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Fall head over heels with the Mother City in 2020

Feb 18, 2020, Author: Bianca Spinner

It’s time to fall in love. It’s the month of romance after all. And what better way to honour those you hold dearest than with a mini vacay in the most beautiful city in the world and Africa’s number-one tourist destination? Forgive us Jozi, but Cape Town’s majestic mountainscapes and azure waters that make up the Atlantic Ocean are both inexplicable and incomparable! 

READ MORE ON TRAVEL HERE.

The obvious truth is you never regret a trip to the Cape – it’s one of our all-time favourite destinations. But because we’re so spoilt for choice, we’ve brought you our top three personal favourite hotels … and a few extras. 

Sleep and eat 

A stopover to sweep you off your feet: The Marly Boutique Hotel & Spa – Camps Bay 

This location deserves five stars and it simply does not get better – the view couldn’t be more perfect, and you’ll never have to look at the same view twice. Just when we thought the hotel couldn’t be improved, the newly renovated hotel now boasts 40 sophisticated designer rooms and suites with endless mountain and sea views. 

We were so happy to discover this masterpiece of a hotel because you become immersed in Cape Town’s beauty the minute you arrive. The property just ticks all the right boxes – think a rooftop bar with the towering mountain as a backdrop; a silky turquoise pool overlooking Camps Bay Beach; and royal, spacious and comfortable rooms. It’s intimate and boutique in nature but still of the highest quality and access to the finest dining options. 

With an icy G&T in hand as the rose-orange sunset sets, you’ll soon find yourself mesmerised by the surrounding beauty. Here, you won’t need a few days to settle into your holiday – it’s instant. Plus, there’s something about a boutique hotel that makes you feel like you’re at home, which we always appreciate. Surfshack, located just downstairs from your room, is where you can have dinner. Choose from shucked oysters to sesame seared ahi tuna to pan roasted mussels or delve deep into their double smash burger or hot pastrami dog. Otherwise, skip the mains and order their Campfire and Marshmallow dessert: Chocolate, oat cookie crumble, praline ice cream and marshmallows. 

Breakfast is served at Bilboa Restaurant (also downstairs) and there is a gorgeous selection of fresh pastries, granola, seasonal fruits, toasts, omelettes and scrambles. But we recommend opting for the Jerusalem bagel with cream cheese smoked salmon and adding an easygoing boiled egg. Oh, and their coconut yoghurt served with homemade carb-clever granola is reason enough to visit this hotel! 

After your taste buds are gratified, why not visit the gleaming Marly Spa? It’s a confection of Carrara marble pared down modernist fittings and a menu of top-to-toe face and body treatments from some of the world’s leading spa brands. Thanks to its all-white interiors, slick manicure bar, pedicure stations and four tranquil treatment rooms (where guests can even customise their lighting and music preferences), The Marly Spa is a cocoon of luxury and exclusive comfort. Unique to the Marly Spa are their 30-minute Ling Express Facials. Developed by facialist to supermodels and the stars and owner of Ling New York, Ling Chan, these targeted face treatments provide a guaranteed instant result … in just 30 minutes. 

The Promenade, 201 Victoria Road, Camps Bay 

021 437 1287 

www.themarly.co.za 

[email protected] 

Instagram: @themarlyhotel 

READ MORE ON ACCOMMODATION HERE.

A historical winelands wonderThe Alphen Boutique Hotel – Constantia 

Step back in time into the 17th century and embark on a once-in-a-lifetime travel adventure. What was once a wine estate has now become a much-loved boutique hotel, which offers a cosy experience and allows for a different mindset because of the attention to detail and particular personal touches.  

For the past 300 years, royalty and captains of industry have graced this wonderland nestled in the timeless Constantia Valley. From Cecil John Rhodes to Mark Twain and Captain Cook, The Alphen Boutique Hotel has always been a purveyor of luxury hospitality in Constantia, thus be assured that at this hotel all your specific desires and needs are catered for. If you’re vegan expect vegan chocolate brownie cookies waiting for you in your suite, if you’re gluten-free expect homemade gluten-free muffins or if you’re travelling with a baby expect a cot, a baby bath plus an organic range of Oh Lief baby products.  

All this is set on 11.5 acres of evergreen gardens exploding with hydrangeas and pyramids of trees and lush bush. You could spend hours just gazing at the pretty swimming pool and gorgeous gardens whilst inspecting the local owl family. The rooms also beg to be enjoyed – you have the option of rooms situated amongst three classical heritage manor houses. Each room is exquisitely designed, extremely spacious and deserves to brag about its extra-length king size bed, 300 thread count linen and 100% Egyptian cotton. You’ll be oh-so-pleased! 

A few metres away from the hotel you’ll have access to two restaurants: La Belle Bistro & Bakery for breakfast and Blanko for dinner. Beginning your holiday with a La Belle breakfast is a delight in itself – they serve fresh artisanal stone oven breads, buttermilk pancakes, French toast with burnt butter, maple and bacon or smoked salmon trout eggs Benedict all with a side order of brewing coffee or a delicious smoothie or raw juice. And did we mention that La Belle is a bakery too? So, pop in for afternoon tea as well for a delectable carrot drizzle cake, a mouth-watering red velvet baked cheesecake and a classic milk tart. 

For dinner at Blanko, which is Italian inspired, they serve an impressive array of superior local wines plus a heavenly carbonara pasta packed with robust flavours and a delicious asparagus risotto. Take note: Pre-dinner we recommend visiting Incognito Bar for a sundowner. It’s the perfect way to end off an idyllic day! 

Alphen Drive, Constantia 

021 795 6300 

www.alphen.co.za 

[email protected] 

Instagram: @thealphenhotel 

READ MORE ON HOME AND DECOR HERE.

A sanctuary for the soulCamps Bay Retreat Hotel – Camps Bay 

It is all sorts of incredible to stand at the forefront of this property, which is tucked away inside a private nature reserve. You feel like you’re walking directly into the spellbinding ocean. This piece of land is what millionaires dream of owning and what us locals dream of visiting. It’s so unique and rare to find such a spacious hotel in the middle of a forest-like landscape overlooking the ocean right in the heart of Camps Bay. 

Myriads of soaring plants create a thicket but if you look past the bridge walkway, you’ll see the peaks of the villas, where you’ll have access to your own pool, lounge and balcony. If you’re a naturalist, then there is no better destination in the Cape. The tweeting of birds or the multifold of crashing waves breaks down the peace of the retreat.  

Whatever accommodation style you choose, the experience is evenly matched. There is an option of staying inside the manor house or foregoing this and choosing a more secluded villa style on the opposite side of the bridge or option of staying inside the deck house. The villa style rooms, located throughout Earl’s Dyke Manor, Deck House, Villa 5 and the Villa, are spacious rooms boasting the addition of a cosy lounge and luxury comforts (selective suites offer fireplaces and beautiful views). Suite 6 is perfect for families travelling with children, but also on offer are superior rooms, luxury and premier rooms. It must be mentioned that they offer pet friendly accommodation too, so there’s no need to leave Bella behind. 

The in-house restaurant, Von Kamptz, is where your buffet breakfast is served daily. You’ll dine Tuscan style under spectacular vines with a warm cuppa in hand and marvel at the views of Mother Nature. The food is delicious, from panko chicken strips to Thai green curry to decadent seafood pasta or a simple club stacker. Whatever you order, you can expect hearty, delectable lick-your-plate dishes. Post-dining you have to explore this glorious nature reserve – there are walks and pathways all gravitating towards the oceanfront. You can even book a picnic lunch and pit stop for a picture-perfect luncheon. There are also tennis courts, a Mint wellness spa, a herb garden and two crystal-clear outdoor swimming pools. 

7 Chilworth Road, Camps Bay 

021 437 9705 

www.campsbayretreat.com 

[email protected] 

Instagram: @camps_bay_retreat 

Eat and explore 

Gigi Rooftop at the Gorgeous George Hotel 

In this city you need never eat at the same place twice … right? Wrong! We’ve found the exception to the rule. Dining has never been this fabulous and we all know how marvelous dining is in the Cape. This brand-new addition to downtown is a cut above the rest. Not only do you dine on a rooftop under the clouds on the sixth floor of the Gorgeous George hotel, but the food is even better than the view. 

The restaurant is set inside these two beautifully restored heritage buildings and the menu is divided into small plates and big plates. If, like us, you don’t enjoy sharing great food, we recommend ordering a big plate. The potato gnocchi with shimeji mushrooms, onion espuma, roasted butternut and feta will be devoured in seconds and the braaied half baby chicken served with polenta chips just hits all the right spots. They also serve burgers, fish and chips, salads and Saldanha Bay oysters. 

You’ll leave heartbroken because you’ll just want to rewind and feast all over again, so ensure you hold the memory close to your heart and snap a variety of Insta shots. It’s so pretty with graciously hanging plants and giant glass windows – you won’t find an angle you don’t like. 

They’re open Monday to Sunday for breakfast, lunch dinner and light meals 

118 St George’s Mall, Cape Town CBD 

www.gigirooftop.com 

Instagram: @gorgeousgeorgecpt 

The Farm Deli at Vergenoegd Low Wine Estate 

This wine farm was created in 1696 and in 1820 it was bought over by a family who only let it go five years ago. The farm has since been reestablished, reforming the property and the land, and they have just recently added a dreamy deli. 

Once you enter the leafy vineyards, charming river and 1,600 parading ducks ensure you won’t want to leave. You’ll grab a pillow and blanket, pick a picnic spot on the grass, select your foodstuffs and Runner Duck wine from the deli and ta-dah …  you’ve generated the perfect Sunday Funday! 

They practice biodiversity-friendly farming, farm as organically as possible and are as sustainable as possible. Of course, they produce the best possible wine too. They use all recyclable packaging and zero single-use plastic! Your fresh salads, breads, sandwiches, pickled fish, biltong, pies and local cheeses are all packed in a box and all drinks served in glasses or glass bottles for water. 

They also offer wine tasting and cellar tours 

Baden Powell Drive, Stellenbosch 

www.vergenoegd.co.za 

Instagram: @vergenoegd_low_wine_estate 

Explore Cape Town’s biodiversity and visit Green Point Urban Park. Not only is it pet friendly, you can cycle through it too – or make it a fitness day and play on the outdoor gym equipment! 

Visit Beta Beach in Bakoven. This pretty little intimate and cherished beach is a secret gem. It’s secluded and peaceful and away from the hype. 

Tackle a mountain and hike Constantia Nek to Kirstenbosch (approximately three to four hours long). It’s a fairly easy hike and is definitely family friendly. 

Take a selfie with the most iconic penguins in the world at Boulders Beach

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