Lanzerac has re-opened! The Hotel & Spa located on the outskirts of Stellenbosch in the lush Jonkershoek Valley is a luxurious getaway just 45 minutes from Cape Town’s CBD, a landmark destination that’s the perfect place to indulge in a post confinement getaway as travel opens up more and hotels follow suit.
This is an older post that I wrote in March last year and it’s getting updated as part of my mission to get behind local tourism in a big way. Before that 2019 visit, the last time I’d found myself at Lanzerac was about thirty-five years ago, not a word of lie. I had friends attending Uni in Stellenbosch and Lanzerac was our go-to on weekends. It remains now, as it was then, on many a hot list, a property with a stately feel to it without being uppity. And of course there’s all that fine wine, great food and heritage. It’s a hotel that offers guests a premium experience on every level.
Lanzerac’s story throws back to 1692, thirteen years after the town of Stellenbosch was founded. The late David Rawdon, a legendary name in the South African hotel industry also known as the ‘Laird of Matjiesfontein’, purchased the property in 1958 and converted the farm into the hotel that has become synonymous with elegance, sophistication and offering a unique winelands experience.
It has always been a splendid property but the restoration and refurb after the fire of 2017 has taken everything up a notch. The man behind the renovations, gardens, interior and exterior design is Con van der Colff, who together with his team has succeeded in creating a gorgeous re-imagining. The look and feel is a juxtaposition of contemporary aesthetic and Cape Dutch architecture, celebrating a rich Cape heritage that pays homage to a bygone era.
I stayed in Browns Cottage, # 209, a spacious suite complete with a private pool and garden edging onto the vineyards. All 53 rooms and suites at Lanzerac differ one to another and Con has clearly paid attention to the finest of details, right down to the bedside stationery.
The first vines were planted on Lanzerac by the farms first owner, Isaac Schrijver, who named the farm Schoongezicht, meaning wonderful view. Lanzerac’s 1959 Pinotage was the first-ever commercially bottled wine of this variety and today, if you feel like splurging, don’t leave without a bottle of one of their finest in your bag, the Pionier. It costs around R975 a bottle and it’s that good. (For more about the iconic Lanzerac pinotage, read Emile Joubert’s interview with Lanzerac wine maker Wynand Lategan.) Book a leisurely wine tasting at the Tasting Room and sample the broad range of wines on offer (including the more inexpensive pinotage in case you were in a Pionier panic), with a generous cheese platter on the side.
Restaurants and bars
When it comes to restaurants and bars, Lanzerac has a a comprehensive offering. I enjoyed an excellent dinner at the Taphuis and breakfast, in the roomy Manor Kitchen, was complete with oysters and a glass of MCC on the side, a decadent departure from the norm.
Lanzerac is offering a special this month: stay for 3 nights & pay for 2. also, if you book for 2021 you’ll pay for 2020 rates. Find out more about the guest experience here.
For what to do in Stellenbosch, click here.