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24 Winery Road Exactly 1.2km down Winery Road, nr Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch 7130 South Africa
COVID-19 update: See the added health and safety measures this property is taking.Read more
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Traveller (76)
Room & Suite (31)
Pool & Beach (10)
Travel safe during COVID-19
Visit our Travel Safe hub to see how we're helping you make more informed travel decisions during COVID-19.
What you can expect during your stay
  • All linens sanitised in high-temperature wash
  • Hand sanitiser available to guests & staff
  • Stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Staff required to regularly wash hands
  • Daily temperature and symptom checks for staff
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Updated 20/10/02 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
A note from Acara
Updated 20/10/02 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.

About

#23 of 147 B&Bs / Inns in Stellenbosch
Location
Cleanliness
Service
Value
Situated in the Winelands, between Stellenbosch and Somerset West, Acara is nestled in a valley amidst scenic vineyards. A fantastic location for visiting the entire area - from Cape Town to Franschhoek & beyond, but yet peaceful and quiet. Beautifully appointed rooms, a sparkling heated swimming pool and large landscaped gardens. Amazing views to the Helderberg Mountains. A place to relax!
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Pool
Breakfast available
Bicycle rental
Bicycles available
Highchairs available
Airport transportation
Secured parking
Wifi
Pool / beach towels
Pool with view
Outdoor pool
Heated pool
Saltwater pool
Breakfast in the room
Complimentary instant cofffee
Complimentary tea
Outdoor dining area
Wine / champagne
Hiking
Bicycle tours
Walking tours
Massage
BBQ facilities
Baggage storage
Non-smoking hotel
Outdoor fireplace
Outdoor furniture
Picnic area
Sun deck
Sun loungers / beach chairs
Sun terrace
Sun umbrellas
First aid kit
Umbrella
24-hour check-in
Private check-in / check-out
Clothes dryer
Dry cleaning
Laundry service
Washing machine
Ironing service
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Room features
Blackout curtains
Air conditioning
Additional bathroom
Dining area
Coffee / tea maker
Flatscreen TV
Extra long beds
Bath / shower
Housekeeping
Safe
Seating area
Sofa
Clothes rack
Iron
Laptop safe
Wake-up service / alarm clock
Kitchenette
Microwave
Refrigerator
Kitchenware
iPod docking station
Electric blanket
Complimentary toiletries
Hair dryer
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Room types
Mountain view
Pool view
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Charming
Hidden Gem
Languages Spoken
English, Dutch, Xhosa
232Reviews0Q+A24Room tips
Traveller rating
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Alise Hornbecker wrote a review 13 Jan
Manhattan Beach, California2 contributions
Preparing for a return stay at Acara. Remiss in posting after initial stay, however compelled to express the glorious nature of this special property. Impeccable standards abound in a little slice of SA paradise. A must stay retreat after long haul from the states. If sterile hotel haute with bell attached to pinky is your calling, perhaps this is not the right fit. If lovely & cozy, well appointed accommodation engulfed in nature, with awe inspiring vistas and every accoutrement one desires, all in close proximity to coast, wineries and city then this is the spot! Amidst all covid complexities, I appreciated the increased measures implemented to ensure sanitization and limited exposure. Wonderful multilingual host was very accommodating. A true gem.
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Date of stay: February 2021Trip type: Travelled with friends
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Jeremy H wrote a review 13 Jan
1 contribution
The room was stunning with great vistas across the rolling lawns to the horses in the paddocks & the mountains over the willow trees. The highlight was definitely the young owls playing on the lawn in the evenings and feeding the horses. If you love horses and want them to love you, then bring a bag of carrots. We played with the friendly Ridgeback dogs and swam in the pool every day. Fiona our host was a hive of information on what to do & where to go. The rooms had everything we could possibly need and the beds were very comfy. Definitely coming back.
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Date of stay: January 2022
Rooms
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Service
Room Tip: We stayed in Lavender cottage and it was stunning but we think Willow Tree cottage is more spacious.
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Riku V wrote a review 09 Jan
Turku, Finland41 contributions36 helpful votes
I found Acara from Tripadvisor and one Stellenbosch-based guesthouse recommended it several years ago. The website of the Guest house includes nice garden photos and due to quite high day rate (R3.300), I had high expectations when I arrived in Acara. The photos of owls, horses and gardens in Tripadvisor were true in practice. How the whole place functions was far from expectations. My first impression was a small swimming pool which was full of leaves, and I assume it had been without cleaning for at least weeks. Acara offers two cottages and two rooms in the main house. We used both cottages. Other guesthouses and lodges during my six earlier stays in the area had offered a welcome glass, a fresh flower or something small. When I entered Willowtree cottage, I was surprised that I found plastic flowers. Second surprise, there is no baby crib even though I had informed Acara months in advance that I have a six-month-old baby. After we noticed that, we asked Acara to bring such. It took hours to contact the host, and finally the host promised to bring it but the first night was spoiled due to lack of a safe bed for the baby. The maintenance of these two cottages was an endless topic of wondering. - The batteries of the remote controls of the air conditioning and TV were empty. Clearly nobody even checked if everything worked before we arrived. - The biggest surprise was the electricity system. In Willowtree and Lavender cottages, I would say there were countless times electricity went partially/fully off. When electricity was off, water was also off. Hence it happened several times that we put on shampoo and tried to take a shower. Water was off. We had to run around with the shampoo to figure out what was to be fixed. The worst was when the baby pooped in the middle of the night, the diaper was too full and water was off. We had to throw the baby´s shirt away. - In Lavender cottage, there was an extremely bad smell during the first days we stayed. The host did not reimburse that at all although two rooms were totally empty in the main house at the same time. The bad smell came from the electricity board cabin. We figured out that whenever electricity went off, it affected a smelly blue smoke, and created a small lightning. After hundreds of smelly smoky clouds, the twin room of Lavender was absolutely inappropriate for accommodating use at European standards. We reported to the host but the host was not interested at all. The host only said the electricity man "will come sometimes". - Regarding water, Lavender cottage had only ice cold water in the shower. Its guests cannot use shower when the Lavender Cottage water heater did not work at all. I have seen dogs in lodges in Paarl, Stellenbosch, Somerset West, Constantia and Franschhoek. Earlier the hosts of the places had control over their dogs. This is not the case in Acara. After the first night, we thought it would be nice to eat breakfast outside at the terrace. We looked out and saw something not so attractive. At night, dogs of Acara used the terrace of Willow Tree as a general toilet. Afterwards, we noticed that those dogs steal our food from the backside of our car and even from inside the cottage. The host only said "Keep the door closed". Never before have the dogs of any guesthouse stolen anything, no matter if doors are open to the room or a cottage. It was really difficult sometimes to eat outside at dinner time when dogs put their noses practically at the table and tried to take food from the table. The kitchen of Willowtree was a mixture of new and very old things. The new thing was a dishwasher from Miele. This device was a regular topic of headache. Either it was totally off or it started to run but suddenly stopped washing. We were also wondering why the host clearly saved the powder for the dishwasher. The host brought every time only some cups powder, and it affected we had to ask more almost every day. The old side in the kitchen of Willowtree was all other things. For instance, the oventop worked only partly due to its high age. Similarly, the cover of the freezer inside the fridge dropped all the time. I would estimate the maintenance of Willowtree stays in 2014. This estimation is based on the book of house rules. It is a folder in Willowtree and this folder includes information for guests. The book still advertises an African dance show called Amazink. The last show of this dance team was in 2014. In this area, it is a common practice to provide daily cleaning for guests. Same practice was also in a self-catering cottage in Paarl in December 2020, in the middle of the Corona crisis. Even seven years old house rules of Acara says they offer daily cleaning except weekends. However, during my stay, this was not true. Really appropriate cleaning was offered during two weeks two times. Changing bed linens is not an appropriate cleaning, and even this was not available every working day. Regarding laundry, my team included four adults and a baby. We asked for four washing bags so that Acara could wash clothes. The host denied. The host was saying we all should use two bags. In previous lodges, we have used four or five bags for laundry without a problem. Due to lack of proper daily cleaning, we had continuous lack of toilet paper. Never before have I remembered that lack of toilet paper was a regular topic of dinner discussions. We had to send often Whatapp message and reminded, and then we received a bit more paper. At that point, I started feeling that the system does not work at all. Although we reported all things to the host, the host did not say even sorry or did not give any reimbursement. Though, the host bought new food after dogs ate our own, and as usual, the host did not apologize at all. During our stay, it was a continuous problem to contact the host. When we needed something, such as more toilet paper, she replied that she would do it soon and something actually happened for hours or days. Sometimes the host replied with a long delay, and mainly it was hard to contact her at evening time. The slogan of the host to all our difficulties was "This is Africa". I think it is not true at all. I have visited several African countries and many times in South Africa. Things I reported are a sign of poor maintenance, not related to Africa.
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Date of stay: December 2021
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Response from Fiona Stafford, Owner at Acara
Responded 1 week ago
I am truly sorry that these guests felt the need to write such an appalling review. I and my staff take pride in offering the best possible experience and service here at Acara, so I feel that I need to respond in detail. Also to reassure potential future guests. (A note aside, I phoned the guesthouse – where these guests stayed before and the owner said they refused to have them back). In answer: Our heated, saltwater pool is cleaned every morning. More frequently if it is windy and catches a few rose petals or leaves from our spectacular Willow trees and Liquid Amber trees that surround it. Guest photo’s show that this pool is maintained and kept clean. With the remote control batteries, when notified that one was flat, I replaced it within minutes. We indeed did have electricity problems in the entire area – Eskom had problems at their local substation which in turn tripped our electricity on our property (and neighbouring properties). This was out of our control. I want to point out, that when we do not have power – due to Eskom outages – we DO have a generator that we can start, which can pump water. Being on a farm, we have our own fresh borehole water, which is filtered and ozonated – filtered water on tap. At the beginning of this season, we had Lavender Cottage electrics completely rewired with a new switchboard. Our dogs are friendly and are often the highlight of guests’ stay here. Many guests’ reviews reflect this. The accusation that the dogs used the Willow Tree deck as a toilet at night cannot be true as our dogs sleep inside our house every night. Unfortunately, if you do leave tasty meat biltong in the back of your open car, any dog however well trained *will* steal it. In spite of contradictory remarks, we did replace the biltong and did apologise. The dishwasher is new and any problems are from how it is operated and not with the dishwasher itself. We have plenty of washing powder and are more than happy to give this to our guests. If the dishwasher is run three times each day, one is going to run out of dishwashing powder so in this case a request is going to be made more often. The oventop was working prior to their arrival, during their stay when we demonstrated how to use the oventop, and it is still working. The lack of cleaning is another unreality as I personally changed all their the linen once every 3 days. I (or my housekeeper) also cleaned twice per week as agreed with these guests. I personally also chatted to them each and every day of their 2 week stay – to facilitate their stay and do their laundry (2 loads per day). And never in my 15 years as a guesthouse owner have I ever found a cottage in such a filthy state each day. I was absolutely appalled. They also left the cottage in an awful state. Toilet paper: These guests used more toilet paper than all our guests used in the previous 2 months combined. I live at home on the property 20metres away from the cottage. I spoke with them every day. I am easily reachable – on WhatsApp, sms, telephone or by a knock on the front door. So to say I was not contactable is simply a big lie. I am so sad and disappointed that these guests felt the need to write such a slanderous (& upsetting) review, *especially* when I was always on hand every day and organised so much for them. We pride ourselves on our friendly guesthouse giving excellent service - which reflects with our consistent Number 2 ranking on TripAdvisor. Fiona. (Owner and manager).
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EvanHatch wrote a review Dec 2019
Haddenham, United Kingdom3 contributions
I had the pleasure of spending a week at Acara. It is a very special place. Truly an inspirational part of Africa. Thatched cottages adjacent to the main house. Wonderful, friendly place to stay with a very accommodating host. You feel very much a part of nature. Will definitely be back.
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Date of stay: December 2019Trip type: Travelled solo
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Paul J wrote a review Sep 2019
1 contribution
We stayed at Acara for a weekend in the begining of September. What an absolute fantastic experience!! Apart from the facilities, which was top notch, the setting and surroundings, especially the garden, makes this one of my favorate geust houses to date! Thanks to our host, Fiona, for an unforgettable weekend!!
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Date of stay: September 2019
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PRICE RANGE
US$73 - US$119 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
LOCATION
South AfricaWestern CapeStellenbosch
NUMBER OF ROOMS
3
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Frequently Asked Questions about Acara
Which popular attractions are close to Acara?
Nearby attractions include Eagle Encounters, Stellenbosch, South Africa (6.4 km), Helderberg Nature Reserve (7.6 km), and Root44 Market (4.3 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Acara?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, a pool, and free parking.
Which room amenities are available at Acara?
Top room amenities include a kitchenette, air conditioning, and a flat screen TV.
What food & drink options are available at Acara?
Guests can enjoy breakfast, barbeque facilities, and complimentary tea during their stay.
Is parking available at Acara?
Yes, free parking and secured parking are available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Acara?
Conveniently located restaurants include Rust en Vrede Restaurant, Cavalli Restaurant, and Giovanni's.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Acara?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Does Acara have airport transportation?
Yes, Acara offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Are any cleaning services offered at Acara?
Yes, dry cleaning and laundry service are offered to guests.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Acara?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English, Dutch, and Xhosa.
Are there any historical sites close to Acara?
Many travellers enjoy visiting Vergelegen Picnic (8.4 km).