When we were looking for places to stay in Paarl, South African wine country, we looked at both traditional hotels and Airbnb. After sorting through our options, we decided that a large loft space we found on Airbnb was our best option. It gave us more space than a traditional hotel room and was unique.
When we booked the loft we knew that the place was large but we had no clue just how large it would be. The loft was several times bigger than our apartment in Chicago. Everything was very well decorated and extremely clean. We could see why the host had so many amazing reviews on her place as it was everything and more than what was described online.
The bed had a high quality mattress and the bedding was very nice as well. We both slept well when we were at the loft and were sad to leave it since it’s very hard to find a good bed on the road.
Being a historical building, the space oozed with charm which we loved. After spending so much time in different places over the months of traveling, it was fun to have something so different. We joked that we have never had so many different places to sit as there were couches and chairs all over the loft. We had gotten so used to sitting on the bed as most rooms we stay in do not have any additional seating.
While the bathroom had been updated recently, it still had some of the charm of an old building. It was located on the side of the loft which had an angled ceiling, similar to an attic of a home. While this was fine for me being a little short, Andy had to be very careful not to hit his head on the support beams around the bathroom.
Like the rest of the loft, the bathroom was very clean. We had abundant hot water, good water pressure and fluffy towels.
My only issue was that the bathroom did not have any airflow in it. After a shower it always got quite hot in there. The host did the best that she could to keep the room cool as she had a fan that could be used to cool the space down.
Even though we planned to eat out for most of our lunches and dinners, it was nice to have a basic kitchen available. We went to the grocery store which was across the street to pick up the essentials – milk, cereal, potato chips and ice cream.
The last afternoon before we left, we decided to make a quick lunch at the apartment to help keep costs down as much as we could. We figured the less we spent on dining, the more that we could spend on wine tasting.
Maps/Brochures of the Area
I can’t tell you how many places I have stayed in that do not have any maps or information about the area available. It drives me absolutely nuts since it is something that is so easy to remedy.
Our host had an abundant amount of materials available for us to review. From restaurants to wineries to guide books, we had everything that we needed to plan out a great stay. In fact, we were sad that we had to leave all of the info for the next guest as we wanted to take the information with us when we went to Stellenbosch, the second city we visited in South African wine country.
After we didn’t have AC at our apartment in Cape Town, I was worried about the loft being an oven. It is one thing when you have apartments around you to help insulate the building from the heat and quite another when you’re in the equivalent of an attic.
Fortunately, we had not only 1, but 2 AC units in our loft. To keep the space cool we only needed to use one of them. The temperature was perfect at night and allowed us to sleep like babies.
The loft is located next to a school. Since we were there over a weekend, we were able to park in the school’s parking spot. This worked out quite well for us since Andy can attest that parallel parking on the street when you’re on the wrong side of the car and street can be a bit challenging.
The loft was connected to the owner’s home but located over the garage. This gave us our privacy and also our host was nearby should we need anything. Check in and check out was easy as we were able to meet up with our host when we arrived and dropped the keys in the mailbox when we left.
Our location in town could not have been more perfect. We were a short walk to the grocery store and restaurants. We had to drive to get to the wineries, but nothing was too far of a drive – 15 minutes on average.
The only thing that the space was missing was wifi. The host told us that she knows she needs to install it. Since the space is relatively new, she has been focused on getting the space rental ready before someone comes to install a router. We were sad to not have internet, but every restaurant and winery in the area had wifi so it wasn’t a big deal.
I would absolutely recommend staying at the loft if you are in the Paarl area. The space is huge, unique, clean and extremely reasonably priced. I don’t know if we could have found a better place in a better location had we tried.