Welcome to Schoone Oordt Country House

Schoone Oordt Country House is a charming country hotel in Swellendam South Africa, possibly the best of Swellendam accommodation, with 10 luxury bedrooms set in lush gardens, an intimate Conservatory restaurant, a sparkling saltwater pool and a passion for people, family, food, wine and the environment.

Francois talks about their trip to Schoone Oordt Country House.

KC:  How far is Schoone Oordt Country House from Cape Town?

Francois:  After about 2 and a half hours’ drive from Cape Town you will discover Swellendam (one of South Africa’s hidden treasures) with Schoone Oordt Country House being one of the gems within this beautiful village.

Schoone Oordt Country House

KC:  What made you decide to stay at Schoone Oordt Country House?

Francois:  About 3 years ago we drove through Swellendam for a quick lunch and I saw this beautiful Victorian building as we were looking for a place to eat. I immediately asked my wife to settle the kids somewhere suitable – as I wanted to go and see if this striking building could be a boutique hotel… and it was!

Since then I have wanted to experience this charming establishment firsthand.

KC:  What was your first impression of Schoone Oordt Country House on arrival?

Francois:  Attention to detail and authenticity – old world charm, handmade furniture, antiques, wooden floors, rich textures and friendly warm smiles greeting us as we arrived.

KC:  What was the service like?

Francois:  Very attentive and friendly. We were fortunate to meet the owners (Alison and Richard Walker) with their lovely children. They made us feel right at home and it really felt like we were old friends getting together.

Schoone Oordt Country House

KC:  Is it child friendly?

Francois:  Yes, with Schoone Oordt’s owners having 4 kids themselves – everything has been tested as child friendly and our kids were very welcome. They even arranged a babysitter for all the guests’ kids while we were having dinner.

KC:  What activities are offered at Schoone Oordt Country House?

Francois:  The Conservatory Restaurant is onsite and known as one of the top culinary experiences in the area. There are also many activities that can be arranged from the Schoone Oordt concierge service – from wine tours, horse riding, excursions to the De Hoop reserve and more – or just take a stroll down Swellendams main road with antique shops, coffee shops and other treats.

KC:  What was the food like?

Schoone Oordt Country House

Francois:  We were privileged to have been invited by Alison and Richard to a traditional braai and spent hours along the long dinner table in the Conservatory Restaurant sharing stories and laughter with the other Schoone Oordt guests. The food was great.

Breakfast was also fantastic and Schoone Oordt’s eggs benedict with salmon has my vote any day!

KC:  What was the highlight of your stay at Schoone Oordt Country House?

Francois:  The leisurely, traditional braai in the Conservatory Restaurant with interesting people and no time restrictions.

KC:  What should potential visitors take note of?

Francois:  Driving from Cape Town can become a long trip – so make it a journey and plan a stopover somewhere in the middle (Gabrielskloof Wine Estate (in Bot River) is always a winner for us). I would also recommend that you stay at least 2 nights at Schoone Oordt to allow you to experience what this special boutique and surrounds have to offer.

KC:  Who is Schoone Oordt Country House ideal for (i.e. The type of client you would sell this product to)?

Francois:  Young and old enjoying boutique-style service with an appreciation for architecture and interior.

In short: if you have style, you will love it.

Point out of 5
Service  5
Food  5
Location  5
Facilities  5
Décor  5
Attention to detail  5
Value for money  5

Should Schoone Oordt Country House sound like music to your ears, contact Klein Collection at info@kleincollection.com to book your stay.

Cathedral Peak Hotel

Jonathan and Sophie Ellaby check out this iconic retreat in KZN’s Drakensberg mountains

We’ve been incredibly fortunate to visit some of the most outstanding hotels in the world, but Cathedral Peak Hotel, nestled in the majestic Drakensberg Mountains is without a doubt the one that tops them all when it comes to location. With the soaring peaks of The Bell, Cathedral Peak itself, Inner and Outer Horn and the Chessmen towering above us, the views are nothing short of breathtaking. From every corner of the hotel, be it the lounge, restaurant, your room or the pool, you won’t miss out on the view, the mountains.

P1050188 (1)But this place is not just about looking at the mountains. A visit to Cathedral Peak Hotel is all about enjoying and experiencing what this place of great natural beauty has to offer. And the list is long. The hotel offers daily activity programs for adults and children alike; horse-back riding, swimming, climbing Cathedral Peak (not for the faint-hearted), guided walks to nearby waterfalls, quad biking or golfing on the spectacular 9-hole golf course. The list goes on and on. There are even two tennis courts, a volleyball and squash court…oh, and there’s a bowling green…and yes, a spa to relieve those sore hiker’s muscles. And with its guest-carrying capacity of over 200, it’s ideal for not only weddings (it has the most picturesque chapel on site) but also for larger conferences. Yet, despite its size, the hotel manages the personal and intimate feel for all guests and you never feel ‘lost’.

P1050175 (1) The hotel was a vision of Albert van der Riet whose original farmhouse from 1907 still stands on the property. The hotel itself opened in 1939 and was revamped most recently in 2008, now offering even more luxurious rooms, including honeymoon suites and a presidential suite. The hotel is still family-run and most of the staff come from the nearby village. From the moment we arrived, it’s obvious that they cherish this place and are proud to be working here. As we often conclude about the places we visit, it’s the people and smiling faces that make that last little difference to an overall experience; and at Cathedral Peak Hotel we were welcomed with big smiles from the security guard to Michelle at the reception, to our porter and to Siraaj, the banqueting manager who gave us an extensive tour of the grounds.

P1050191

We were lucky to visit during two days of wonderful sunshine in April, with the Berg lit up in endless shades of green from the summer’s rainfall. From our room we do some bird-watching from our deck and spot a Swee Waxbill before heading down for the sumptuous dinner buffet; we stuff ourselves with yummy starters and mains before realizing that there are more than 20 delectable desserts on offer as well… needless to say that we weren’t particularly hungry when it came to the following morning’s massive, delicious breakfast buffet!

A two-night stay here is the absolute minimum if you want to take full advantage of what the hotel has to offer. And if you’re a family with small children, this place might just be heaven: babysitting can easily be arranged at a nominal fee, children have their own dining room (with supervision) and there’s pony rides, mini-golf, painting competitions and tractor rides on offer for the littlies.

The Cathedral Peak Hotel defines the concept of a mountain retreat, it’s a South African icon, loved by many families who return here generation after generation. It may be 4-star, but nonetheless provides 5-star service, food and 10-star views! There’s nowhere else like it. We love it.

The incredible La Residence in Franschhoek, South Africa

La Residence is in a class of its own. Located in the beautiful Franschhoek valley at the heart of a private 30-acre estate, this is a haven of luxury on every level. Surrounded by vineyards and plum orchards, with a stunning mountain backdrop, La Residence enjoys breathtaking views of the unspoilt rural surrounds and an atmosphere of complete tranquility.

Francois talks about his recent trip to LA RESIDENCE

Klein Collection: How far is LA RESIDENCE from Cape Town?

Francois: La Residence is located on the mountainside of Franschhoek – a scenic 60 minutes drive from Cape Town.

Klein Collection: What made you decide to stay at LA RESIDENCE?

Francois: It was both my and Carien’s birthdays during the month of September and we thought it to be a good idea to experience La Residence… and see for ourselves what the fuss is about.

Klein Collection: What was your first impression of LA RESIDENCE on arrival?

Francois: Opulent grandeur from the minute we arrived at La Residence. Friendly staff, beautiful French influenced architecture, rich textures and colours with crystal chandeliers throughout.

Klein Collection: What was the service like?

Francois: The staff at La Residence have perfected the art of service – and as a guest all your needs are taken care of effortlessly with your personal space and privacy being a key consideration at all times. (Things just happen around you without you having to ask for it.)

Klein Collection: Is it child friendly?

Francois: The main hotel welcomes children from 12 years and older. The luxurious villas (with own kitchen, lounge and some even have a private pool) allow children of all ages.

Klein Collection: What activities are offered at LA RESIDENCE?

Francois: La Residence has a concierge service and all Franschhoek and surrounding experiences can be arranged on behalf of the guest (anything from wine tours, township tours, trout fishing and more). In my opinion the culinary experience coupled by an amazing wine selection at La Residence sets the benchmark for the luxury market in South Africa.

Klein Collection: What was the food like?

Francois: Really incredible culinary experience – a food lovers dream; the personal touch of the chef guiding one through each course; freshness of the food and organic wholesome flavors and the wine pairing being offered throughout the dinner in a sommelier style.

Klein Collection: What was the highlight of your stay at LA RESIDENCE?

Francois: Flawless attention to detail, excellent service, friendly and attentive staff, beautiful interior, private open spaces the impeccable dinner and breakfast and finally beautiful wines on offer. In short: everything!

Klein Collection: What should potential visitors take note of?

Francois: Be prepared to indulge in opulence.

Klein Collection: Who is LA RESIDENCE ideal for (i.e. the type of client you would sell this product to)?

Francois: Movie stars, celebrities and normal people with style (and money…)

Point out of 5
Service  5
Location  5
Food  5
Bedroom  5
Facilities  5
Décor  5
Attention to detail  5
Value for money  5

Should LA RESIDENCE sound like music to your ears, contact Klein Collection at info@kleincollection.com to book your stay. Alternatively, please complete the form below.

The eccentric Turbine Hotel and Spa in Knysna, South Africa

The Turbine Hotel and Spa is a boutique 5 star Hotel in Knysna which offers guests an extra special experience. This exceptional boutique hotel in Knysna is situated on Thesen Island which is considered one of the most prestigious locations on the Garden Route. The Turbine Hotel and Spa  transformed the old power station at Thesen Island into a unique 5 star boutique hotel huge wow factor. All the old machinery which was used in this power station has been carefully restored and integrated with the hotel’s aesthetics.

Francois visited the Turbine Hotel with his family recently and his experience.

KC: How far is THE TURBINE HOTEL from Cape Town?

Francois: The Turbine Hotel is located on the exclusive Thesen Island in Knysna about 5 hours drive along the Garden Route from Cape Town.

KC: What made you decide to stay at THE TURBINE HOTEL?

Francois: I have seen a few very good reviews of The Turbine Hotel and wanted to experience it for myself – ensuring that our clients’ expectations are met and or exceeded.

KC: What was your first impression of THE TURBINE HOTEL on arrival?

Francois: Artistic luxury with quirky sense of humor coming through as a theme throughout the hotel.

KC: What was the service like?

Francois: Very good service and attention to detail. The management is also very involved and visible.

KC: Is it child friendly?

Francois: Yes, The Turbine Hotel accommodates families with children. We stayed in one of the suites and they converted a sleeper couch into a second double bed for the kids in our bedroom.

KC: What activities are offered at THE TURBINE HOTEL?

Francois: The Turbine has great conference facilities, a private beauty spa, a restaurant, an oyster bar and also offers boat trips, paragliding and other experiences to their guests via their concierge service desk.

KC: What was the food like?

Francois: We had breakfast at The Turbine and we really enjoyed the salmon eggs benedict while the kids loved their cinnamon pancakes, fresh berries and syrup.

KC: What was the highlight of your stay at THE TURBINE HOTEL?

Francois: Historic building converted into a 5 star destination – where one discovers interesting features, facts and art pieces as you move throughout this special place.

KC: What should potential visitors take note of?

Francois: You will want to stay here for at least 2 nights – especially if you start participating in the activities on offer (fishing, sun set cruises, etc)

KC: Who is THE TURBINE HOTEL ideal for (i.e. the type of client you would sell this product to)?

Francois: To travellers for whom quality and services coupled with value for money are key elements. Perfect for company director breakaways as the hotel offers 24 separate rooms.

Point out of 5
Service  5
Location  5
Food  5
Bedroom  5
Facilities  5
Décor  5
Attention to detail  5
Value for money  5

Should THE TURBINE HOTEL sound like music to your ears, contact Klein Collection at info@kleincollection.com to book your stay or complete the form below.

The Lofts Boutique Hotel in Knysna, South Africa

Hidden away in the Boatshed, on Thesen Islands, right on the water’s edge, you will discover The Lofts Boutique Hotel.  The accommodation at The Lofts offers the discerning guest a combination of luxurious living and breathtaking views over the scenic Knysna Lagoon in beautiful en-suite rooms or in spacious self-catering suites. 

Francois talks about his family’s recent trip to THE LOFTS BOUTIQUE HOTEL

Klein Collection: How far is THE LOFTS BOUTIQUE HOTEL from Cape Town?

Francois: The Lofts Hotel is located on the exclusive Thesen Island in Knysna about 5 hours drive along the garden route from Cape Town.

Klein Collection: What made you decide to stay at THE LOFTS BOUTIQUE HOTEL?

Francois: I am a big fan of the Thesen Island development from a conceptual point of view and wanted to experience The Lofts myself since we (Klein Collection) have sent a few clients there already.

Klein Collection: What was your first impression of THE LOFTS BOUTIQUE HOTEL on arrival?

Francois: Well positioned with beautiful views of the ocean from the reception area’s lounge. I also thought the complimentary delicacy cakes at reception was a special touch – my two sons (6 and 3 years old) also thought so…

Klein Collection:What was the service like?

Francois: Staff were very friendly and hands-on service. They were also flexible around our late check out.

Klein Collection: Is it child friendly?

Francois: Yes, The Lofts Hotel caters for families and we stayed in a self-catering two-bedroom apartment which worked perfectly for our small family. The hotel’s location (being on Thesen Island) makes the environment very child friendly. We could relax while our kids were exploring the immediate surrounds.

Klein Collection: What activities are offered at THE LOFTS BOUTIQUE HOTEL?

Francois: The Lofts partnered with activity companies and caters for all local tours and experiences accordingly. There is a conference facility as well as bespoke spa and beauty salon on the premises.

We had breakfast at Il de Pain – bread, pastry and chocolate specialists. A must when you are at Thesen Island. If you are lucky (like we were) you will even meet one of the owners (Liezie Mulder and Markus Farbinger) still being very hands-on involved in the day to day operations and quality at this very special eatery. Great service as well.

Klein Collection: What was the food like?

Francois: The Lofts hotel does not offer restaurant facilities on site and outsources their breakfasts to surrounding restaurants (such as iL de Pain, The Turbine Hotel and others).

Klein Collection: What was the highlight of your stay at THE LOFTS BOUTIQUE HOTEL?

Francois: Quality accommodation, friendly service and fantastic breakfast at iL de Pain.

Klein Collection: What should potential visitors take note of?

Francois: Try to check in within normal business hours – then there will be a porter that can assist with luggage.

Unfortunately The Lofts Boutique Hotel is not suitable for physically challenged guests

Klein Collection: Who is THE LOFTS BOUTIQUE HOTEL ideal for (i.e. the type of client you would sell this product to)?

Francois: Ideal for groups traveling together – but still need privacy. Also all good value seekers.

Point out of 5
Service  4
Location  5
Food (il de Pain  5
Bedroom  4
Facilities  4
Décor  4
Attention to detail  4
Value for money  5

Should THE LOFTS BOUTIQUE HOTEL sound like music to your ears, contact Klein Collection at info@kleincollection.com.

Tintswalo Atlantic

Francois talks about his and his wife’s trip to Tintswalo Atlantic.

This magnificent lodge is situated in one of the most stunning locations in Southern Africa! Positioned at the base of Chapman’s Peak, Tintswalo Atlantic overlooks the quaint fishing village of Hout Bay, Cape Town.

Klein Collection: How far is Tintswalo Atlantic from Cape Town?

Francois: About 25 km from Cape Town city centre with a beautiful scenic drive along the Atlantic seaboard, located at the start of the world renowned Chapmans Peak pass (just on the other side of Hout Bay).

Klein Collection: What made you decide to stay at Tintswalo Atlantic?

Francois: I have heard so many good things about Tinswalo and wanted to see and experience it myself.

Klein Collection: What was your first impression of Tintswalo Atlantic on arrival?

Francois: How is it possible that that there could be a boutique hotel so close to the ocean within a nature reserve? Its setting is absolutely amazing – probably one of the best in the world.

Klein Collection: What was the service like?

Francois: Personalised service has been redefined. We were welcomed by all Tintswalo staff on arrival. The staff have perfected the art to make things happen without you being aware that it has been done.

Klein Collection:  Is it child friendly?

Francois: Tintswalo Atlantic allows children older than twelve years of age.

Klein Collection: What activities are offered at Tintswalo Atlantic?

Francois: First and foremost to relax, allow yourself to take in the ocean’s rhythm, and then absorb the beautiful views from your suites’ private deck. Enjoying the culinary experience was also a highlight (dinner is a must).  Spa treatments are offered, but you can also enjoy plenty of other surrounding excursions (kayaking, wine tours, whale watching, etc.).

Klein Collection: What was the food like?

Francois: Really out of this world. The afternoon tea, dinner and breakfast. In all we had about seven courses and a chef making dishes according to our wishes.

Klein Collection: What was the highlight of your stay at Tintswalo Atlantic?

Francois: Everything! Really.

Klein Collection: What should potential visitors take note of?

Francois: Be prepared to be blown away. Try to check in as early as possible – allowing you to spend as much time at Tintswalo Atlantic as possible.

Klein Collection: Who is Tintswalo Atlantic ideal for?

Francois: The discerning traveller for whom only the best will do. Privacy, nature and food are key factors.

Point out of 5
Service  5
Location  5
Food  5
Facilities  5
Décor  5
Attention to detail  5
Value for money  5

Should Tintswalo Atlantic sound like music to your ears, contact Klein Collection at info@kleincollection.com to book your stay.

Cellars-Hohenort Hotel

Francois talks about his family’s recent trip to CELLARS-HOHENORT.

The owner-managed Cellars-Hohenort, with its panoramic mountain and garden views, is a must for those looking to add a health dose of peace and tranquility to their lives. The Cellars-Hohenort rests on the breathtaking slopes of Table Mountain. Located in Constantia, Cape Town, it shares its home with some of South Africa’s most historically significant wine estates.

Klein Collection: How far is CELLARS HOHENORT from Cape Town?

Francois: About 25 km from Cape Town city centre, located in the Constantia Valley.

Klein Collection: What made you decide to stay at CELLARS HOHENORT?

Francois: I had a meeting in the area and impulsively decided that Carien should join me for an evening at this well respected establishment (after dropping the kids at their grandparents … of course).

Klein Collection: What was your first impression of CELLARS HOHENORT on arrival?

Francois: Proper old world charm and extremely friendly staff.

Klein Collection: What was the service like?

Francois: Warm, friendly and efficient. Liz McGrath standards.

Klein Collection: Is it child friendly?

Francois: Yes, but only partially. Children must be 8 years old or older. However, if you’re looking for a family holiday, we have other establishments that are probably better suited for this.

Klein Collection: What activities are offered at CELLARS HOHENORT?

Francois: Culinary experiences at the Green House or at the Conservatory restaurant, the Fresh Wellness Spa and the unique traditional Cape Malay high tea.

Klein Collection: What was the food like?

Francois: We did not have dinner at the Green House, but I have heard that it is really worth every cent. Our breakfast and dinner at the hotel’s restaurant was really very good – especially the omelette!

Klein Collection: What was the highlight of your stay at CELLARS HOHENORT?

Francois: Warm friendly service, beautiful lounge area and fireplace and large scenic grounds.

Klein Collection: What should potential visitors take note of?

Francois: Make sure you have the directions – it can be tricky to find the hotel if you do not know where you are going.

Klein Collection: Who is CELLARS HOHENORT ideal for?

Francois: Discerning guests appreciating old world architecture with modern luxury combined.

Point out of 5  
Service  5
Location  5
Food  5
Facilities  5
Décor  5
Bedrooms  3
Attention to detail  5
Value for money  4

Should CELLARS HOHENORT sound like music to your ears, contact Klein Collection at info@kleincollection.com to book your stay.