Lesley Stones takes a trip deep into the heart of the Cape Winelands to experience the luxury and warm hospitality that is the Evergreen Manor & Spa…
There’s nothing like a little peer pressure to make you question your lifestyle choices.
We’ve just cycled to Lanzerac Wine Estate near Stellenbosch for a wine and chocolate pairing, but my companions demurely decline the wine and take only tiny nibbles of the chocolate.
I dither for a second, then dive in for the full experience. It’s easy to justify, I reckon. A few tipples might boost my confidence on the bike, and some delicious chocolate fits right in with the decadent holiday I’m having at the Evergreen Manor & Spa.
This boutique hotel in Stellenbosch makes a perfect base for exploring this gorgeous region of quaint towns and villages, imposing mountains and spectacularly twisting roads. Its hands-on owners Riël and Christina Meynhardt love telling entertaining stories about its history over a champagne breakfast. The two Victorian villas that make up Evergreen were built in 1902 and 1904, and they bought the first house when it was a run-down student hovel. They restored it gradually, with money from each of their first few bookings paying for the restoration of another part of the building.It was well worth the years of hard work, with its 15 spacious en suite bedrooms individually decorated with period and antique furnishings.
Activities to rejuvenate and revive the body and mind
On warm days there are two splash pools to play in, a sun deck and a spacious patio. There’s also the year-round delight of the cosy Evergreen Spa exclusively for hotel guests. Its therapists will pamper you with Touch Treatments, Spa Body Treatments, Aroma Body Envelopments, specialised skincare treatments and therapeutic reflexology.
The Evergreen is in the historic core of Stellenbosch, with fine restaurants, art galleries, museums and historical buildings a short stroll away. It’s part of Cape Country Routes (CCR), a collective of boutique hotels and attractions designed to make you linger longer in scenic and historic areas of the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape. CCR also stands for charm, character and romance, Riël boasts, with hotels only selected to become members if they’re brimming with atmosphere and top-notch service.
The Adventure Shop that took me on the bike ride is another CCR member and runs guided wine-tasting day trips and multi-day adventure tours. My big tip for the best time possible – hire the electric bike. It’s bliss to putter along these scenic roads and barely have to peddle.
Once the Covid-19 lockdown lifts for domestic travellers, a trip through the unhurried isolation of the Cape’s back routes will be pure bliss. The Evergreen stayed open to welcome essential workers and business travellers, and like all CCR properties, it’s adhering to stringent health and cleaning protocols for the safety of guests and staff.
One tempting offer is a 12-day Cape Classic Tour, starting in Cape Town and ending near Addo Elephant National Park. On the way, you’ll take in fabulous scenery, sample world-class and stay in hand-picked hotels. When the tour reaches Stellenbosch, guests will spend two nights at The Evergreen, take a guided cycle ride to the vineyards, enjoy the Vine Hopper Hop-On Hop-Off wine tour and a Foodie Walk through town.
The perfect combination of great experiences at the slower pace that’s becoming the welcome new reality.
Written by Lesley Stones
Make a booking at Evergreen Manor & Spa
Tel: (+27) 021 886 6947
Physical Address: 11 Murray Street, Stellenbosch, 7600, Western Cape, South Africa
For Tour Bookings and activities
Enquiries: 076 203 8929 (also WhatsApp)