A recent stayÂ at River Manor, Stellenbosch reminded me of my student days, carefree and devoid ofÂ city stress.
Located in The Avenues, a stone’s throw from the Eerste River,Â thoughts of the first Dutch Governor of the CapeÂ come to mind.Â Simon van der Stel was a man ahead of his time, known for taking soil samples to assess the suitability of planting vines.Â It was here that van der Stel proclaimed the second Dutch settlement, after Cape Town.Â The historic quarterÂ includes Dorp street, lined with 29 National MonumentsÂ .
Hosts Johan and Leigh Swanepoel succeed in offering spacious accommodation with careful attention to detail.Â Rooms are well appointed, with tea & coffee facilities, air-con, tv andÂ internet facilities. Each room is individually decorated inÂ colonial period, which is fitting considering that both houses are National Monuments.Â Complimentary drinks are included in all the rooms.Â Breakfasts are sumptous and include continental and English breakfast option.
River ManorÂ offersÂ a full Spa facility managed by the personableÂ Shelly SchulzeÂ and assisted by Lieschen Smit.Â For a list of all Spa treatments go to www.rivermanor.co.za.
The proximity of the hotel to the townÂ makes it an ideal base from which to exploreÂ on foot.Â There are numerous quality restaurants, art galleries andÂ shops within a five minute walk.
During my stay I popped into the Stellenbosch market held at Bosman Crossing.Â The market offers everything from fresh produce to cut flowers, CD’s, wine, fresh bread – the list is endless.