Vineyard Hotel: Our full report
The Vineyard Hotel 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 giant tortoises (a huge hit with children) 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. To one side of this is large a comfortable seating area and business centre. 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.
Adjacent to the foyer is Long Café – a coffee drinkers paradise. The Café has a touch of old and new design features, including an impressive locally made blown glass chandelier and original artwork.
Directly behind the foyer, in the glass-roofed central courtyard, The Square restaurant is furnished with modern high and low-backed padded chairs. Lush green plants and tall trees give it a light and tropical feel. Here you are served breakfasts; lunches and dinners, and there is also a sushi bar which is open in the evenings. The dinner menu here changes every 3 days and uses fresh local produce.
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.
The Garden Lounge is a wonderfully relaxed venue to enjoy light meals or snacks and afternoon tea, either inside by the bar on comfy sofas, or head outside via the large floor-to-ceiling windows onto the terrace overlooking the gardens and Table Mountain beyond.
There are 208 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 (February 2016) some rooms were undergoing 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 30m² 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 (34m²). The downstairs rooms have sliding doors leading out on to the courtyard.
- Mountain-facing rooms - these rooms are 30m² 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, are also (30m²) and have en-suite bathrooms but they boast a private balcony or patio.
- Mountain-facing Voorkamer - these rooms also overlook the gardens and Table Mountain but are located on the 2nd floor of the Manor House. Very different in style, they have a Victorian theme and large king size four-poster bed, as well as an en-suite bathrooms.
- Junior Suites - some of these rooms (the smallest being 55m²) are located longside the spa overlooking the river (River Facing Junior Suites); while others are in the main building with views overlooking the gardens (Garden Facing Junior Suites). They comprise a bedroom/living room, en-suite bathroom and private balcony or patio.
- Suites - these suites are bigger at 57m² or more, with a separate lounge and en-suite bedroom and some have doors leading out on to a private terrace or balcony. Again there is a choice of either River or a Mountain Facing Suites
- Deluxe Suites - these suites (85m²), have been newly designed and incorporate large bedrooms, a separate lounge with 6-seater dining table and small bar, and en-suite bedroom. Doors lead out on to a spacious balcony with great views of both the gardens and Mountain.
- Francois Suite - in memory of the late owner, Francois Petousis, overlooking the garden he created, this 82m² suite has a bedroom with en suite bathroom as well as a lounge area, large patio and an additional visitors bathroom.
- Kitty Suite - is the Vineyards premier suite located on the third floor affording great views of Table Mountain. This luxury suite has a large bedroom and an en suite bathroom with bath and separate shower. From the lounge, floor to ceiling glass doors open out onto an impressive 18m² rooftop balcony, with loungers, chairs and table.
- Cottages - there are also six 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.
The Health and Fitness Centre at the Vineyard is a modern extension to the hotel built of glass and steel. It has two heated swimming pools, one large outdoor and one small 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!
On-site activities include a guided walk around the lush gardens followed by afternoon tea, plus during the summer months there are various activities laid on for children including treasure hunts in search of the tortoises, arts and crafts and movies.
Close by you can easily spend a day exploring Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, and beyond this you have a plethora of exciting things to see and do in and around Cape Town.
The 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.
Country manager: South Africa
- Cape Town, South Africa
- Ideal length of stay
- 3-6 days, depending on how long you have for your holiday. There is plenty to see and do in Cape Town.
- Located on the ‘back’ side of Table Mountain in the Newlands area of Cape Town, the Vineyard Hotel is a mere 15 minutes form the city centre and Waterfront and about 20 minutes from the International airport.
- Accessible by
- Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Bed & Breakfast
- Food quality
- The Vineyard has several venues for dining as mentioned above - with a couple of top-quality restaurants, as well as a couple more relaxed venues with simpler fare - all offer food of a very high standard, as befits a top quality hotel.
The breakfast served in The Square has an enormous selection. In 2016 we found a buffet with a vast array of cereals, fruit, breads, meats, cheeses, pastries, and hot eggs, sausages etc, as well as a more elaborate à la carte menu with further choices. You really don’t need a lunch after eating here!
During our stay we also ate on the verandah in front of The Garden Lounge and one evening at the bar, as well as The Square another evening. On all occasions the food was delicious and the staff very friendly and efficient.
The afternoon tea of cakes, pastries and savoury dishes is available in the Garden Lounge between 15:30 – 17:30 daily, with their ‘snack menu’ available 15:00 to 18:00. Their main menu is throughout the day.
Long Café is open daily form 08:00 – to 17:00 and serves an array of coffee as well as light meals, cakes and pastries.
Both Myoga and The Square are open for lunch and evening meals and offer a sophisticated dining experience. We recommend that you pre-book dinner for these, especially during high season when the hotel is full, in order not to be disappointed.
- 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 a laid-back option for a family holiday in South Africa. There are qualified child-minders here too.
- See ideas for Family holidays
- 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 and offer a wellbeing experience in South Africa not to be missed.
- See ideas for Wellbeing
- Attitude towards children
- Children are openly welcome here.
- Property’s age restrictions
- Children of all ages can stay at the Vineyard.
- Special activities & services
- Mainly over the summer months, there are a variety of supervised activities for children, including treasure hunts in search of the Vineyard tortoises, outdoor activities and a supervised Games Room (open mid Dec-Jan) with arts/crafts, indoor games and films daily.
Babysitters are available (additional cost) to look after children. Note that these are trained child-minders.
There is a dedicated Kid’s Menu in the restaurants (with exception of Myoga which we feel is very much an adult venue anyway).
Additional touches included a present of a hard back story book on arrival.
- There are highchairs in the restaurants and cots in the bedrooms.
- Generally recommended for children
- The Vineyard Hotel accepts children of all ages and they are welcome here. The cottages are ideal for accommodating families.
- There is a direct-dial phone in all the rooms as well as free WiFi. There is also a separate Business Centre with computers, fax machines and printers for guests to use. There is full cell phone reception throughout the hotel.
- TV & radio
- Local and satellite TV is available in all the rooms.
- Water supply
A leading example of energy efficiency
With over two centuries of history, the Vineyard Hotel, originally built in February 1800, has evolved to now be one of the most environmentally-friendly hotels in Cape Town. Perhaps the leading light of the hotel’s sustainable operations stands in combining luxuries with innovative energy-efficient solutions. Impressive numbers stand to confirm the hotel’s commitment for setting high targets when it comes to ‘living green’.
The hotel takes a holistic approach towards saving energy to not only minimize operating costs, but also make efficient use of the resources it has. In terms of using renewable energy, 2400 kWh per month are generated through solar panels, whereas the conference rooms are well-designed to make the best use of natural light and ventilation whenever possible. Furthermore, the hotel has replaced light-bulbs with LED lights, and has also installed timers for outdoor lights, thus cutting down 75% off energy consumption. When it comes to guest rooms, Vineyard is using energy-cards as room keys in 84 of its dormitories, has placed sensors to stop the air conditioning from functioning when the bedroom doors are open, and has also provided bedrooms with energy-efficient mini-bar fridges. To further save on energy, chemicals and water, the hotel has installed new laundry machines which are 34% more energy efficient that previous ones, and washes guest linen and towels only upon visitors’ request.
These measures represent only a glimpse of all the investments Vineyard Hotel does to minimize its environmental footprint. The consistent efforts have brought the hotel worldwide recognition, as awards such as the Green Leaf Environmental Standard Certification: Silver Status stand to confirm.
See more great sustainability projects in South Africa
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- There is a doctor's surgery around the corner and excellent 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.
Hot air ballooning
- Disabled access
- In Place
- Laundry facilities
- Full Laundry Service - Extra Charge.
Dry cleaning is also available.
- 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.
Other lodges in Cape Town
Alternative places to stay in this same area.