Middedorp Manor

Stellenbosch, Cape Winelands & West Coast, South Africa Book from

Recommended awaiting i-escape review
Romantic, little boutique guesthouse with a pool; one of Stellenbosch's most stylish places to stay
Inexplicably, it's hard to find stylish places to stay in the Cape Winelands, and in Stellenbosch in particular. So Middedorp Manor is a real gem of a find: a Victorian home turned boutique B&B with a pared-back, elegant style and Scandinavian overtones - and not a whiff of chintz, lace curtain or doily about it. The 5 guest bedrooms are sleek and stylish, in neutral, soothing colours - stone, white, brown and cream - peppered with South African art.

But the real treat is that this feels like you're staying in a home-from-home, and a very chic one at that. You have run of the house, including a lounge, library and a vine-covered outdoor stoop with sofa and dining table. And out in the lovely garden there's a small peaceful pool (unheated), flanked by cushioned loungers, with views of the surrounding mountains. We haven't stayed yet, but can't wait to do so.

Highs

  • You're 3 minutes' walk from the centre of Stellenbosch, with its cosmopolitan cafes and excellent restaurants
  • World-class wineries on your doorstep; hire bikes and follow tasting routes
  • Luxe, stylish décor, and not too expensive
  • Only 5 rooms, so very peaceful and serene; perfect for a romantic holiday
  • Outstanding personal service from owner Annemien, including excellent homemade breakfasts, a daily note on the weather, and vineyard and restaurant advice

Lows

  • Lacks some facilities (e.g. no 24-hour reception), as it's a guesthouse, not a full service hotel
  • Might feel too small for some; there's no anonymity here
  • Children only allowed if you book the whole guesthouse - a high for some
  • Can be cold in winter

Best time to go

This part of South Africa has year-round appeal, with wineries open every day. It's busiest December to April (South African spring, summer and early autumn) and you're likely to have to book ahead in restaurants; out of season, May to September, it's colder and more likely to rain but still a beautiful place to visit.

Our top tips

If you're only in Stellenbosch briefly and don't have time to trek round multiple wineries, visit Delaire. It's got a spa, excellent restaurant and fantastic wines, as well as stunning scenery.

Great for...

City Style
Foodie
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique B&B
  • 5 room
  • Breakfast (+ other meals by arrangement)
  • Children on request only
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
Room:

Rooms

There are 5 double bedrooms in the guesthouse. Middedorp does not have any extra beds or baby cots, though rooms can be set up as twins.

What we noticed most is how spacious the rooms look, and how calming they seem. The décor has been carefully chosen, and each room has an extra-long kingsize bed made up with crisp white percale cotton, luxurious duvets and soft, silky cushions. There are also armchairs, plump designer cushions, and a TV, writing desk and DVD player in each.

Although the style is minimalist, it has warmth. The idea is that the calming colours and lack of frills, frou-frous and lace make you feel relaxed. Step into the bathroom for more of the same: airy spaces with rainfall showers, plus freestanding baths in the Suites, claw-feet on the dark wooden floors. All rooms have specially made toiletries and cosy white bathrobes.

Contemporary South African art lines the walls and the furniture is Cape antique and modern. As well as your room, you can relax in the house's shared spaces, including the garden, the terrace, library, breakfast room and Club Room.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Desk
  • Dvd player
  • Hairdryer
  • Honesty bar
  • Internet access
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Wake up to a lavish breakfast of muesli with double-thick Greek yoghurt, honey and seasonal fruit, plus cold meats, smoked mackerel and local cheeses. Homemade bread and pastries are also on offer, as is a hot dish of the day. Middedorp can cater for lunch or dinner on demand, but with so many world-class restaurants nearby, you'll probably want to eat out.

Stellenbosch is in the heart of the Winelands and there are over 140 wineries to visit nearby. On top of that, the town itself has an array of exquisite restaurants and cafes - food and wine are the main reasons people visit Stellenbosch.

In the town itself, we'd recommend The Big Easy, a French-influenced restaurant with great wine; Cafe Dijon, a French bistro, and Cognito, which serves African fusion and Wijnhuis, plus a Mediterranean menu with over 350 wines from Stellenbosch wineries.

When you get back to Middedorp, there's complimentary port and sherry for nightcaps, plus a small honesty bar.

You can also take the opportunity to eat traditional local food on a trip to the Kayamandi township; just ask Annemien.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Lounge by the pool, read books from the library then wander into Stellenbosch to people-watch from streetside cafes and eat at fantastic restaurants

  • Visit the wineries. There are so many to choose from - ask Annemien for recommendations and to book restaurants if necessary. Choose from Delaire (which has a spa), Tokara (for award-winning architecture), Kleine Zalze (for award-winning Shiraz and Chenin Blanc), Dornier (for loft-style views), Hidden Valley (for views of Table Mountain) and many more

  • Don't miss the Farmers' Markets in Stellenbosch and every Saturday at Spier Wine Farms. They bring together the best and freshest food from the surrounding area

  • Go wildlife watching. There are eagle and cheetah recovery centres at Spier where you can have personal encounters with impressive birds and big cats, and many other wildlife parks to explore, including Drakenstein lion park

  • Take a hot air balloon or scenic flight over the Cape Winelands, to see Paarl Valley, Du Toit’s Mountains and Bainskloof Pass

  • Visit Stellenbosch Botanical Gardens, which has a koi pond, Japanese garden and herb garden as well as multiple tropical and native plants

  • Hire bikes and take them for a spin around town. There are specialist wine tours devised with cyclists in mind, or if you're keener to make the most of the scenery, mountain biking routes, too

  • Book a cultural tour to the Kayamandi township, where you can visit community centres, shops and traditional restaurants

  • Visit Stellenbosch's leading contemporary art gallery, SMAC, which shows impressive modern African art in a stunning building

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Historical sites
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Traditional cultures
  • Whalewatching
  • Wildlife
  • Wine tasting

Kids

The hotel only accepts children by prior arrangement. Please contact the hotel directly to arrange a family stay, but bear in mind there are no baby cots and extra beds, simply 4 double/twin rooms.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
9/
Food
9/
Service
10/
Value
9/
Overall

{{ review.firstName }}{{ review.countryName ? ', '+ review.countryName : '' }},
Feedback is only from guests who have booked and stayed through i-escape

Rates for Middedorp Manor