Aerial view of The Alphen Hotel in Constantia, Cape Town

A serious purveyor of 5 star hospitality, The Alphen has a legendary past involving both the famous and infamous, floods, espionage, feuds, hidden genders and pistol duels. Visitors over its 300 year history include royalty, international ambassadors and the likes of Cecil John Rhodes, Lord Charles Somerset, Mark Twain and Captain Cook.

Explore the grounds of The Alphen to get a glimpse of it’s rich history


 The 11 acre property during the years has been both commercial and residential, wine estate, working farm and boutique hotel. With renowned guests being hosted over the centuries, the tradition of fine cuisine, wine and hospitality lives on to this day. Declared a National Monument in 1973, The Alphen was originally part of the Groot Constantia Estate and after a series of proprietors ( most recently the Cloete family for the last 150 years) the estate is now under the guard of The Kove Collection.

With The Alphen having seen times of war, even espionage became a part of the estates history. One of the Cloete owners, Hendrik, married an Afrikaner girl Deliana Van Warmelow who became a spy for the Boers during the Anglo-Boer War. Deliana smuggled information she gathered from eavesdropping at The Alphen when Hendrik entertained British officers.  It is said a hidden box of incriminating evidence lies undiscovered on the grounds to this day. Another fascinating look into The Alphens past tells of regular visitor Doctor James Barry, who performed the first Caesarian section in South Africa, and on the death of Doctor Barry it was discovered he was in fact a woman who had masked her gender identity.

The Alphen was a working farm that produced export fruit, and was the first estate in South Africa to grow grapes, make and bottle wine for public consumption. Along with Groot and High Constantia, The Alphen was the biggest wine producer in the area.

Guests staying at the hotel can enjoy the heavenly swimming pool and enjoy Belle bistro treats under the trees poolside.


It was  Sandy Bairnsfather – Cloete who in 1962 first converted The Alphen to a boutique hotel, and now 50 years later this tradition of excellence in hospitality lies with The Kove Collection. Along with the hotel, the estate is home to Belle bistro and bakery, Blanko restaurant, Rose bar and conference centre facilities. Whilst the various areas have their own distinct atmosphere and purposes, the overarching feel is a place of significant history and 5 star class, indulgence and a bit of quirkiness and fun in the decor.

The decor of the hotel rooms exude indulgence and a touch of playful quirkiness.

The latest culinary addition to The Alphen, Blanko restaurant brings a contemporary edge to the property through both the modern take on Italian fare and the white gallery-style interiors showcasing the best of Goodman gallery artworks. Whilst under the oak trees at the Belle bistro, visitors can enjoy breakfast all the way through to dinner. Chances are, once you get there you won’t want to leave so this is a very real option. Guests lucky enough to be staying at the hotel, can choose to indulge in their coffee and blueberry pancakes pool-side under the trees, after a morning swim in the pool located in the blissful gardens.

The latest addition Blanko restaurant offers exceptional contemporary italian fare and the latest from South African artists adorns the walls.

With the estate having witnessed centuries of change in ownership, floods, war and possible closure, a new chapter is being written in the epic history with The Kove Collection. The Salamander – a mythical beast whom endures fire without itself being burnt – was appropriately selected as The Alphens symbol and watches over as the estate walks an elegant line from past into present, respecting it’s history but looking forward to a vibrant future.

Both The Rose bar and Belle bistro offer relaxed ambience with excellence in food and service.


Tel: +27 (0) 21 795 6300 Web: Email:

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The Summer Issue is all about new beginnings, rejuvenation and adventure. Consider it a celebration of both indulging in wanderlust and the sweetness of coming home. We discover the most spectacular design hotels around the world, show you a beautiful collection of outdoor furniture and décor, and tempt your tastebuds with a new indian tapas restaurant. Pick up your copy today and tell us what you think on Twitter @Elle_Deco using #SummerIssue.