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Review on Clouds Estate – Helshoogte Pass – Stellenbosch

copy right Clouds Estate

With our careers taking us on journeys far and wide, we have been blessed to have stayed at no less than 10 – 15 different establishments in the wine-lands, in the last three years and not one of them has been horrid or a place I would not return. There are however one or two that I love to return to whenever I need a home from home without having to think, plan or wander if it will be nice. Clouds Estate is my personal favorite and a haven that we can’t wait to return to, whenever a styling assignment, or visit to my daughter, who is studying in Stellenbosch, offers us the opportunity.

This small boutique estate is situated next door to the well known Delaire, at the peak of the Helshoogte pass on the road from Stellenbosch to Franschoek.

Many famous Michelin star quality restaurants in close by Stellenbosch, (click here to be linked to my list of favorite restaurants) are within a seven minute drive from this haven, set amid vineyards and with undoubtedly the most celebrated views across the majestic Banhoek valley. The Drakenstein mountains line the horizon and melt into an African pink melting pot come sundown throughout the year, and there is nothing more heart-warming than arriving ‘home’ after a long day at work to sit on our veranda, feet up on the windowsill, sipping local wine made from the very grapes that are just meters away from us.

This Mediterranean style country house offers the best of both worlds, as the beautifully appointed guest house filled with local treasures, is a far cry from those blandly elegant hotels belonging to famous chains. The landscaped gardens around both the hotel and the cottages are brimming with flowering lavender, rosemary, and bumble bees in spring. I swear we could be in Provence!

For couples on holiday or business book one of their luxury or deluxe rooms with a view, and a breakfast to die for the next day. For my family, more ideal is one of the four quaint French-styled self catering cottages which has a beautifully draped king size bedroom and a sleeper couch in the lounge for children. It is small, but cozy and is perfect as I am able to rustle up a home cooked meal each night as my daughter arrives in her little car, bursting at the seams with as many hungry friends that it could fit.

Conversations overlap each other as everyone helps and shares the last few months news while we all  prepare their requested treat either on the Webber at the pool in summer, or a pot of lamb stew in the cozy kitchen area in winter.

The thoughtfulness by owners and management never goes unnoticed and this time our arrival was during a very cold spell. I got an sms asking me what time we were due, so that they could light the fire and warm up the cottage. The cottage comes with starter grocery supply of butter, jam, bread, milk, and firelighters – all a godsend when you are running late or after a long day.

Selfishly I have put off writing this review, as I am quite possessive of our find, and on a few occasions have tried to book at no avail!

Alas, the secret is out, and so best I go on-line and book for our next trip in January before I miss the boat.

Visit their website for updated rates and availability. (

Rates start at R790.00 out of season for the self catering cottages and R1150.00 for the deluxe suites in the main hotel .

The most ideal wedding or conference venue



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