In the heart of the Cape Winelands, situated in the oldest part of Stellenbosch, is an award-winning, village-style retreat that combines antiqued romance with all the refined comfort and convenience a modern-day traveller could need.
A member of the prestigious Cape Country Routes, the 4-star Eendracht Boutique Hotel comes highly recommended. It’s easy to see why – with it’s Cape Colonial charm, welcoming staff and the heart of the town on its doorstep, Eendracht is guaranteed to deliver a memorable guest experience.
The hotel, perfectly nestled in the famous Dorp Street in an area known as the historic centre of Stellenbosch, comprises thirteen rooms, one of which I was fortunate enough to check into recently on a weekend breather in Stellies. My northern facing ground-floor suite, which opened out onto the hotel’s sparkling splash pool, was a charming mix of trend and tradition with beautifully upholstered headboards, tall ceilings and double-hung sash windows.
The room’s understated elegance is highlighted by its minimal yet stylish finishings like double-length curtains, a signature-piece writing bureau and two adjoined three-quarter beds, both lavishly done up with 100% cotton percale linen. Additional comforts and furnishings include; a minibar, coffee and tea station, top-tier Wifi, a flat-screen Smart TV with Netflix, Showmax, YouTube and Bloomberg TV installed as well as a fabulous en-suite bathroom.
Eendracht Hotel’s fantastic location is not only rich in history, but it’s also in the heart of Stellenbosch’s shopping and leisure centre surrounded by more than sixty restaurants and coffee shops, museums, galleries, theatres and more. With almost everything within walking distance, we decided to explore the picturesque streets of Stellenbosch shortly after checking in.
We found ourselves musing through the town’s meditative botanical gardens (home to an actual rain forest and large lotus water garden) before winding down the afternoon with a bottle of wine at the Beyerskloof Wynbar, a charming hangout serving the most sinful Pinotage Salami Sarmie! We wrapped up drinks at the hotel’s poolside before getting ready for dinner at Oppie Dorp, an award-winning restaurant just a stone’s throw from the hotel.
Retreating to your room at Eendracht is a rewarding activity in itself. The room’s cosy tones and wooden furnishings contrast eloquently alongside the bathroom’s luxurious sea of white subway tiles and generously-sized shower and bathtub.
Fine touches include a double-sided vanity mirror with built-in ring light for applying make-up, as well as a blue night light and their irresistible trademark shower gel. After dinner at Oppie Dorp, I took my time enjoying the deluxe tub before collapsing into a cloud of 300-thread count cotton linen and calling it a night.
Breakfast at Eendracht is hosted in the hotel restaurant, called Senobia’s. Open to the public, Senobia’s offers up breakfast and lunch daily serving honest food done well. Breakfast for guests includes a spread of pastries, cheese, cured meat, fresh fruit, yoghurt, cereals as well as a hot breakfast cooked to your liking. Refreshments like fruit juices, locally roasted coffee and organic teas are also available.
Eendracht’s central location means there’s always something to do and somewhere to explore. Within walking distance of the hotel is another Cape Country Routes member, the Adventure Shop – a homegrown brand offering thrilling outdoor experiences such as bike and e-bike tours, 4×4 wine adventures, guided hikes and a hop-on-hop-off wine tour by bus called the ‘Vine Hopper.’
After hearing about their special for locals (R450 per person for a 25km e-bike tour) we took the opportunity to explore a piece of the Cape Winelands on wheels and met Adventure Shop owner Raino Bolz and cycle guide Severiano early that morning for a little outdoor odyssey.
The experience – a 3.5-hour offroad e-bike adventure that both amateur and more advanced riders will enjoy – begins in the heart of Stellenbosch and ends at the picturesque Boschendal Wine Estate in Franschhoek. The tour provides the complete outdoor experience, and while you don’t need to be a professional mountain-biker, some riding skills and a reasonable amount of fitness is required. Expect to be charging through dirt and dust, ramps, water, rocky terrain and a few steep trails.
Once you arrive, you’re welcome to stay as long as you like at Boschendal and enjoy the stalls, a deli, restaurant, wine tasting and more. Adventure Shop will ensure your safe return to Stellenbosch with a mini-bus ready to take you back when you’re ready to leave.
We returned to Senobia’s for a hearty lunch followed by another poolside rendezvous and afternoon nap before our dinner at Eendracht Hotel – a pièce de résistance of canapés, wine and dessert.
After another splendid night’s sleep, we were up early again for one last outdoor adventure before heading back to Cape Town. Despite loadshedding that morning, breakfast ran smoothly at Eendracht and, after a delicious carbo-load we headed out to meet Adventure Shop guides, Tayne and Colin, to explore the nearby Jonkershoek Nature Reserve – a region recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Adventure Shop offers a handful of guided and educational hikes on various trails through the world-renowned Jonkershoek Valley. Along with our nature guide Tayne, we decided to make our way through the majestic Swarboskloof/Sosyskloof trail loop – a 6.9 km hike with moderate terrain, crashing waterfalls and spectacular scenery. With an informative lead by our side, we learned fascinating details about the region’s remarkable fynbos and wildlife and even encountered the elusive February flowering only red Disa plant.
I took the opportunity to enjoy my suite one last time and freshened up with a cool shower before our late checkout. On a quaint veranda overlooking Dorp Street, we gathered to enjoy our last meal together at the hotel – a homestyle Sunday lunch served on a Saturday- and toasted to a memorable weekend in Stellenbosch before departing on our short trip back to the Mother City.
Photo Credit | Elise Kirsten | Nadine Carroll (Living It Up CT) | Marianne Styan
Book a room for two, including breakfast, at Eendracht Boutique Hotel from just R1300 per night when booked directly on www.eendracht-hotel.com
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Adventure Shop is offering a special for locals – enjoy a thrilling 25-km outdoor e-bike adventure from Stellenbosch to Boschendal Wine Estate in Franschhoek for only R450 p/p, visit www.adventureshop.co.za to book.
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Good To Know: Eendracht Hotel has many wonderful amenities including fast and free wifi, a guest computer, free-to-use bicycles, housekeeping, laundry and a new and intimate conference facility called The Huddle Room. The Huddle Room offers everything from a private boardroom to fast internet, a computer, large screen TV and Logitech’s MeetUp premier Conference Cam for virtual conferences, catering and more.
Eendracht Hotel also caters for various needs with specific rooms such as their wheelchair-friendly suite and Room X – the hotel’s thirteenth room. This unique suite is designed for teens and includes an X-Box, Netflix and direct access to the splash pool. Read more about Eendracht’s amenities, right here.
A Brief History of Eendracht Hotel
The original Eendracht building was constructed in 1711. In the early 1900s, the building was used as a boarding house until it was sold to the Cape Technical College. Circa 1960 the original building was demolished, and in 1996 the Lutz family acquired the property.
After extensive research and requests from the town, the Lutz family decided to reconstruct the original building in the same architectural style and opened the Eendracht Hotel.