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.

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.

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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.

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.

Steenberg Hotel

Francois talks about his stay at Steenberg Hotel

The luxurious Steenberg Hotel is situated on the Cape’s oldest farm, a mere 20-minute drive from the bustling heart of Cape Town. The hotel nestles in the tranquil Constantia Valley, against the slopes of the Steenberg Mountain, offering sweeping views over the False Bay.

Klein Collection: How far is STEENBERG HOTEL from Cape Town?

Francois: About 25 km. Location in the beautiful Constantia Valley

Klein Collection: What made you decide to stay at STEENBERG HOTEL?

Francois: I was attending a corporate conference at Steenberg and decided to stay over the night prior to the event.

Klein Collection: What was your first impression of STEENBERG HOTEL on arrival?

Francois: Traditional Cape Dutch wine farm. Luxurious and excellent service for the discerning guest. Open spaces and top end facilities, art and antiques. Elegance and traditions of the 17th century blended with the most refined luxuries and conveniences of our modern age.

Klein Collection: What was the service like?

Francois: The staff were very friendly and helpful with the duty manager greeting me on arrival.

Klein Collection: Is it child friendly?

Francois: Yes, Steenberg caters for families and some suites have ample space to accommodate children traveling with parents.

Klein Collection: What activities are offered at STEENBERG HOTEL?

Francois: Steenberg has one of the top South African golf courses. It is also situated within the Constantia Valley winelands and within a 5 km radius of top South African wine estates. There are two restaurants (Catharina’s as well as Bistro Sixteen82) on the estate as well as a unique Cap Classique wine bar called Gorgeous. There is a luxury spa as well as a swimming pool area with cocktail bar. I was also impressed with Steenberg’s conference facilities.

Klein Collection: What was the food like?

The Steenberg Hotel's Conferencing FacilitiesFrancois: I had a lovely dinner at Catharina’s – best rack of lamb in a long time! Breakfast also exceeded my expectations and not only was there great variety and choice, but effective service, presentation and attention to detail is one of the consistent threads at Steenberg.

Klein Collection: What was the highlight of your stay at STEENBERG HOTEL?

Francois: Overall luxury and style – with 17th century monuments and furniture combined with modern luxury. My spacious room and sophisticated facilities was definitely a highlight.

Klein Collection: What should potential visitors take note of?

Condé Nast Traveler voted Steenberg as the Top Hotel in Africa and the Middle East in 2012 – so be prepared to be impressed!

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

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