THE swimming pool at Die Laan 2 is not for the delicate swimmer, as I found out early that Saturday. And by delicate, I mean the person who eases themselves slowly and cautiously into the water.
It was a sweltering weekend in Stellenbosch, hot, humid, windy; a contrast between the chilled air conditioned interior of my apartment and the solid wall of heat outside that reminded me of Thailand, always a delicious memory. While the temperature had not yet reached its peak, nowhere close, I decided to take advantage of the peace and quiet of the early morning to scurry down to the pool.
Given the hour, the water was still cold, but not too cold. I stood on the top step until I decided whether I’d go any farther. On the second step, I was immersed up to my thighs. I considered being brave and diving in from there, but instead I took the third step…and was plunged up to my neck, that being the full depth of the pool. It was quite unexpected but exhilarating; I may just as well have dived, and since I’d been unceremoniously submerged, I did exactly that, while being quietly grateful there was no one else around to witness the preceding whoopsie.
Die Laan 2 is part of De Haas Luxury Living, which comprises three properties: the apartment complex with lots of secure parking, where I stayed; as well as Die Laan 40 guest house and Hamman B&B. If your intention is to explore the town of Stellenbosch you simply cann0t go wrong with this location. It is literally around the corner from the top of Dorp Street, and Ryneveld Street, which runs perpendicular to Dorp and in front of the NGK Moeder Kerk. It’s such a beautiful building, and its bells ring the hours and half hours, which I could hear from my apartment when the sliding doors were open (cool silence when they were closed). Two minutes fast, but still charming.
I was there for three days and two nights, with all my destinations in town itself, so I parked my car when I arrived, and only got in it again when I left. Everything was only minutes away on foot, which is unbeatable convenience. And for the first time, after many, many visits to Stellenbosch, I finally memorised the names of the roads and what is where. At long last I got my bearings instead of turning a corner and being surprised at where I’d ended up. I could probably even give you directions to any of the wine bars.
The apartment was a smooth, sleek joy. On the upper storey, the front door of the Aviator Suite (with appropriate wall art) opens into a double-volume stairway. Inside, it’s all open plan, not a door in sight. The spacious bathroom is in line with what comedian Schalk Bezuidenhout said in his hilarious video about how to tell if a place is “kak fancy”, a video which unfortunately I can’t find anywhere on the internet anymore, which is sad. Among other things, a place is “kak fancy” when there is no door for the bathroom.
I can add to that, another sign is multiple light switches which anyone with a memory like mine will not master in mere days. I think the trick is to do it when it’s dark so you can see you’re flicking the stairway and entrance hall lights. I’m glad I ate out the entire time because the stove and microwave would have been just too much. The apartment has one vast bed and a dining table which seats four.
In that bathroom were – and this is promised on the website – oversized bath sheets. This brings me so much joy. There should be a rule cast in stone about it. Surely only small children won’t know the trauma of a towel that barely reaches corner to corner across the bosom, leaving a vast V-shaped area of nothing except immodesty. Please, for the love of all things holy, give me a fluffy oversized bath sheet that can wrap around my ample curves twice. So for that I am eternally grateful.
Also for the massive bed and perfectly comfortable pillows. The first world problems of the frequent traveller tragically include those which are either too hard, or too soft. One is too little, two too many, and life can be so trying sometimes. And another big plus here was a reading light that actually illuminated my book (once I’d located the tiny switch). No lying across the bedside table and under a lampshade. Air conditioning that was easy to set at my desired temperature – and stay there – was another bonus, especially in that weather; it was sheer bliss to come home to after a busy day of eating and drinking. A brilliant feature at newer lodgings such as this is the USB charging port next to the bed. Who else remembers the old days in hotels where your phone had to be plugged in on the other side of the room because that was the only power point? I think it was the same dark age one would have to book a wake up call with reception.
The ultimate cherry on the top of course, was that there was a cat. Cute little thing, bit feisty, but keen to make friends. Check out the website for more information. About De Haas Luxury Living, not the cat.
PHOTO CREDIT: BIANCA COLEMAN ©