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“Absolute gem of a find - Charming and delightful!”
Review of Villa Exner

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Villa Exner
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Grabouw
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 January 2012

I booked 3 nights for my parents and I to stay at Villa Exner over the holidays... And we loved it so much we ended up staying for 5 glorious nights! The hotel is absolutely divine. Hosts Sabine and Berndt pay loving attention to every detail big and small, creating a most welcome and tranquil sanctuary.

Sabine's food is utterly magnificent... Gorgeous to look at, the flavors dance in your mouth! Her kitchen is heavenly –you must have a peek in to see how she does it. The dining area is a long open-air patio surrounded by greenery, and boasts an enchanting view of the Grabouw hillside. You won’t want to go anywhere else for a meal when you’re staying at Villa Exner.

Although if you do go out exploring, it’s all very close and there are many lovely adventures to be had. Gorgeous drives, lovely wineries, local artisans… Berndt and Sabine are ready and willing to help you plan your itinerary should you need, and offer a wealth of local information.

After a long day of exploring, coming back to Villa Exner is all the more delightful. The accommodation at Villa Exner is superb. Glamorous, yet unpretentious, the rooms envelope you in classy style. You have access to a delightfully shaded pool for a dip on a hot day, or sunny lounge chairs to read your book. The main house has a relaxing common room with books, DVDs, DSTV and wireless if you need some stimulation. There is also a private dining room decorated in pure style (complete with a very cool piece of an apple tree from their home in Germany) where you can have a private dining experience if you so choose.

All in all this is an *absolute gem* of a find, and we are already planning our trip back! We hope that all who stay here will celebrate the charm of Villa Exner, and appreciate the loving care and attention that Sabine and Berndt put in to all they do. We adore Villa Exner!

Room Tip: There is a freestanding building that has two rooms - one luxurious and spacious room that is actual...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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Thank leahdoz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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108 - 112 of 139 reviews

Reviewed 12 January 2012

It,s a beautyfull and new house with a flowerfull and big garden, and pool located in the neiborhoods of Capetown. Rooms and bathrooms are big decorated with sofistication and clean style.
You do need a car and can stay at this quiet place to visit almost everithing. The vineyeards of Stelembpsh and Frecschoeck, the indic shore and, of couse, Capetown. If you want to go everiday to Capetown, remember it is a 50 minutes drive.
A warm and kind couple ownes the place and will treat you with the best in food, hotel service, tips, maps and assistence to make your stay perfect. I' ve been there with my wife for a week and we loved it.
Marcello and Adriana from Brazil.

  • Stayed: January 2012
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Thank mfalco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scuzza, Owner at Villa Exner, responded to this reviewResponded 16 January 2012

Many thanks - it was indeed a great pleasure having you in South Africa!
We look forward to your return in the near future.

Sabine & Bernd

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Reviewed 4 January 2012

We booked to stay 3 nights over New Year's Eve after having read the commendations on this site. When dplatt (one of the reviwers) says that the service is "unobtrusive", I have to go further - it's downright lacking! Be aware folks that this is NOT a 5-star establishment - not at least according to the Tourism Grading Council.

There are good points about the hotel for sure: it's well maintained & has many of the features advertised, i.e. large pool, garden, patio, etc. and the hotel's standard of fixtures & fittings is generally high.

However having requested a King sized bed, we arrived to find twin standard length single beds - with single duvets. We were told that there were no King sized beds available in the hotel - even though the site advertises these. It's a personal thing, but my back needs firm support - these beds were soft. The room also lacked a mini bar fridge - useful for keeping water cool during summer days. The dinner menu was short - a 3 course meal with no options - and expensive: R290. Perhaps this is reasonable for foreign guests, but expensive for locals.

On the evening of the first night when I raised the fact that the wireless internet wasn't working & that the shower pressure was dismal, there was no attempt to address the issues. Instead Berndt suggested that we leave, saying that from the moment we arrived he had divined that we were "too good" for the hotel.

We took his advice & left the next day, spending the rest of our stay in the area in bliss at a local wine farm's offering, at a few hundred Rand per night less.

I'm afraid that I cannot share Jon & Tina's appraisal of Berndt & Sabina. In fact my experience of this "mom & pop" operation is polar opposite to theirs. They were rude, obnoxious, unhelpful and downright insulting. Everything seemed to be an effort to them & when dealing with a complaint, there first response was to firmly suggest that we leave.

Room Tip: Not sure. Only stayed a single night & would rather sleep in my car then return to this hotel.
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Paul G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scuzza, Owner at Villa Exner, responded to this reviewResponded 16 January 2012

We are very thankful for reviews and regret deeply if our guests do not enjoy their stay.
Although we try to satisfy each and every guest individually, looking after their particular needs, we will not succeed to cater to everyone's taste.

A few practical comments below:

1. All of our garden rooms have extra-long, please kindly do request on booking to ensure availability.

2.. Our water pressure is South African standard. Our irrigation system does not use drinking water, thereby not affecting the water pressure at all.

3. We are a boutique hotel and offer personalized services. We hence do offer a limited room service and serve chilled drinks so guests do not have to trouble themselves.

4. We offer set menu four course gourmet dinners and send the menu suggestion to guests for approval to accommodate dietary requests if communicated to us at that stage. This is appropriate for the size of our operation with only eleven rooms; we of course cannot offer full a la carte services a public restaurant would. Other reviewers have always highlighted their experience, as it is quite unique, individual and special. They have commented on the high quality of the food, presentation, organic ingredients, set up on the verandah – all of which justifies the price of the dinner. Alternatively, we do have a list of local restaurants at hand to choose from.

5. We do offer complimentary WiFi and have cap limits on our bandwidth. It is thus unavoidable that sometimes during high internet usage, especially during the course of the night, that temporarily this bandwidth might be used up and needs reloading.

The reviewer, who has not dined with us, checked out prematurely with a full refund and all restrictions of the booking conditions waived.

We hope you will find the comments useful and look forward to welcome you at Villa Exner!

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Reviewed 27 June 2011

We recently spent a night at Villa Exner and it completely exceeded our expectations!

It was the cleanest, best maintained and run hotel I have had the pleasure to stay in. Our hosts were attentive and very friendly in helping us with ideas were to go, and which local attractions to try.

We most certainly look forward to our next stay at Villa Exner!

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank CapeTownPaul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2011

We stayed at this hotel when we were going to a wedding in the local area. It is utterly charming and Sabine and Berndt Exner are delightful hosts. They have great attention to detail, and each and everything they do has a touch of quiet style to it. The food was simply excellent and the service unobtrusive. It is not a place for kids or the amusement park brigade, but that is not its purpose. It has an overwhelming air of security, civility and calm in an area which can politely be described as having its challenges. It did indeed feel as if we had 'stepped over a bridge of time into a corner of the Elder Days" (if you know your Tolkien).

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank dplatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villa Exner

Address: 11 Essenhout Avenue, Grabouw 7160, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Grabouw
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Grabouw
Price Range: $117 - $168 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Villa Exner 5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Villa Exner is an exclusive small boutique hotel, centrally located at Elgin Valley Grabouw in the Winelands and close to Cape Town. All major attractions and activities are within easy access, making it your ideal base to explore the Cape while enjoying the space and tranquility of the country side.Experience all those indulging touches and the intimate, personal service that only a small boutique hotel can offer.Villa Exner provides the space to relax and rejuvenate; rolling lawns, a decadent open garden offering privacy and interactive places where you can sit and chat in a laid-back atmosphere, make new friends and enjoy life in a modern country style. Villa Exner is based in the heart of Elgin Grabouw, only an hour from Cape Town. Surrounded by pure nature with the two bordering Nature Reserves, the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom, as well as the Winelands and Hermanus at the doorstep, there are a million things to do. Hiking, birding, mountain biking, 4x4 off road trails & tours, quad biking, golf, tennis, paragliding over the stunning False Bay, scuba diving along the coast, to name a few. One of only two South African water-skiing schools, with the most beautiful setting, is also close by. ... more   less 
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