South Africa

The Tintswalo Atlantic Experience... Heaven on Earth

Have you ever heard of Tintswalo Atlantic? How about Hout Bay? Okay, let’s backup… Cape Town, South Africa? Well, nonetheless, it's a gem. This summer we had the privilege of getting to visit Cape Town and stay in a few different locations in and around the city. Let’s preface by mentioning that every place we stayed in South Africa was amazing. This country truly has a refined understanding of hospitality. They understand the importance of little details: welcome drinks, turn down service, and extensive continental breakfasts, to name a few. Every hotel was warm and inviting, and had us wishing we could spend "just one more night". However, one small boutique hotel hidden down a windy road took our experience to the next level. Allow us to quickly digress…


Through our time traveling together, we have created a list of our top tier hotels. The places that, based on our particular taste, do everything flawlessly. This includes design, décor, staff, price, food, location, and overall vibe. These are the places that, although there are so many spots we still want to go, we would drop everything to go back there now. We mean right now. Take us. Please. That list of properties was two… The American Trade Hotel in Panama City, Panama, and La Bandita Townhouse in Pienza, Italy. We’re excited to say that Tintswalo Atlantic is now on that list for us. From the very moment you arrive, you know you have found something special. We’re going to give you a list of reasons why Tintswalo Atlantic is reason enough for you to head to South Africa on your next getaway!


1. It's SECLUDED (yet not removed!)

While Tintswalo Atlantic is less than 20 miles from Central Cape Town, it feels as if you are in a remote, exotic location. Tintswalo is located on Chapman’s Peak Drive on the outskirts of Table Mountain National Park. If you weren’t looking for it, you definitely wouldn’t find it. There is a private driveway just off the road where you park your car. A van drives up a windy dirt road and traverses you back down to the property. Tintswalo Atlantic is the only property on this part of Hout Bay, and from where it sits you have the most perfect view of the bay and the Sentinel Mountain Peak. This small boutique hotel only has 12 suites, each complete with unparalleled views and private decks.. Perfect excuse to hideaway in your room all day and not feel guilty about it. Or, head to their own private beach - featuring the most picturesque (and nap-worthy) hammock!

2. The breathtaking DECOR!

The hotel is decorated perfectly. Each of the suites have their own unique style and theme, and are named after some of the most magical islands on earth. We stayed in the Lamu suite, named after a beautiful island off the coast of Kenya. 


A 3 course breakfast and 5 course dinner… included in the price of your stay! The chef creates delightful dishes, with portions so generous that you may never need lunch. During our time there, we had Dorado, Springbok, Crayfish, King Klip, Calamari, Prawn, Mussels, and Chicken, and that’s just the meat and seafood. Breakfast included yummy coffee, parfaits with fruit, platers full of meat, salmon, cheese, and danishes, and a main course with scrumptious creations like a meatball, onion, and pepper frittata. We’re going to go out on a limb and say that you may gain a few pounds during your time here, but it’s SO worth it. And the wine...oh, the wine. Their wine list is heavenly. Splurge!


The view, the view, the view! The pictures don't do it justice, but they definitely help. We live in Southern California, where we have the luxury of staring at the ocean often. South Africa offers a different type of beauty that we could not get enough of. Tintswalo Atlantic sits within Hout Bay, and from every room on the property you are looking out at the dramatic Sentinel Mountain Peak. Let's just say, we were obsessed. 

We were at Tintswalo in the middle of winter, meaning cloudy days and some stormy weather. That did not stop us from spending the majority of our time looking at Hout Bay and the Sentinel. 

5. THE LITTLE THINGS (That make a big difference)

There are numerous little touches that separate Tintswalo Atlantic from the rest... 

-Hot Chocolate upon arrival (more on that later)

-Amazing antique fireplace with fire starter set up in your room

-Notes written in seashells in your room each day

-Port and/or tea in your room after dinner

-Cozy, cozy robes


We will try to recreate some of the story of the founders of Tintswalo Atlantic. It goes something like this... There once was a couple who dreamed of having a property like Tintswalo. One day, this husband and wife were standing on Chapman's Peak, and the wife decided to make a wish. She took a coin and tossed it off Chapman's Peak, wishing that one day they would have a hotel. The dream absolutely came true! To remember this amazing dream-come-true, each guest is given a rock to toss into the Atlantic, that you're supposed to wish upon. Each rock says "May your wishes come true!" I'm sure most people wish they get to come back soon. 

The next part of their story that we thought was important was a fire they had in recent years. It actually burned down nearly the whole property! The one thing that survived was the table you see when you first enter. While everything else burned, this silver table (to the right) survived. It still stands today in an INCREDIBLE restored and renovated Tintswalo Atlantic



(Yes, it needs its own category because it was THAT good!) Upon arrival you are greeted with a hot towel and a delicious hot chocolate. We were there in the middle of winter, so this was absolutely one of our favorite perks of this amazing hotel. We loved sitting on the deck, sipping our hot chocolate and watching the waves crash. We miss it so much!




8. SO MANY THINGS TO DO (If you don't stay in your suite all day!)

We wish we could have stayed longer, because we would have spent some of our days bundled up by the fire in our suite. If you choose to venture outdoors, Tintswalo Atlantic has SO much to do nearby. You can drive into Cape Town Central, hike Table Mountain, go see the penguins at Boulder's Beach, feel the gusts on Chapman's Peak, or look for sea shells. Regardless of how you spend your time, you are bound to have a rejuvenating, relaxing experience that will make you never want to leave!

Our "Please don't make us leave" faces...

The Pros HEAVILY Outweigh the Cons for South African Airways, Trust Us.

Spoiler alert... there are no real cons. 

We recently had an INCREDIBLE trip to South Africa, and are dreaming of the day we can head back. We flew there on South African Airways, and wanted to take some time to share the pros and cons of this airline with you. Let us see if the pros outweigh the cons, and if we can get you to book a trip with SAA for your next great adventure.



-SAA has been voted the “Best Airline to Africa” by various leading travel publications. SAA stands out among it’s competitors, and makes you feel you are flying in style. Because they are a large airline, they are able to have the fastest routes to their destinations in Africa. It is a LONG journey to Africa, and flying non-stop from the U.S. is the best way to do it. SAA will take you non-stop to Johannesburg from both New York and Washington D.C.

-The food is delicious, they have a great wine selection, and their entertainment system is stocked with movies, TV, and games.

-They take you to South Africa. How obvious of a Pro is that? We’re sorry, but we just have to drive this point home. South Africa is one of the most beautiful places on earth. From Table Mountain, to Stellenbosch, to Boulder’s Beach, there are so many magical places to visit there.

-The lounges are LEGIT. We had the opportunity to do some serious lounging during our time flying with SAA. In New York, we loved the lounge where we could sit with mimosas and watch the planes take-off. Their JFK lounge was quiet, uncrowded, and was a great stopover before heading to South Africa. When we landed in Johannesburg the first time we had a short layover before heading to Cape Town, so we spent some time in the SAA Domestic Lounge. It was hip! Great coffee and atmosphere! We spent the majority of our time (probably more than 12 hours during our whole journey) in the SAA International Lounge. We were obsessed. An awesome selection of food and drinks, a marvelous place to shower, and La-Z-Boys. Yes, that’s right, La-z-boy recliners. We spent hours reading, indulging in snacks, and sleeping in these chairs. Those chairs may have been our favorite part of lounge life. With so much time spent there, there were some stretches where it was pretty crowded. SAA has done a great job designing this lounge with multiple rooms and partitions, so even when it is busy it feels quiet and private. All in all, SAA has a strong offering of lounges that makes traveling more comfortable and adds to the luxury of your vacation.

-Lounge life continues on the plane… While we’ve already talked about the planes, the leg room on SAA has to be mentioned on it’s own. SAA has the most legroom in Economy Class of ANY airline to Africa. So even though we weren’t able to get in Business class, Bobby’s long legs were able to fit comfortably.

 So there are 5 Pros. How about some Cons.



-Unless you are moving to South Africa, you’re going to have to leave eventually.

 -The plane ride from the USA to South Africa is long. Let’s be honest, it’s a really long flight. But we actually didn’t really care, because we had a great time on our flight. But we just figured we should acknowledge it is a long ride.

-After flying SAA, you will be disappointed if you fly any other airline to Africa. South African hospitality is a real thing. South Africans are so friendly, warm, and hospitable that no other airline will be able to come close to your experience with SAA.

-Did we already say that you have to leave South Africa?

The pros heavily outweigh the cons for South African Airways… trust us. Do yourself a favor and book with SAA today!

South African Airways: Why You Need to Fly SAA for Your Next Vacation

When adventuring to South Africa, who better to take you then South African Airways?! 

This was our first time partnering with SAA - and it definitely won’t be our last. From the welcoming staff, to the comfy seats and delicious South African wine, it was an experience we’ll never forget. We’d heard plenty of people rave about “South African Hospitality” - but it wasn’t until we experienced it onboard our SAA flights that we understood just how special it is!

We began with a 14 hour flight to Johannesburg out of NYC, and the crew was kind enough to let us tour the plane - and Bobby’s highlight - sit in the cockpit!! We were so impressed by their willingness to spend time with us, and their pride for their country. We may have been thousands of miles from South Africa, but from the moment we boarded the plane, we felt as though we were already there!

While the flight was long, it was really enjoyable. The food was delicious and there were plenty of entertainment options - but what really blew us away was the wine! We were thrilled to see that some of our favorite South African wines were available on the flight - definitely a huge perk of flying SAA!


Once we landed in Johannesburg, we spent a few hours in a SAA Lounge (more on that to come!), and then boarded a quick flight to Cape Town. Once again, the SAA fleet succeeded our expectations with another warm meal, kind service, and an incredibly seamless flight. It almost went too fast!!

If we could pick one thing that stood out about flying with South African Airways, it is most definitely their outstanding hospitality. We have never met such warm, kind, and inviting crew members - and on long and exhausting travel days, their smiles made all the difference. 

When planning a trip to South Africa, we highly encourage you to fly with South African Airways. You’ll fall in love with the country, the people, and the wine - all before you even land! Stay tuned for our next blog on South African Airways, where we highlight their amazing lounges, as well as show off some of the beautiful places they can take you (see below)...

Cape Grace - Start Your South African Adventure Here

Cape Grace is the definition of “WOW”.


If we were to describe the world-renowned Cape Grace hotel in one word, “wow” would definitely be it. It is part of the Leading Hotels of the World brand, and represents their prestigious hotel collection well. Located on the beautiful Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Grace has an ideal location to the waterfront’s shopping and restaurants. It is surrounded by water on three sides, and all rooms have mountain and/or harbor views.

Cape Grace was our hotel during our first night in Cape Town – and what a way to start the trip! Having drove from the airport into Cape Town, we were already on sensory overload. The sheer magnificence of surrounding mountains, crystal-clear ocean, and lush, green landscape is breathtaking in every way. (Bobby was on another level because he had just successfully navigated his first journey on the left side of the road!!) But when we arrived at Cape Grace, it took our awe and excitement to the next level. We arrived in the early afternoon and were greeted by Renato, a wonderful concierge who we got to know during our short stay.


Renato welcomed us into the lobby with some hot Rooibos tea. This was our first time trying this famed South African tea, and we were quickly obsessed! Since it was the beginning of winter in South Africa (mid-June), the Rooibos tea was a cozy, warm start to our stay at Cape Grace.


Our room was everything we hoped for (and more!) after hours and hours of travel. The rooms have great character and are spacious, luxurious, and pristinely decorated. We found out during a tour that every room at Cape Grace is unique, in order to give it the feel of a home instead of a hotel. Our room had a stunning view of Table Mountain, the surrounding marina, a fluffy, king-sized bed, oversized bathroom, and an array of delicious welcome treats. We were convinced we had just landed in heaven. ;)

After freshening up we went decided to explore the hotel. When walking down the hall or waiting for the elevator, you will start to notice the nautical character of this hotel. Everywhere you turn, you’ll find various artifacts and walls adorned with gorgeous, hand painted murals. Our favorite pieces were the extravagant chandeliers that were designed to look as if they had been pulled up out of a shipwreck. Each one is full of various “debris”, antiques like intricate silverware, teacups, brassware, and plates. We walked around every floor of Cape Grace, fascinated by each chandelier. It’s all of the little details that make a great hotel an amazing hotel!

When heading out to explore the Victoria & Alfred waterfront, we saw how the nautical theme of Cape Grace is consistent on the outside as well. From afar, Cape Grace actually looks like it is a ship docked in the harbor. And with Table Mountain in the background, it’s jaw-dropping!

One of the highlights of our night was the Bascule Whisky and Wine Bar, which boasts a menu of over FIVE HUNDRED whiskies from around the world. Bobby was in heaven!! He tried some “bucket list” rare scotches while Alli sipped on some South African Pinotage. The bar has a really fun, relaxed vibe with a crowd mixed with locals and hotel guests. We concluded the night with wine tasting at Cape Grace’s Signal Restaurant, and dining on the idyllic V&A waterfront. Every time we walked through the lobby of the hotel, we were so impressed by the staff that knew our names, and were genuinely interested in how our stay was going. It was perfect.

Since we had been on a plane for 30 hours the day before, we decided a couples’ massage would help us get acclimated to the new time zone. What a treat! The Spa at Cape Grace was EXACTLY what we needed. Even though it made us even more depressed that we were leaving so soon, our time at the spa was incredible.

Before departing, we realized that there were a few areas of Cape Town that we had missed. No problem! Cape Grace has a free chauffeur that will whip you around town in a luxurious BMW. Yes, please. We did a short tour around town, as well as a stop at Bo-Kaap, the most colorful streets we’d ever seen.

After the ride around town, we had to pack up and depart from this amazing place. While we were sad to leave, we knew that South Africa probably had some amazing hotels waiting for us. Stay tuned! To sum it all up… if you are heading to Cape Town and want an amazing home base on the water, spend some time at the beautiful Cape Grace Hotel!

Magical Weekend in South Africa at the Majeka House

Stellenbosch is one of those destinations that takes your breath away.

From the rolling hills, to the storybook buildings, award-winning restaurants and pristine wineries, it’s almost doesn’t seem real! As much as we will try to relay it’s beauty through blogs and photos, we won’t be able to do this region justice. All we can do is HIGHLY encourage you to go!! And when you do, you must stay at the Majeka House. It’s perfect. Here’s why:

1. Location

Located in the heart of Stellenbosch, in the middle of a residential area, staying at the Majeka House will have you feeling like a local. The staff even gives you a walking guide to the neighborhood - what better way to work off all that wine, and make some new friends while you’re at it!

2. Design

From the moment you walk into the Majeka House, you feel as though you’ve entered an enchanting, magical world! From the intriguing library/bar, to the chic indoor pool, and the pristine and stunning courtyards, you know instantly this isn’t your average hotel. We loved watching sunsets from the rooftop terrace (and had some fun photo shoots you may see at the end of this blog).

Every room at Majeka House is unique, and everywhere you turn there’s something new to see. Our bed was cozy, our terrace was on a relaxing courtyard, and the towels may have been the biggest and best we've ever used (may seem random, but you'll see when you get there). We could go on and on about our room - we would have bought the furniture if we could have! (Side note: Bobby’s a shower snob. It’s rare that he gets excited about a hotel shower - but according to him, the one at the Majeka House was a 10! That’s rare!!)

3. Hospitality

The staff at the Majeka House were top-notch. They knew us by name, made sure our every need was met, and even offered to do our laundry!! We love it when the hotel staff feels like family, and that’s just how it felt here. A perfect example is that when we had to leave early on our final morning, they packed us lunches! We didn’t want to leave!!


4. THE FOOD (In all caps because IT WAS THAT GOOD)

The Majeka House is known for their breakfast - and it took about .02 seconds to see why! Their picture-perfect breakfast spread tasted just as delicious as it looked. Fresh-pressed juices, homemade bread and cakes, muesli (our favorite!), cheeses, wild meat, fresh fruit, and SO much more! Don’t even get us started on their cappuccinos. All in all, they practically had to roll us out of the breakfast room every morning!

We also had the pleasure of having our last dinner in Stellenbosh at the Majeka House, award-winning restaurant “Makaron”. We dined on such delicacies as baby marrow risotto, panga fish, and creme brûlée. We ate slowly, so we could savor and enjoy every bite. It was easily one of the best meals we had all trip, and the perfect way to end our time in wine country. 


We can’t wait to return to Stellenbosch and our friends at the Majeka House. It’s truly a boutique hotel experience that we won’t ever forget!