We liked the Steenberg’s quiet ambiance and its stately demeanor reminiscent of the pioneer days of wine making. Our room was comfortable and spacious with an attractive bathroom and stunning vineyard and mountain views, particularly in the early morning when the morning light decorated the mountain scenery. We appreciated the convenience of Catharina’s, an onsite restaurant where we enjoyed breakfast and dinner, and the complimentary Internet access in the hotel’s lobby. The Steenberg was an ideal place to recharge our “batteries” following a long international flight before continuing to other parts of South Africa such as the famous Garden Route. We look forward to a repeat visit to the Steenberg with its soon-to-be-completed spa facilities and revamped pool.
Connectivity There was a complimentary Diginet line available 24 hours a day from the guest computer in the Barn Lounge which we took advantage of on several occasions.
General Manager Gaby Gramm
Handicapped Access There were no special rooms or design features for wheelchairs or handicapped guests.
Length Of Stay Two nights
Location In the Constantia Valley at the foot of the Steenberg Mountain, a short drive from Cape Town
Owned-Managed Graham Beck/Kangra Group
Pets Allowed No
Size There were 30 rooms in three one-story and two two-story buildings and 76 staff on a 40 acre property.
Year Opened-Renovated Built in the 1700s and developed into a hotel in 1996. The wing where we stayed was built in 2003.
One of the predominant decorative elements in the room was wood. Earth tones blended with brighter colors in the furniture, wall to wall rug, cloth furniture and curtains Although this area of the hotel was new, the wood beam ceiling and overall design of the building gave the room a nostalgic feel.
We set the temperature in the room with the remote controlled air conditioning/heating unit. It was also possible to turn on the heated floor boards which made the floor warm and pleasant to walk on when the weather was chilly. Thin walls or part of the building design meant we repeatedly heard our neighbors talk, cough and sneeze, especially in the early evening when we were getting ready for dinner (in a subsequent visit, the property manager assured us that improvements had been made in the soundproofing.)
Two French doors led to the back vineyard and a beautiful view to the mountain. There was a small garden in the background, two lounger chairs, a table and chairs set in a small private patio.
Facilities In addition to the main building, there was one swimming pool available to guests, a restaurant, cigar bar and an award winning working winery. With advance planning Hotel guests had access to the neighboring residential championship golf course.
Pools There were two pools, one 50 feet by 15 feet, which was under construction when we visited the Hotel and the other 25 feet by 20 feet located behind the building across from the restaurant.
Other The buildings, which date back to 1682, were restored to their former glory and are a National Monument. Steenberg holds the distinction of being the oldest wine farm in the picturesque Constantia Valley, which is considered by some to be South Africa’s premier wine growing region. The land was originally granted to a widow, Catharina Ras, in 1682. Wines were first produced on the farm in 1695. The farm was first known as Swaaneweide, Afrikaans for the feeding place of swans and was later renamed Steenberg, in honor of the imposing mountain which towers over it. As the southern-most wine farm in the Constantia Valley, Steenberg benefits greatly from the cooling influence of nearby False Bay. During our visit 62 hectares were under vines, with cultivars including Chardonnay, Semillon, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz, Nebbiolo, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.
The Steenberg was recognized as the 2005 “Luxury Hotel” during the 12 annual AA Travel Guides Accommodation Awards.
A Peter Matkoviche championship 18-hole golf course belonging to the Hotel’s neighbors was accessible to guests although advance reservations were recommended when we asked about tee-off times.
Related See our review of the Steenberg’s Heritage Suites.