Leaving the motorway at Newlands, passing Kirstenbosch Gardens and winding my way round the bends of the magnificent tree-lined Rhodes Drive, I left the stress of the city behind.
On arrival at the Cellars Hohenort my senses were immediately aroused by the exotic aroma of star jasmine and the abundance of snow white iceberg roses in the 3.6 hectares of magnificently manicured award-winning gardens.
Cellars Hohenort’s garden was voted garden of the year in 2011 by the exclusive Relais & Chateaux international hotel and recently was chosen as one of the top 30 hotel gardens by the leading American magazine, Garden Design.
The suite I stayed in is comparable to those in the best international five-star establishments.
The lounge and dining area opened onto a tiered private patio garden, with sun loungers and an outside dining table.
The windows had been opened prior to my arrival and the heavenly aroma of jasmine had filled the entire suite.
The neutral colour palette of creams and soft florals relax the mind and soul, allowing the body to follow suit, making this a perfect place to get away from the stresses of the daily grind.
The suites include a kitchenette with tea and coffee making facilities adding to the “home from home” feeling.
In the morning I was woken by the sounds of birds singing and the gentle rustling of leaves from the massive old oak trees.
After breakfast, I took a stroll round the gardens and I couldn't help but notice the meticulous detail that had gone into creating them.
Many of the trees have plaques with the names, species, origins and details of their flowering seasons. I felt as if I were strolling through an intimate, exclusive version of the neighbouring Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
The dining options are the Conservatory restaurant where breakfast, lunch and dinner is served, or the award-winning Greenhouse restaurant.
The Conservatory offers an a la carte menu of international contemporary classic cuisine. The decor is minimalist, extending the garden atmosphere into the restaurant and creating a relaxed dining area.
The Greenhouse restaurant is headed by the multi-talented executive chef Peter Tempelhoff - who has worked beside chefs Marco Pierre White and Aaron Patterson in two Michelin-starred London restaurants.
During his time as executive chef at Automat in Mayfair, the restaurant was named top table in London in 2005 and nominated for restaurant of the year by the prestigious Harpers & Queens restaurant awards.
Since his return to South Africa he has been named the Sunday Times chef of the year in 2007 and received the best hotel restaurant on the Garden Route award at The Plettenberg.
Eat Out Awards has voted Greenhouse South Africa’s number one restaurant as well as restaurant of the year.
In 2011 Relais & Chateaux international hotel group honoured him with the title of Relais & Chateaux grand chef.
At Greenhouse Tempelhoff stretches the boundaries of South African cuisine and takes his guests on an elegant, multi-sensory journey of flavours incorporating the garden, veld and ocean. Be advised - bookings are essential.
For those who do not wish to sleep at the hotel but would like to visit, there are picnics available ranging from R155 to R285 per person and visitors can spend a few hours relaxing in one of the secluded seating areas in the surrounding gardens.
There is also the option of enjoying an afternoon high tea served on the terrace daily from 3.30-5pm at R225.
Cellars Hohenort is a wonderful destination for a day visit or an overnight stay - either way you will leave relaxed and revitalised.Secret Getaways is offering South African residents a one-night stay for two people including breakfast and a R500 dinner voucher for R1 999 or two nights for R3 499 from December 1-19.