Cellars-Hohenort Hotel Cape Town South Africa: Now Greg’s favorite points-bookable hotel

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I’ve found my happy place. The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel has just the right combination of outstanding yet down-to-earth service, luxurious rooms, excellent food, and strikingly beautiful grounds. Best of all, this Cape Town paradise can be booked for 15,000 Hyatt points per night.. or less. The only downside is that it’s so very far from my home.

a hand giving a thumbs up in front of a blue flower garden

Cellars-Hohenort Bottom Line Review

I’ve stayed in many terrific hotels in the past, but this one is my new favorite.  I don’t know if everyone will feel this way, but for my wife and I, it was a perfect fit.  The service was 5-star quality, but didn’t feel stuffy in the least.  The staff were proud of their hotel and seemed to relish showing us around and providing everything we needed.  Then there’s the hotel’s magnificent gardens.  They have 9 acres of grounds which are mostly covered with gardens, paths through trees, and a small vineyard.  It’s absolutely stunning.  And if you get a good table at the hotel’s restaurant, the Conservatory, the floor to ceiling windows give a feel of being seated right there within the garden.

  • SLH: The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel is an SLH property bookable with Hyatt points. When you book through Hyatt, you automatically get perks like free breakfast (which I believe is free for most guests here anyway), early check-in and late check-out when available, and a room category upgrade when available.
  • Price: This SLH property is listed as category 3 on Hyatt’s award chart and so it costs 12,000 Hyatt points per night standard, 9,000 points off-peak, and 15,000 points peak. We used my category 1-4 free night awards to book three nights for ourselves and one night for friends.  If we had paid with points, the price at the time was 12,000 points per night.
  • Point Value: Excellent.  During our stay the cash rate when booked through Hyatt was ~$385 per night vs. a point price of 12,000 points per night.  That leads to an excellent per point value of 3.2 cents per point.  I did find another booking channel with significantly lower cash rates of about $285 per night.  If booked that way, we wouldn’t have been eligible for room upgrades (we were upgraded to a suite every night thanks to booking through Hyatt), but still at that rate the Hyatt point value is still a respectable 2.4 cents per point.
  • Location: Cellars-Hohenort is located on the opposite side of Table Mountain from Cape Town’s downtown.  As a result, it is relatively far (approximately a 20 minute drive) from tourist attractions like the Table Mountain Cable Car, the V&A Waterfront (where you can catch a ferry to Robben Island), Bo-Kapp, etc.  On the plus side, the location is beautifully hilly and lush and is dominated by magnificent views of Table Mountain.  The hotel is close to attractions like the awesome Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, and Groot Constantia, South Africa’s oldest wine farm.  Additionally, the hotel offers free transportation to the V&A Waterfront, Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, and Constantia Village (a shopping center-village).
  • Room: We were upgraded to a terrific suite with garden views.
  • Parking: Parking in the gated lot is complimentary
  • Service: Awesome!  The staff here clearly take great pride in providing wonderful service without it feeling uppity in the least.  The feel is more like a great B&B than a five star hotel (and yet it is a five star hotel).
  • Housekeeping: Full service daily.
  • Turndown service: Daily.  They replaced water bottles and left chocolates by the bed.
  • Breakfast: Free menu service breakfast was provided daily in the hotel restaurant.
  • In addition to the above, the following were included free:
    • Welcome gift: Chef prepared treats and a bottle of wine
    • Mini-bar snacks & drinks (these are complimentary but not replenished when used)
    • Departure gift
  • Hyatt Benefits:  SLH hotels do not recognize Hyatt elite status, but they offer all guests who book through Hyatt the following perks:
    • Free continental breakfast: I believe that Cellars offers all (or most?) guests free full breakfast, so this perk was not relevant.
    • Room upgrade, if available: We had two separate stays booked a week apart and we were upgraded to a full suite each time!
    • Early check-in (noon, based upon availability at check-in): We didn’t have the chance to test this but I got the impression that this would have been honored if possible.
    • Late check-out (2:00PM, based upon availability at check-in): We asked for 2pm late check-out on our second stay and it was granted.
    • Free wifi: All guests get free wifi, so this perk wasn’t relevant.
  • Would I stay again?  Definitely.  In fact, we already did.  Our trip included starting in Cape Town (first at the Hyatt Regency then at Cellars-Hohenort), then venturing away from town for other desitinations, then returning to Cape Town for one night before our flight home.  Our original plan was to stay our last night at the Hyatt Regency Cape Town, but after we experienced Cellars, it was a no-brainer to cancel the Hyatt Regency and book another wonderful night at Cellars-Hohenort.  If/when we return to Cape Town, I’d probably book our entire Cape Town stay at Cellars-Hohenort.  I’d use their complimentary shuttle service to go to the botanical gardens and to the V&A Waterfront, and I’d use Uber (which is cheap and reliable in Cape Town) or rent a car to go farther if our Cape Town friends weren’t available (don’t miss the stunning drives, such as Capmans Peak, along the coastline) .

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Beautiful and extensive gardens
  • Fantastic service
  • We were upgraded to terrific suites (I can’t promise you the same)
  • Free breakfast daily
  • Free mini-bar snacks and drinks
  • Beautiful location
  • Free transportation to some key locations
  • Nice welcome and departure gifts

Cons

  • The hotel is located on the opposite side of Table Mountain from most tourist attractions, bars, and restaurants (but it’s still only about a 20 minute drive away).  To me, this is actually more of a pro than a con because I think that it’s so much nicer to stay here than in the heart of the city.
  • The hotel is located in South Africa which is awfully far away from where I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  If it were closer, I’d go there all the time.

Image Gallery

Exterior

a blue flowers in a garden

a vineyard with a house in the background

a garden with a brick walkway and a building

a white building with a green lawn and flowers

a white house with trees and a garden
View from our room. That’s Table Mountain in the background.
a path with plants and trees
Garden path. It’s possible to walk about 2/3rds of the way around the property entirely through garden paths like this one.
a garden with trees and plants
View of the hotel from a garden path

Restaurant: The Conservatory

a restaurant with tables and chairs
This appears to be an open air dining room, but it actually has floor to ceiling windows along the back wall (the wall on the right of the photo). To the left of the floor-to-ceiling window are sliding glass doors and beyond that there are tables for dining outside.
a room with tables and chairs and plants
Interior view of restaurant. Not everyone is lucky enough to be seated by the windows, but the inside sections are pretty too.
a plate of food on a table
Breakfast was excellent. Shown here: Egg’s Benedict.
a plate of food on a table
Dinner at the hotel (not included, but reasonably priced) was also excellent. Shown here: a complimentary (and delicious) amuse-bouche.
a bowl of salad with cheese and a piece of bread on top
The Caesar salad included a delicious breaded and fried egg prepared similarly to a Scotch egg, but without meat.
a plate of meat and vegetables
Lamb chops
a plate of food with sauces
Bobotie: South Africa’s national dish. Delicious!

Common Areas

a view from the top of a staircase in a house
Main entrance / lobby. Check-in desk can be seen on the left.
a room with a fireplace and couches
Bar seating.
a pool with chairs and a building in the background
One of two heated pools.
a tennis court surrounded by trees
Tennis court.
a room with exercise equipment and a large window
Fitness room
a window with trees outside
Fitness room treadmill view

Room / Suite

a living room with green chairs and a table
We stayed at Cellars twice during this trip. Shown here is (I think) the second suite we stayed in.
a room with a piano and couch
Our suite’s living room.
a bed in a room
Suite bedroom with window overlooking garden.

a man taking a selfie in a bathroom

a bathroom with a sink and shelves

a man taking a selfie in a kitchen
Welcome gifts are shown on the left: a bottle of wine and some chef-prepared treats.
a refrigerator with bottles and cans
Everything in the fridge is complementary but these are not replaced during your stay.
two jars of food on a white shelf
More free snacks. the Beef Snapstix, on the right are known more commonly in South Africa as biltong (one way to remember this name is that it is pronounced somewhat like bull tongue).
a couple of papers with text on them
Welcome letter plus notice about power shedding. As to the latter, that’s just what happens in South Africa. Most places have generators and so the experience is that the power goes out for a few seconds and then comes back on once the generator kicks in.
a table with a vase and a bottle of water on it
Turndown service includes a bottle of water and a chocolate on each side of the bed plus a card (not shown) with the next day’s weather forecast.
a box with a butterfly on it
Check-out gift. Yummy salted caramels.
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dee

Was it safe to wander around everywhere there

chopsticks

The “problem” with redeeming Hyatt points for this hotel is that South Africa is cheap. 15,000 points is kind of expensive for a decent SA hotel. I know this place is expensive, but for most folks with an AMEX plat card, it’s probably better to use your otherwise-hard-to-use $200 luxury hotel credit. I think they sell their rooms for about $300 on the AMEX website. The annoyance with both those options is if you have a third person with you. Has anyone “negotiated” with the hotel over a kid or young adult travelling with them?

MMM

PS forgot to mention- also bookable via FHR and those rates were actually cheaper than via Hyatt (this seems to often be the case with SLH properties…), while including the same benefits plus a 100 property credit which I used for F&B and a massage in the lovely spa. Wound up with 2 nights on Hyatt points and 1 on FHR. Early check-in/late checkout honored, suite upgrade, same treats but I got a slab of artisanal chocolate with the bottle of wine

MMM

I had the same experience staying here for 3 nights in October, and also greatly preferred it to the Hyatt Regency in Bo-Kapp, which has some issues (Globalist). The proximity to the magnificent botanical garden is perfect, and if you really want to die, go have lunch at Chef’s Warehouse in Beau Constantia just down the road…one of the top 3 meals of my life- do not even think of skipping the oysters and get the tasting menu …thank me later

JustSaying

It looks like Napa and Napa is probably a nonstop from where you live! The wine will be better (and more expensive) and the hotel will cost a lot more but that’s the price for convenience plus supply and demand.

Paul5795

Greg, Greg. Why do write these posts that torture me?? Went to South Africa once before for a two week trip focused around a Kruger Safari Lodge. BEST TRIP EVER. And now you add even another reason to go back. But talk about far away. If you drilled a hole through the middle of the earth from where we live, it would come out on the other side in the Indian Ocean just to the east of South Africa. Truly the other side of the world! The two long flights to get there via Europe or the Middle East are just so long. And my wife will no longer fly on Qatar airlines, so we can’t even use the American Airlines deal to fly Qsuites. Oh well.

ucipass

Seems like great value for the points, but staying close to the waterfront has its advantages especially if you are a first timer. Enjoy your stay in SA!

Darlene

Your photos are magnificent and capture the beauty and grace of the hotel which I had not heard of. But speaking of grace, I recommend that you try the Cape Grace Hotel right on the waterfront. We have stayed at so many 5 star hotels around the world, and the Cape Grace would be in our top 10 list. Sorry though in that it’s not a points stay.

Brant Stookey

I posted about this hotel when it was relatively new to Hyatt. I definitely felt it would be a stellar use of 15K FNC’s and since I haven’t been, it’s great to know I was right! I have noticed that availability isn’t always great though. Apparently it’s becoming a bit of a hotspot!

Last edited 3 months ago by Brant Stookey
Loungeabuser

Literally everything in Cape Town and S Africa seems like a great deal compared to prices anywhere else . $5 mixed drinks at V&A Waterfront 5 star hotel bars, a pizza plus gin and tonic for $2.10 at a decent small restaurant, filet mignon with potato , salad and starch for under $25… just a few .

On the down side , 45 people were shot to death in the Western Cape in one weekend when I was there.

Paul5795

They say in large cities you have to know where you should and should not go. That is particularly true in Cape Town.

MFK

Looks great! Thanks for the post. I was not aware this property was available to book via Hyatt.