PICS: Cosy up with your own braai at The Den in Stellenbosch
Wine, history and mountain views – Stellenbosch has all the trappings of a typical Cape Winelands destination perfect for any avid foodie.
The entrance to The Den. (Photo: Gabi Zietsman)
But while the town is filled with hotels and guest houses for those only interested in restaurant-dining, some travellers would prefer a place where they can experiment with all the delicious finds from the countless wine farm delis – or parents of students keen to catch up with their kids over a braai and Stellies brew.
One such property is the latest addition to the portfolio of boutique hotel collection Cape Summer Villas – The Den. It’s a mixed-use building with permanent residents, while the top floor with three two-bedroom apartments and 15 open-plan studio apartments are available as short-term rentals for a minimum of two nights.
Modern, functional and comfortable, The Den can be a home away from home for those who prefer to indulge in their own foodie comforts.
Chef Richard Rorich from Cape Summer's Sky Villa in Plettenberg Bay prepared us a meal in one of the two-bedroom apartments. (Photo: Gabi Zietsman)
Mussels served with Waterford Estate's Chardonnay. (Photo: Gabi Zietsman)
Meeting the needs of a modern traveller
The apartments might be self-catering, but you will still be spoiled with top-of-the-range amenities that any modern traveller would love - as well as eclectic artwork.
One of the studio apartments. (Photo: Gabi Zietsman)
A coffee machine is on standby for the early mornings (or wine hangovers), while the entertainment system isn’t only setup with DSTV – the smart TV also has all the major streaming apps where you can either sign in with your account or use The Den’s accounts.
Alongside fibre internet, the apartments also make a great business travel stay.
The porch views from the studio apartment. (Photo: Gabi Zietsman)
A sundowner-perfect rooftop
The other major selling point of The Den is the rooftop pool and braai area. It has 360 views of the Stellenbosch mountains, a solar-heated pool and a lovely deck area with a braai if you’re in town for some sort of celebration.
The rooftop pool. (Photo: Gabi Zietsman)
However, The Den is not a traditional accommodation stay, with permanent residents also living in the building, thus they also have access to the rooftop.
Basically, if the weather is nice, there will be some competition with potentially raucous students. You’ll also have traffic noise and views of the train tracks, but you’d have to crane your neck to see it.
(Photo: Gabi Zietsman)The Rose-Mary rosé from Stellenbosch wine farm Waterford Estate - they have some delectable chocolate tasting. (Photo: Gabi Zietsman)
Location great for Uber, but not walking
While the location may look great on the map, close to town and the university, it’s not in great walking distance. I grew up in Stellenbosch, and being right next to the train tracks in this area means it’s not a place for walking at night – although The Den has round-the-clock security and ample off-street parking.
View from the rooftop. (Photo: Gabi Zietsman)
However, Stellenbosch is an Uber town and riding anywhere will be quite cheap with short wait times. It also has quick access to the highways, perfect for business meetings and exploring the area’s wine farms.