The last thing you expect to come across in this small suburb, dotted with faux Cape Dutch-style complexes, is a slick design hotel. But that’s Stellenbosch for you. Apparently nothing is as it seems in this Western Cape town, with its acres of vineyards, oak trees and charming architecture. And it’s big on hidden detail, too, if its high-profile murders and Markus Jooste’s dodgy dealings are any thing to go by.

Thankfully, you won’t find such surprises at design hotel Majeka House. Instead, expect off-the-wall touches and curve balls of the non-sinister kind — such as the life-sized pig table by Dutch designer Moooi at reception. Or the chocolate-box painting in an ornate frame that looks down on you from the ceiling as you lie in bed. The whole place oozes sophisticated fun. Acclaimed local designer Etienne Hanekom is behind the interiors. His work is always vivid, eclectic and joyful, and this boutique hotel typifies that. In his world, botanical prints offset pink walls, g...

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