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Luxury boutique hotel Majeka House & Spa won the Best Design Hotel in Africa & the Middle East award at the Conde Nast Johansens Award for Excellence 2017. The hotel was described as ‘Wining, dining and super-styling destination’, which is the ultimate pat on the back for owners Lloyd van der Merwe and Karine Dequeker-van der Merwe who have spent the past year working on various upgrades and tweaks to the sumptuous, quirky and stylish property.


“So many international hotels look the same as each other and offer more of the same, we’re just so pleased that both critics and guests recognise that different can be exciting without compromising on quality”, says Lloyd.


The 23-bedroomed property is just on the edge of Stellenbosch, perfectly placed to explore the winelands further our, or pop into the historic town, but the hotel offers guests everything they could need – from a welcoming and intimate atmosphere, gourmet spoils at Makaron Restaurant by Pete Goffe-Wood, the boutique Majeka House Spa and of course, its on trend designer surrounds.


Part of the recent refurbishment was the launch of the hotel’s newly decorated pool rooms, which are two suites side-by-side which share a slick, heated pool and terrace. “We already had such a wonderful response to Etienne’s brave décor scheme in the rest of the hotel that we asked him to work more of his magic in these rooms which are two of our most popular offerings”, says owner Lloyd who together with Karine has been hosting guests from around the world since 2008.


With an oversized flamingo print in the hotel’s dining room proving a major talking point since the refurbishment of public areas was completed, Etienne extended the exotic bird reference in the rooms – making bold colour, pattern and design statements in each and making sure to include framed vintage prints of birds as a point of reference.


“It all started with a collection of vintage Audubon bird prints which we found and we took it from there”, explains Etienne, “in nature, a riot of colour is often the norm, especially with birds, and I wanted to reflect that with the palette and furnishings so there are lots of different textures, there’s old, there’s new and there’s an out there colour palette too”.