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In 1693, The Cellars-Hohenort, then known as Klaasenbosch Farm, was the house of Hendrik ten Damme, Chief Surgeon of the Dutch East India Company. The farmhouse is positioned against the wooded knoll of the eastern slope of Table Mountain. During the 1750’s it became part of the flourishing farming and wine producing area. The Cellars was the wine cellar of Klaasenbosch Farm.
After numerous owners, Arnold Spilhaus bought the farm in 1906 and replaced the old thatched farmhouse with the magnificent manor in the German style with square gables, designed by architect Seeliger. It was named “Hohenort”, meaning “high place” in old German. Spilhaus died at the grand old age of 100 years in 1947, after which the entire property was cut up and sold.
In 1991, Liz McGrath, known for her success in developing The Plettenberg Hotel in Plettenberg Bay, bought, restored, enlarged and refurbished The Cellars, which was then a country guesthouse. Although thoroughly modernised, great care was taken to protect the age. The Oregon pine staircase was therefore crafted from the old roofing timbers, the lounge still has the original beams, and the restaurant was built around a huge oak tree as old as the cellar. So great was the success of this now upmarket, elegant five star hotel, that in November 1991, The Cellars was invited to join the internationally renowned Relais et Chateaux Association of which The Plettenberg was also a qualified member.
During this period, The Hohenort Hotel, run under separate ownership, beckoned and pleaded for the same transformation that The Cellars had undergone. In February 1993, Liz McGrath bought the property and after extensive renovations the doors were opened in November. Finally the two properties, with nine acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, were happily united once again.
Through these three centuries, vines, fruit, vegetables and flowers have blossomed in this fertile valley and on this land. In fact, it was in these gardens that Mr Fisher, a former owner of “The Cellars”, hybridised the rose “Chris Barnard”, named after the famous heart surgeon.
Every emphasis has been put in maintaining and elaborating on the beauty of the surroundings and the history of the Estate – whether it be in the detail of each individually decorated room, the attractive antique furnishing, or every acre of the remarkable gardens – Liz McGrath and her team constantly endeavour to maintain the highest standards of Relais & Chateaux excellence.
The Cellars-Hohenort todayAccommodation is superb! The 48 rooms consist of premier and standard suites, luxury and standard double rooms, and singles, all with en-suite bathrooms. “The Madiba Villa” comprises of a premier suite with two or three double en-suite rooms, luxurious and exquisitely designed, in a beautiful area of our gardens. This is a gracious Cape style home with its own private courtyard and plunge pool.
The Estate features two large swimming pools, a tennis court and even an ideally situated Gary Player designed chipping and putting golf green. A fully equipped twenty-seater boardroom is the perfect venue for small conferences and the gracious drawing rooms may be used for private functions.
The Conservatory is the main restaurant at The Cellars-Hohenort and located in the Cellars Building. This stylish restaurant is situated adjacent to the historic cellar, and carefully built around a giant 300-year-old oak, offers unparalleled garden vistas, whether you opt for the airy indoors or the sun-drenched terrace. Our Head Chef will be creating some hotel classics alongside some new trendy dishes focused around our bountiful gardens and local produce. The service is friendly and always attentive and unassuming. The Cellars-Hohenort’s award-winning Relais & Chateaux Grand Chef Restaurant, The Greenhouse, expertly showcases Peter Tempelhoff’s acclaimed ‘Progressive South African’ cuisine. Here the tasting menu is inspired by the imagination, a place where anything is possible. The cuisine evolves and reinvents past classics resulting in dishes that surprise and leave a lasting impression. With emphasis placed on local produce and African flavours. The tasting menu, paired with superb wines from the surrounding wine regions, will impress even the most seasoned diners. Limited seating, for just 45 people, ensures that each guest experiences the most intimate dining affair.
Whether enjoying breakfast on the terrace or a pre-lunch drink in The Conservatory soothed by the gentle splash of the fountain, the whole ambience is one of genteel and elegant luxury. Fresh Wellness Spa welcomes all to be pampered with the latest in beauty treatments. Another delightful find is The Collection Boutique, a curio and souvenir shop, filled with local treasures. Situated in close proximity to beautiful forest walks, top quality shopping, sport amenities, golf courses, the magnificent Kirstenbosch Gardens and the best Peninsula beaches, The Cellars-Hohenort truly is suburban bliss in Cape Town, just 15 minutes away from the City Centre and Cape Town International Airport.