Echo, write me a story on theLAB Lifestyle Guest House in Robertson. Nothing. It was worth a try. After a weekend of being spoilt by voice-activated commands in our suite overlooking the Langeberg Mountain range, you can’t blame me for trying.

While forging ahead with technology, theLAB Lifestyle Guest House at Rosendal has also elevated its role in becoming one of the provinces’ pioneering green hotels.

It is clear why it is named theLAB.

They are fully-focused on green hotel functions, the property is completely solar-powered, and your water bottles are metal and refillable for the duration of your stay. Even their vehicles are electric to further their promise of a greener, better environment. Guest house Manager Dereck Hirson is welcoming and ensures your stay is memorable.

A most unusual name for accommodation, it becomes abundantly clear why when you see the logo. Contrary to my initial belief, it has nothing to do with mad science and over-the-top experiments, and everything to do with a Labrador named Einstein. He was a gentle soul who had the most welcoming nature, unfortunately he was called to rest in December 2018, but his legacy of warmth and comfort lives on in the three theLAB Lifestyle Guest Houses in the Western Cape.

The high-tech rooms are kitted out with a home assistant named Echo who caters to all your voice commands. Lights on, lights off, blinds up, blinds down. Make me coffee, TV on, Radio on, soft and loud. Up until the words goodnight are uttered, Echo is at your disposal to make your winelands stay all the more relaxing.

The rooms have voice-activated commands.

I had three plans for my weekend in Robertson. Relax, de-stress and reconnect with nature. With kids in tow, that might sound like a tricky list to accomplish but TheLAB proved me wrong.

With in-house dining on offer for breakfast, lunch and dinner, there is no reason to stray from the guesthouse. Instead, what you should take full advantage of is the e-bike facilities which are included in your stay. Sun in our face, wind in our hair and smiles pasted on our faces, my daughter and I whizzed through the winelands with no care in the world.

The e-scooters are a great way to explore the area.

“Again, mommy, again!” One hour later and she couldn’t seem to get enough of our e-scooter adventure. With little traffic and so much of nature to soak up in the surrounding areas, you can easily zip around on the e-scooter with no regard of time at all.

It is an exhilarating experience and best of all, it is kind to nature, with no fumes emitted. It takes a little longer to get used to the silence of the e-bike, you are constantly questioning whether the bike is on. This is the future of travel adventure. Relax, tick.

On to the de-stress part of the weekend. The on-site spa is highly recommended. Massage therapists with magic fingers, prod and knead all my stress into oblivion. If you have more time to enjoy the spa facilities you can soak in the jacuzzi while the bubbles ease your tension away or detox your body in the sauna.

Afternoon sundowners overlooking the dam are a must. At dusk and dawn nature turns the volume up a few notches. Guinea fowls shriek in the nearby vineyards and the orchestra from a flock of birds drown out all your thoughts as you sip on a gin and tonic. One with nature. Even the kids stilled to soak up the serenity. Reconnect with nature, tick.

Reconnecting with nature is easy with this view.

When the light falls it is time to gather for dinner at the restaurant. The menu changes every day to accommodate different tastes. The meals are prepared with heart and home in mind. Braai meat with all the trimmings, including potato bake, salads and sweetcorn hit the spot and had the kids going back for more.

After a hearty meal, it was Echo good night!

We awake to the sound of sweet chirps and rustling reeds. You can’t do better than the tranquility and quiet of the winelands. There is something pure about the air that you just can’t experience in the city.

The in-house dining area at TheLAB.

A continental breakfast and a walk by the dam complete our morning routine. Robertson has a wonderful wine route, if you want to experience it why not try the wine safari. It is the safest way to check out the award-winning vineyards. If you’re a food connoisseur, there are local markets, brilliant restaurants and olive oil tastings scattered around the town.

A wine-tasting at Four Cousins Wine and lunch under the trees is a great way to while away a lazy afternoon. Paul Rene MCC also offers a delectable tasting. If you are lucky enough to be hosted by Henk van Niekerk, you won’t want to leave. Bubbles and beautiful views go hand-in-hand, and their vineyards are picture-perfect.

A weekend is not enough time to experience everything Robertson has to offer which is a great reason to keep going back.

What I love about this area the most is that it gives you so much more than you expected, in dosages that you didn’t anticipate either.

The property is fully solar powered.

I mean, the winelands is the last place I would expect to find a high-tech, eco-friendly guest house. And yet, here is theLAB, serving up all kinds of greatness from its demure dutch-styled accommodation. Mission accomplished, Relax, tick, destress, tick and reconnect with nature, tick.

Echo, lights off.

Contact: +27 (0)23 626 1570
Address: Klaas Voogds West, Robertson, 6707, South Africa

Article written by

Nidha Narrandes

Nidha Narrandes is a food-obsessed travel addict with 21 years of journalism experience. Her motto - Travel. Eat. Repeat. She is happiest on a road to nowhere without a plan. A masterchef at home, she can't do without chilli - because chilli makes the world a tastier place.