It's been a crazy year with a to-do list that seems to get longer every time I tick something off, so when we climbed in the car, suitcase packed to spend a night in Stellenbosch, I was more than a little eager to forget that nasty list for a while. Just over 45 minutes later we were pulling into the small parking lot of Majeka House, a boutique hotel situated in the leafy suburb of Paradyskloof, Stellenbosch.
Soon my partner Jared and I were acquainting ourselves with the four-poster bed and lovely cotton linen. A clear, bright afternoon greeted us as we opened the French doors onto our balcony from which we had a clear view of the Stellenbosch mountains.
Lloyd van der Merwe and Karine Dequeker-van der Merwe live on the property and take an active role in the day-to-day running of their business. During a short meeting with Karine, she told us of the effort it took to create their dream into what it is today. Working with designer Etienne Hannekom the couple have transformed what once used to be Karine's father's family home into a space of fine luxury that has a unique and quirky edge and many spaces to simply relax in.
My favourite of these was the M Lounge. I really could spend hours in this room just feasting my eyes on the lighting, colours and textures. Old world meets a modern look with comfortable wingback chairs, a mirrored fireplace mantle and even a couple of Karine's personal trinkets like a sleeping porcelain piglet and a baby grand piano.
The feast for the eyes doesn’t stop there, because as you step out towards the perfectly manicured quart yard, you'll see lacey umbrellas rather fancifully adorning the edge of the indoor pool.
Majeka pulls out all the stops with two essential additions to its luxurious image: it's well-equipped Sanctuary Spa which offers a good range of massages, therapies and treatments (they are the only spa to boast a Himalayan Crystal Salt bed which is said to revitalise the body), and a restaurant called Makaron which is quickly catching the attention of Cape Town's food critics. http://lifestyle.iafrica.com/food/dining-out/785301.html
It's great to feel as if you've escaped the insanity of everyday life without having to travel more than an hour out of town. Majeka House is the perfect sanctuary from that big bad to-do list. However, there is one word of warning: you will need to be strict with yourself if you've come to stay in Stellenbosch with the aim of visiting a few wine farms. You might find yourself changing your plans rather quickly as you settle into the tranquility that is Majeka.
Check out the great winter specials at Majeka House here.