A popular destination for those living in Cape Town and increasingly also for those visiting from farther away, Elgin Valley has no shortage of accommodation choices. Yet with various places to chose from but traveller insight for the area still relatively limited, it can be hard to select your hotel with confidence. Luckily, I have found this lovely little boutique hotel that I can’t recommend enough.
Each time I return to the amazing Western Cape in South Africa, I make a point to explore a new area and find a new hotel to stay in.
The beautiful Elgin Valley, just about an hour from Cape Town in the stunning Overberg region had been on my bucket list for a while. By now the area has become a well-known secret for wine lovers and many Capetownians who love to escape the city to this still lesser frequented area located just ‘over the mountain’ – thus Overberg.
Looking where to stay, Elgin Valley now boasts a large number of accommodation from self catering cottages, bed & breakfasts and even a couple of luxury hotels; and you will find the usual reviews / ratings on the known platforms.
This will certainly give you a hint but each and every review is always a very personal view and with a lack of a general ‘standing’ of the various hotels in the area, I have to confess I felt a bit less confident of what to expect when booking my stay.
Based exclusively on Internet research, relaying on my experience as a frequent traveller with many years of experience, my choice fell on family-led boutique hotel Villa Exner.
I was more than relieved this small five-star boutique hotel turned out to be a real gem which I immediately fell in love with.
Hidden behind a wall of large trees and bushes, Villa Exner is located at the end of a quiet residential area in the town of Grabouw and within minutes of some excellent Elgin Valley wineries.
Indeed, Villa Exner is perfectly located if you want to explore nearby Elgin along with the wine areas of Elgin Valley and Bot River as well as the large penguin colony at Stony Point, Betty’s Bay.
About Villa Exner
The villa really is a destination of itself and whilst leisure activities at the hotel itself are limited, this is actually the main perk of this place. Because staying at Villa Exner really is about unwinding and relaxing in the calmness of the large garden, around the small pool or nestling down in one of the shaded little corners, possibly enjoying a drink or two.
Rooms at Villa Exner
Trust me when I say the rooms at Villa Exner are truly awesome.
All rooms are located in various bungalows spread through the garden which adds another layer of total privacy to the stay.
Individually styled, what all rooms have in common are a minimalist design whilst they are styled with the utmost care and highest attention to detail, using sustainable materials and including little bits and pieces of art from South African artists.
The One Bedroom Suite was an absolute dream. Split into a bedroom dominated by a comfy bed covered with a huge mosquito net
… and a living room area complete with a huge leather couch, large flatscreen and a small library.
All rooms are facing the large garden and have their own private terrace.
Dining at Villa Exner
There is a small restaurant on site that is usually open Tuesday to Sunday offering excellent traditional South African cuisine.
Whether sitting outside on the terrace or inside, there’s a cosy atmosphere that’s largely down to the small size (there are just a couple of tables).
Like the rest of Villa Exner, the restaurant sets lovely accents with the black and white colour scheme pepped up by a vibrant red, and the walls adorned with local art.
With only one guy serving the food – every now and then helped by the owners – really appears to be more a friend amicably chatting with you while putting down the platters in front of you.
On the menu, expect both excellent seafood and locally sourced meet; and the deserts are to die for. I could not help to have the local version of apple strudel twice!.
A light breakfast is served either on the terrace or inside the small restaurant consisting of freshly baked croissants and bread along with eggs any style from the kitchen.
I really loved my stay at Villa Exner, especially because you never feel like staying in a hotel but rather like moving into your own little cottage and being looked after by friends whilst enjoying the utmost privacy.