In 2020 the tourism world as we know it changed. One of the most profound impacts of Covid-19 is the growth in bolt-hole getaways where you and loved ones can keep to yourselves.
The advantage of Brenaissance Guest Estate and Function Venue, an agri-tourism business in South Africa’s Western Cape Winelands region of Stellenbosch’s Devon Valley, is you can take accommodations opposite each other and enjoy the self-catering options or, if your group is large enough, take up the entire 15 rooms for your party. This is when the multi-purpose venue or chapel comes into itself for banquet celebrations of up to 250 people.
If you know Franschhoek’s storied Babylonstoren you will recognise a similar decoration style here, also in converted farm buildings.
The orchard suites overlook the plum orchards and a river. What I love most about the decoration and layout is the unfussy masculine style of white subway-style tiles on the walls, painted concrete floors and the use of wrought-iron for French bistro-style tables. Although masculine, there are flourishes such as the Tiffany-style dining chair and bronzed tubular stools with green or gold cushions. Think Marilyn Monroe meets the milkmaid.
The standout is the top-drawer range of Smeg appliances in the self-catering kitchens and the Megamaster gas BBQ on the outside deck overlooking the orchard. There’s a Nespresso machine but bring your own pods if you have a particular preference.
The King-sized bed was extremely comfortable and can also be converted into two Hollywood-sized beds. The bathroom, with a walk-in shower is positively palatial. Fully air-conditioned and with a wood-burning stove, you will be extremely comfortable here no matter what the weather holds.
To that end, be aware that there is a bit of walking from where the cars are parked to where you are lodged. The duty manager during our visit was the charming and multi-talented Ivania Terblanche who not only checked us in but carried our luggage in a 4X4-style waggon along the cobbled paths and then cooked a slap-up breakfast for us the next morning in the @Pool House. Enjoy wine tasting and meals at Cafe Blanc De Noir on the farm which can seat 200 people.
There is free wi-fi although the signal strength in unit five, farthest from the office, was a little sketchy.
While it will take less than 10 minutes to be in the centre of Stellenbosch, a historic university town renowned for its wine industry, with birdsong and verdant views for as far as the eye can see from your verandah, who’d want to leave?
Tell Me More About Brenaissance Guest Estate
Brenaissance Guest Estate and Function Venue, Devon Valley Road, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa.
T: +27 (0)21 200 2537
Rooms from: ZAR 1,200 but dependent on room-type and season. The ZAR/GBP is fluctuating too greatly at the time of writing to include a £ rate equivalent.