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Reviewed 28 December 2020

The view is lovely, but hotel feels extremely corporate with zero character. The lack of covid precautions, especially in their wine cellar (small, indoors, cramped, little ventilation) and no effort was made to accommodate anything outside upon request. The website is misleading (i.e. talks about biking, but no bikes, only a connection to a company). Regret staying here in general, especially during covid.

Date of stay: December 2020
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank jmeob1
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Asara Wine Estate, Owner at Asara Wine Estate & Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 11 January 2021

Dear jmeob1

Thank you very much for taking the time to give us feedback regarding your recent visit. We appreciate your comment and regret to hear that the style of our hotel did not meet your taste. The fact that we recently replanted and plants are not yet fully grown might have added to the corporate feel? We are currently also keeping decorative extras to a minimum with regards to table setting in the restaurant, in public areas as well as hotel rooms all with the aim of putting safety and health first.

Reg Covid precautions we can assure you that we strictly adhere to rules and regulations. With open spaces, widely spaced tables in the courtyard, terrace and restaurant area, meticulous disinfecting, temperature taking etc we make sure guests can relax and visitors as well as staff are safe at all times.

Yes, our tasting room is relatively small but here too all precautions are taken, visitor numbers are limited, tables spaced out etc. We wish we could have accommodated you with an outside tasting but unfortunately this is not allowed due to liquor licence restrictions. Enjoying a glass of our wines (or currently a mocktail) on the Sansibar terrace in open air with panoramic views might make up for this limitation.

Regarding biking: we checked our website description again and think it is correct as it clearly refers to “Bikes & Wines” offering guided tours of the Winelands from their satellite office at Asara. Regrettably not all offers are available due to the current extra-ordinary circumstances.

Dear jmeob1, we thank you once again for reaching out and sharing your concerns.
Wishing you all the best, please keep well & stay healthy.
Kind regards from ASARA

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Reviewed 15 December 2020 via mobile

We had family visit us and we thought Asara would be a lovely option as the views and farm are breathtakingly beautiful. We tried to book online no one got back to us.(We should have taken the hint) After two days we called them they said they had availability. Only to be very disappointed with a shocking salad which I’m still not sure how one could do so badly? Not worth the drive. The R140 they charged for some ill chopped carrots,onions and raw peppers and plain tastic rice? Absolutely no seasoning or dressing at all. We sent back full plates no one even asked us about the food. Please whatever you do, don’t dare ask for a gluten free option this is not catered for at all. Very very poor. It’s a pity as we loved the wine but will no longer be purchasing any Asara wine as it is affiliated with such a poor dining experience.

Date of stay: December 2020
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank Mrsloureiro
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Asara Wine Estate, General Manager at Asara Wine Estate & Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 17 December 2020

Dear Katia,

We are sorry to hear about your disappointing experience at Asara and want to apologize to you and your visiting family. This is not typical for us and we obviously would love a second chance. Should you be willing to re-consider, please speak to us: our executive head chef Gerard van Staden would like to personally prepare you an Asara bowl again. With the combination of fresh ingredients and tasty dressing the Asara bowl so far has been a huge hit with our guests.

In the meantime we are taking your feedback to heart and are looking into all issues and concerns you raised. Based on your experience we are scrutinizing our booking process, communication, service and menu descriptions as we are determined to make all our guests happy guests.

As far as gluten free is concerned, our executive head chef assures you that we do not use flour in any of our salads, dressings or sauces. Everything we use to prepare healthy, tasty and natural flavored dishes is either an emulsion or reduction.
Katia, thank you for your feedback. It helps us in constantly improving our offer and service.
Wishing you and your family a relaxed festive season and a healthy and happy 2021.

Warm regards from the team of ASARA,

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Reviewed 1 April 2020

Well, unfortunately this is going to be the harshest review I’ve ever left any hotel as I have experienced the absolute worst customer service staying at this hotel.

We had originally planned to stay at the hotel for two nights. However, given what was happening with COVID-19, we decided to arrive a day early as it would mean we were closer to the airport and we were down the Garden Route. I contacted the hotel and they extended the stay without issue or comment.

When we turned up, we checked in as normal. We probably spent 10mins checking in as I sorted out my bank accounts. During this time, there was only light conversation with the check in desk. However, once they payment was confirmed they burst in to life telling me that the restaurant was closed, the wine tasting was closed, the deli was closed and that a small bar area remained open where we could try over 100 GINS from around the world. Wow, they actually thought I was staying on a wine estate in Stellenbosch to drink gin.

Clearly, if I had known all of this beforehand then I would not have chosen to book in for an extra night. They knew this and withheld this information from me until I had paid the non-refundable amount. They then repeatedly lied to me trying to make excuses such as “all the other wine estates are closed too” - they were not. We had two lovely afternoons at Lanzerac and Simonsig. “The restaurants are closed in the town” - they were not.

When I challenged them on this the guy behind the check in crumbled and I asked to speak to the manager. Usually, the manager would come out and try to help. With this guy, I honestly felt like I had just woken him up. They tried to make us feel guilty about the situation “it’s not our fault, we have had lots of cancellations”. I mean, I’m not their charity case. If you have a problem with revenue then speak to the government. I got absolute nowhere with the exceptionally rude and unwilling to help manager. He advised our complaint would be escalated to the CEO and completely failed to reassure me whatsoever. He just told me the room was non-refundable at that was that.

We chased him twice later that day to source a response from the CEO. There was none.

The next day my wife went to get an update herself and this time was met by the day manager. It sounds like this lady was even ruder than the night manager. It turned out the night manager had not at all escalated our complaint to the CEO. In fact, in their daily handover log all he had written was ‘customer wants refund’. This is just beyond poor. My wife had to start from scratch and explain our circumstances again. Bear in mind that we were travelling with an 18 month old. After explaining our circumstances the manager then accused my wife and us as a family of putting the hotel staff at risk by staying there. What an stunningly disgraceful thing to say. If they didn’t want to take our money, when we were asking to leave the hotel, then why wouldn’t they just shut the hotel down and refund us? Other hotels were still open in the region and we would have been happy to leave.

Despite multiple efforts to speak to the CEO we were not given the opportunity and nothing was refunded. We were effectively forced to stay 3 nights in an empty hotel, with very few open facilities, against our will.

Furthermore, on our second morning we arrived down for breakfast to find out that breakfast was not operating as normal. They had sent all of their kitchen staff home, apart from the executive head chef. He knocked us something together, which consisted of yesterday’s leftovers (such as stale bread). We were given cold coffee’s and our breakfast consisted of roughly 25-30% of what we had had the previous day. This was exceptionally poor and they just didn’t care. It also took AGES! From arriving down for breakfast to finishing took nearly 90mins. However, on the way back to our room I bumped in to the head chef and he was genuinely the only member of staff I had met who empathised with our situation. I had a good chat with him though he was not in a position of management to influence our stay there.

I will say that, although the breakfast on day 3 was still nowhere near what we had on day 1, he had actually gone to the effort of baking us some fresh bread, muffins and pastries. Given how badly everything else had gone with our stay here, this was a very nice touch by him and was appreciated by us.

In terms of food options and this place, we were limited and had to eat elsewhere. However, when we first arrived we were hungry and I got a burger off the lunch menu. While the burger was fine, the ‘chips’ were disgusting. Clearly frozen potato wedges. The likes that absorb all the grease so they cook with a fat crispy oily exterior and when you bite in to them they are just mush on the inside. Honestly, they were vile. They also served the most expensive Heineken I found in South Africa. I can’t comment on their wine, despite this being a wine estate. We drank our wine elsewhere.

When we went to check out, again there was nothing offered to us by way of apology. Throughout our whole stay we were not offered as much as a drink. When we went to check out they were also charging us in full for the lunch we had on day 1 and even for a coffee and a bottle of water we had ordered on subsequent days. They were charging us for a bottle of water, in a hotel that gives you a free bottle in your room every day. In a hotel where at this point we could not obtain any food or drink. In a hotel where we were at this point the only paying customers. What truly awful awful customer service.

The last error they made was they had charged the holding deposit on my credit card, as opposed to ‘blocking’ it like any other competent hotel does. As a result, they needed to refund the amount and left me to bear the cost of international banking fees. Thanks guys!

I will go back to Stellenbosch. I can absolutely guarantee you I will not step foot anywhere near this hotel. I completely accept that this was not an ideal time to be travelling. However, when times are at their worst you get to find out about people and this place just wants to rob you, offer a diminished service and does not care about the consequences. I do not wish them well for the future.

Date of stay: March 2020
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank PaulHReviews
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 11 March 2020 via mobile

We went here for breakfast to find that the restaurant really caters mainly for hotel guests and so there is no a la carte, only buffet which we really didn’t want. So, instead, we went to the deli which has wonderful views of the mountains but is fairly limited in options. The food we had was okay but the cappuccino was R45 for a small cup and not much foam which is the most expensive we’ve had in this area. In fact, the coffee cost more than the food.

But the service was very good although the waiter did go missing for quite long periods and, when I went inside to pay the account, I saw a couple of flies walking over uncovered food which, in my view, is not 5-star.

Date of stay: March 2020
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
2  Thank biztripJoburg
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
AsaraWineandHotel, Manager at Asara Wine Estate & Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 12 March 2020

Dear biztripJoburg,
Thank you for the visit to our Deli and feedback, we're happy to hear that you enjoyed the views and that the service was very good. FYI - we do most definitely welcome visitors to our breakfast buffet, and cater to them exactly as we do for our hotel guests. While we don't offer a separate a la carte option at breakfast, our breakfast buffet does include a sumptuous hot breakfast menu.
Kind regards,
Asara Hotel Management

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Reviewed 9 March 2020 via mobile

We had a truly amazing stay at Asara. The rooms are spacious with a magnificent view of the vineyards and beautiful mountains in the back ground. Make sure you go down to the bar and try one of the over 350 gins they have in the largest gin bar in the Southern hemisphere. The food at the resturaunt is also amazing. I highly recommend the chicken liver starter .its delicious with a capital D

Date of stay: March 2020
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank brad s
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
AsaraWineandHotel, Manager at Asara Wine Estate & Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 9 March 2020

Dear brad s,
Many thanks for the visit to Asara and kind words, we're delighted to hear that you so much enjoyed the views and the bistro and that your overall Asara experience was amazing.
Thank-you, we hope the to have the pleasure of welcoming you again when you are next in our part of the country.
Kind regards,
Asara Hotel Management

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