Our visit was pleasant, thanks to the spacious, quiet and private villa accommodations and the hotel’s luxury and comfortable facilities including the restaurants, attractive gardens and spa as well as the serene and quiet setting and friendly guest centered staff.

Overall Impression Madiba Villa, a two-bedroom Cape style rental villa within a 53-room historic boutique hotel property, is tucked away discretely in the back of a nine-hectare garden filled wine estate in Constantia, a leafy suburb of Cape Town. It was a delightful place to spend time during a recent visit to the area. The drive from Cape Town to Constantia is mostly easy and we are always surprised at the contrast between the city’s urban setting and the suburban wine region’s placid green scenery. For those times when we have no need to stay in the city proper suburban areas like Constantia have a definite appeal.

We located the estate with the help of our very handy GPS device. The security guard at the property gate welcomed us through after verifying we were incoming guests and within minutes the staff had whisked our luggage away and parked our car. From where we stood in front of the main entrance to the hotel I could see the walled villa which was close enough to reach reception quickly and distant enough for privacy and extra quiet. Check in was brief. The assistant manager showed us around the main areas of the property before escorting us to the villa.

From the hotel reception area we reached the 196 square meter rental home named in tribute to former South African President Nelson Mandela (Madiba is his Xhosa clan name) by walking the equivalent of a short city block. A couple of steps and a gate led to a small courtyard with a plunge pool and four lounge chairs. A combination of walls, a gate and foliage enhanced our privacy. Double doors led to the interior of the house which was divided into common areas on the ground floor and two bedrooms with en suite bathrooms on the first floor.

While at Madiba Villa we had an opportunity to dine within the hotel grounds. We revisited The Greenhouse, an old favorite, and sampled the specialty dishes of The Cape Malay Restaurant. Although it was too chilly to swim we strolled through the vineyards and gardens and visited the spa for his and her afternoon massages.

We enjoyed our early spring stay at Madiba Villa and would welcome the opportunity to return. Our visit was pleasant, thanks to the spacious, quiet and private villa accommodations and the hotel’s luxury and comfortable facilities including the restaurants, attractive gardens and spa as well as the serene and quiet setting and friendly guest centered staff.

Children Families with children 12 and older were welcome at Madiba Villa.

Class Of Accommodation Luxury home with private plunge pool within a hotel

Connectivity When we arrived we asked about Internet access. The staff explained that it was possible to rent a 3G card and we requested one for the following morning. It arrived at the end of the following day. Once connected we were able to download emails and access only local Internet portals. Although there was complimentary WiFi in the Martini Bar of the main building of the hotel connectivity was spotty and only available in certain parts of the lounge. We were able to connect some of times we attempted to use it.

General Manager Clayton Howard

Handicapped Access There was no wheelchair access. To reach the first floor of the house, where the bedrooms where located, it was necessary to climb the stairs.

Length Of Stay Three nights

Location Within the Cellars-Hohenort Hotel estate in the Constatia suburb of Cape Town, about 12 kilometers from the city.

Owned And Managed Liz McGrath and The Collection by Liz McGrath

Pets Allowed No

Size The villa is 196 square meters in size and offered guests two-bedrooms, two and one half bathrooms, a kitchen, dining room, living room, and a gated private courtyard with plunge pool (it could also be rented as a three bedroom 242 square meter property). It is located in a nine-hectace private wine and hotel estate.

Year Opened-Renovated The villa was built in 1992 and opened to guests the following year. The most recent renovations were in 2009.

Lobby And Common Areas Most of the villa had khaki color carpeting except for the wide staircase and kitchen which had wood laminate floors, and the tiled bathrooms. The contemporary and homey d├ęcor was beige accented with muted shades of red and hunter green plaid. This theme was present in the headboard (of the guest bedroom) and curtains while the color combination could be seen throughout the house. Ceilings were high and the walls were eggshell color. The living area was immediately to the left of the entrance. It was furnished with cushy comfortable cloth furniture in muted shades of yellow and red set around a coffee table. There was television with DVD player in the corner next to a gas fireplace. A small hallway in the back led to a guest (half) bathroom. The dining room and adjacent kitchen occupied the other side of the ground floor. The golden yellow dining room tablecloth and curtains matched. There was a cabinet with a mini bar and locked (we received the key when we checked in) mini refrigerator against the far wall opposite the entrance, a rectangular wood dining room table with seating for four, a wall facing desk and on the right side two steps led down to a sunken kitchen. The kitchen had a full size Bosch refrigerator, microwave oven, gas stove, and round sink. Conveniently there was a Nespresso machine and hot water pitcher in a corner of the kitchen counter.

In the middle of the ground floor wide stairs led up one story to the first floor of the building. At the top of the stairs there was a small landing area with a rug and a large wooden chest. A master bedroom was to the left beyond double wood doors. Another set of double wood doors led to a second bedroom.

Underfloor heating and individual heating/air conditioning wall units allowed us to regulate the indoor temperatures somewhat. However limited insulation and areas with no underfloor heating (such as the dining area and the guest bathroom) hampered heat conservation when the temperature dropped. Although the living area had a gas fireplace the staff were unable to make it work until the second night. Since it was not heating well they brought a space heather. There were fresh flowers in the bedrooms and on the dining room table. These echoed the beautiful large flower arrangements in the hotel lobby.

Bathrooms Master bathroom: To the left of the entrance there were twin sinks set on a Corian counter above a white painted wood cabinet. Above the sinks there was a shelved and mirrored wall. Just past the all and to the right there was a stand alone bathtub adjacent to a window. A modern toilet and towel cloth covered chair were next and across from a glass enclosed shower for two. There was a heated towel rack on the wall.

Guest bathroom: Immediately across from the bathroom entrance there were two sinks on a marble counter above a cabinet framed by a mirrored wall (with shelves). The walls were partly covered with off white large tiles matching the floor. Past the toilet and side window, a shower bathtub with a half a glass door occupied the rear of the bathroom.

Rooms Master bedroom A large master bedroom faced the inner courtyard and entrance. In the far corner there was a king bed (from two smaller mattresses joined together and set against a headboard) framed by matching and built-in pale shelf/night tables with mirrored walls. A Sonic television hung from the corner wall above a round wood glass topped table with a pale yellow cover that matched the curtains. A half moon shaped wood table with a mirror and thin wood lamp occupied the space immediately across from the bed. Next to it there were two flower patterned armchairs with a rectangular wood table in the middle. Identical doors, with full length mirrors attached, opened on to a walk-in closet (with an electronic safe); and to the master bathroom. A set of French doors led to a small open balcony with a table and chairs that faced the inner courtyard and villa entrance.

Guest bedroom The center of the room was occupied by a queen bed made up of two smaller mattresses joined together and set against a wood and cloth headboard. On either side of the bed there were matching glass covered wood night tables with identical lamps. There was a telephone on one of the night tables. The rear wall had a wood door that led to an external staircase and next to it, behind mirrored double doors (a second set of identical doors led to the bathroom on the other side of the room), there was a walk-in closet with an electronic safe. Across from the bed, there was a small desk with an armless chair facing the wall. Double French doors on either side of the desk led to a narrow balcony with a view to one side of the villa and a hotel walkway. A small flat screen Sonic television hung on the wall above a round wood table to the left side of the entrance. Period prints, hung within glass frames, added a decorative touch to the room.

Food And Restaurants Although we were disappointed with our single room service order for the most part we looked forward to and enjoyed meal times at the Cellars-Hohenort Hotel. During our stay at the villa we had breakfast The Greenhouse. It consisted of a buffet of varying complexity with many appetizing and a made to order options. I enjoyed the hot cocoa. We also had an outstanding dinner there as well as a savory and memorable dinner at The Cape Malay Restaurant.

Amenities There were heated towel racks, cotton bathrobes, house brand toiletries (shampoo, body lotion, room spray, bath salts), shower caps, cotton swabs, and small bottles of water at turn down. There were also fresh flowers, a fruit platter, a wine bottle on arrival, self service coffee and tea in the kitchen, complimentary parking, and complimentary English breakfast.

Facilities Villa guests had access to hotel facilities: Two restaurants, bar, beauty salon, spa, putting green,vineyard, gardens, two swimming pools (one heated) and tennis courts.

Pool In addition to two full size swimming pools within the hotel property, the villa had a plunge pool 3 meters by 4 meters large and 1.5 meters deep within a walled and gated courtyard next to the villa entrance.

Spa It was convenient to have access to an on site spa. We took advantage of the spa facilities one afternoon. I had a 45-minute neck, shoulder and back massage. Lindy, my therapist, was friendly and delivered a soothing massage.

Other The hotel was a member of Relais and Chateax. One morning, I ran into Jean Almon, a delightful lady who looks after the property gardens, as she was tending to the plants in our villa courtyard and entrance. She generously shared insights and guided me on a garden walk for the better part of an hour.

Cleanliness Very good

Date Of Review September 2009

Reviewers Article by Elena del Valle

Photographs by Gary Cox

Service There was twice daily room service. Staff were friendly and customer oriented.

Would You Stay There Again? Yes


Contact Information

  • Address:
    • The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel
    • 93 Brommersvlei Road,
    • Constantia
    • 7848, Cape Town
    • South Africa
  • Phone:
    • +27 021 794 2137
  • Fax:
    • +27 021 794 2175
  • Website:
  • Email: