The Luxury Lifestyle
After a brief recap of yesterday’s insights, we hopped aboard the coach towards the gloriously sunny vineyards of Constantia to meet our friends
at Steenberg – a key partner in creating our very own wine selection: Sandstone.
We were greeted by Etienne who, with the help of colleagues Elunda, Jordan and Chantelle, told us the story behind the Cape’s oldest farm – including that of the original owner, Catharina Ras. After arriving by ship from Lübeck as a 22-year-old widow dressed as a man, she well and truly put Steenberg on the map with stories of her thirteen children and five husbands. Legend has it that two husbands were lost to an elephant and a lion (though, naturally, Catharina hunted down and shot the lion that very same day!)
Fast forward to today: we met Elunda Basson, dynamic Cellar Master
and COO, who continues in the tradition of pioneering Steenberg women. Standing amongst the dimpled steel tanks in the modern cellar, we learnt that our Sandstone Chardonnay and Sandstone Pinot Noir harvest is cooling at 17 degrees before going underground into the cellar to stand among the French oak casks where our 2021 Sandstone Merlot is resting. This is where the magic happens…
Méthode Cap Classique
‘We are so proud that our quality is right up there
with the best in the world,’ says Elunda surrounded
by row upon row of bottled Cap Classique. ‘If
guests enjoy French Champagne, they will enjoy
our Méthode Cap Classique, produced in the
Cape using the classical method’.
Every grape at Steenberg is harvested by hand
and a community of 20 women lovingly nurture
every bottle, continuously tipping each one at an
ever-increasing angle until the yeast pellet is
removed and it’s finally capped to leave for the Maldives. In the Champagne region, everything is automated today. Here it takes more time, more
effort. Certainly a story to share with guests as
they take their first sip!
Tip: hold the cork and twist the bottle. Why? The pressure inside a Méthode Cap Classique bottle
is twice the pressure of a car tyre!
Sand = beaches of the Maldives
Stone = of Steenberg, meaning ‘stone mountain’
We emerged from the cool cellars to bask in the sunshine
for a few moments before enjoying a delicious lunch at modern Bistro Sixteen82. Sommelier Kent Scheemeyer joined us to
explain the Sandstone wine pairing with the dishes.
After dispersing around the city, we gathered at the Radisson RED rooftop to compare notes – but first, a wave for Roy, who snapped us in a group shot from a Silo suite opposite!
After flashing our best smiles, it was time to share and compare notes on the five luxury hotels we’d just visited. Each had its strengths and weaknesses, and it was interesting to hear what
each group took note of and how the experience was impacted
by hotel staff. First impressions go a long way...
Shingai Gwatidzo was ready for us and our many questions, but never did give us a clue as to how they clean the windows up there! Heatherwick’s architectural solution to creating an art gallery and hotel from the historic silos became clear when we got a glimpse
at the cut-away structures from below.
‘You have to see it to believe it’
‘Gaudi’ and ‘risqué!’ come to mind
Loved the theatrical bathrooms and bright colours
Extensive personal art collection belonging to the owner
We loved that the chic Willaston Bar and the rooftop pool
are open to the public
Though the family suite' was a bit too small...
The famous art hotel is, unsurprisingly, busy – its loyal guests just could not wait to return. They, like us, love its elegance and prime location overlooking the Atlantic. Its old-world charm is offset by staff in relaxed uniforms who are on first-name terms with
The idea of luxury is evolving
Despite being a grand hotel, it’s homely
Incredibly diverse art collection in the hotel and
dedicated art gallery
Big on sustainability, with a constant eye on what’s next
Imaginative turndown, such as postcards suggesting suitable
activities and excursions for tomorrow’s weather (a great
opportunity to upsell)
State-of-the-art wine gallery
The Silo and Ellerman House
at The Dog’s Bollocks
For our final dinner together, we headed back into the inner city to The Dog’s Bollocks – the unconventional, no-frills home of the largest burgers and pizzas in town. Need we say more?! For sure, its restaurant etiquette is unconventional and loud, but the energy is infectious.
After laughing our way through dinner, as we each attempted to fit the humongous burgers into our mouths, it was time to gather around and announce
the results of yesterday’s Instagram challenge… After congratulating Gayas – our very worthy winner –
it was time to head back to the hotel for a good night’s
sleep ahead of the long journey home tomorrow.