Some of life’s most pleasurable days with friends and family are usually accompanied by a few bottles of good wine. It tends to make things more ‘gesellig’.

And that’s a word you’ll hear quite often in the winelands, so it might not come as a much of a surprise, that Stellenbosch, the heart of wine country, was voted the friendliest part of the country by users of the home-sharing platform Airbnb.

Airbnb’s hospitality index lists the regions in which hosts provide the most outstanding hospitality according to the five-star reviews received from guests after their stay.

Stellenbosch leads the way

Stellenbosch leads the way with 79% of reviewed trips getting a five-star rating, with the neighbouring town of Paarl, yet another winelands favourite, hard on its heels.

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In fact, the Western Cape dominates the top 10, with the only other part of the country that cracks the list being Johannesburg.

George, Cape Town, Plettenberg Bay, Swellendam, Hermanus and Knysna round off the top 10 spots.

So how does the Airbnb hospitality index work?

The methodology looks at the percentage of trips where guests give five-star scores for all of the Airbnb review criteria. These include cleanliness, how smoothly the check-in goes, location, the host’s communication with the guest, value and accuracy in terms of what you see online, versus what you get in real life.

So, besides the wine and the beautiful scenery of the winelands, what makes these regions so popular with guests?

A common theme that threads through many reviews of top listings is that of good communication from hosts.

For instance, while mention might be made of slight discomforts, guests will happily point out when their host tried to fix the issue.

But communication also extends to how helpful the host was in explaining the area to the guests, and giving tips about the surrounding area.

For example, look at the reviews for the Franschhoek Deco belonging to Francois. Many reviewers commented on his good advice for restaurants in the area and the fact that he made checking in and out easy.

This is especially helpful for out-of-town travellers who might only have information gleaned from online research. By getting input from a local host, travellers will get the best out of their stay, by following the ‘insider tips’ provided.

For the index they looked at the percentage of trips (not reviews, which would be biased by review rates) where guests give five-star scores for all of the Airbnb reviews criteria, namely cleanliness, check in, communication, value and accuracy.Some listings you should try:

City Treetop Studio in Braamfontein

Victorian home Dorp Street #3

Clifton Beach Apartment

‘Mzansi’ Airbnb

Clifton beach pad

Central Cape Town en-suite bedroom

Woodstock Villa