Stylish Safe Stay: Grande Roche Hotel

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more magnificent example of a plush & beautifully-run hotel in the Cape Winelands, than Grande Roche Hotel.

Its various facets may have changed hands a time or two, but what has remained steady since this grande dame’s establishment, has been absolute luxury – packaged traditionally, but no less equipped with even the most essential of modern amenities.

Welcome to the stately Grande Roche Hotel.

Image Courtesy of Grande Roche Hotel

Travellers can often fall into two camps these days: Those seeking rigorous surprise and delight at every turn, and those content with a level of comfort, welcome, food, and location, which remains pleasantly consistent and harmonious.

Grande Roche Hotel, and its restaurant, want the full range of travellers – and they’re armed with friendliness, taste, and attention to detail, to get us!

It’s strange to find such an honestly peaceful ‘countryside’ escape, which happens to be in the centre of a town with quite a bit of bustle going for it.

Whether you’re stopping in for a meal or staying longer, this lovingly refurbished hotel is here for you as:

  • A haven from the outside noise
  • A gorgeous pick for setting up a meeting or event
  • As well as a steady destination from which to delight in the Cape Winelands via curated Food & Dining menus in-house, or through excursions beyond.

Complete with six (6) Legacy Rooms, eighteen (18) Terrace Suites, and old workers’ quarters transformed into five (5) Heritage duplex suites, Grande Roche Hotel can comfortably settle in a large party, family or more, and be enough for a solo traveller too.

NOTE: One of the rooms is fully equipped for disabled guests too.

Grande Roche Hotel is also fit to satisfy the kind of travellers just yearning for a Cottagecore fix – complete with mellow morning mists, warm & atmospheric thatch-roofed suites, gardens where guests can pick the likes of lemons & herbs, as well as lush lawns and vines stretching out towards picturesque mountainous vistas.


Decor & Design

Among its merits, the historic hotel is ready for even those wanting the glitz and glam of contemporary designs.

Imaginative design is one of the cornerstones of the interiors at Grande Roche Hotel. It’s bound to every carefully-chosen colour scheme (including warm shades of gold, mustard gold, and rich complimentary browns in the restaurant and bar), the seamless flow between spaces (meander from the Reception to the restaurant, via the pool patio, for a lovely surprise), and especially in the furnishings and wallpapers picked for suites and shared spaces.

The most vivid moment where traditional met modern in beautiful symmetry, happened twice, in the comfort of my Grande Roche Hotel suite though.

The spacious bathtub (seriously, it’s fit for fat ol’ me!) allows a view of the sturdy wood-framed window of the suite, built in the original Cape colonial style, looking out to a sunkissed garden. And when I sunk into this bit of tasteful modern luxury, I could also peep at my king-sized bed ready for the complimentary turndown service offered.

Breakfasting in solitude, with perfectly-framed pastoral scenes beyond my suite shutters, is something that any traveller could enjoy – especially when all you need is a break from people or technology.

I got that thanks to a suite further off from the main hotel building, which I highly recommend you ask for when booking!


The Clubhouse is one of my favourite spots at Grande Roche though…

  • It’s a perfect gathering spot
  • A Space to play in, beyond your suite
  • A watering hole where you can order a drink without venturing to the other bar, which is bound to the in-house restaurant
  • Or even as a networking stop-in.

Complete with tropical viridian print wallpaper reminiscent of the famed Banana Leaf Martinique Leaf Wallpaper of The Beverly Hills™ Hotel, boho & industrial-style light fixture mixes hung at different exposed lengths, and with dark wood furnishings, it’s definitely a great way to gift visitors the chance to experience the lofty airs of membership club spaces like SOHO House.


Food & Dining

A feast of the senses, is probably the aptest way to describe Chef Kevin Grobler’s dining design here.

From indulgent food & wine, to elegant furnishings fit for fine dining and food coma languishing, and a notable balance between formal & relaxed hospitality from the restaurant’s team, Grande Roche Hotel’s restaurant has been reborn as an exemplary 2022 dining pick, under Chef Kevin.

Any restaurant that chooses both a ‘Zero-Waste’ strategy and community, predominantly, when sourcing their menu’s ingredients, honestly deserves a nod these days too.

It’s smart business, and it’s also really good for the eating.

I’m an advocate of Farm-To-Table, despite knowing the Truffles I gorge on in Cape Town, often come from Italy.

Anyway, with Chef Kevin’s deft hand – this man is by no means an undercooked chef in the biz – having run the kitchen at award-winning chef & Restaurateur Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen’s Michelin starred JAN in Nice, FranceGrande Roche has delivered articulate dining opportunities which test diners’ individual palates and their sense of adventure.

The sociable Food & Wine Dinner [R750pp], for example introduces visitors to a different local wine brand per night it’s hosted. Each winemaker’s selection is paired with inspired cuisine set to seasonal produce, by the Chef, and enjoyed by a lucky room full of eager diners like me.

“Cooking is much more than using the best seasonal ingredients and produce. Cooking is an act of love.”

Chef Kevin Grobler, Grande Roche Restaurant

The food is quietly confident – consistent in its ability to fill, despite what seems like small portions at first sight.

Its piques of pleasure, in morsels had from sunrise to sunset – perfectly fluffed eggs to Pork, and plates of glazed, descaled, prodded, and posed ingredients made wholly delicious.

My medley of dinner meals slipped smoothly between the likes of Kingclip, Spinach Tagliatelle, and Duck prepared so well it comes close to my favourite Duck Confit at a lauded Los Angeles joint.

With my accursed sweet tooth, I, naturally, favour the decadence of the Afternoon Tea above all else had during my stay – and it is currently on offer for R445pp.

The bars are unanimously all-around crowd pleasers – serving up everything from Negronis to the house’s take on an Old Fashioned and their patently delicious Paarl Sour (Auchentoshan American Oak, Lemon Juice, Sugar Syrup, Flat Rock Red, Egg white).

The cocktail, beer, wine, and beverage menus offer choices aplenty, so you need only pick your poison, as it were!

Maybe start early and settle in for a day of revelry inside or outdoors. The drinks will keep coming!


Pampering Treats

Amenities are the name of the game for some, when picking a hotel!

Well, being greeted with a bottle of quality local wine, as well as in-room essentials such as a decent tea and coffee set, is one way to sway any guest to a good review.

What pleases me most in a hotel these days: hotel robes and slippers that fit bigger people, and Grande Roche lines up these hotel creature comforts right near bubble bath fixtures and bathroom basics.

So far: they’ve done more than most Cape Wineland hotels.

In totality, meritorious amenities you can expect from a suite at Grande Roche Hotel include:

  • Welcome platter on arrival
  • Individually controlled air-conditioning
  • Under-floor heating
  • Luxury bathroom amenities
  • Digital telephones
  • Satellite television
  • An electronic safe
  • Tea/coffee-making facilities
  • Hairdryer, bathrobes, slippers and umbrellas
  • Turndown service with mineral water and snack
  • Free wireless internet available.

VERDICT?

The family-friendly Grande Roche covers the basics of safety quite diligently – Fortified with:

  • hygiene protocols politely suggesting you hand sanitize
  • as well as unhackable room/suite keys
  • metal bars on windows
  • functioning fire safety and alarms,
  • and a secure gate that’s the only point of main entry to the estate.

You’re safe – and that peace of mind lets visitors rest, recharge & relax.

That is truly where Grande Roche Hotel’s true fun and value begins!

This estate is a traveller’s dream – whether you’re there for a night, week or month – because there’s much to do whether you’re a child or adult; From food to fitness, Afternoon Tea to games, indoor fun to outdoor escapades, plugging in, and even the perfection of doing nothing in peace.

Guests can hit the exclusive guest-only Kraal pool far from prying eyes near the restaurant, or bask in the equal contemporary and traditional charm of the estate’s other spaces – like the extraordinary stand-alone modern Meeting venue fit for weddings, product launches, and even intimate meets alike!

Book into Grande Roche Hotel because it’s one of the finest picks for accessible Cape luxury and relative privacy.

It’s real, and really wonderful – made so by a combination of retreat comforts (like their by-appointment-only treatment room) and other smart hospitality choices that include the personable team who always maintain blessedly discreet service when needed.


By my recommendation: GRANDE ROCHE HOTEL

Leave a Reply