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“One of the Best Hotel in the World if not the Best!”

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Delaire Graff Estate - Lodges and Spa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 7, 2012

This a great Hotel in a wonderful setting which a lot of hotels in the world are but were the Delaire steps above the rest is the staff are all excellent and nothing is to much trouble – “Service is flawless just like a lot of Graff diamonds”.

Having previously stayed in many Four Season hotels and Mandarin Oriental hotels (as I like good service) I must stay the Delaire Graff Estate Lodges is now my favourite hotel.

The hotel itself have a wonderful cosy lodge feeling, and due to the amount of wonderful art and sculptures on display you never feel like a hotel guess more like you are staying with friends with excellent staff. The rooms (lodges) are amazing and would be classed as master suits in other hotels with each having its own heated pool and nightly butler service serving Champaign.

The hotel is a credit to the Managers and Mr Laurence Graff.

Room Tip: Any rooms as all are lodges.
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Servicewithasmile36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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213 - 219 of 294 reviews

Reviewed January 5, 2012

We booked here full of excitement for a 3 day stay, part of a 3 week holiday, after looking at the great reviews and press on the internet and the glowing report from our travel agent. This 3 night stay was also over a third of our total hotel package, and on a B&B basis and New Year - so the pressure was on for them to be the best. That is , after all, what we'd paid for.

And...i felt we were let badly let down.

It starts wonderfully - the grounds as you drive up are stunning, the Lewis bronze leopards greeting you are exquisite, but I really feel its style over substance, and here's why;

Positives
- rooms are amazing second to none, and all drink in room is free & the treats, which is fab. great selection.

- artwork all over the property is stunning - obvious that the owners love their artwork.

- food is not expensive - room service or the restaurant, and the main Indochine restaurant food was wonderful.

- front desk are very cheery & helpful

- the cinema room is great! We used it to watch a football match & a film
....but all the above, a good hotel it does not make.

Negatives
- breakfast is served in the Indochine restaurant, which lacks any kind of atmosphere - be it semi full or with 4 people in a morning. It looks amazing, but is flat...the service at breakfast was also poor. With only 3 tables full (6 people) it took 25 minutes to get scrambled eggs & bacon. I then had to get salt and pepper from another table as half the restaurant was not set properly, so we were missing that and napkins. But it was never picked up by staff (this may seem like I'm being picky, but please remember the cost for this stay!!)

- the lovely looking half round booths are very uncomfy to sit on and are about 4 inches too short on the pads to sit comfortabley.

- again, breakfast - this time 2 tables in service, and our orange juice got put on the EMPTY table behind us. Husband was sat at our table at the time. We timed to see how long it would be until they noticed - 11 mins. Someone came over and laughed it off, but it just summed up the service - there were about 4 chaps on the breakfast service at this point.

- there was no wi-fi at the main pool

- at the main pool, there was a constant stream of people coming in for a look round, taking pics and departing. Wasn't very private.

- the main pool dyed my hair green!

- there was a lack of service at the pool - one day there was 1 chap for about 8 people, but he did struggle. Turned up the next day to the pool and there were towels every where, no one was about to clear them up in the 2 hours we were there. We found 2 towels that had not been used. Not that we needed anything, but if we had, you would have needed to trek down to reception.

- lunch round the pool is the same evening meal menu! I don't want for lunch what I had for supper the previous evening.....we had something from room service, but that is quite a narrow menu.

- on the last day, we got back from breakfast (9.30) and the maids were changing the bed sheets & towels - we hadn't even checked out!

- you don't get your bill or the comment card until you go to reception on checkout morning, or I could have given them some more detailed feedback on their comments card, instead, I had to scrawl some in the 3 seconds I had!

I don't like giving bad or poor reviews, I don't think it helps anyone. And i do feel like i have been harsh and nit-picky. But, look at the price! We have stayed other hotels for the same price and come away with lovely experiences - grade A sevice, and some colourful stories....however, having come away from this hotel, my husband and I have got madder and madder on the feeling of being ripped off - it added nothing to the holiday; no overall experience, apart from beautiful surroundings. We now wished we had not gone and gone home 3 days sooner. I think that's sad.

Room Tip: The deluxe rooms, although no "view" are still amazing!
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank Coffee&applepie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2012

If I could give Delaire all the stars in the sky, I would. From the scenic surroundings to the beautifully appointed villas to the exceptionally warm and welcoming staff, Delaire is simply unrivaled. It served as our home base for the three days we spent touring Stellenbosch and Franschhoek and I can say with both honesty and enthusiasm that we were treated like royalty. Ok, so it didn't hurt that my fiance proposed to me there on the second day of our stay but I give them tremendous credit for not only assisting him but rather bending over backwards to make sure that his "plan" went off without a hitch, which it did.

The chef at the winery worked with him before our arrival to create a special tasting menu with wine pairings for our engagement lunch and on the appointed day, which began as a rainy one, the staff graciously set up an alternate venue in case the outdoor lunch he had arranged for us wasn't possible. Four courses, one proposal and innumerable glasses of champagne later, we may have both been fuzzy headed but it was clear that Delaire had made our magical day a perfect one. When they delivered our afternoon canapes to the villa, even the room service waiter congratulated us!

Here's what it all boils down to: Do I have particularly fond memories of Delaire because of the special occasion that we celebrated there? Absolutely, but the unique circumstances of our stay were only enhanced by the truly exceptional beauty and service of Delaire. Nor should my rave reviews be taken as the superfluous compliments of a blushing soon-to-be-bride. They are well deserved.

Room Tip: Villa #5 for couples ha the most breathtaking view.
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank JSIngber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2011

We stayed for four nights (perfect length of stay to enjoy the wine region and to relax in your room/by the pool) in December in a deluxe lodge. The lodges are big and offer all the amenities you can wish for. The deluxe lodge does not offer views over the wine fields as do the luxury lodges, but considering the big price difference and the fact that you can enjoy the views from the general pool and Delaire restaurant, we would opt for the deluxe lodge again (except for the views they are exactly the same) and spend the money on wines and dinners. The private pool is not too small and is heated so it is not too cold- whilst the general pool, although the viewe are stunning, was not heated and therefore really cold to swim in but luckily there is jacuzzi as well. The bubbly with canapes brought to your room each evening is a wonderful idea. The restaurants are very good as well and they catered really well for my dietary requirements. The warm pastry basket at breakfast, differing each day, was another highlight. The hotel offers a great service and they arranged bikes and picknicks for us at Boschendal and Vergelegen estates, which we both highly recommend. Also make sure you make a booking at the Tasting Room at le Quartier Francais, it was voted best restaurant in Africa and the Middle East in 2011 and for under Eur 200 we had a five course dinner including wine pairing for two persons. The hotel also brought us in touch with a local tour operator who booked a hot air baloon flight for us over the winelands and we were lucky enough to have the right weather conditions to enjoy this. The Delaire Graff hotel is a really luxurious place from which to explore the wine region and relax at the same time and we would have no doubt to book again.

  • Stayed: December 2011
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Thank AmsTravelAddict
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2011

As we arrived at Delaire we were enchanted by the magnificent landscaping and architecture as well as the thoughtful and impressive art collection installed in both the public and private areas. Our lodge was beautifully designed with it's own private pool and a view looking out towards the vineyards.

The spa treatments were outstanding and the hotel even managed to arrange a yoga session on very short notice. So it came as something of a shock when breakfast arrived that first morning and the eggs were over salted and the pastries hard as a rock. The homemade granola left a bitter aftertaste.

This unfortunately was not a one off. Our party of ten which contained several younger children arrived first in the dining room at 7pm but by 9pm there was still no sign of the main course for the adults. At this point we simply gave up and went into town for dinner but clearly this was not how we had planned our Christmas eve! Even the pre courses we did receive were unappetising and overly complicated and even worse despite being warned on numerous occasions that our daughter was allergic to nuts the chef sent out one of her dishes with nuts. The harried restaurant manager did notice in time and pulled the dish away before she could eat it.

Delaire Graff has the makings of a great resort but it needs to make two fundamental changes: it needs to replace the chef at indochine with someone of a much higher calibre and it needs to require it's managers to be present. No management other then restaurant managers were present on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. If none of their managers are prepared to work on the holidays then perhaps they should not take guests on those dates.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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4  Thank STTLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2011

Had a truly spectacular stay!
Ordinary weather was unlucky but we barely noticed as we were so well looked after!
The canapes were a fabulous idea and I don't understand why more hotels don't do 'all inclusive' - felt so special!
The view is just breathtaking!

Both restaurants were amazing!
I thought the top restaurant would be less special because it didn't have the view but the food was some of the best I have ever had.

Loved the whole trip and would recommend it in a heartbeat!

Room Tip: Ask for canapes in your room on at least one night. feel very vip :)
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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Thank johannajenkin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 13, 2011

We have just spent two days relaxing in Delaire Graff - our second visit this year. It is a most magical place, one of the most beautiful we have ever stayed in. Sitting on the deck with our complimentary glass of champage and excellent canapes each evening, looking out over the 'Africa meets Tuscany' landscape is one of life's great (spiritual) experiences.

Staying in a Lodge with a view is not a cheap experience, but the levels of comfort and service are absolutely first rate.The front desk staff deserve a special mention for their wonderful helpfulness in all aspects of our stay where nothing was too much trouble for them.

We very much enjoyed dining in the Delaire restaurant - and found that the food and service were much improved since our February visit. Our excellent meal was also very good value, and we loved the 'house' wine. However, there is really room for improvement at breakfast (in Indochine) where service was exceptionally slow. We were not hugley impressed by the lunchtime menu there either. This restaurant does not have the right atmosphere or formula and I wonder if it should be given a fundemental re-think?

Overall, however, a stay at Delaire is undoubtedly one of the great treats in life and I only hope that we will be back before too long.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Kate A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Delaire Graff Estate - Lodges and Spa

Address: R310, Helshoogte Pass, Stellenbosch 7600, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Stellenbosch
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 57 Specialty Lodging in Stellenbosch
Price Range: $1,113 - $3,995 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Delaire Graff Estate - Lodges and Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
South Africa's Delaire Graff Estate is situated on the magnificent Helshoogte Mountain Pass linking the Cape's two leading wine districts, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. Ten unique lodges each boast their own private heated pool, breathtaking views and comforts including LED flat screens TVs, iPads, bluetooth enabled docking station, wireless internet and the finest Egyptian cotton linen. The ten sumptuously decorated lodges are centred around a main lodge comprising of a private cinema, spa and the Asian influenced Indochine Restaurant while Delaire Graff Restaurant offers bistro chic cuisine. Delaire Graff Spa offers personalised luxurious treatments from Swiss Perfection, Aromatherapy Associates & Mamma Mio. For a more energizing experience the spa offers a fully equipped Techno gym and 22 metre heated infinity pool with Jacuzzi. With art personally selected by Laurence Graff and interiors designed by David Collins, the minimal number of lodges, paired with the extensive facilities offered to guests, Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa is designed to create the ultimate sense of luxury for the most discerning of guests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Delaire Graff Estate Hotel Stellenbosch

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