March 11, 2022
Evergreen Manor and Spa – Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch is very well known for its famous wines, wine farms and its university. All these, may well have put the small farming town on the map, but Stellenbosch has so much more to offer in the way of sites, stays, and activities that deserve just as much attention as its wine production.
Built in 1902 and 1904 respectively, the now Evergreen Manor and Spa was commissioned by a woman, which in itself would have been a rare achievement. Bought and lovingly restored by the current owner Riel Meynhardt and is dear wife, Christina, it’s clear that a lot of time, effort and love has gone into every aspect of this restoration. A member of Cape Country Routes, it is essential to add Evergreen Manor as one of the stops along your Cape Country Travels.
Evergreen Manor is surrounded by students as it is just across the road from Stellenbosch university’s campus, but if someone didn’t tell you this, you wouldn’t know the difference as the area is quiet and peaceful and the students who quietly walk by are very respectful of maintaining the little towns beauty.
The glass door that opens to the front of the hotel is deceptive, as this is the only modern aspect of the entire hotel, beautifully stamped with the hotel’s logo. Beyond those glass doors, the original walkway to this former home is decked out with original wood floors, reminding you of what living in a historical home felt like in the early 1900s. This ambiance is then carried out throughout the entire property including the bedrooms at the top of the stairs, carpeted of course to keep in its warmth.
As we opened the door to our bedroom, it was as though we stepped back in time. From all the furniture in the room, specifically chosen vintage pieces to the paintings on the wall and the bathroom finishes, there was no mistaking where we were. Greeted by a shot of sherry on a beautiful vintage letter desk under the window, it is as though you are living back in the 1900’s, escaping from the modern world just outside the door. Luxury and elegance is an understatement and nowhere is this shown off more than in the luxurious bathroom. The taps so elegant and romantic, and the bath was nothing short of a joy to just soak in for hours, and I mean hours.
Throughout our stay, every time we went to the room, we regularly received courtesy calls from the front desk staff just to check in with us, and make sure that we had everything that we needed. This, only the tip of the ice-berg on the staff and owners’ treatment of us on our stay, from coffee served beside the pool to breakfast in the garden, which kept true to being one of the best breakfasts we have ever had. I’m still trying to figure out how those eggs are made. Treatment nothing short of royalty is what we got from every member of the staff that we encountered which made the stay so much more than just a hotel visit.
Stellenbosch may be well known for wine tasting, but there are tons of trails for hiking and biking all over and around the town. We were so blessed to have had the opportunity to take advantage of an E-bike ride with the Adventure Shop, also a Cape Country Routes member, which met more than any expectations we had. First off, the staff at the office went above and beyond to make sure we were both comfortable and safe, calling ahead to check that we were tall enough to sit comfortably on our bikes. Our tour guides, Sav and Eon, captured a part of Stellenbosch for us that we didn’t even know existed. The rolling hills, mountains, endless views and easy ride on the E-bike, makes this an adventure, something everybody should do. It’s difficult to really capture the essence and beauty of Stellenbosch until you are doing it by E-bike. We drove down to Postcard café for lunch, which is surrounded by mountains, sitting above a still river, complete with a unique wine tasting with Stark-Conde’ that embraces all of the senses. We opted to ride back on our bikes as the views and sites needed more time to take in.
Evergreen Manor and Spa seem like a quiet gem among the modern amenities offered in Stellenbosch, but it by far exceeds hotel stay expectations both in staying pleasure and the history that it captivates around every corner of the hotel. This is a stay not to be missed.