Everyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I’m a huge fan of the Cape region. Not only for the great wines (truth be told, it is my favourite wine region in the world) but also for the endless array of culinary gems which you can find across the whole region. And then we didn’t even talk about the beauty of nature in this part of the world!
A few weeks back I visited the region once again and this time we opted to stay at the Lanzerac wine estate. A well-known name with a good amount of fame which not only produces great wines but also has an amazing estate where you can enjoy a luxurious stay. The perfect combo.
You can’t get more central than this, as it is located a few minutes from the city centre of Stellenbosch, the capital of the Cape wine region. Lanzerac is a huge estate, and thanks to the surrounding hills, mountains and vineyards it feels like you are kilometers away from any form of civilization. You really don’t need anything else to escape the daily rat race.
It all started in 1692 when Isaac Schrijver planted the first vineyards and gave the estate the name Schoongezicht (which means as much as “beautiful view”, and I couldn’t agree with him more as it is still very accurate). Only in 1920 did the new owner of the estate change the name into Lanzerac. She also made sure that Lanzerac became one of the most modern wineries of that time which enabled it to produce several top-class wines. In 1958 they converted some of the buildings into an elegant hotel which quickly built a very good reputation for itself. But in 2017 there was a massive fire in the main building of the hotel. As a result, they decided to close for 13 months and renovate not only the parts that were damaged but the whole property in order to turn it into one of the best in the wine region once again. And they not only achieved that goal, but they also went beyond it!
All the rooms are unique, thanks to the use of antique furniture which you can’t just buy in the shop around the corner. But, that doesn’t mean the rooms feel old and dated, on the contrary. We stayed in a junior suite which was really spacious and airy. The bed-and living room are divided in two separate area’s which make them feel more cozy. All the modern comforts can be found in the room, and if you are a bathroom person you’ll be a happy camper over here. The walk-in shower was by far my favorite, though I’m sure many of you could spend hours relaxing in the freestanding bath. The minibar is fully stocked with all the yummy stuff you can wish for and of course it is all included. There are two TV’s in the room, but who needs those when you have an amazing view outside which beats any series or movie. Our suite had a little terrace outside which made it the perfect spot to enjoy all those views while having your morning coffee or that afternoon glass (ok, we all know this turns into a full bottle) of wine.
For both, this is the place to be. And you don’t need to stay at the hotel to enjoy the bars or restaurants. Like many wine estates, Lanzerac offers wine tastings to show off the beautiful wines they produce. There are many different options at the tasting room, even a chocolate and wine pairing. I mean, who can resist that? In the same building you’ll also find the Deli, which offers freshly baked breads, local cheeses, delicate cuts of meat,… But, a wine estate with this history and standing deserves a gourmet restaurant, and the Manor Kitchen is the perfect answer. Beautiful culinary plates will be placed in front of you while you enjoy the great atmosphere in the restaurant itself, but also in the kitchen as you can see the magic happen behind a huge glass wall. If you are looking for something less formal you really need to try the Taphuis. Think of it as a pub where you can eat some delicious food at the bar, but also sit down on the terrace and enjoy the views over the estate lawns. In winter times the fireplace inside will make this place feel even more like heaven, hence why it is a popular spot for many visitors that don’t stay on the estate. Finishing the day or evening is done at the Craven lounge. A beautiful bar which feels like it has been flown over from the Scottish highlands with its chesterfield chairs and an endless list of spirits to make you feel right at home. In case you are still hungry, there’s a small menu with some really yummy stuff to get your tummy full.
Due to the size of the estate, there’s enough space to host a variety of facilities. There are for example a multitude of meeting rooms in all sizes and forms. It also shouldn’t come as a surprise that the gardens, restaurants, hotel and the whole estate in general is a hotspot for bridal parties. The flexibility with the different reception rooms on offer only enhances this. Those who are looking to be more active shouldn’t stay home either. There are 3 swimming pools of which the biggest one gets my preference. On top of that you’ll find that some suites have their own pool too, which results in being at the pool all by yourself most of the time. Of course there is also the spa, where you can relax while enjoying some of the best views on the estate. The whole spa is a beautiful space that you really need to experience when staying over here. Or as a guest, cause it isn’t required to stay the night to enjoy this amazing place. I found it the perfect spot to enjoy the sunset from either the jacuzzi or the heated pool. The gym is located in the same building, but let’s be honest, we all know how much time we would spend there while staying at a wine estate like this….right?
How to book
The quickest is of course through their website being www.lanzerac.co.za where you can find rooms from around 4.000 ZAR. But for this trip I used Destinate Travelas it caters to people who are looking for connections with places, but also people. They offer experiences and packages that are tapping into the very heart of South Africa and when I found the Franschhoek Bubbly Festival on their website, I was hooked. Especially because they combine it with great culture and cuisine which I surely experienced at Lanzerac. You can find out more on www.destinate.co.za/packages/travel or mail them on email@example.com and I’m sure they’ll be able to come up with a great trip for you too.
Lanzerac is without a doubt a beautiful estate where you’ll have an amazing stay. The way they blend their history and product with the modern days of hospitality is remarkable. It’s clear they made the right decision to do a complete renovation after the fire and the new Lanzerac will make sure its guest will have a wonderful stay. I would return without any hesitation, even if it was just for a nice glass on the spa terrace while looking at the sunset over the mountains.
Guest Blog: Text and Images by Kristof Eyckmans @KEyckmans