The Alphen Boutique Hotel

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Alphen Drive, Constantia 7806, South Africa


Air Conditioning, Airport Transportation, Babysitting, Banquet Hall, Bar/Lounge, Concierge, Conference Room, Dry Cleaning, Family Rooms, Free Breakfast, Free High-Speed Internet, Free Parking, Kids Activities, Laundry Service, Meeting Rooms, Minibar, Non-Smoking, Restaurant, Room Service, Satellite TV, Self-Serve Laundry, Shuttle Bus Service, Suites, Swimming Pool


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5.0 rating based on 1 rating
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5.0 rating based on 1 rating
5.0 rating based on 1 rating
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5.0 rating based on 1 rating
5.0 rating based on 1 rating
5.0 rating based on 1 rating
5.0 rating based on 1 rating
  1. Expert Review

    5.0 rating based on 1 rating
    May 2016 · Karen Elowitt

    Constantia is rife with perfect little boutique hotels, but the Alphen really stands out on account of the way it...

    Constantia is rife with perfect little boutique hotels, but the Alphen really stands out on account of the way it perfectly marries style, service and history.

    Set in 11.5 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds at the foot of Wynberg Hill, the estate has gone through many incarnations in its 300+ year history, having been a ramshackle farm, a wine estate and a hotel, as well as the keeper of wartime secrets and host to many colorful and noteworthy guests. (Ask the manager to tell you about Dr. Barry.)

    The most recent owners, the Cloete family, have had the property for 150 years, and have recently upgraded it to an ultra-luxurious retreat replete with two outstanding restaurants and a bar, luminous gardens to relax in, and 19 rooms so comfortable you’ll never want to leave. Decorated in a decadent neo-baroque style, there is so much more space than the average hotel room, you’ll find it hard to go back to the Holiday Inns and Sheratons of the world. The velvety textures, diffuse lighting and deep colors would provide the perfect backdrop for a couples’ weekend-retreat-sans-kids, if you know what I mean. My room had separate shower and bath areas, plus a full-size desk, a sitting area with TV and couch, and a small terrace overlooking the Constantia greenbelt. The techie touches such as the iPod docking station, fast Wi-Fi and multimedia entertainment system were a hit with me as well.

    The restaurants are worthy of trying even if you don’t stay in the hotel, particularly the 5 Rooms, which as the name suggests, consists of five separate rooms, each adorned from floor to ceiling with paintings and artwork, some of historical significance. I had one of the best meals of my trip there, starting with the tuna ceviche, moving on to the butternut ravioli, and ending with the melt-in-your-mouth vanilla panna cotta. Also worth noting is that the wait staff here are some of the most knowledgeable I ever met in South Africa – they have true mastery of the finer points of the menu, and never had to go back and ask the chef for an answer to one of my many pointed queries. The more casual La Belle Bistro is equally praise-worthy, especially the morning pastry selection, the risotto, and the home-made gnocchi. If a social drink, cigar and a snack is all you’re after, there’s also the lively Rose Bar, which overlooks the serenely lovely pool area at the back of the main building.

    The Alphen is a delightfully stylish, sophisticated boutique place, yet it doesn’t put on airs. I found the staff to be genuinely cheerful and helpful, even when I stumbled with the wine list, or couldn’t find my way back to my room after dinner (signage is a bit lacking – my only complaint). They always addressed me by my name, and took the initiative to offer sightseeing and transport suggestions.

    The Alphen’s location can’t be beat either – it’s literally a stone’s throw from Constantia Village, La Colombe, Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, Groot Constantia, and other vineyards and attractions. It was such a pleasure to go out and explore the neighborhood by day, and come back to this wonderful retreat at night.

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