PERSONAL handwritten notes, thoughtful gifts in the newly spruced up room with its beautiful amenities, smiling friendly staff at every turn, a heavenly pedicure, and two dining options – these are just some of the things that made my stay at Steenberg extra special.
My vast room – big enough for a party – was decorated in shades of black, white and grey; a dusty rose pink velvet chair at the bathroom vanity and pink lilies on the glass table in the vestibule provided elegant colour accents. The revamp is so new there was still a whiff of fresh paint in the air, a scent that evokes feelings of fresh beginnings. Calm, sophisticated palettes define the overall look of the various rooms, from cool aquamarine to soft pinks, each with a different look yet complementary. It’s the vision of GM Catherine Schulze, who took on the mammoth task of redoing all the rooms.
It was also Catherine’s idea to overhaul the pool area, taking out the old bar and replacing it with a relaxation area, complete with day beds and curtains for privacy if required. It was the perfect place to relax with my bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and my book, ahead of my spa appointment. On the subject of Sauvignon Blanc, it’s not my favourite wine. This bottle, with the compliments of the hotel, however, was quite lovely and I carried it everywhere with me until it was finished.
At the spa I had a much-needed pedicure, which needs to be mentioned because it was that fabulous. The whirlwind (yet focused on relaxation) staycation continued with a golf cart ride (the scenic route, said the driver) through the vineyards up to the tasting room and Bistro Sixteen82. Here, tapas are served from 5pm till 8pm; breakfast and lunch are also served daily. The fine dining restaurant (formerly Catharina’s) has been renamed Tryn, where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. It’s all truly delicious, under the command of executive chef Kerry Kilpin, who is responsible for both restaurants.
When I returned to my room much bubbly later, I found the turndown service had included a neat tidying up of all my make up which I’d left strewn over the vanity, with everything arranged in an orderly fashion. The small thing that is such a big thing for me is the magnifying mirror. I can’t do my face without one, and travel with my own, but it’s great to see them in more and more hotels. This one is fantastic – scarily so, because you can see every single little flaw at 30 times its size – and has a light too, just in case you missed that new wrinkle or grey hair the first time.
On the table in the vestibule, joining the boxed bottle of Steenberg 1682 Pinot Noir bubbly – with its note from cellar master Elunda Basson saying how proud the team is of winning “Best Rosé” at the Anorim Cap Classique Challenge last month – were two more gifts: a lavender pillow to pop in the bed for relaxing sleep, and a fragrant essential oil roller.
With a belly full of delicious food and award-winning wine, and baby-smooth feet, I climbed into the bed that was wider and longer than me in every direction for the best night’s sleep I’d had in weeks. The next morning, I made myself tea in the blue Le Creuset pot which I drank from the blue Le Creuset cup, with the fresh milk in the mini bar fridge (none of those horrible little pyramids of long-life milk which squirt everywhere except in your beverage), and enjoyed it on my private patio in my private garden overlooking the vineyards, while nibbling an irresistible shortbread biscuit.
It had been suggested I go for a walk around the farm in the morning, an idea I relished enough to pack my takkies. Apparently there’s a lovely dam up the hill. When it came down to it, I chose to stay in bed longer and instead I watched another lady striding purposefully along the path and raised my cup to her. Good intentions and all that.
The breakfast pastries, fruit and savouries at Tryn are served on a circular cake stand, followed by your choice of hot dish; I had the bacon, cheese and tomato omelette which was superb…the melted cheese oozing out the edges, and the tomatoes sweet. My table was maybe two metres from the vineyards and in the distance I could see a bank of fog over False Bay.
Steenberg is a certain kind of extra special.
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PHOTO CREDIT: BIANCA COLEMAN ©