Stellenbosch is a town, though most people use the name in context with the South African wine region. It is hilly, with such large mountains as Stellenbosch Mountain, Simonsberg and the Drakenstein Range, giving it a unique grape-perfecting climate. Almost as well known and famous as Cape Town, Stellenbosch is to South Africa what Napa and Sonoma are to the U.S.: a stellar wine region of beautiful rolling vineyards, large Cape Dutch vintner mansions and excellent wine. Many Stellenbosch event venues can be found along the Stellenbosch Wine Route.
The closest international airport is Cape Town International Airport (CPT), which sits on the Stellenbosch side of Cape Town. Approximately 15 miles to the west of Stellenbosch, the airport is one of the two most important, busiest and well-served airports in South Africa, with direct flights from Europe, the Middle East and all around South Africa itself, but not from North America.
The Cape Town International Convention Centre is immense, chief among the closest large-scale meetings venues in Stellenbosch environs. It has 100,000 square feet of exhibit space on its ground floor, big enough to host 10,000 persons, as well as two auditoriums, the first seating 600 persons, the second, 1,500, 33 meeting rooms and a 20,000-square-foot ballroom.
Hotel venues in Stellenbosch tend to be spread out from one another and spread out over their own land. Choices ideal for meetings in or close to the actual town of Stellenbosch include the 180-room Protea Hotel Stellenbosch, which has a conference wing with 10 separate function rooms for up to 700 persons, as well as two adjacent independent golf courses; the 48-room Lanzarac Hotel & Spa, which occupies a 300-year-old estate and has immense, beautiful grounds, a tent for 200 persons, the Cellar Room for 150 and the Manor House, which has eight guest rooms and two boardrooms; the sensibly named, 33-room Stellenbosch Hotel, which dates to 1876 and has a thatched-roof attic conference room for 20 persons and a fantastic restaurant; and the 27-room Protea Hotel Dorpshuis & Spa, which has meeting space for up to 50 persons. One choice nearby and up in the hills is the 50-room Devon Valley Hotel, which has a restaurant seating 120 persons and six meeting rooms for up to 96.
It would be a little silly to come here and not experience its wine. Special event venues in Stellenbosch to do so include Auberge Rozendal, which has a conference facility, lots of gracious vineyard spots and 16 guest rooms; Simonsig, which has a history dating to 1688 and a terrace and gardens for events; and Devonvale Golf & Wine Estate, which has it all – 18 holes of golf, conference rooms for up to 180 persons, a restaurant and a wine-tasting room. That all said, two non-grape-oriented sites are the Bergzicht Heerenhuys, a Dutch Cape building dating to ca. 1780 and with banquet space for 48 persons and reception space for 100, and the Wallenberg Centre at the Stias Manor House, with two auditoriums, a boardroom and a patio (and it does have a vineyard) that can host up to 300 persons.
Restaurants primarily will also be wine estates. Examples able to look after groups include the stellar Bread & Wine Vineyard Restaurant at the Moreson Wine Farm; the Delheim Restaurant at the Delheim Wine Estate, which also includes a wonderful private room amid wine barrels; and the Cotage Fromage at the Vrede en Lust Estate, which is a full-time catering venue looking after up to 120 guests. Restaurants not connected with vineyards, but with ample bottles, include Tokara, which has superb, modern design and space for groups of up to 80 persons, and 5 Ryneveld, which is right in the center of Stellenbosch and even has a cinema.