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Cellars-Hohenort: Our full report

In the heart of Constantia, one of Cape Town’s leafiest and most affluent suburbs, The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel ...

... lies close to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. It’s a Relais & Châteaux hotel, set in nine acres of manicured, award-winning gardens, for which it is well known, with a small vineyard and forested area. The name relates to the original cellars of the 18th-century Klaasenbosch wine estate, and the Hohenort Manor House – both of which have been beautifully restored.

This delightful five-star hotel exudes elegance, thanks to a blend of old buildings and antique furniture with modern chic, but friendly staff keep the atmosphere relaxed and personal – which we’ve witnessed over the years and on our most recent visit in November 2018. The Cellars-Hohenort combines well with its two sister properties outside Cape Town; The Marine in the little seaside town of Hermanus, and The Plettenberg in the heart of the Garden Route’s Plettenberg Bay.

Split between the Cellars Main House and the historic Hohenort Manor House, the hotel’s 51 luxurious rooms and suites fall into five categories, including two self-contained villas. All have lovely views: over the Cape Peninsula from the Hohenort building, or of the gardens from the Cellars Main House. Rooms in the manor house are more Edwardian in style, whereas those in the main house have a more contemporary flavour, but high ceilings throughout give a bright and airy feel. Design and furnishing are individual to each room, often with a floral theme befitting the hotel's garden setting.

There are en-suite bathrooms with complimentary toiletries, of course, and every room and suite also has a TV and DVD player, air conditioning and heating, a hairdryer and an electronic safe. More personal touches include a bottle of wine and fruit platter on arrival, tea- and coffee-making facilities, a complimentary minibar, WiFi, hot water bottles in the beds in winter and a complimentary newspaper.

  • 23 Standard rooms are located in both the Cellars Main House and the Hohenort Manor House; these have a couple of comfy chairs, and a small desk or table.
  • The seven Luxury rooms are in the historic Hohenort building, and are larger with a lounge area within the bedroom. Only four of these have a veranda, leading out from the bedroom.
  • All of the 11 Suites have a separate lounge area, a walk-in wardrobe and particularly spacious bathroom.
  • 7 Premier suites are in a separate complex away from both the Hohenort building and the Main House. These are either split level or on one floor, and are extremely spacious with a separate lounge and a kitchenette. They have either a small garden area or balcony with views over the garden.
  • The Madiba Villa, named after former president Nelson Mandela, is a double-storey, Cape Dutch-style, self-contained house with its own separate driveway. Ideal for friends or a family travelling together, it has three en-suite bedrooms, a large open-plan lounge and dining room with a fireplace and its own private courtyard with a small swimming pool. 24-hour butler service can be arranged for an additional cost.
  • The Liz McGrath Villa is the newest addition to the villas, added in 2015 after the passing of founder and owner Liz McGrath. This self-contained two-storey villa was her home and comes with two spacious en-suite bedrooms and a large private courtyard leading out from the lounge and dining room. The villa is ideal for friends or a family looking for privacy, and one of the Premier suites shares a private enclosed foyer – which can be used as an additional bedroom.
  • In the main areas of The Cellars-Hohenort, the tone is set by large displays of fresh flowers and paintings by local artists. The hotel has two excellent restaurants: The Conservatory, in the Cellars Main House, serves fresh produce from the gardens and is open all day. It has a lovely outside terrace where most guests enjoy breakfast in the summer months, or you can just relax with a drink while taking in the views of the gardens.

    The hotel’s flagship restaurant, Greenhouse, is in the Hohenort Manor House and is the more formal of the two, offering fine dining in the evenings from Tuesday to Saturday, and lunch on Fridays and Saturdays. Bookings are essential. In November 2018 it was voted sixth in South Africa’s Eat Out Awards.

    Adjacent to each restaurant is a bar, both elegantly decorated and with comfortable seating areas. In The Martini Bar beside The Conservatory, high tea from 3.00pm can spill out onto the terrace, then in the evening this is the place for drinks and cocktails, including of course martini – with over 152 martinis on its drinks menu! In the Hohenort Manor House, diners at the Greenhouse restaurant often start their evening with pre-dinner drinks at the adjacent Greenhouse Bar, which has lovely views of the gardens.

    The Cellars-Hohenort has two solar-heated swimming pools, one in the terraced gardens of the Hohenort Manor House, and the smaller one beside the main Cellars building in a secluded little garden. For those wanting a little more exercise, there is a tennis court with racquets and balls provided, a small gym with just a treadmill, bikes and weights (but guests also have complimentary access to the nearby Virgin Active gym) and mountain bikes, which guests may use to explore the immediate surroundings of Constantia and the many wooded trails. The old putting green is now a picnic lawn under the tall oak trees and croquet and pétanque (French garden bowls) sets are available at reception. For those more into pampering, there's a Wellness Spa, a hair salon and a boutique which offers a selection of items from acclaimed South African designers.

    For those wishing to explore further afield, there’s a once-daily complimentary shuttle service to the V&A Waterfront, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and the nearby Constantia Village Mall.

    Our view

    The Cellars-Hohenort is a luxury hotel offering a relaxing place to stay in beautiful surroundings close to Cape Town’s city centre and major attractions. The tasteful mix of contemporary and antique furniture creates an elegant ambience, and the staff are professional, friendly and polite. It’s the ideal choice for a Cape Town hotel with a quiet country feel.

    Lucy Copson

    Lucy Copson

    South Africa expert


    Cape Town, South Africa
    Ideal length of stay
    Allow 3–4 nights to explore Cape Town’s main highlights, and longer if time permits so that you can enjoy this beautiful hotel and its tranquil surroundings.
    From the airport, follow the N2 Highway towards Cape Town and take the turnoff to "Muizenberg, M3" to the left. Continue along the M3 (Edinburgh Drive) past the suburbs of Claremont, Bishop's Court and Wynberg. Take Exit 14 off the M3.
    Turn left at the intersection, travelling under the bridge. At the second set of traffic lights, turn right into Brommersvlei Road. The entrance to the hotel will be on the left, 2.5 km down Brommersvlei Road.
    Accessible by

    Food & drink

    Usual board basis
    Bed & Breakfast
    Food quality
    The standard of food at The Cellars-Hohenort is excellent. There’s even a cookery book based around the signature dishes from this and the other two 'Collection' properties – The Marine in Hermanus and The Plettenberg in Plettenberg Bay.

    A full continental and hot breakfast is served in The Conservatory restaurant or outside on the terrace.

    For lunch, also in The Conservatory, there is a full à la carte menu with starters (when we last visited in November 2018) ranging from R70–135 (£3.50–7.50) for seasonal vegetable soup, sourdough toasties and Cape Malay Tuna Tataki to main courses at R210–300 (£11–16.50) for an Oak Valley Angus beefburger, herb-crusted springbok loin or teriyaki tuna.

    For dinner you have a choice of two restaurants, both serving top cuisine. In The Conservatory, the à la carte menu has starters at R90–160 (£5–9), main courses at R210–340 (£11–18.50) and desserts at R70–90 (£3.50–5).

    The Greenhouse offers fine dining, with a seasonal menu that makes the most of the local produce. A four-course tasting menu costs R565 (£33) per person, or you can indulge in seven courses for R785 (£46). Both restaurants also have extensive wine lists.

    Alternatively you can, of course, opt to dine out at one of the many restaurants found in Cape Town!
    Dining style
    Individual Tables
    Dining locations
    Indoor and Outdoor Dining
    Further dining info, including room service
    Room service is available.
    Drinks included
    Drinks are not included.

    Special interests

    Cellars-Hohenort is the perfect place for those seeking an idyllic holiday with a luxurious feel. Its delightful, old-fashioned character combined with high-quality furniture/furnishings and unique features like its own vineyard, add to its exclusive ambience.
    See ideas for Luxury in South Africa


    Attitude towards children
    Children of all ages are welcome at The Cellars-Hohenort.
    Property’s age restrictions
    There is no age restriction.
    Special activities & services
    Professional child minders, “Kids at Heart”, are available at R185 (£10) per hour. There is no kids’ clubs but children can enjoy the extensive gardens, the tennis, swimming, mountain biking and croquet, as well as DVDs for a rainy day.
    Child-friendly meals are on the menu.

    Cots and highchairs are provided.

    Generally recommended for children
    Until recently, The Cellars-Hohenort did not accept children under the age of 12, but they are now much more family friendly and are making a concerted effort to welcome children of all ages. Note however that this is still a very smart, sophisticated hotel and we do not feel it is suitable for families with wild and noisy children. We recommend booking ground-floor rooms for children under the age of six.
    There are no lifeguards on duty at the pool, so children must be supervised by their parents at all times.


    Every room has a direct-dial phone, and a complimentary Handy Phone for guests to use for the duration of their stay, offering unlimited internet access. There is cellphone reception and WiFi throughout the hotel, and a computer room with two computers for guests to use.

    The hotel has an in-house travel desk where they are happy to reconfirm flights and onward arrangements and also to book tours for guests.
    TV & radio
    All rooms have a TV with selected satellite services, as well as a DVD player.
    Water supply
    Water supply notes
    All the toilets and garden irrigation systems use water from a borehole.

    Health & safety

    Malarial protection recommended
    Medical care
    There are doctors nearby as well as hospitals.

    Balconies: Due to balconies in rooms on the upper floors, we recommend that families with young children book ground floor rooms.

    Quadbike warning: Quadbiking with a third party can be arranged from The Cellars-Hohenort. As with any potentially dangerous activity, it's vital that you take responsibility for ensuring that you have adequate travel insurance prior to getting involved. Be aware that some insurance policies cover quadbike activities only for bikes with lower engine ratings; do check such clauses particularly carefully before you get on a bike.
    Dangerous animals
    Security measures
    There are security guards on duty day and night, and security cameras are in place throughout the hotel.
    Fire safety
    There are fire extinguishers and smoke detectors throughout the hotel, and evacuation plans are posted on the back of each bedroom door.


    • Birdwatching


    • Boat trip

      Boat trip

    • Canoeing


    • Cultural excursion

      Cultural excursion

    • Dune-boarding


    • Fishing


    • Helicopter


    • Horse-riding


    • Hot air ballooning

      Hot air ballooning

    • Kayaking


    • Microlight


    • Mountain biking

      Mountain biking

    • Quad-biking


    • Scuba-diving


    • Self-guided walking

      Self-guided walking

    • Snorkelling


    • Watersports



    Disabled access
    In Place
    Laundry facilities
    Laundry is available at an extra charge. Dry cleaning is also available.
    The hotel can change money, albeit with a 15% handling fee.
    Accepted payment on location
    The hotel accepts payment with Visa, Amex and Mastercard, and cash in South African rand. They will also accept foreign currency converted into rand at the day's exchange rate.

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