||Review by: Marcel Munro, Sunnyvale, CA, USA (stayed: March 2010)
My wife and I stayed at Jacaranda for about 1 week during March 2010 (pre-World Cup). We found the stay absolutely delightful.
First the location: Durbanville is a smallish town north of Cape Town, known for it's beautiful hills, wineries, and of course convenient location to everything. Jacaranda has a great location to Durbanville, within walking distance of the Downtown area, and just a short drive to the Durbanville wineries nestled in the hills and valleys. There are many ways to Durbanville, and therefore Jacaranda including via Blouberg, or via N1 (the National 1 Highway) which lets off right by Tygervalley Mall just 10 minutes from Durbanville Center.
Jacaranda itself: On arriving the first thing we noticed was the peacocks wondering the front lawn, if you miss them on your first couple mornings, don't worry, they'll be back, you'll hear them calling. You also notice the beautiful bougainvillea creeping over the handrail to the left of the house, that's the self-catered unit we stayed in. The brick-faced building and yard are kept very clean, and is very inviting.
On Arriving: We knocked at the front door, and were quick welcomed by Angela Daly. We were shown the apartment/flat, where we would be parking, the refreshing pool, and anything else we might need and handed the keys. Angela demonstrated complete trust in us, and this was greatly appreciated.
The Parking: Security is an issue in South Africa, whether you like it or not. Even in Durbanville where you feel as safe as possible, things happen. Knowing this, Jacaranda allows you to park your park inside the property behind to high gates, which you are given a key to. This set my mind at easy coming out to the car each morning, also the apartment is above the car, so you can look down at the car before walking to the car to make sure everything is peachy.
The Pool: Not much to say here, very clean, and we were invited to use it when ever we wanted.
The Apartment: The apartment was beautiful. The kitchen/dining area and living room are open plan with enough seating area for 4 people at both the dining area and in the living room. The kitchen is well stocked with plates, knives/forks, and glasses, including a microwave, and small stove/oven top combo. Most importantly there is a refrigerator for any leftovers or juice or water. The living room area does come with a TV with the 4 to 5 basic South African channels, and a DVD player, for all the soap operas you could possibly want to watch. The chairs are comfortable, and under the windowsill you'll find pamphlets and guides to Durbanville and Cape Town which are very useful. The bathroom is very clean, a good size, with a shower, no complaints here. The bedroom was great too. Good double bed, with room to spare in the bedroom, and while we didn't use them, the built-in closets were nice and deep and would make any suitcase traveler want to unpack. We slept very well. Most importantly, the Apartment gets a very good flow of air since it reaches all sides of the building, so open the windows and feel the breeze, it's great! A real feature!
The Host/Hostess: Jacaranda is self-catered, and it was exactly that, and it was perfect. Angela and James were not nosy or inquiring, even though we came home at 1AM several nights. They just let us be, and that was so perfect.
Notes: Something we didn't realize before coming for a visit to South Africa is that wireless internet is a bit of luxury, so head down to the Mugg and Bean, get a refillable cup of Coffee and enjoy their internet for cheap.
Durbanville: As I said, for internet, head over to Mugg and Bean. If you're American looking for something to settle your stomach head over to Spur or KFC in Downtown Durbanville, or Subway at Tygervalley Mall. There is also a Woolworths Food which is great for grocery shopping, you have to try Ceres Fruit Juice, and a Melktart. If you need a Cellphone, because of recent laws which make it tough to get one, head into a MTN store (we found it the easiest to deal with), with proof that you're staying at Jacaranda, and they'll sell you a prepaid phone.
About my wife and I: I grew up in Durbanville until age 18, and then moved to California where I met my wife. Now 30 somethings we came back for a visit, a lot has changed, but it's still home.
Hope this helps.