Adventure through open plains & magical lands
Hermanus, Western Cape
Cradled amid the hills of the Hemel-en-Aarde (Heaven and Earth) valley,
Bouchard Finlayson is widely acclaimed as one of South Africa’s leading boutique wine cellars.
With a terroir defined by both ancient soils and a cool maritime climate, the vineyards of Bouchard Finlayson are famous for producing award-winning
Pinot Noir, elegant Chardonnay and terroir-driven Sauvignon Blanc, while inspired blends showcase the depth of skill and innovation in our winemaking team.
The Bouchard Finlayson cellar is conveniently located a scenic 90 minutes’ drive from Cape Town, close to the world-famous whale-watching centre of Hermanus.
Led by General Manager Malcolm Hendry, with 20 years of service, The Rubens is a family of passionate people, with a warm, inclusive ethos that embraces everything we do. We are proud to be a part of the family-owned and run Red Carnation Hotel Collection and of our hotel’s exceptional heritage. We strive to create the most enriching and rewarding experiences for our guests – which is why they choose to stay with us again and again.
Our extraordinary location, facing Buckingham Palace, is simply unparalleled. Guests can sit back and enjoy G&T macarons from our delicious 'Royal Afternoon Tea' with views of The Royal Mews, the entrance used by the Royal family. Or they can step out into the heart of newly renovated Victoria, for a short walk to London’s most famous sights, including Big Ben, Trafalgar Square and the Changing of the Guard, or stroll around two elegant Royal Parks.
In the 18th century, the site that the hotel now stands on was part of Buckingham Palace’s grounds, filled with rows of shops and apartments for the Palace staff. We strive to celebrate these historic roots throughout the hotel and bring them to life with warm and traditional British hospitality. As a fun, theatrical nod to our past, for example, guests in the Leopard Bar are greeted on special evenings by our resident Scottish piper.
From mouth-watering Indian flavours served at the AA Rosette-awarded Curry Room, to the refined British menu offered alongside our founder Beatrice Tollman’s comforting signature dishes in the elegant English Grill, Executive Chef Ben Kelliher creates gloriously varied dining options, steeped in heritage. The vibrant Leopard Bar is known for its sushi, live jazz and fine selection of whiskey and Champagne, while the intimate New York Bar offers 60 types of gin. Next door, the South African-themed bbar is just the spot for sipping a glass of wine from the extensive list, including from the Tollman family’s own Bouchard Finlayson.
Rich, warm and filled with majestic silks, brocade and velvet, the rooms in our Royal Wing offer guests an elegantly regal experience. Each suite has a distinct character, with a dignified palette of naval blue, royal red and gold, and featuring sumptuous details such as Murano glass chandeliers and original oil paintings.
The charming, red-uniformed doorman is the first sign that service at The Rubens is special. Every one of our team members is empowered to make a real difference, offering remarkably considerate service and discreet attention to detail. From freshly-cut flowers in the suites, to personalised gifts for special occasions, it is no surprise that guests often remember the names of our staff and ask after them when they return.
Exciting and supremely comfortable, our design is a vibrant fusion of traditional and contemporary, showcasing British heritage at its best. From the striking pillar-box red of The New York Bar, to the rich grandeur of The English Grill and the elegant marble-floored lobby, to the 171 crystal chandeliers, extensive collection of oil paintings of the Royal family and the subtle uses of our signature leopard print, our design has a refined, regal and welcoming feel.
We pride ourselves on our local relationships, and carefully design memorable experiences for guests. From sourcing rare theatre tickets, to organising walking tours with Blue Badge experts or recommending secret London gems to discover, our knowledgeable concierge team ensures every stay is as seamless and personalised as possible. Our in-house experiences are just as special, including sushi classes, a fun gin experience, or our rare Ceylon Golden Tips afternoon tea – known as the most expensive tea in London.
At The Rubens, children and beloved four-legged friends are looked after like little kings and queens. Children can enjoy their very own check-in, and delight in the Little Prince and Princess afternoon tea experience – or try their hand at decorating cupcakes under the skilful supervision of our pastry chef. Pets are treated like royalty by our designated Pet Concierge, with special treats and walks in the Royal Parks.
Our legacy is always at the front of our minds, and we are deeply committed to protecting our environment while supporting local communities and causes. This includes our remarkable 350 square-metre Living Wall, made up of 10,000 herbaceous plants, and our efforts to phase out single-use plastics, reduce food waste with Winnow Solutions, as well as championing charities such as Starlight Children’s Foundation and The Passage.