THE HISTORIC COOPMANHUIJS BOUTIQUE HOTEL & SPA
In the heart of the historic town of Stellenbosch situated in the heart of South Africa’s spectacular Stellenbosch wine country is an historic gem of a hotel, Coopmanhuijs Boutique Hotel & Spa. Originally built in 1713 as one of the first manor homes in Stellenbosch, Coopmanhuijs underwent a complex three-year total renovation and emerged in 2010 as a multiple award-winning 16 room boutique hotel & spa. With the original character and integrity of the manor home intact, the result is an outstanding boutique hotel with a very inviting and unique blend of history and comfort combined with a total dedication to service.
It took but a few moments after we walked through the front door of Coopmanhuijs with its fabulous red awning for us to realize that we were in an oasis of historic charm where the fine art of gracious old-world service was still very much alive. Plus, even though the hotel was located in the center of a vibrant university town and our room offered a marvelous view of the town just two floors below, the pace of life was slow and relaxed inside the old walls of Coopmanhuijs and peace and quiet reigned in our room.
While service and serenity mark the inside of this historic hotel, the charming historic town of Stellenbosch founded in 1679 begged to be explored just outside the front door. So we quickly settled into our cozy room and admired the collection of old lithographs and porcelains as we walked downstairs and right outside onto the sidewalk to begin our explorations.
Our three days at Coopmanhuijs were an ideal blend of visiting the wineries with our car and driver followed by walking off the calories while exploring this fascinating old town, the second oldest European settlement after Cape Town in the province of the Western Cape. Just walking the streets, soaking in a taste of local life while admiring the strikingly beautiful old Cape Dutch buildings lining the streets and the graceful old oak trees shading them is a delightful way to relax and soak up a sense of life there.
The town also offers an interesting selection of shops featuring South African products as well as several small museums and interesting art galleries, including SMAC Gallery on Church Street which represents a number of established and emerging South African artists as well as those from other African countries and aims to put on museum-quality contemporary exhibitions.
What I enjoyed most about this multiple award-winning hotel …
Dinner at Helena’s Restaurant … this award-winning restaurant with its menu focusing on sustainability and the region’s finest seasonal ingredients is very popular among the locals, and during the warmer months offers dining al fresco on the front terrace or in the courtyard by the pool … perfect for a romantic dinner.
When I expressed interest in the stuffed quail the restaurant was serving for a special event the night of our arrival when we already had plans for dinner elsewhere, the kitchen graciously made an extra portion for me and served it to me the next evening. My dinner that evening, from start to finish, was awesome and the special attention made me feel like the lady of the manor home.
The location! … Because of its location on Church Street, centrally located among the charming shops and art galleries of the town of Stellenbosch, and because the town of Stellenbosch is centrally located with the wine region of Stellenbosch, Coopmanhuijs Boutique Hotel & Spa has by far the ideal location for visiting Stellenbosch — both the town and the wine region.
The very attentive service we received throughout the hotel … whenever we needed service, from reception to room service to maid service, the very caring staff always responded quickly and graciously. The quail for dinner at Helena’s was a perfect example.
The fascinating authentic décor throughout the hotel … including the charming collection of antique Delft porcelain plates from Holland and their impressive display encased inside the old stucco walls. Equally admirable are the many antique lithographs and other old-world treasures clearly from a bygone era.
The architecture … the splendid Neo-Georgian architecture of the exterior and the older original beams of the interior showcase the history as well as the architectural integrity of the renovation.
The fabulous breakfast buffet … as I enjoyed the homemade biscuits and jam I felt like a guest in the private manor home of long ago being served by the staff of the manor. Another favorite about breakfast at Coopmanhuijs is the fabulous light that floods in through the rear glass doors of the breakfast room which gives out onto the pool area. Definitely the perfect room to start the day.
The attention to comfort in our room … the renovations addressed maximum comfort, from the heated floors in our bathroom and WC to the location of outlets and the perfect lighting for makeup.
Parking and storing our car for the duration of our stay … so we can hire a car and driver and thoroughly enjoy our wine tasting during our visits to the wineries.
Proclaimed a South African National Monument in 1978, the iconic Coopmanhuijs provided us with an authentic charming taste of historic Stellenbosch. Plus, it served as the perfect home base for exploring the historic town of Stellenbosch on foot as well as the glorious renowned wineries of the region by car. For more information about the wineries and the region, please check out “Stellenbosch ~ South Africa’s Glorious Wine Country” and “Delaire Graff Indochine in Stellenbosch South Africa“.
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