A notable family collection of masterpieces by celebrated local and international artists makes Steenberg Hotel & Spa an inspiring destination in the Constantia Wine Valley for lovers of fine art.
Made possible by Beck Family Philanthropy, custodians of this proud 17th century historical landmark, the family’s love of the South African arts is evident in the significant number of installations and works that adorn the interior and outdoor spaces of Steenberg Vineyards.
With no less than 17 colourful steel sculptures by abstract artist Edoardo Villa waiting to be discovered, a stroll through the gardens and vineyards holds surprising treasures.
The interior of the hotel and signature restaurant, Tryn, reveals an extensive collection of famous works by renowned artists the likes of Henry Moore, Irma Stern, Cecil Skotnes and many more. With Norval Foundation, the neighbouring art museum and sculpture garden on the doorstep, Steenberg Hotel & Spa is a hub of art and cultural expression.
Known for his larger than life steel installations and bronze abstract sculptures, Italian born Edoardo Villa settled in Johannesburg after being stationed in Africa during the Second World War. Rejecting the traditional European art practices that dominated the 1950s and inspired by the geometric forms of traditional African sculpture, Villa went on to become South Africa’s foremost abstract sculptor. At Steenberg his solid, bold coloured steel structures are juxtaposed against the backdrop of historic buildings, verdant vineyards and lush gardens. Villa’s piercing red African Astronaut on the hotel lawns watching over the 17th century werf, typifies the latter part of his career.
Henry Moore’s Reclining Figure graces the wall of one of the luxurious hotel suites. Considered one of the most significant British artists of the twentieth century, drawing was critical to his artistic practice. Created in 1973, this is an excellent example of his mixture of imagination and observation, pulled from objects in his surroundings and his personal thoughts.
Known for his painted and incised wooden panels, striking woodblock prints, public murals, tapestries and sculpture, South African artist Cecil Skotnes pioneered the use of earth pigments and indigenous wood to construct visual stories about the African past. Instead of cutting the wooden block purely for printing, he began to colour and shape the blocks, using them as a surface for paint and dry pigment. His oil on a carved wooden panel entitled Head, is a fine portrayal of Skotnes’ work and may be found in the reception area of the hotel.
The reception area greets guests with a magnificent, almost life-size bronze sculpture, Leopard Head, by South African artist Dylan Lewis. Most famous for his works of African wild cats, Lewis has emerged as one of the foremost figures in contemporary sculpture. Inspired by the African wilderness, at one level his bronze sculptures celebrate the power and movement of Africa’s life forms; at another his textures speak of the continent’s primeval, rugged landscapes and their ancient rhythms.
South African artist Mongezi Ncaphayi first became recognised for exploring socio-political themes concerning migration and the history of the immoral migrant labour system. His large-scale, quietly abstract paintings offer an allusive, layered and gently celebratory interpretation of displacement and spiritual unrest. Ncaphayi’s Distant Nowhere exhibited in the reception area of Tryn Restaurant displays his boundless compositions and unique visual language that allows for freedom of interpretation and restraint.
Tryn is also home to the work of another foremost South African artist, Irma Stern. Her post-impressionist portrait, The Initiate, has pride of place in the restaurant. Stern achieved national and international acclaim during her lifetime and remains one of the country’s most celebrated artists.
Sidney Goldblatt spent ten years in commerce before pursuing fine art at schools in London and Paris and taking up residency in Spain painting surrounding village scenes. His stylised and semi-abstract work was well received upon his return to South Africa. Goldblatt’s Hartebeest can be found on one of the staircases leading off the Hotel reception area.
In addition to these remarkable pieces, there is a wide selection of other famous works by leading artists for visitors to explore. Situated on the original werf of the country’s very first registered farm, history and a profound sense of place are omnipresent at the luxurious and blissful 5-star Steenberg Hotel & Spa.
Following an extensive upgrade, the luxury boutique hotel reopened in late 2019 offering all the modern-day comforts visitors would expect from a 24 room, world class establishment. Self-contained rooms, suites and villas are spread across the property assuring guests of a high level of privacy.
“The redesign allows each room to offer an utterly relaxing experience for our guests, with every moment considered,”says Catherine Schulze, General Manager, whose personal touch is evident down to the finest detail of every individually decorated room.
Steenberg Vineyards is a feast for the senses filled with luxurious accommodation, gastronomic delicacies and spectacular scenery.
Be inspired by strolls through the tranquil bounty of greenery in the vineyards and gardens and cycling trails through outstretched vistas. With an adjacent 18-hole championship golf course and luxurious indoor and outdoor treatments at the Spa, there is much to see and do during a stay at Steenberg.
If you are eager to explore new culinary pleasures, let Steenberg Executive Chef Kerry Kilpin take you on a sensory journey at the beloved Bistro Sixteen82 after sampling Steenberg’s selection of fine wines and bubblies in the adjacent tasting room. For a more tranquil dining experience, stylish Tryn with its relaxed vineyard terrace and modish cocktail lounge offers more of Chef Kerry’s mouthwatering delights.