The Vineyard Hotel & Spa is high-quality and has lovely surroundings...
Vineyard Hotel and Spa: Our full report
The Vineyard Hotel and Spa is located in the leafy suburb of Newlands and has spectacular views dominated by Table Mountain. It's a very well-known landmark in Cape Town, and over the years has built up a good reputation and a loyal following of return visitors.
The Vineyard Hotel is around the corner from the upmarket Cavendish Square shopping mall, and within walking distance of the world-renowned Newlands cricket and rugby grounds. A ten-minute drive will take you to the famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and a 15-minute drive will take you to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and Cape Town's city centre.
Nestling in six acres of beautifully landscaped indigenous gardens, it's possible to stroll along pathways in the Vineyard's grounds which follow the Liesbeeck River, and spot hadeda ibis and guinea fowl on the lawns. A 'Garden and Bird Guide' is available in each room for you to take as you amble through the gardens, helping you to identify the local flora and birdlife.
The Vineyard Hotel is a mix of modern contemporary design built around an old historical house dating back to 1799 and is constantly being updated to keep up with current hotel trends.
The Vineyard has a large and spacious foyer with ceramic-tiled floors and a central antique table topped with a large arrangement of fresh flowers. Located just off the foyer is Vineyard Antiques, a small shop specialising in antiques, silver and porcelain, as well as a separate shop selling local curios and jewellery.
Directly behind the foyer, in the glass-roofed central courtyard, The Square restaurant is furnished with modern high-backed padded chairs. Lush green plants and tall trees give it a light and tropical feel. Here you will be served à la carte breakfasts, lunches and dinners and there is also a sushi bar which is open in the evenings. There is also a separate bar with large floor-to-ceiling windows leading out onto a terrace overlooking the garden.
Myoga restaurant, which is independently owned, is also in the main building, overlooking the gardens with views towards Table Mountain. Here you will be offered lunch and dinner in more modern surroundings, sampling 'global fusion' cuisine ranging from Mediterranean mezes to eastern style. This restaurant was included in Conde Nast Travellers 'Hot List' for 2008.
The Health and Fitness Centre is a modern extension to the hotel built of glass and steel. It has two heated swimming pools, one outdoor and one indoor, as well as a fully equipped gym. Here you will also find the Splash Café which serves healthy snacks, soft drinks and smoothies. Housed in the Fitness Centre is one of the Vineyard's shops, selling a wide variety and gifts and curios.
Adjoining the Fitness Centre is the Angsana Spa which is run by the international Banyan Tree Group. Here you will find a peaceful and relaxing environment to enjoy a variety of pampering treatments for body and mind!
There are 207 rooms at the Vineyard Hotel, ranging from single rooms to very smart, two-bedroom self catering cottages in the grounds of the hotel. At the time of our visit (November 2007) a lot of the rooms were undergoing extensive refurbishment and upgrading. This is part of a rolling programme of updating the hotel – using their own team of in-house craftspeople. We are very impressed to see that far from resting on its laurels, the Vineyard really is keeping updated and on top of the game.
Most of the rooms in the main part hotel are divided into either: mountain-facing rooms – with views over the gardens towards Table Mountain; or courtyard-facing rooms, which look onto an open-air Japanese-style courtyard. The lush tropical trees and vegetation, and water-features, make this a calm and tranquil setting to look out onto.
The Vineyard Hotel's room types are:
- Courtyard-facing rooms - these rooms are 22m² and have separate en-suite bathrooms.
- Deluxe Courtyard-facing rooms - these rooms are similar to the above rooms, with en-suite bathrooms, but are slightly bigger (26m²). The downstairs rooms have sliding doors leading out on to the courtyard.
- Mountain-facing rooms - these rooms are also 22m² with an en-suite bathroom. They have views of the beautiful gardens and Table Mountain beyond.
- Deluxe Mountain-facing rooms - these rooms have the same outlook as the mountain-facing rooms, mentioned above, but are slightly bigger (26m²). They also have en-suite bathrooms as well as a private balcony or patio.
- Junior Suites - some of these rooms are located longside the spa overlooking the river; while others are in the main building with views overlooking the gardens. They comprise a bedroom/living room, covering approximately 33m², with en-suite bathroom and private balcony.
- Suites - these suites are bigger, with a separate lounge and en-suite bedroom and have doors leading out on to a private terrace.
- Cottages - there are also five self-catering cottages located in the gardens of the Vineyard Hotel, each having two bedrooms, two bathrooms, lounge, dining room and kitchen and are ideal for families traveling together or guests planning a longer stay in Cape Town.
Our viewThe Vineyard Hotel is a good-value, upmarket hotel in a beautiful green setting which works well for families, couples or single travellers. It's fairly large, which perhaps helps it to run very smoothly and professionally, and has a central location, close to many of Cape Town's sights. The Vineyard remains independent and family-run; it's not part of any chain. What's perhaps most impressive about it is that it continues to reinvent itself – by updating and upgrading its rooms and facilities. So whilst generally the Expert Africa team aren't keen on larger hotels, the Vineyard ranks as a very honourable exception.
Ideal length of stay: 4-5 days
Owner: Privately owned
Food & drink
Usual board basis: B&B
Food quality: Very good, as befits a high standard hotel - with a couple of top-quality restaurants, as well as simpler fare and room service.
The staff were very friendly and efficient.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Drinks included: No
Family holidays: At the upmarket but good-value Vineyard Hotel children can enjoy a large pool and beautiful, tranquil gardens. Slightly separated from the main buildings, the hotel’s individual cottages offer laid-back family holidays in South Africa. There are qualified child-minders here.See more ideas for Family holidays in South Africa
Wellbeing: The Angsana Spa is part of the international Banyan Tree group (probably the best spa group in the world) and their Thai therapists have all been trained in the Far East. A wide-range of treatments and products are available here for a relaxing and therapeutic stay.See more ideas for Wellbeing in South Africa
Attitude towards children: Children are welcome.
Property’s age restrictions: Children of all ages welcome.
Special activities & services: Babysitters are available (additional cost) to look after children. Note that these are trained child-minders.
Equipment: There are highchairs in the restaurants and cots in the bedrooms.
Generally recommended for children: Yes
Notes: The Vineyard Hotel accepts children of all ages and they are welcome here. The cottages are ideal for accommodating families.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: Direct-dial phones in all the rooms as well as free internet access. There is also a separate Business Centre with computers, fax machines and printers for guests to use.
TV & radio: Yes local and satelite TV is available in all the rooms.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: No
Medical care: There is a doctor's surgery around the corner and hospitals are nearby.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: 24 hour security guards are on duty.
Fire safety: There is a fire escape plan in each room.
Disabled access: In Place
Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Extra Charge. Dry cleaning is also available.
Money: Money exchange is possible. There are electronic safes in all the rooms.
Accepted payment on location: Most international credit cards are accepted as well as travellers cheques. Cash is accepted in SA rands, pounds sterling, US dollars and euros.