On the edge of a continent is a city. On the edge of the city is a bay. On the edge of the bay is a small luxury lodge...
Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Table Mountain National Park, Tintswalo Atlantic’s exclusive location is probably its biggest asset. Most will love it; though some might not, due to its distance from central Cape Town – more than 30 minutes by car, and then a short ride down a steep, driveway in the resort’s van. Such is the price of exclusivity.
Even if you’re not totally convinced by its location, you’ll love its views. When I arrive, on a dark, damp and windy night, I get a hint of what’s to come, as lights flicker in the distance over a noisy sea. But nothing prepares me for the 180-degree panorama I awake to from my room, which overlooks beautiful Hout Bay and the peaks of Sentinel Mountain.
Each lodge at the boutique Tintswalo is themed. The size of a suite, my massive room is called Lamu Island, which was apparently a penal colony just off the east coast of Africa. Though this certainly isn’t how convicts lived.
Highlighted by a large, comfy bed, the lodge boasts two armchairs, small workspace and a fireplace; in the enormous bathroom there’s a stand-alone tub (which I sadly can’t use), dual hand basins and large window to enjoy the view while you shower. Mod cons include free (and fairly fast) wifi, television, mini bar and tea/coffee facilities with espresso machine.
Overall, the room combines modern and classic décor while staying pretty true to its coastal African motif – especially in its artwork and ornate front door, which I absolutely love. But arguably its best feature is its private balcony, which is as close to overwater as you can get without actually being overwater.
With the resort a good drive from any restaurant, it’s important the food and beverage offering stacks up – and it does. The intimate dining area shares a space with an open kitchen and lounge area in the small resort’s main building. Breakfast has a casual, a la carte approach, with guests offered various courses including a delicious fruit/muesli/yoghurt combination, choice of hot breakfast and/or smoked salmon and cheeses, and some of the best pastries I’ve ever eaten, which are made on site.
Dinner is a five-course affair, with three or so options for each course. For entree, think charred broccolini, gorgonzola, celeriac and zucchini puree with toasted macadamia, while mains range from a seabass served with toasted sesame and coconut ocean broth to a Japanese and button mushroom ragout with eggplant puree. South African wines, which I’ve learned are the equal of Aussie drops, and desserts are of equally high quality.
The Tintswalo isn’t large on amenities – there’s a heated pool for those inclined – but it really doesn’t need to be. With its amazing lodgings, wining and dining, and views, I’d be happy to sit around with a good book in front of the warm fireplace. Alternatively, in-between offering super service, the friendly staff can help you arrange some local touring, of which there’s plenty. And when you return, you’ll be greeted with a lovely welcome back beverage – in case you weren’t already thrilled enough to be home.
Back in the room, a thoughtful turndown service awaits: slippers and THE most comfortable (read softest) bathrobe are laid out, the door of a wardrobe of extra pillows/blankets is left ajar, and there’s a framed weather forecast as well as bedside chocolate brownie and cold water bottle. I’ll sleep well tonight – and awake just as well to those views.
Visit tintswalo.com/atlantic for more information.
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