dinner. Both the French-influenced
At La Colombe, meals can be enjoyed outside in a quiet plant-filled courtyard with bubbling fountain or, on colder days, inside beside the fire. La Colombe is adjacent to the Palm Room, a beautifully decorated lounge filled with antiques, large comfortable sofas, fresh flowers, books and magazines, and equipped with fireplaces at each end of the room. The Constantia Uitsig restaurant is housed in the original homestead, and features an outside terrace with sweeping views of the vineyards, as well as a separate bar and lounge area off the main restaurant.
The homestead was originally built in 1894, and was purchased in 1988 by its current owners, who restored the wine estate, and built this small hotel. Constantia Uitsig has been building its reputation since then.
Part of this development is their own luxurious Spa, which is decorated in soothing neutral tones with cool tiles and stone. There are five treatment rooms and a hydrotherapy room as well as steam rooms, and a relaxation room with comfortable chaise-longues leading out onto a tranquil courtyard with a tinkling fountain. Well-known brands such as Kerastase, Clarins and Dermologica are used here.
There are 16 guest cottages at Constantia Uitsig all individually and tastefully decorated. They are made up as follows :
Garden cottages There are seven of these cottages, which are semi-detached and consist of a bedroom and bathroom. Despite being the hotel's 'standard' rooms, they are still very spacious and comfortable, and open out onto a small shared veranda
When last we visited, in November 2007, our Garden cottage room was decorated in soft blues and creams, although all Constantia Uitsig's rooms have different colour schemes. It was very neat and smart, with a white wooden headboard behind a large double bed (or twin beds), and a matching wooden chest at the foot. In one corner, by the window, there were two comfortable easy chairs; a small TV and tea and coffee making facilities sat on a side table.
The en-suite bathroom was light and spacious, decorated in pale cream tiles and marble. There was a single wash-basin, a toilet and a shower over the bath. Complimentary toiletries were provided.
Victorian cottage There are five of these rooms which are more spacious than the Garden cottages, mentioned above. They have a seating area in the bedroom and the en-suite bathroom has a separate shower and a bath. It also has its own veranda.
Manor suite Constantia Uitsig has two Manor suites, each of which is bigger than a Victorian cottages, and each has a private patio and small garden. These are also used as the hotel's honeymoon rooms.
Family suite There is one family suite at Constantia Uitsig which has two separate bedrooms, one with a double bed and the other with twin beds, as well as a kitchenette and a large, shared bathroom.
Superior suite This room is made up of a manor suite leading into a Garden cottage. This is also ideal for families traveling together.
All the rooms at Constantia Uitsig have under-floor heating, tea and coffee making facilities, air-conditioning, wireless internet access, local and satellite TV, a mini-bar/fridge, a hairdryer and a safe. All the bathrooms have marble finishes, thick, fluffy white towels and a range of complimentary toiletries.
Guests at the Constantia Uitsig also benefit from a swimming pool with dark-green sunloungers and umbrellas, surrounded by a hedge for privacy (and security), and the Wine Shop, which offers daily wine-tasting and sells both gifts and Constantia Uitsig's own wines. The estate even features a cricket oval with a pavilion which is used for small functions.
Constantia Uitsig is the ideal place to stay if you want a beautiful and quiet location on a working wine farm, but still within 20 minutes' drive of Cape Town city centre and the V&A Waterfront.
Ideal length of stay: 4 – 5 nights should give you enough time to explore some of the more popular sights of Cape Town.
Directions: Constantia Uitsig is about 30-45 minute's drive from Cape Town International Airport, depending on the traffic!
Owner: Privately owned.
Staff: Owners – David and Marlene McCay Alison – General Manager Sacha Hartz – Operations Manager
Food & drink
Usual board basis: B&B
Food quality: Constantia Uitsig has three award-winning restaurants, which are also popular with local Cape Town residents. Booking is essential – although one of the bonuses of staying here is that these restaurants always try to reserve tables for hotel guests – even when they're full for non-residents!
Meals at Constantia Uitsig may be costly by South African standards – as these are amongst the best restaurants in the Cape, but they're exceptionally good value by European or American standards. For example, a four-course meal with wine pairing per course may be around R275 each (£17 or US$34) – a six-course meal R410 (£30 or US$60).
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Drinks included: No
Honeymoons: The honeymoon suite at Constantia Uitsig is a beautifully decorated room with its own patio and garden. It is quiet and secluded and is set away from the other rooms to offer peace and total privacy – a lovely spot for an indulgent few days.See more ideas for Honeymoons in South Africa
Wellbeing: The new luxurious spa at Constantia Uitsig has views of the mountains and vineyards and a wide-range of treatments and products available. It is the only spa in South Africa to offer “Les Aromes du Vin”, a special body treatment based on the aromatic components of fine wine!See more ideas for Wellbeing in South Africa
Attitude towards children: Children of all ages are welcome.
Equipment: Cots are available in certain rooms. A children's room service menu is available and special meals can be arranged.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: Email and internet access is available in reception or in your room.
TV & radio: Local and satellite TV available
Health & safety
Malarial area: No
Medical care: Doctors and hospitals are nearby.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: There are security guards on duty at night.
Fire safety: There are fire prevention measures in place as befitting a hotel of this standard.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: Yes - Extra Charge
Money: Money exchange is possible although there are numerous banks nearby. There are safes in all the rooms. The keys for the safes are available from reception.