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 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.
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.
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.
- 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
- 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.
Hot air ballooning
- 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.
Other lodges in Cape Town
Alternative places to stay in this same area.
In the quiet, leafy suburb of Newlands, the sophisticated Vineyard Hotel has close access to smart shops, sports facilities and the main sights of Cape Town.
Against the awe-inspiring backdrop of Table Mountain, Acorn House offers a traditional guesthouse welcome in a historic setting.
Victoria & Alfred Hotel
The Victoria & Alfred Hotel is a pleasant place to stay whilst visiting Cape Town. It's located at one of the Cape's most visited destinations, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
The five-star Constantia is an elegant, country-style boutique hotel with well-appointed rooms, situated close to Cape Town’s attractions, five world-class wine estates and many superb restaurants.
Camps Bay Retreat
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Four Rosmead is a comfortable, very friendly guest house located very close to the city centre and all its nearby attractions.
The Cape Grace is set in the centre of Cape Town's Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. It's a perfect base for those wanting to be close to restaurants and shops.
Located on one of Cape Town's best beaches, the Long Beach is a great place to relax and explore, although it is further from the city than many other hotels and guesthouses.
Radisson Blu Waterfront
The Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront is located beside the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and has great views of the Atlantic Ocean
The contemporary and comfortable Hotel Verde, within a stone’s throw of Cape Town International Airport, has a strong focus on sustainability and the environment.
On the beachfront at Camps Bay, the Bay Hotel has luxury 5-star amenities, plus close access to one of Cape Towns best beaches as well as lots of restaurants, bars and nightlife.
Mount Nelson Hotel
Mount Nelson Hotel is Cape Town's oldest and most famous hotel. It's a place to be seen and the best address for a delicious afternoon tea.
The welcoming Twelve Apostles Hotel has a great location overlooking the ocean, just a short drive to the beach and restaurants of Camps Bay.