Francois talks about their trip to SPIER

Spier is one of South Africa’s oldest wine farms dating back to 1692, this farm is rich in history and remains a special place to anyone who visits. Located about 40km from Cape Town, you’ll find this historic farm on the outskirts of Stellenbosch.

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Klein Collection (‘K.C’): What made you decide to stay at SPIER?

Francois: SPIER is ideal for us as we have kids (two boys aged 6 and 8). The large natural open spaces, great facilities and scenic surroundings.

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Klein Collection (‘K.C’): What was your first impression of SPIER on arrival?

Francois: It’s actually very close to Cape Town! SPIER is located in the wine capital of South Africa and has a farm feel to it. On arrival we were greeted with warm friendly smiles from the staff which is always the best way to start a stay.

Klein Collection (‘K.C’): What was the service like?

Francois: The staff at SPIER were very friendly and attentive to all our needs. They are particularly good with children (e.g. entertaining the kids while the parents take a deserving break).

Klein Collection (‘K.C’): Is it child friendly?

Francois: Yes, SPIER accommodates families with children of all ages, with a variety of activities and facilities to keep kids occupied. The food for the children was also good and I loved the fact that there was a grape juice tasting on offer when we as adults did the wine tasting. On the morning of our check out from the SPIER hotel, our youngest son immediately asked: “When can be come here again?”2015-06-20 15.01.49 2015-06-20 11.58.15-1
Klein Collection (‘K.C’): 
What activities are offered at SPIER?

Francois: Activities offered onsite at Spier are as follows:

  • Segway tours: Take a tour of the vineyard on your very own Segway PT – a two-wheeled, self-balancing electric vehicle.
  • Wine tasting and chocolate pairing (highly recommended)
  • Eagle encounter (very educational and was great for our kids)
  • Local art being on display throughout SPIER (insprirational)
  • A spa (beauty treatments and massages)
  • Food (wonderful selection of restaurants, deli and picnic baskets)

 

Klein Collection (‘K.C’): What was the food like?

Francois: Food quality at SPIER is top class and they make a conscious effort to cater for the children’s tastes as well. EIGHT Restaurant prides itself in the fact that most of the ingredients in the meals served, are locally produced on the SPIER farm.

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Klein Collection (‘K.C’): What was the highlight of your stay at SPIER?

Francois: The overall openness and spaces to walk and cycle, value for money and how our children enjoyed every bit of our stay.2015-06-19 16.42.37

Klein Collection (‘K.C’): What should potential visitors take note of

Francois: Be ready to want to make SPIER a regular place to visit (at least once a year for 2 nights).

Klein Collection (‘K.C’): Who is SPIER ideal for (i.e. The type of client you would sell this product to)?

Francois: Anyone really – but SPIER is great for small or large groups and people with kids.

 

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

 

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

The perfectly located InterContinental Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport Hotel

South Africa’s only luxury airport hotel, the InterContinental Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Airport hotel is only a 68.7-metre (225-foot) walk from the International Arrivals hall at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport.

Stephanus talks about his and his wife’s trip to InterContinental Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport Hotel.

KC: How far is InterContinental OR Tambo from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa?

Stephanus: 67m… literally!

KC: What made you decide to stay at InterContinental Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport Hotel?

Stephanus: My wife and I travelled to Johannesburg for business and we required accommodation close to the airport.

KC: What was your first impression of InterContinental OR Tambo on arrival?

Stephanus: I’ve always driven past it on my way from the airport to wherever I was heading, so I’ve always been curious to see what it’s like to stay there. I was pleasantly surprised. The porters (with their muted African attire) were incredibly friendly and quietly took care of all our baggage. The check-in process was equally smooth and the duty manager made us feel right at home. The hotel, although modern, had a warm and welcoming feeling, and exuded the energy so typical of Johannesburg (albeit in a more relaxed way).

KC: What was the service like?

InterContinental Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport

Stephanus: Superb. Fantastic. Unforgettable. Seriously, from the moment we walked in until the moment we left, our needs were always attended to in a discreet and unobtrusive manner. Regardless of the request that came their way, nothing ever seemed to be an issue. They have simply thought of all the details: fruit bowel with champagne upon arrival, together with a gift bag and card. Then you have all the other niceties in the room that you’d expect from a 5-star hotel (but which, quite frankly, not all 5-star hotels offer): Nespresso machine, iPod docking station, large flat screen television, mini-bar, clothing press, gowns, complimentary Wi-Fi, electric safe, etc. The windows are triple-glazed (this was a first for me), so despite being only 67m from the airport, the noise levels are less than what you would fine in a hotel overlooking lake Geneva. In fact, the rooms are 100% sound proof, so you don’t need to worry about listening to CNN with your hotel guest next door at 1am in the morning. The bathrooms were exquisite: stylish, light brown marble featuring double basins with a separate bath and shower (and a separate toilet). The hotel manager also called us shortly after check-in just to double-check that we were 100% satisfied and whether there was anything else that we’d require.

KC:  Is it child friendly?

Stephanus: Yes, although the hotel is obviously geared more towards upmarket business and leisure travellers. If a family vacation is what you have in mind, you will probably want to visit Mauritius instead. Nevertheless, they accommodate kids and make them feel just as special as adults. And yes, they offer babysitting services as well.

KC: What activities are offered at InterContinental OR Tambo?

Stephanus: The hotel features a nice gym and swimming pool on the top floor overlooking the airport runway, which is pretty, particularly at night when all the airstrip lights are on. There is also a spa where you can enjoy a massage, including a business centre, various conference rooms for functions of all sizes, a lovely restaurant (which is also open for the public), disability services and 24-hour security, to name but a few.

KC: What was the food like?

Stephanus: It was really delicious – very unlike typical airport food! Everything was so fresh, tasty and stylishly presented. We unfortunately didn’t have dinner there (we had a dinner appointment elsewhere), so I can’t comment on their dinners, although we had a fantastic breakfast (room service).

KC: What was the highlight of your stay at InterContinental OR Tambo?

InterContinental Johannesburg OR Tambo

Stephanus: The overall experience was genuinely unforgettable. It is one of the few places where I honestly couldn’t think of anything else that I would have wanted to experience differently. Also – and I know it sounds cliché – but the people were really so helpful and went to all extremes to make our stay extra special. Although airport hotels don’t ordinarily come to mind when I think of an idyllic holiday destination, I can honestly say that this is the kind of hotel where I won’t mind staying 2 or 3 days, particularly if you just want to relax. The rooms are lovely and I’ll definitely do my utmost to think of another excuse to travel to Johannesburg, even if it’s just to stay there!

KC: What should potential visitors take note of?

Stephanus: Because the hotel is literally 67m (i.e. walking distance) from the airport, you obviously don’t need to rent a car or catch a shuttle between the airport and the hotel. Furthermore, it’s incredibly convenient to literally check out of the hotel, walk a few meters and 5 minute’s later check your bags in at the airport (assuming you’re flying out). Conversely, if you arrive at the airport late at night, you can be dressed in a gown and slippers or sleep in pure cotton linen in a matter of minutes.

Stephanus: Something else that I really found appealing about the hotel is their emphasis on being environmentally friendly, not just in terms of electricity usage, but even in terms of the breakfast take-away packaging.

KC: Who is InterContinental OR Tambo ideal for (i.e. the type of client you would sell this product to)?

Stephanus: Mainly top-end business travellers, but also luxury leisure travellers who need world-class accommodation at the airport.

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

Should InterContinental OR Tambo sound like music to your ears, contact Klein Collection at info@kleincollection.com to book your stay.

Discover the 5-star Peermont D’oreale Grande Hotel

Discover untold luxury and regal comfort … the 5-star Peermont D’oreale Grande hotel at Emperors Palace is conveniently located next to O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa.

Stephanus talks about his and his wife’s trip to D’oreale Grande.

KC: How far is D’oreale Grande from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg?

D'oreale Grande

Stephanus: The 5-star Peermont D’oreale Grande hotel at Emperors Palace is conveniently located about 10 minute’s drive from the airport and 30 minutes from Sandton.

KC: What made you decide to stay at D’oreale Grande?

Stephanus: My wife and I attended a Mrs South Africa 2013 gala evening held at Emperors Palace.

KC: What was your first impression of D’oreale Grande on arrival?

Stephanus: We arrived quite late and decided to enjoy the hotel’s grounds the next day – which we did – so the porter accompanied us to our room and ensured that we were settled in.

We stayed in a Club Floor Superior King room. These elegantly decorated rooms featured a king size bed, a writing desk, easy chair and marble topped coffee table. Other amenities include a hairdryer, digital lap top safe, and TV offering a selected bouquet of satellite channels, complimentary Wi-Fi, full evening turndown, room service, full mini bar and valet service on request.

The great thing about this room is that it is located on the exclusive and private Club Floor, which offers a luxurious Lounge with complimentary refreshments, work stations, a meeting room, free Wi-Fi Internet access, local and international newspapers and access to a Club Floor Services Manager willing to assist with a diverse bouquet of personalised services.

Other room features include early check-in and late check-out options, 24-hour refreshment in rooms, robes and slippers in the room, selected complimentary food and beverage, shoe polishing services and complimentary pressing/laundry.

KC: What was the service like?

Stephanus: The service was great and staff members were always willing to assist. When we arrived in the room, we received a welcome note, including a complimentary gift bag from the hotel – all little things that, at the end of the day make your stay extra special.

KC: Is it child friendly?

Stephanus: Yes. In fact, our 2 year old accompanied us on our trip and we never had any issues. (That said, she is simply adorable and well behaved!) Our 2-year old loved standing next to the floor to ceiling windows and looking down on the world below. Bear in mind, however, that the hotel features a large and beautiful outside pool, which doesn’t have any surrounding fences, so if you’re on the ground floor, you need to keep a watchful eye on your youngsters. Also, as far as I could tell, they didn’t specifically have any kids activities. The hotel is better suited for professionals and luxury travelers who require accommodation for a night or two within close distance of the airport.

KC: What activities are offered at D’oreale Grande?

Stephanus: The hotel features a gym, spa, outdoor swimming pool and expansive grounds, which really provides a great escape from the city.

KC: What was the food like?

Stephanus: We had a fabulous breakfast in the Club Lounge, which was on the seventh floor (the same level as our room). The presentation and food options were great. It certainly didn’t feel like we were dining in a hotel with 192 rooms! The attention to detail was evident and the chef frequently made appearances just to ensure that everything was perfect. My wife, 2-year old and wife were all very impressed!

KC: What was the highlight of your stay at D’oreale Grande?

Stephanus: The Club Lounge was probably the biggest surprise, and we ended up spending most of our time there.

KC: What should potential visitors take note of?

Stephanus: The hotel offers a complimentary shuttle service between the hotel and the airport which runs every 15 minutes, so there is no need for you to hire a cab.

Ask the hotel to put you on the seventh floor (it was recently refurbished) and double-check with them that you will have access to the private Club Lounge. If you do, you will be able to enjoy snacks and beverages there at any time of day and it’s ‘on the house’. Because we arrived so late, we literally had our ‘dinner’ there, snacking on all the delicious things that they had on display. It’s also a nice place to sit and read a good book or – if you want – mingle with other corporate and leisure travellers.

KC: Who is D’oreale Grande ideal for (i.e. the type of client you would sell this product to)?

Stephanus: Corporate travellers, or leisure travellers who require accommodation for a night en route to their final destination (particularly if you need to catch a flight early the next morning, or arrive late at night).

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

Should D’oreale Grande sound like music to your ears, contact Klein Collection at info@kleincollection.com to book your stay.

Welcome to the Luxurious 5-Star Hout Bay Manor

The 5-star Hout Bay Manor located in the picturesque fishing village of Hout Bay, is renowned as one of Cape Town’s most graceful landmarks and was reopened on 26 October 2007 after an extensive 18 month refurbishment. A listed historical building, built in 1871, it has been gracefully restored to its former elegance.

Francois talks about their trip to the Luxurious 5-Star Hout Bay Manor.

Hout Bay Manor

KC:  How far is Hout Bay Manor from Cape Town?

Francois:  Hout Bay Manor is located in ‘the Republic’ as the locals refer to this fishing village and about a 30 minute scenic drive from Cape Town and also very close to the world renowned Chapman’s Peak.

KC:  What made you decide to stay at Hout Bay Manor?

Francois: Hout Bay Manor is one of those very special places that we stumbled upon three and a half years ago soon after we started Klein Collection – and the discovery of this boutique assisted us in refining our offering to our clients. I wanted to see if the standards are as high as it used to be…

KC:  What was your first impression of  Hout Bay Manor on arrival?

Francois:  Old Cape Dutch charm, spacious surroundings with warm welcoming smiles.

KC:  What was the service like?

Francois:  Hout Bay Manor’s style is very personal and attentive – it’s as though you are visiting a wealthy friend’s home in Hout Bay: “Make yourself at home and please ask if you need anything – we are glad that you are with us.”

Hout Bay Manor

KC:  Is it child friendly?

Francois:  Yes, Hout Bay Manor is child friendly.  Our two boys liked their private room which had a connecting door to our suite.

KC:  What activities are offered at Hout Bay Manor?

Francois:  Hout Bay Manor offers a wide range of services and activities to their guests – from a bespoke spa, incredible wine selection in the manor’s private cellar, one of Cape Town’s top restaurants (Pure) on site and a concierge service really ensures that all Hout Bay Manor guests’ unique interests and tastes are catered for.

Hout Bay Manor

KC:  What was the food like?

Francois:  Our dinner at PURE was very busy with the two boys, and although the food was great I could not help but be envious to see the couples around us enjoying a private dinner – while we were trying to convince James and Francois Jnr that vegetables are their friends…

Next time we will arrange a babysitter and be one of the couples having a romantic dinner.

KC:  What was the highlight of your stay at  Hout Bay Manor?

Francois:  Interior design – from the hand painted walls, traditional art pieces and proud traditional Cape Dutch historical buildings, coupled with true 5 star boutique hospitality. Also to know that the standards that I expect from Hout Bay manor are still as high as they have always been.

Hout Bay Manor

KC:  What should potential visitors take note of?

Francois:  Take the time to visit the Hout Bay market on a Friday evening – really a memorable experience (awesome food and stalls with many different items to buy).

KC:  For whom is Hout Bay Manor ideal (i.e. The type of client to whom you would sell this product)?

Francois:  Travelers wanting to experience a 5 star boutique hotel service and setting – while being surrounded by traditional South African interior and architecture.

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

Should Hout Bay Manor 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.

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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.

Babylonstoren Farm

Francois talks about their trip to BABYLONSTOREN.

Babylonstoren is one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms. It has a fruit and vegetable garden of beauty and diversity, unique accommodation, fine food and a sense of wellbeing.

Babylonstoren

Klein Collection (‘KC’): How far is BABYLONSTOREN from Cape Town?

Francois: BABYLONSTOREN is located in the most beautiful surroundings between Franschhoek and Paarl about 60 kilometers from Cape Town.

KC: What made you decide to stay at BABYLONSTOREN?

Francois: I love good food, quality wine coupled with privacy and space – the perfect setting for our 9-year wedding anniversary.

KC: What was your first impression of BABYLONSTOREN on arrival?

Francois: An abundance of trees, manicured vineyards and open spaces – beautiful garden and friendly smiles everywhere.

Babylonstoren

KC: What was the service like?

Francois: BABYLONSTOREN’s staff has a true genuineness about them – and it really felt like we were visiting old friends of ours on their farm. I also liked the fact that everything in the room was included in the standard rate (even the laundry!) – all part of feeling welcome and able to relax from the minute go.

KC: Is it child friendly?

Francois: Yes, BABYLONSTOREN is a paradise for children – open spaces and all the natural healthy elements we want our children to be surrounded by. From an accommodation point of view there are two-bedroom family suites  available.

BabylonstorenKC: What activities are offered at BABYLONSTOREN?

Francois: BABYLONSTOREN offers it all: spa treatments, wine tasting, the freshest  culinary experiences (breakfast, lunch and dinner), mountain biking, running, swimming, canoeing, and more! The signature eight-acre-garden tour allows the visitor to experience and to be inspired by true organic farming.

Babylonstoren

KC: What was the food like?

Francois: Karen (BABYLONSTOREN’s artisan baker) really outdid herself with the fresh ingredients and quality – by far the best pasta I have ever eaten in my life. We were fortunate to taste some of the BABYLONSTOREN wines during dinner. I unexpectedly discovered a new top wine producer. All in all an unforgettable experience!

KC: What was the highlight of your stay at BABYLONSTOREN?

Francois: The food ,the wine, the people …. Just everything,

KC: What should potential visitors take note of?

Francois: You will not want to leave.

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

Francois: Discerning travelers looking for something different – needing time away from the hustle and bustle; being treated with fresh food, top wine, warm service and open farm spaces.

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

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

L’Ermitage Luxury Hotel in Franschhoek, South Africa

Francois talks about his experience at L’Ermitage.

Franschhoek beckons to all those wishing to escape the city and bask in the sheer pleasures of mountain, Fynbos, wine tasting and tourist attractions. L’Ermitage offers 4 star hotel accommodation in the luxurious form of Chateaus and Villas that provide peace and style to compliment the surrounding beauty. Situated on the Fransche Hoek Wine Estate, L’Ermitage hotel accommodation allows you to experience the best of the Franschhoek country lifestyle. Fynbos and mountains provide the perfect backdrop whilst quaint cobbled streets offer the extra French touch.

Klein Collection: How far is L’ERMITAGE from Cape Town?

Francois: L’ ermitage is located in the Franschhoek valley about 60 km from the Cape Town city centre.

Klein Collection: What made you decide to stay at L’ERMITAGE?

Francois: It was my birthday and we decided to escape to a luxury hideaway for an evening – leaving the kids with my parents.

Klein Collection: What was your first impression of L’ERMITAGE on arrival?

Francois: Beautiful French inspired boutique hotel on a security estate in the Franschhoek mountains.

Klein Collection: What was the service like?

Francois: The service was very personal and they made sure that we had a memorable experience. They arranged a private dinner for us on the balcony outside our suite – and also figured out that it was my birthday (based on my ID number I gave them at check in) and surprised me with a birthday cupcake during breakfast. Just an example of how they go the extra mile.

Klein Collection: Is it child friendly?

Francois: Yes, they definitely cater for families – especially with the villas with fully equipped kitchen and appliances.

Klein Collection: What activities are offered at L’ERMITAGE?

Francois: Nature walks, wine tours, dinners, weddings, conferencing – all within close proximity of the Franschhoek town.

Klein Collection: What was the food like?

Francois: I thought their food was very good – I can definitely recommend the fillet!

Klein Collection: What was the highlight of your stay at L’ERMITAGE?

Francois: Spending time with Carien at this special boutique with beautiful setting, views and facilities. We were in the honeymoon suite – really very spacious and luxurious.

Klein Collection: What should potential visitors take note of?

Francois: Bring your running gear – you will want to go for a walk/ run with the beautiful surrounds and setting.

Klein Collection: Who is L’ ERMITAGE ideal for?

Francois: L’ermitage caters for all types of guests – but I think it is especially suited for guests preferring to be out of the hustle and bustle of Franschhoek town.

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

Should L’ ERMITAGE sound like music to your ears, contact Klein Collection at info@kleincollection.com to book your stay.