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Top family-friendly hotels in the Winelands

Picture-perfect family outings await at these countryside boltholes

You’ve explored Cape Town as a family and are ready to move on to the Western Cape’s famous Winelands – but where to stay? And, perhaps most importantly, how to keep the little ones entertained? Well fear not as we’ve rounded up some of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek’s most family-friendly hotels, places that make sure you and your brood will have the most wonderful and memorable stay. You’ll be happy to hear that there is a lot more to the Winelands than simply wine tasting (although there’s plenty of that for the grown-ups too!) and our pick of hotels offer a host of action-packed, family-friendly activities that will keep kids of all ages entertained.

Family friendly hotels

Babylonstoren

Renowned for its gorgeous gardens, this super-stylish Cape Dutch Farm in the Drakenstein Valley is a green paradise for children. Young guests at Babylonstoren are invited to help feed the donkeys, collect eggs, look for the resident tortoises and ducks, and even help harvest fruit and vegetables for the breakfast table. Children are also welcome to help the bakers knead and bake delicious farm breads before heading out on a thrilling scavenger hunt. Then there’s the dam for cooling swims, bikes for further exploration of the ample grounds, farm-fresh food… By the time their heads hit the super-soft pillows in one of the farm’s Garden or Fynbos Cottages (or the stately five-bedroom Manor House), they’ll drift off within seconds, no doubt dreaming of the day’s adventures.

Babylonstoren
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Family friendly hotels

La Residence

For a super-luxe Winelands stay, book one of the Vineyard Suites at The Royal Portfolio’s La Residence Hotel in Franschhoek. Surrounded by vineyards and plum orchards and with a spectacular mountain backdrop, the five stand-alone suites are situated away from the main building meaning absolute privacy and plenty of space for families. Each suite has whimsical ‘Alice in Wonderland’-style interiors, with a central living area and two en-suite bedrooms that open up to the surrounding gardens and pools. Mini-gourmands are sure to enjoy the fine dining experience at the hotel, and the concierge can advise on family-friendly activities in the area, from hiking and cycling to festivals and special events.

La Residence
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Family friendly hotels

Boschendal

Offering an ever-expanding choice of family-friendly accommodation options amidst the Simonsberg mountains, Boschendal is a great Winelands base when travelling en famille. Whether you choose one of the beautifully restored cottages or a Werf Garden Suite, you can expect country-style furnishings and that uber convenient parent amenity – a kitchen(ette). Once you’ve settled in, throw yourself into the farm life – the mountain biking routes, horse riding (ages 7+) caves and dams make for an action-packed Winelands day. A brand-new farm addition is the ‘Tree House’, a well-thought-out edu-play centre for children aged 4 to 14. Fully supervised, kids will have a blast going farm-foraging and cooking outdoors, whilst parents get to have a relaxing wine tasting or spa session. At lunchtime, indulge in one of the farm’s famous picnics, then finish the day with a traditional family braai – the hand-delivered braai basked has all the ingredients you’ll need!

Boschendal Farm
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Family friendly hotels

Lanzerac

An historic Stellenbosch landmark, this Grande Dame of Winelands accommodation welcomes children with open arms, making it an excellent family-friendly hotel option. Young guests at Lanzaerac will be wowed by the grand suites, huge bathrooms and outside terraces with uninterrupted views of the Jonkershoek Valley. There’s also lots of space to roam, plus a pool for refreshing swims. Older children will enjoy the walks and bike rides in the reserve, and might even be keen on exploring the history of Stellenbosch with a guided walking tour of the town. An opulent (yet surprisingly child-friendly) buffet breakfast is served in the Manor Kitchen, whilst the more casual Lanzerac Deli is perfect for al fresco nibbles under ancient trees. There’s also an outstanding spa and children under 12 are not permitted, mum and dad can either take it in turns, or book a babysitter through the hotel in order to enjoy a few blissful hours of wellness time!

Lanzerac Hotel & Spa
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Family friendly hotels

Mont Rochelle

As one of Franschhoek’s most family-friendly hotels, the Richard Branson-owned wine farm Mont Rochelle ticks all the family-friendly boxes. It’s super plush but sturdy enough to withstand eager toddler inspections, and the huge suites even come with special gifts for little ones. The spacious grounds are made for running around in and lawn games will keep kids busy whilst parents relax by the pool. Then there’s the ‘Little Corkers’ programme, complete with special kiddies meals, grape juice tastings, scavenger hunts and picnics. If you stay in the rather splendid five-room Manor House, your kids will also be treated to their own bunkroom, games room and private swimming pools, plus pizza and cupcake-cooking sessions and arts and craft afternoons to boot.

Mont Rochelle
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Family friendly hotels

Spier

Focusing on guests with little explorers in tow, Spier is known as one of Stellenbosch’s most family-friendly hotels. If you are staying with older children, book two interleading rooms close to the pool for hours of splashy fun. Then take a meander around the expansive grounds before stopping for a wine tasting – the kids get their pick of grape juices to taste, as well as a goody bag to keep them busy. If you need a break, simply drop them off at the Kids’ Clubhouse for fully supervised crafts, farm walks and indoor and outdoor playtime. Children aged 10 and over can also join the Spier Segway Tour, whilst the Eagles Encounter is for animal lovers of all ages. With a restaurant, café and gourmet picnics to choose from, the family won’t go hungry either!

Spier Hotel
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