Steenberg Hotel is situated on one of the oldest farms in the Cape and has a rich and fascinating history. The farm’s original owner, the feisty Catharina Ustings Ras, was the first female landowner in Southern Africa. Catharina’s life story tells a fascinating tale! One steeped in lore and myth, filled with daring escapes, tumultuous loves and untimely deaths.
Steenberg Hotel and Farm
In 1682 Catharina, also known as The Widow Ras, asked Simon van der Stel for a portion of ground at the foot of the Ou Kaapse Weg and he agreed to lease 25 Morgen to her. After he became the owner of Groot Constantia in 1685, she asked him for a legal title-deed, and a mandate was granted to her in 1688 to “cultivate, to plough and to sow and also to possess the farm below the stone mountain.”
At the dawning of the Cape, the swans rejoined, feeding in paradise at the foot of the Steenberg Mountains.
The original name of the farm was ‘Swaaneweide’ – The Feeding Place of Swans. Catharina, perhaps overcome by nostalgia for the swans of her native Lübeck Germany, mistook the area’s spur-winged geese for swans. These geese still roam freely on the estate, harking back to Catharina’s day.
Steenberg changed hands several times over the years until Graham Beck bought Steenberg Hotel and Steenberg Winery in April 2005. The Hotel has since flourished into a complete luxury destination and a Top Cape Town Hotel. The Estate boasts two fantastic restaurants, an award-winning winery, a championship 18-hole golf course, illustrious private homes and a world-class spa, all set amongst the estate’s astounding natural landscape.
I was delighted recently when offered the opportunity of joining a group of bloggers, to experience the understated luxury of Steenberg!
Steenberg Hotel, nestled at the foot of the Steenberg Mountain, forms part of the Constantia Wine Route. From the moment you arrive at the Hotel, you are swept up in the magic that is Steenberg! The attention to detail is first class, and nothing is too much trouble. The decor is sophisticated elegance at its best.
My room was stunning, the epitome of 5 Star Luxury. From the gorgeously luxurious bed linen, the beautiful bathroom to the private patio, it was pure perfection. For me, luxury should be subtle and not overdone, more something you feel than see. Other than beautiful decor and fittings, small touches and attention to detail, are what truly make an establishment 5 Star.
Things that stood out for me was the fantastic turn-down service at night and the personalised notes left in my room! The “small things” make the biggest impression. I also have to mention that the bed was so comfortable, I slept like a baby, which is unlike me, especially in a foreign environment. The linen was so soft and luxurious, it felt like sleeping on a cloud!
The Hotel boasts 24 rooms, which includes striking heritage suites, contemporary premier rooms, family rooms and the charm of sunny barn rooms, as well as those in the original Manor House.
Steenberg Farm is a destination rather than being just a hotel! If you so wish you do not need to leave the surrounds of the farm, to enjoy the ultimate in South African Hospitality. There are numerous activities to enjoy on the farm, as well as two wonderful restaurants. If you do wish to venture further afield the hotel does offer a complimentary shuttle service to guests. These are a few of the activities you can experience:
Boule and Cocktails on the Lawn
Mountain Bike Rides
Picnics on the Lawn
Pool Area & Bar
Steenberg Spa – enjoy a luxuriously pampering treatment at their world-class spa.
A trip to Porters Market
A stroll in Kalk Bay or Simons Town
Visit the V&A Waterfront
These are but a few of the activities or attractions you can enjoy at the farm or in Cape Town. I have also put together a list of Things To Do in the Constantia Wine Route, which is a great guide if you would like to explore the area.
As I mentioned, the farm is home to two restaurants, Bistro 1682 and Catharina’s Restaurant. Bistro 1682 offers trendy bistro style dining, with some of the most delicious tapas in Cape Town! Catharina’s is more of a fine-dining experience, where the finest quality ingredients are simply cooked, allowing the ingredients to be the hero of the dish!
As Steenberg is an award-winning wine farm, wine naturally forms an integral part of your experience at Steenberg Hotel! Steenberg Vineyards, the oldest registered farm in the Cape, produces a range of much-loved wines, which include Méthode Cap Classique, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, Nebbiolo and the ICON wine Magna Carta.
If you are planning a trip to Cape Town or have a special occasion coming up, I highly recommend staying at the Steenberg Hotel! The hotel is the ultimate in luxury, the surroundings majestic and the service top-class! You will not be disappointed!
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CATHERINE SCHULZE ~ Hotel Manager via TEL: +27 (21) 713 2222 or email [email protected]