I knew this would be the perfect place to get engaged. I’d have liked for you to have taken a less time to visit the Vineyard Hotel gardens with me, because I knew they were magical. The mossy floor under the bows of the leafy, low-hanging trees. The ivy-lined river wall, washing away mountain water for as long as the cycads had been there. And the “down-down” feeling of stepping lower and lower into the secret garden; eliminating any idea that we’re actually in the center of a city. When you saw the jungle, you knew it was perfect too.
I felt embarrassed when you got down on one knee. Not because it wasn’t right, but because it was hard for me to own that I needed you, that I wanted to be happy and to love freely love and be loved in return. We’d gone to the jewelry store to have the ring sized together – it wasn’t a surprise – except the surprise of the ring not fitting once we tried to get it on! None the less, we were never people about the ring, but people about believing in magic. The moment was special, the greenery enchanting and, always, our secret garden at the Vineyard Hotel and Spa.
I’m going to stand here and wait for this froggie to stick its head out of the water if it’s the last thing I do. I’m not crazy, he’s just good at holding his breath. Amphibians may not be for everyone, but I find them delightful and one of the truest signs of a happy environment. No animals, sad place. Lots of animals, happy place.
The Vineyard Hotel has cozy garden suites with 2 sunloungers, a table and a running fountain – complete with frogs who move in, lizards who scatter by and the, ever loud hadedas squawking as they move. The clouds pass over the mountain side in the distance accompanied by the fountain bubbling.
The long, netted curtains dance silently in the afternoon breeze, allowing the soft spring light to filter onto the luxury funiture. A leather ottoman, a deep, royal blue sofa and mottled navy blue carpet furnish the split level suite. A round wooden mirror, writing desk and classic chair afford a formal work station while separating the lounge from the bedroom.
Garden High Tea
As gorgeous as the hotel room is, we’re finding it difficult to spend any time inside. With the traditional hotel house shining in the first of the spring light and delicate afternoon tea about to be served, the gardens are a central focus of any guest at the Vineyard.
Of course there’s the usual pool, privately tucked behind a garden gate – a detail I appreciate since the hotel is open to the public. And the independant Angsana spa taking relaxation to heights, although ironally a floor down.
As day visitors arrive, the pops of corks can be heard, laughter of children enthralled by the large mountain tortoises and the communication of Xhosa or Shona as the servers spoil their guests. The staff are warm, friendly yet professional, engaging with guests at their pace.
Cool Spring Evening Dinners at the Vineyard Hotel
Watching the clouds pass over the mountain as the light sets behind the cliffs is a sublime way to spend the afternoon. This time, however, we’re getting ready for dinner as we’ll be staying over and tucking into the restaurant’s new offering. Having attended the high tea numerous times over the years, the 2021 offering is the best it’s ever been and we’re excited to see if it extends into dinner.
It’s dark out, the rich golden glow of the in door lights warm the hotel as gas fireplaces lull guests into cuddling into their various lounges. The restaurant has a number of guests from the nearby neighbourhood, but not enough to feel too busy. The risotto fills my expectations, absolutely hitting the nail on the mushroom cap. It was the correct texture for me. I’ve got not time for poor risotto’s any more and this does not disappoint.
My second course is a whole baby chicken. A glass of bubbly helping balance the rich flavours of the meal. AJ’s steak is slightly on the small side, but delicious none the less. For dessert, nothing. We can not fit in another bite!
Into the Thick Of It
Just as we began to settle down for the evening, AJ had a severe allergic reaction due to recently changing his blood pressure medication (it’s happened before). Luckily, being in the suburbs, we had medication with us as well as the famous Kingsbury Hospital down the road – should things have gotten worse.
The front desk was rather surprised to see me marching out the front door after midnight, into the rain, to collect medicine. He called after me and warned about my feet getting wet – he was right. They soaked! But it was a humbling moment to return to him with a fresh pair of dry, clean slippers for me to switch out. Such a kind, small gesture in a time (always) of stress. Assuring me they would be on hand should we need further assistance, allowed me to return to the room, give AJ his medicine and believe we might catch a wink that night – which we did.
The following morning I released my exhaustion in the Angsana spa. It was fairly early, but totally worth the effort. The spa is modern with professional, calming services. It was a great way to start a rainy Sunday morning, followed by a delicous eggs benedict back in the hotel restaurant.
We’ve seen a few iterations of the Vineyard Hotel in recently years, but this was one of our best experiences at the venue. The following week, I think my folks returned two or three times with international guests just because the grounds are so beautiful. The high tea is better than it’s ever been before, so was the breakfast – and we’d be keen to return for brekkie in months to come.
Thank you so much to the staff for their kind support during our stay. It really was a pleasure to visit and we happily recommend this to any guests seeking a hotel with enough space for kids to have fun, enough activities for those looking for a staycation and a central hotel for those looking to visit the International Cricket Ground, Kirstenbosch Gardens or the deep south.
Black November Deal – 50% off Room Only Rate
- Stay dates 18 November 2021 – 30 June 2022
- 50% off room only rate – subject to availability. Blackout dates apply
- Consecutive 3-night minimum stay required
- Applicable to the Courtyard Standard rooms only
- Free cancellation up to 14 days prior to arrival, 100% prepayment required
- Rates are nett and non-commissionable. Applicable to individual bookings only
Stay furnished by the Vineyard Hotel. Thank you for having us!