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.
3.DINING FIT FOR ROYALTY
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!
4. THE SCENERY
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
6. THE STORY
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.
7. HOT CHOCOLATE
(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...