Beyond the gates of the Vrede en Lust Wine Estate, through undulating vineyards framed by the majestic Simonsberg Mountains, you’ll find a tranquil retreat that calms the mind and nourishes the soul. Angala Boutique Hotel & Guest House is where nature intertwines effortlessly with understated luxury, producing a little piece of paradise for you to enjoy in the heart of the Franschhoek Valley. Portfolio’s Content Curator, Shana, recently spent a night at this special place – here are some of her thoughts…
Leave your worries at the door
From the moment you arrive at Angala, you know you’re in for a treat. It’s like someone’s waved a magic wand and this incredible calm washes over you - you can almost feel each of your worries melt away one by one. Expect a warm welcome by the fantastic team as you’re offered a refreshing drink, your bags are whisked off to your room and you’re given a tour of the beautiful grounds. The idea is that while you’re here, you immerse yourself in the serenity of your surrounds and completely switch off – and since your every need is taken care of from start to finish, it’s pretty easy to do just that.
A sanctuary in every sense of the word
Everything from the gorgeous rooms, to the perfectly manicured gardens and the numerous relaxation nooks (such as the spa pool and comfy outdoor lounge located on one side of the wrap-around veranda) throughout the property evoke feelings of peace, harmony and luxury. The constant sound of running water can also be heard, courtesy of the perfectly positioned water features - something that contributes to the overwhelming feeling of tranquillity. Soothing neutral tones help to reinforce the calm atmosphere, while plush fabrics and textures simultaneously bring an air of elegance.
With a sincere commitment to maintaining the integrity of the environment, every care has been taken to “Go Green” as much as possible at Angala. The Eco Pool boasts a natural filtering process and is perfect for that afternoon dip. If you’d prefer to kick back though, you can do so on one of the sun-loungers or by lying on the wooden deck. Where ever you choose to spend your time during your visit, you’re guaranteed to experience relaxation in its purest form.
Even the rooms are individual serene havens
We stayed in one of the luxury suites, just a short walk down a grapevine-lined path. There are so many things to love about this space, from the little patio, perfect for an afternoon reflection as you look out across the countryside, to the private garden with its sweet smells of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, and, of course, the glorious outdoor shower.
It’s hard not to feel completely at home the minute you walk through the door – everything from the neutral colour palette, to the hand-picked pieces of furniture and décor elements work together to create a peaceful space you can call your own. You won’t be able to get enough of the distinct countryside-feel-meets-quiet-luxury.
For the love-birds… The secluded, self-catering River Cottage is ideal for that romantic getaway. With its private pool, outside bath & shower and complete privacy, honeymooners can expect a stay to remember.
It’s in the little things
Attention to detail is something that can help take a place from being just great, to simply amazing. At Angala it’s the little details that matter as much as the big ones, with various extras making you truly appreciate the effort made to ensure your stay is a memorable one. Our room had a Nespresso machine (complete with a generous amount of pods), as well as a music player, candles and even an umbrella for those rainy days.
Fluffy robes beckon to you after a soak in the tub or a rinse in the outdoor shower, and a fully stocked (and complimentary!) minibar means you practically never have to leave your room. There’s even a yoga mat for those wanting to zen out... Angala also fully endorses the idea of a night cap (yay!) with a small bottle of delicious Amarula being left by your bed during your turn-down in the evening – now that’s thinking of everything!
We love... The range of Healing Earth bathroom products found in the bathroom - harnessing the invigorating and healing powers of Africa's natural ingredients, this incredible range restores, nourishes and revives, all while smelling amazing.
A different kind of retreat… For the yogis there are yoga retreats at various times during the year and we can’t think of a more beautiful place to namaste than Angala.
Foodies won’t be disappointed
The on-site restaurant at Angala is truly something. Executive Chef Marlin Clayton, together with his superb team is behind the delicious cuisine delivered in the form of a select al la carte menu. Locally sourced seasonal ingredients are carefully chosen to create mouth-watering creations that impress and delight. The melt-in-your-mouth Asian-inspired salmon is a taste explosion and finishing off with a chocolate and hazelnut torte seemed like the perfect way to end a stellar meal - all I can say is our taste buds were suitably satisfied!
An extensive wine list makes choosing the perfect vino to accompany your meal a rather tricky decision, but attentive and knowledgeable staff can lend a hand with suitable recommendations. The buffet breakfast is just as scrumptious, with further options available to order from the brekkie menu.
In or out?... We enjoyed an intimate, candle-lit dinner fireside, but the wrap-around vernada is the perfect place to indulge when the weather is warm. The views are incredible, only enhancing your dining experience.
On Sundays & Wednesdays… Try the chef’s set menu that consists of five amazing courses – best you go hungry!
The essence of pampering
Angala has recently upped the level of indulgence on offer by introducing a steam room as well as an infrared sauna. These facilities, along with the spa pool, are all available for guests to use, as is the ozonated solar heated pool (fab for the skin!)
The best part though is easily the mobile spa whereby a range of treatments are available and are delivered by experienced therapists in the comfort of your own room. We treated ourselves to a 60-minute lava shell massage (essentially like hot stone) which was out of this world and since you don’t even have to leave your room, you can really relax. We slipped into the steam room and sauna afterwards, and ended off our pampering session with a dip in the spa pool – the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner at the end of the day.
If you’re looking to get away from it all, refill your energy tank and clear your mind, all while surrounding yourself with the timeless beauty of the Cape Winelands, then you really don’t have to look any further than Angala. Time seems to stand still here so even after only a couple of days you’ll feel as if you’ve been away for an eternity - and what more could you ask for?