Brimming with character: The Tulbagh Hotel – packed with history but with contemporary features

BY GRAEME LUND - JULY 14, 2017

The Tulbagh Boutique Heritage Hotel is not just a name but a perfect description of this delightful hotel. The hotel buildings may date from the early to mid-1800’s but there is nothing dated about the luxuriously appointed rooms and efficient service.

So many modern hotels lack character. The architects have been so determined to design a building that operates smoothly and efficiently and that all is in perfect proportions that they forget to give the building a soul and a personality.

The Tulbagh Boutique Heritage Hotel oozes so much character that it positively smiles at you when you ascend the stairs to the patio that fronts the entrance. Step across the threshold and the old wooden floors and beamed roofing make you feel like you have been transported back a century or two until you notice the shiny espresso machine on the bar counter and that the chic glass door to the lounge.

My girlfriend and I had the pleasure of staying in the newly restored Heritage Fynbos rooms located in the Winterhoek Manor across the road from the Tulbagh Hotel itself.

The building may be close to 200 years old but the architects and builders who managed the restoration process have done so beautifully. The high roof, thick walls, deep set windows and solid door of the original building remain and have been complemented by glass walled showers, modern plumbing, rich upholstery and crisp linen.

A plunge pool, indigenous garden and secure access to both the historic Church Street and the commercial Van Der Stel Street form part of the Winterhoek Manor.

Despite the attractively worded menu, I expected the food to be mediocre to good simply because that is what I had come to expect from most hotels. So imagine my surprise when the food turned out to be gourmet. 

We oohed and aahed over breakfast, lunch and dinner and chose not to eat anywhere else after our first meal at the Olive Terrace, the restaurant at The Tulbagh Boutique Heritage Hotel. Meals can be taken in the fire warmed restaurant or, el fresco, either on the terrace under the White Karee tree or in the tranquil and secluded courtyard.

Do yourself a favour and try the Smashed Avo on Toast for breakfast, the Nachos Crumbed Chicken for lunch and the Lamb Curry for dinner. All were absolutely delicious. The fruit and vegetables were crisp and fresh and the breads aromatic. 

The receptionist was incredibly helpful and we followed her advice to visit an olive tasting, various wine farms, a beer tasting and a guided walk down Church Street by a historically passionate guide.

We experienced only one problem with our stay in Tulbagh and at the Tulbagh Boutique Heritage Hotel -the shortness of our stay.  There is so much to do and the hotel has much to offer. Without a shadow of a doubt, we’ll be back.

For more information visit www.tulbaghhotel.co.za or contact them on 023 230 0071 or reservations@tulbaghhotel.co.za

Contact Franchisee Maritsa Beattie
Winelands East contact number 083 658 3948
Winelands East email address maritsa@homefoodandtravel.co.za