South Africa: Winelands: Where to Stay: Setting: Delaire Graff Estate
Delaire Graff Estate
Few properties in the Cape Winelands have opened with as much hoopla as the Delaire Graff Estate, unveiled in 2009 by diamond magnate Laurence Graff. Graff bought the estate in 2003 and spent years—and millions—transforming it into a luxury property worthy of its spectacular high-altitude setting atop the Helshoogte Mountain Pass, which separates the towns of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. The result is a gorgeous resort with world-class everything, from the prodigious wine cellar (ask for a tasting) and the spacious guest rooms with plunge pools to the serious art collection. There are two restaurants, a spa, an infinity pool, a charming boutique called 100% Capri that sells linen resort wear and, bien sur, a Graff Diamonds salon.
Guest rooms are spread among ten cottages (called “lodges”), all of them spacious (the smallest is 800 square feet), with chic, urban furniture in a cool gray palette. Private plunge pools and decks make the most of the sweeping views. One of the loveliest things to do is to stroll along the paved pathway that runs through the vineyard. On your right side are row upon row of impeccably planted grapevines (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc), the varietals changing with the elevation; on your left side is a cavernous valley with breathtaking views over the countryside.
Who It’s Right For: Travelers who like the best of everything and a slew of amenities.
Who It’s Wrong For: Those who like hotels that feel more like a grand private home than a posh resort will find nearby La Residence, in Franschhoek, more personal and intimate.
Getting There: Delaire is located in Stellenbosch in the Cape Winelands, an easy 45-minute drive from Cape Town.— Eliza Scott Harris 08/02/2011