The old adage that good things come in small packages couldn’t have proved more true during our recent stay at The Robertson Small Hotel, Robertson’s only five-star hotel. The luxury property has been routinely named among South Africa’s finest country hotels since it opened its doors on the world’s longest wine route in 2011.
Built in 1909 and declared a National Monument, the manor house is surrounded by lush gardens, a stable and poolside suites, with all the amenities and comforts one would expect from a five-star hotel: a wellness room, pool, attentive staff, and world-class dining paired with the region’s finest wines.
Entering the Victorian Manor House transports one back in time — wooden floors echo with the sound of footsteps, and the hotel’s signature scent lingers through the rooms and halls. An invention by the House of Gozdawa, using essential oils extracted from flora in the surrounding Breede River valley, the subtle scent is a tangible reminder that no detail goes unnoticed by these diligent hoteliers.
The hotel was completely refurbished in 2016 by Studio Ashby of London, in collaboration with local artists and designers. Bespoke elements and custom textile works give the hotel a feeling of being one-of-a-kind, with hidden treasures to explore in every corner. The reception area, suites, and restaurant, for instance, are adorned with fine art (curated by Michael Chandler as part of a pop-up exhibition), with all pieces available for sale.
Travelling with our two children, it wasn’t long before we found ourselves poolside — a private sanctuary where relaxation is priority of the day. Each of the exclusive pool suites has its own terrace with steps into the pool; its crystal blue waters beckoned us in with magnetic force.
The view from the suites extends from the pool to lush lawns and a quaint pergola. This area is ideal for kids to run around, enjoy the fresh air and to play to their hearts’ content. After a fun afternoon of exploring, we couldn’t wait for dinner.
The Small Restaurant serves local favourites with an elegant twist and is headed by talented chef Chris Erasmus, formerly of Foliage in Franschhoek — we ordered the melt-in-your-mouth grilled sirloin with seasonal veggies, and it comes highly recommended! A perfect end to a perfect day.
All that was left was to rest our over-indulged heads; we headed back to our pool suite, where high ceilings and skylights welcomed us airy freshness. We left the next morning feeling refreshed and revitalised.
Our verdict: the Robertson Small Hotel is well worth a stopover in the valley of wine and roses. We’ll definitely be going back when we’re next on the R62!
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