winter escapes

Weather be damned, winter is the perfect season for a little local exploration in the Cape. In fact, winter weekends often make for a far more rejuvenating and relaxing time than fair weather getaways – being forced to stay indoors isn’t such a bad thing when your accommodations is kitted out with a roaring fireplace, high thread count cotton sheets, and views over the Cape winelands, coasts, or countryside! Besides, you can finally finish that book you’ve been reading for the past three months. Here are some beautiful places to stay during winter that are guaranteed to keep you cosy and send you home feeling fresh.

Abalone House & Spa, Paternoster

Abalone House & Spa is a five-star boutique hotel in the picture-perfect fisherman’s village of Paternoster, one and a half hours’ drive from Cape Town. Providing indulgent winter comforts for guests and the opportunity to experience the West Coast at its best, Abalone House is offering a winter package for guests, running from 1st May to 31st August 2019. It includes a glass of sparkling wine upon arrival, two nights’ accommodation in a Standard Superior Room, a 60-minute couples herbal oil massage, daily breakfast and a three-course dinner at The Restaurant at Abalone House, all for only R5,995 (two adults sharing)

Where: 3 Kriedoring Street, Bek Bay, Paternoster
Contact: +27 (0) 22 752 2044,

Abalone House

Big Sky Cottages, Wolseley

The Breede River Valley in winter is devastatingly beautiful and Big Sky Cottages is in the best possible position to take all of it in, from the verdant farmlands and coursing river to the distant craggy mountains and the big, big sky above it all. The accommodations here consist of ten spacious and luxurious self-catering guesthouses that have been built high up on the foothills of Mostertshoek Mountain. Big Sky Cottages (from as little as R1280 per couple, per night – see rates here) offer all the comforts, conveniences, and modern accoutrements one needs to enjoy a snug wintry weekend away, including a spacious covered braai area and an indoor fireplace.

Where: Big Sky Farm, R43, Wolseley
Contact: +27 (0) 71 354 9209,

Big Sky Cottages

DK Villas, Hout Bay

Johann and Petra De Kock (DK) are the husband-and-wife team behind DK Villas. Together, they have established a portfolio of holiday properties in the Cape and, this winter, they’re throwing a Winter Warmer special and a 10% discount on their two Hout Bay properties (min. two-night stay):

DK villas 1, Harbour View, is a three-bedroom apartment with a nightly rate of R2,020 for the unit (sleeps six guests). DK villas 2, The Boardwalk, is a two-bedroom apartment, with a nightly rate of R1,820 for the unit (sleeps four). These sophisticated, fully furnished self-catering apartments offer light and bright interiors, even on cold winter days, and enjoy gorgeous mountain and ocean views.

DK Villas is also running a mid-week special: stay any three nights (excluding Friday and Saturday) and only pay for two nights, valid 1st May to 31st August 2019.

Contact: +27 (0) 82 922 0775,

Dunstone Country Estate, Wellington

The Dunstone Country Estate offers guests a perfect winter getaway right in the thick of the Cape countryside and winelands. Here, you’ll find luxury accommodation, fine wine, and bucolic views of rolling farmlands: the quintessential Cape country experience. Now, this winter, Dunstone is offering an unbeatable special for just R700 per person per night, which includes R200 meal voucher per night at the Stone Kitchen, a hot and cold breakfast buffet, afternoon tea and cake, and sundowners and nibbles from 18:00.

Where: Bovlei Road, Wellington
Contact: +27 (0) 21 864 1504

Dwyka Tented Lodge, Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

Nestled into the shelter of a natural rock amphitheatre within the spectacularly beautiful landscape of the malaria-free, big five, private Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is a collection of luxury safari tents and a boma, restaurant, bar, lounge, and gift shop that services visiting guests. This is the Dwyka Tented Lodge and this winter, they’re throwing an unbeatable ‘Winter Wellness Special’ of a discounted three-night stay that includes two daily game drives, guided wilderness walks, all meals, non-alcoholic beverages, and game drive beverages, two Elephant scrub treatments, and two 30-minute back and shoulder massages from R6,660 per night, per person sharing (valid until 30th September).

Where: Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, Klein Karoo
Contact: +27 (0) 21 010 0028 or +27 (0) 21 010 0458 (after hours),


Grande Provence, Franschhoek

Banish the winter blues and make Grande Provence in picturesque Franschhoek your ultimate winelands destination. Their nurturing Heartland accommodation packages are tailor-made for a blissful winter escape at this landmark Heritage Wine Estate:

Romance package: Two-night stay in the romantic Angels Suite at The Owner’s Cottage, including a bottle of chilled Grande Provence Méthode Cap Classique, romantic private dinner by candlelight, couple’s massage treatment the following day, seductive oyster and bubbly pairing, and a rustic French-style country picnic. Rate: R 23,230 per couple for two nights.

Family package: Includes breakfast and dinner daily with exciting activities for the whole family, including a ride on the hop-on, hop-off, Franschhoek Wine Tram, a French-style picnic lunch, a wine-paired canapé tasting (adults only), and a grape juice version for kids. For a special treat guests are spoilt with delicious Shiraz truffles crafted on the estate. Rate: R15,375 per family of four for two nights.

Wine Lover’s package: Includes a two-night stay at the Owner’s Cottage with a bottle of Grande Provence wine, coffee, and handmade nougat upon arrival. Your stay includes a private wine blending session, two tickets on the hop-on, hop-off Franschhoek Wine Tram, a three-course à la carte lunch, an Angels Tears wine and nougat pairing, four-course flagship wine pairing dinner menu, and a ‘A Taste of Grande Provence’, the ultimate wine and canapé pairing. Rate: R15,973 for two people sharing for two nights.

House Party package: exclusive use for a maximum of 10 people for a two night’s stay in the complete privacy of the secluded Owner’s Cottage. House Party guests will be treated to a selection of tailor-made experiences, including a harvest table feast upon arrival for dinner, a country-style picnic, a guided wine tour and tasting, and dinner at The Restaurant at Grande Provence. Rate: R79,000 per night for the entire cottage with a minimum stay of two nights.

Where: Main Road (R45), Franschhoek
Contact: +27 (0) 21 876 8600,

La Provençale Grande Provence

Holden Manz Country Lodge, Franschhoek

The Holden Manz Country Lodge is a five-star, luxury guesthouse located on its namesake boutique Franschhoek wine estate. This tranquil guesthouse is adorned by a vast art collection and designed with the natural “chi” and flow of the landscape in mind, with five spacious suites looking out over the rolling lawns, vineyards, and picturesque dam. Guests can also expect ample breakfasts and afternoon tea served in the best English tradition.

The Holden Manz Country Lodge is offering a winter promotion of a night’s stay, including breakfast, dinner at the Franschhoek Kitchen, wine-tasting, and a cellar tour for R4,500 (valid until 30th August 2019). Alternatively, there’s the spa package, which includes a night’s stay, breakfast, two hot-stone full-body massages, and two Retinol eye masks for R4,500 (valid 30th July 2019)

Where: Green Valley Road, Franschhoek
Contact: +27 (0) 21 876 2738,


Jan Harmsgat Country House, Swellendam

Jan Harmsgat Country House is a working farm with luxury accommodations consisting of ten exclusive rooms and a romantic honeymoon suite. The spacious rooms are elegantly dressed and offer all the expected modern amenities, yet still exude the enchantment of rustic, farm-style living with their original metre-thick walls and yellowwood detailing. Located on the southernmost periphery of the Robertson Wine Valley, Jan Harmsgat is also known for its organic single vineyard wines and restaurant, Just Amy, which lovingly crafts delicious, seasonal, homespun dishes, such as ostrich carpaccio, slow roasted lamb shank, and pecan pie.

From 1st May to 30th September 2019 (for single guests), Classic Quarters rooms are priced from R2,270; Superior Suites from R 2,441, and Executive Suites from R2,663. For more comprehensive rates, please click on the link.

Where: R60, Swellendam
Contact: +27 (0) 87 057 4507,


La Petite Ferme, Franschhoek

Snuggled into the fynbos carpeted slopes of the Olifants Pass, La Petite Ferme delivers the ultimate trifecta to visitors to the sublimely beautiful Franschhoek valley: luxury guest suites, a restaurant currently offering a fabulous winter menu, and an intimate, small scale wine farm that has produced several award-winning wines. Should you plan on overnighting in Franschhoek, La Petite Ferme has highly rated private, traditional, country-style luxury accommodations situated amongst their vineyards – could there be a better way to spend a winter’s weekend in the Cape winelands?

From 1st May to 31st October 2019 (per room), Manor House suites are priced from R2,635 and the Vineyard Suites, from R7,410. See Manor House rates and Vineyard Suites rates.

Where: Franschhoek Pass Road, Franschhoek
Contact: +27 (0) 21 876 3016,


The Lighthouse Boutique Hotel, Paarl

A short 45-minute drive outside of the Mother City, lies a pearl within a pearl; a five-star guesthouse tucked into a verdant oasis of clipped hedges, flowering bushes, and winding garden paths in the charming town of Paarl. The Light House Boutique Suites is a tranquil haven to retreat and recover from the rigors of the working week and the perfect base from which to explore the treasures the historic town of Paarl has to offer. Your biggest challenge will be extricating yourself from the sweet embrace of your bed’s Egyptian cotton sheets and the hotel’s stratospheric standard of hospitality to go exploring! But if the weather socks in, there are more than enough gorgeous and warm spaces within the hotel to luxuriate in.

Prices per person per night sharing start at R2,700. Click here to view The Lighthouse Boutique Hotel’s rates.
Where: 2 Lille Street, Courtrai, Paarl
Contact: +27 21 863 4600 | +27 72 687 4516,

Light House Boutique Suites

Porcupine Hills Guest and Olive Farm, Bot River

Porcupine Hills Guest and Olive Farm, just 1.5 hours outside of Cape Town, is located in the Overberg along the beautiful Van der Stel Pass. As a partner of the Groenlandberg Conservancy, guests have the opportunity to explore a diverse range of flora and fauna during their stay. So, whether you’re looking for an exciting weekend in the country or a quiet retreat for two, Porcupine Hills caters to that getaway you’ve been searching for! This winter, guests can benefit from a special accommodation promotion: book one of their fully equipped self-catering units for three nights and receive 15% off your booking. Accommodations are priced from R700 per room per night and the offer is valid until 29 September 2019.

Where: Porcupine Hills Guest Farm, Erf 113/7, Van der Stel Pass, Bot River
Contact: +27 (0) 28 050 1350,

porcupine hills

The Riverstone House, Wolseley

The Riverstone House is a magnificent 8-sleeper country house located on the banks of the Brede River on Palmietvlei Farm. This tranquil country getaway offers four spacious rooms, two full bathrooms, a comfortable lounge (with wood burning stove to keep the communal space cosy in winter), front and back covered patios, and spectacular sunset views from a manicured garden. It’s also pet friendly! Palmietvlei is a working blueberry and pear farm just outside Wolseley. Ideally located between the Breedekloof, Slanghoek, Wolseley, and Tulbagh wine routes, The Riverstone House offers the perfect base from which to explore award-winning wine estates and restaurants.

You can book The Riverstone House from R2,050 (includes two guests); thereafter, it costs R400 per guest per night. Children between 7 and 12 are charged at R150; children under 7 stay free. They are also currently running a midweek special, valid from Sunday to Thursday, excluding school holidays: get 50% off your third night. Click here to find out more.

Where: Palmietvlei Farm, Romansrivier
Contact: +27 (0) 83 499 1524


Stanford Valley Guest Farm, Klein Rivier

Stanford Valley Guest Farm nestles in the valley of the Klein Rivier, 10 km outside Stanford village. Here, comfortable accommodation is offered by seven self-catering cottages (of which two are family cottages) and 10 large en-suite rooms. This safe and peaceful haven, complete with swimming dam and plenty of hiking routes (if you’re brave enough to face the cold), is currently offering a fabulous discounted winter special of only R850 per room per night (minimum two nights over weekends) and includes a bottle of local red wine and wood for your indoor fireplace. Offer valid until 31st July 2019.

Where: Klein Rivier, 10 km outside Stanford village, off the R326
Contact: +27 (0) 72 198 0862,

Stanford Valley Guest Farm

Twice Central Guesthouse, Stellenbosch

Twice Central is a beautifully renovated guesthouse located a stone’s throw from the bustling heart of Stellenbosch: Dorp Street. The guesthouse is all modern comfort and style with a tranquil interior, ever-changing gourmet breakfast menu, unlimited Wi-Fi, and wonderful central location, making it the perfect winter winelands getaway. Book for one night (from R1,390 per room per night) and receive 50% off your second night’s stay, including breakfast and complimentary bicycles to explore Stellenbosch. Valid until 31 August 2019.

Where: 7 Hamman Street, Stellenbosch Central
Contact: +27 (0) 21 887 7889,

Twice Central

Whalehuys, De Kelders

Whalehuys is a stunning self-catering villa (4 bedrooms, 4 ½ bathrooms) perched on the ocean’s edge in De Kelders, near Gansbaai in the southwestern Cape. With its luxurious, open plan living area, spacious, rustic feel, and stupendous views of the ocean from every room, Whalehuys is a perfect place to enjoy a wintry weekend away. There are also various cosy areas to relax, admire the sea views, and cuddle up in front of the fireplace, while watching the wintertime storms clash with the Cape peninsula in epic style!

The villa costs R4,200 per night and sleeps eight guests.

Where: 40 Ingang Streer, De Kelders
Contact: +27 (0) 73 871 6723