The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel is set in the heart of Cape Town's Constantia Valley.
Cellars-Hohenort: Our full report
Close to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in the heart of the Constantia Valley, The Cellars-Hohenort is a delightful Relais & Châteaux property. It is set in nine acres of manicured gardens and vineyards, for which it is well known. The name Cellars Hohenort is derived from the original buildings here – the cellars of the 18th-century Klaasenbosch wine estate and the Hohenort Manor House – both which have been beautifully restored.
There is an overall air of elegance about Cellars Hohenort, thanks to a combination of old buildings and their antiques mixed with modern chic, but friendly staff add a very personal feel. It combines well with its two sister properties, The Marine in Hermanus and The Plettenberg in Plettenberg Bay.
Cellars Hohenort has 48 luxurious rooms and suites, split into five different types, as well as a self-contained villa. All have lovely views of the gardens and mountain or across the vineyards. Each of the rooms has high ceilings, giving a bright and airy feel, and is individually designed and furnished, often with a floral theme befitting the hotel’s garden setting. Depending on the location, in either the Hohenort Manor House or the Cellars Main House, some rooms are modern in design while others are more Edwardian in style, and some have a mix of both.
Every room and suite at The Cellars-Hohenort is en suite and has a TV and DVD player, air conditioning and heating, underfloor heating in both the bedroom and the bathroom, a hairdryer, complimentary toiletries and an electronic safe. Additional extras include a welcome bottle of wine, a fruit platter, tea- and coffee-making facilities, complimentary WiFi, hot water bottles in the beds in winter and a complimentary newspaper.
- Standard rooms, located in the Cellars Main House, have a couple of comfy chairs, and views over the gardens.
- ‘Luxury’ rooms are larger and have a lounge area within the bedroom. These rooms are located both in the Cellars Main House or in the Hohenort Manor House. Some have a small terrace whilst others have a lovely large veranda.
- The suites all have a separate lounge area, walk-in closet and minibar.
- The premier suites (four of which are double storey) have either a small garden area or balcony, as well as a separate lounge and a basic kitchen area.
- The Dove-Cote suite, which had just been renovated prior to our visit in May 2014, has a large bedroom with a king-size four-poster bed, a sitting room with a fireplace, a dining room, a private jacuzzi and a private garden area – perfect for a honeymoon treat.
- The Madiba Villa named after President Nelson Mandela, is a double-storey Cape Dutch-style house set in the hotel grounds, and with three en-suite double rooms is ideal for a small group or a family travelling together. The villa has a large open-plan lounge and dining room with a fireplace, its own private courtyard with a small swimming pool, and 24-hour butler service.
In the main areas of The Cellars-Hohenort, the tone is set by large displays of fresh flowers and the work of local artists. The hotel has two excellent restaurants: The Conservatory in the Cellars Main House, which serves fresh produce from the gardens and is open all day, and The Greenhouse in the Hohenort Manor House. This is the more formal of the two, offering fine dining in the evenings from Tuesday to Saturday, with bookings essential. For an intimate evening meal you can even consider dining in the one-tabled wine cellar.
Alongside each of the two restaurants are the hotel’s bars, each with comfortable seating areas. Of these, The Martini Bar beside The Conservatory restaurant serves both afternoon tea and evening drinks and cocktails, including of course, martini – with over 152 martinis on its drinks menu! Elegant and tastefully but brightly decorated, it has comfy sofas and armchairs. In the Hohenort Manor House, The Fern Bar has lovely views of the gardens, and leads into the Greenhouse Restaurant, so guests often start their evening here with a drink or two before dinner. It also provides a quiet spot in the afternoon for tea or coffee, with a few comfy sofas.
There is also lovely outside terrace in front of The Conservatory where guests can enjoy breakfast or lunch, or just relax with a drink while taking in the views of the gardens.
The Cellars-Hohenort has two swimming pools, one of which is heated, along with other activities that include a chipping and putting green and a tennis court surrounded by a rose garden. There is also a place to play pétanque (similar to the French game of boules) near the herb garden. Nearby is a Virgin Active gym which Cellars-Hohenort guests can use free of charge. For guests wishing to explore the immediate surroundings of Constantia and the many wooded trails on the lower slopes of Table Mountain, the hotel has four bicycles, while for those more into pampering, there’s a Wellness Spa, a hair salon and a boutique.
The Cellars-Hohenort also has its own vineyard, which they have been developing over the past five years, and they now produce 600 bottles of their own dessert wine a year.
A complimentary shuttle service is provided for guests to the V&A Waterfront, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and the nearby Constantia Village Mall.
Our viewThe Cellars-Hohenort is a luxury hotel offering a relaxing place to stay in beautiful, tranquil surrounds close to Cape Town. The tasteful mix of contemporary and antique furniture creates an elegant ambience, and the staff are warm, friendly and totally professional.
Ideal length of stay: Allow 3–4 nights to explore all that Cape Town has to offer, or longer if time permits
Directions: From the N2 Highway (towards Cape Town from airport), 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: Self-drive
Owner: The Collection Liz McGrath
Food & drink
Usual board basis: B&B
Food quality: The quality of food at the Cellars-Hohenort is excellent, with 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 May 2014) at R60–90 (£3.50– 5) and main courses R85–160 (£5–9.50).
For dinner you have a choice of two restaurants, both serving top cuisine. In The Conservatory, the à la carte menu has starters at R60–90 (£3.50–5), main courses at R100–175 (£6–10) and desserts at R60–80 (£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
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £10-15
Drinks included: Drinks are not included
Further dining info: Room service is available
Attitude towards children: Children of all ages are now welcome at Cellars Hohenort.
Property’s age restrictions: There is no age restriction.
Special activities & services: Professional child minders are available at a cost of R200 per hour (£12). Children’s menus are available as well as games and activities.
Equipment: Cots and highchairs are provided. There is a kiddies pool beside one of the adult pools, as well as tennis and petanque for the older children
Generally recommended for children: Until recently, The Cellars Hohenort did not accept children under the age of 12, and while they are now much more family friendly, we consider it to be a very smart, sophisticated hotel and we feel it is really not suitable for children aged under 5 years.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: All the rooms and suites have direct-dial phones. There is cellphone phone reception and WiFi throughout the hotel, and a computer room with two computers for guests to use. There is an in-house travel desk in the hotel 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 DVD player.
Water supply: Mains
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: No
Medical care: There are doctors nearby as well as hospitals.
Quadbike warning: quad-biking is sometimes available as an activity from 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 insurances cover quad-bike activities only for bikes with lower engine ratings: check such clauses particularly carefully before you get on a bike.
Security measures: There are three security guards on duty during the day and two at night. There are security cameras located throughout the hotel.
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers and smoke detectors throughout the hotel and evacuation plans on the back of each bedroom door.
Disabled access: In Place
Laundry facilities: Laundry is available at an extra charge. Dry cleaning is also available.
Money: They can change money however they do charge a 15% handling fee for this service.
Accepted payment on location: The hotel accepts payment by Visa, Amex and MasterCard. They will also accept foreign currency converted into SA rands at the day’s exchange rate. Otherwise payment in SA rands is preferable