Don't be put off by the location – Helshoogte (Hell's Height) used to be a hellish mountain pass before the combustion engine, differentials and rubber tyres turned it into a pleasant drive with a view of Table Mountain in the distance and patchwork vineyards below. Surrounded by vineyards and making the most of the amazing view African Valley Estate is a small boutique hotel that can only be described as elegant chic. A line of suites open onto the orchard with private verandahs, dark screed floors and an ecclesiastical use of white paint.
Accommodation consists of contemporary furnishings and the décor makes sparing use of limes, oranges and summer yellows to offset the puritanical backdrop. The hotel has a small bar with a full-bodied wine list and the dining room which raises the elegance stakes with more simple lines, flat colours and a stunning view across the Stellenbosch Valley.
African Valley Estate: location, location, location
Half way up the stunning Helshoogte Pass, African Valley Estate is close to both Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, giving you a double whammy of sights, activities and gastronomic delights. Your ever-helpful and friendly hosts will advise and organise any number of outings for you including wine tasting, golfing, cycling, hiking, horse riding, fine dining, historical and cultural tours, whale-watching and shark-cage diving.