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 South Hill

The Venue at South Hill Vineyards nestles at the eastern end of the picturesque Elgin Valley. Surrounded by the Kogelberg Mountains, neighbouring orchards, pine forests and the farm’s own vineyards, The Venue is a very special place.

South Hill

Francois talks about their trip to South Hill.

KC:  How far is South Hill from Cape Town?

Francois:  About 45 minutes drive from Cape Town located in the beautiful Elgin Valley – known for fresh produce (especially apples and pears)

KC:  What made you decide to stay at South Hill?

Francois:  I have heard great things about the guest house on the South Hill farm and took the opportunity to experience the villa myself – with my wife, Carien and our two boys (James and Francois).

South Hill

KC:  What was your first impression of South Hill on arrival?

Francois:  Wow – scenic setting, fresh air, farm size open spaces and privacy – and all of it just for us to enjoy for two full days!

KC:  What was the service like?

Francois:  We felt like we were visiting friends who own a wine farm – Sandy welcomed us with a warm and friendly smile and guided us through all the villa’s facilities and features.

KC:  Is it child friendly?

Francois:  Yes, the villa accommodated us perfectly and our children had space to play outside – and play games inside in front of the large fire place in the evenings.

South Hill

KC:  What activities are offered at South Hill?

Francois:  South Hill is a wine farm and the wine tasting is a must if you enjoy good wine. The Villa is also stocked with South Hill’s wine – so you can have your own wine tasting while having a bite to eat in your private space. There is also a restaurant on the farm and the Old Mac Daddy trailer experience is just across the road with a restaurant on site as well.

KC:  What was the food like?

Francois:  The facilities in the villa are really top end and any chef would feel right at home (and inspired) to cook up a storm. All I can say is that we ate well!

South Hill

KC:  What was the highlight of your stay at South Hill?

Francois:  Quality time with my family in front of the fire place in the villa, surrounded by nature – enjoying good wine from the South Hill wine cellar.

KC:  What should potential visitors take note of?

Francois:  You should stay here at least two nights – and you can bring friends along (there is lots of space to accommodate two families in the villa) if you are not seeking a private weekend away.

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

Francois:  People who love the farm living idea and want to experience living in a luxurious farm house for a night or two – cook, eat, sleep and relax.

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

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

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.

Captivated by Kensington Place Boutique Hotel, Cape Town

Having spent a night at Kensington Place, a luxury Boutique Hotel set on the slopes of Table Mountain in Higgovale, an upmarket and leafy residential area of Cape Town, I can safely say that it is a must-stay-at hotel.

On arrival, my husband and I were met by Michael, who works in reservations. Even though we were a late arrival, we were met with welcoming smiles and a welcome drink, while our luggage was whisked away to our suite. We also did not have to worry about our vehicle, as Kensington Place offers off street parking and 24 hour security.

On our way to our suite, we were able to catch a glimpse of some of the features on offer: a spacious lounge area, a bar area, an outside lounge, a pool and lush gardens. Our meticulously designed, 5-star suite boasted a marble bath, king-sized bed, iPod docking facilities, laptop and Skype facilities plus all the usual facilities one would expect to find in a quality hotel. The under-floor heating and air-conditioning also make this an all-year-round place to stay.

After explaining how all the facilities worked, Michael suggested we step out onto the balcony. Breathtaking somehow fails to describe the view that greeted us. With views over Cape Town towards the Atlantic and Table Mountain being close enough to almost touch, this just has to be one of the best locations in the Mother City.

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Being within easy access of the heart of Cape Town, Kensington Place is situated within walking distance of very good eateries, as we discovered when we had dinner at the Baccini’s Pizzeria, an Italian family-run restaurant just 1km from the hotel.

Breakfast at Kensington Place was equally delightful. As soon as we were seated, we were greeted by Blessing, whose warm smile and friendly “Hello” set the tone for the morning. She offered us coffee and fruit while we could peruse the menu. Wow! So many choices. My husband decided on the omelette and I had the home-made muesli with fresh fruit and we finished off with a bran muffin and jam. Delicious, to say the least.

While we were having breakfast, Sasha, the owner of Kensington Place, introduced herself to us. It was great being able to speak to her about her establishment and it was quite clear that she prides herself on making all guests feel welcome and at home. The personal touch is definitely a priority at Kensington Place.

Before leaving, we spoke to some tourists who had already spent three nights at the hotel. They were still enjoying every minute of their stay and were planning on returning. They shared our sentiments that the staff at the hotel make impeccable hospitality seem absolutely effortless.

Kensington Place, in my opinion, is the ideal location for the discerning traveller who is looking for privacy and tranquility, coupled with friendly yet professional service.

– Review by Klein Client Liaison and Reservationist, Leigh-Ann van der Westhuizen

 

Book your stay at Kensington Place. Simply complete the form below.

Banksia Boutique Hotel, Paddington and the Fat Cactus

Do you still remember Paddington? Whether you met him on TV, in a book or piecing him together out of a 1000 piece puzzle, most of us have pleasant memories of the friendly bear. But you have to admit, with his duffel coat, floppy hat and boots, Paddington Bear would look well out of place in a summery Cape Town.

Banksia Boutique Hotel and Paddington, the resident cat

Francois bonding with Paddington at Banksia Boutique Hotel in Cape Town

That is exactly why we were enchanted when we met our very own Cape Townian Paddington. A very special Persian cat, Paddington looks nothing like his name sake and even less like a cat. Living the royal life at the Banksia Boutique, Paddington spends more time at hairdressers than most women do, has featured in many a photo shoot and has even appeared on Top Billing. But Paddington adds a unique element to the offering of Banksia; the presence of such a large and fluffy friend makes you feel, in a strange way, at home.

In the leafy southern suburb of Rosebank (not to be confused with its more famous cousin in Johannesburg), you will discover the boutique hotel that Paddington calls home. Well hidden in this old residential area of Cape Town dotted with close knitted homes, finding Banksia Boutigue Hotel can be a challenge. Make sure you study the directions on the internet carefully and take down the establishment’s number, just in case…

When we recently returned from a Crocodile Dundee crossed with Tarzan African holiday, we longed for a place where we could unwind, relax and, perhaps most importantly, for a place where applying Tabard was not our main priority. The Banksia offered this sophisticated luxury without a cluttered feeling.

Banksia Boutique Hotel Exterior

Banksia Boutique Hotel Lawn and Exterior

Believed to be the old farmhouse on the Rosebank farm of yesteryear, the double storey Banksia Boutique Hotel has been beautifully renovated. It boasts a manicured garden and impressive indoor swimming pool in the glass-panelled aviary-like wing of the establishment. Two conference rooms cater for corporate functions Visitors can also look forward to the opening of a spa on the premises in February 2012.

Wonderful views over the lush Southern suburbs, the University of Cape Town’s campus and the backside of Table Mountain greeted us from our room (and sunken bath!).  With only eight rooms it presents overnighters with a quaint and private setting, an ideal night away for the Mr. and Mrs. The front balcony (although not child friendly) offers a panoramic view for a lazy afternoon with a cup of tea or a snack from the locally-sourced contents of the minibar in each room.

Banksia Boutique Hotel Living Room and Fireplace

Banksia Boutique Hotel Living Room and Fireplace

Despite the simplistic elegance of the Boutique, it was the secret surprises in and around Banksia that impressed us the most. One of these interesting aspects is that the Banksia is a display of the work of interior designer and owner, Shelley Kingston. This means that very little of what you see and touch is mass-manufactured, adding to the unique ambience of Banksia.

Walking distance from the Banksia you will find (which is now) our favourite Tex-Mex eatery, the Fat Cactus, in Klipfontein road. Make sure to satisfy your hunger and distinguish your thirst at this unique and special restaurant.

Ready for breakfast at Banksia Boutique Hotel

Ready for breakfast at Banksia Boutique Hotel

On your return, you will find your room turned down with soft romantic music seeping through the walls, while fresh rose petals await you in the bath. You can specify at which time you would like to enjoy breakfast, which means you don’t have to set an alarm for the following morning. With your delicious breakfast you also receive a one page wrap-up of the day’s news, just to keep you in touch with the outside world.

As the Banksia Boutique Hotel caters mostly for corporate clientele, holidaymakers will be able to enjoy a surprisingly peaceful getaway during the busy weeks over the festive season – you might even be lucky enough to have the entire house to yourself!

– Review by Klein Companions, Francois and Shané Barnard

Learn more about Banksia Boutique Hotel.

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African chic in Hout Bay

First-time international visitors to Cape Town, expecting an African experience, are often disappointed. Almost everywhere they go, the architecture is European, the menu Mediterranean, the tableware imported and the décor colonial. On a rainy day, you may be sipping your earl grey tea on the leafy side of Table Mountain and feel like you never left mother England. This is not the case at the Hout Bay Manor.

The interior was designed by acclaimed Cécile & Boyds, and is a colourful celebration of African art and symbols. The longer you linger, the more you will notice how the space playfully utilizes every-day objects from different cultures of the continent. Traditional beaded headgear have been turned into lamps, wooden headrests find a place in the bathroom, red lucky beans set in glass become paperweights and a seed believed to render the bearer irresistible to a potential lover doubles as a key ring. Still, the feeling of Hout Bay Manor is crisp and modern and will appeal to visitors that are used to the finest in the hospitality industry.

We stayed in the very spacious Zulu room and loved the Nguni skin on the gleaming wooden floor, the splashes of vibrant pink and orange, combined with a few elegant furniture pieces and original local art. The polished rawness of the shower’s pebble floor and exposed copper pipes, contrast well with a dazzling glass chandelier in the bathroom. All the bathroom products at Hout Bay Manor are from the locally produced Earth range.

There was a moment of panic as I, who clear out a small tea plantation every year with the amount of green tea that I consume, did not spot any tea and coffee making facilities in the room. But the never-tiring room service delivered endless pots of tea to our room at no extra charge. Glass jars stocked with complimentary nougat, biscuits and other sweet treats are stationed throughout the hotel.

During summer the heated swimming pool must be great fun and the hotel provides kikoys and picnic baskets if you want to spend your day around the pool and garden area. As we visited in the middle of the winter, we opted for the Inzolo Wellness Spa instead. Unfortunately, there was only one therapist on duty and as earlier appointments had overrun their time, we were a little disappointed that we could not enjoy all the treatments that we booked. But Jack thoroughly enjoyed his Marula and Neroli massage, and I thought my pedicure was perfectly done.

We did not get round to the wine tasting in the Hout Bay Manor’s own cellar, but were impressed by the collection of South African favourites on the wine list of their in-house restaurant, Pure. Their angelfish with lemon butter sauce and roasted aubergine and tomatoes was one of the tastiest meals that I’ve had in a long time and the fresh-out-of-the-oven dark chocolate fondant with its rich, melting core was definitely the right choice for a dessert.

On checking out, we were surprised by a hamper pack of snacks for the road, sealing the good experience at this friendly luxury hotel. I can recommend the Hout Bay Manor to couples, families and business travelers who want to stay somewhere with interesting, original design and in a tranquil environment, removed from the bustle of the city.

Celebrities Fizz Hurley and Chris de Burger seem to have it all

Celebrities Fizz Hurley and Chris de Burger seem to have it all. They are living the good life. Not surprisingly, normal blokes Patty and Fizzy are tired of being nobodies. Life in the fast lane isn’t always easy, leaving them with very little time to go on holiday. Thankfully, however, there is a way out. See how they did it. Then go and do the same.