Steenberg Hotel & Spa is an idyllic retreat and one of the jewels of the Constantia Wine Valley. Catherine Schulze, the General Manager, has been the proud custodian of the property for over a decade, melding its 17th-century origins with modern-day, world-class hospitality.
Catherine has blossomed in her decade at Steenberg and her signature style is evident in every aspect of this luxury 24-room boutique hotel.
The extensive garden surrounding the original werf is one of her passions and has evolved to better frame the buildings and serve the birds, bees and guests at Steenberg.
The year-round supply of colourful blooms and fresh greenery that come from the well-planned garden at Steenberg supports Catherine’s passion for freshly picked flowers that welcome guests into the different spaces, creating a home away from home with personalised arrangements in the suites, rooms and spa.
“Freshly picked flowers are beautiful, reflecting the season and care with which the garden was created and nurtured. Anything intentionally done purely for the absolute pleasure of our guests I believe is felt at a deeper level, so handpicked blooms from the garden arranged with love will always outweigh a store-bought arrangement.”
Over the years, the velvety soft waves of the Salvia Leucantha, also known as Mexican Bush Sage, have become synonymous with Steenberg Hotel & Spa. This showstopper has been a hero backdrop of many memorable holiday moments and bridal photographs.
The deep purple salvia bursts through the pastel shades of the gardens and neatly fences the surrounding pathways that wrap around the lawns. These perennial and hardy shrubs are in full bloom from spring through to autumn and are a prolific source of nectar for local pollinators.
Roses are the darlings of Steenberg and are among the many soft floral scents rising from the garden beds. A wide variety of roses from white iceberg to pink simplicity, pearl and ivory can be found across the property; some acting as a deterrent and signal to protect the vines from bugs, others grown for sheer beauty or blooming generosity.
The grandeur of the old oak trees scattered around the property connects guests to a deep sense of time and to the history of Steenberg. The oaks take on a magical form when lit up creating a sense of enchantment in the evenings.
The canopy of branches of one of these beautiful oaks and their dappled shade was Catherine’s opportunity to create a private garden, a sensorial paradise of plant scents infusing the air while guests enjoy their serene outdoor spa treatment within its confines. This scented garden with its medley of gardenias, pennyroyals, sweet viburnum, lavender and citrus is imbued with the fresh bouquet garni of fragrant herbs from the adjacent herb garden.
No matter where you wander in the garden there will be a scent to enjoy, a bloom to surprise and a story to discover. And if you are lucky a quiet moment of rhapsody as an owl hoots at dusk and the scents of the softly closing blooms surround you.
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