Some hotels are simply a means to an end. All the right bells and whistles, but really you’re there to get out the front door and explore. It’s about a good pillow and a place for your luggage, little more.
Then you get hotels that are a destination on their own; where the outside world may call, but you’re happy to hang up. Where location and creature comforts conspire to keep you in one place until reception politely asks if you’re extending your stay. Tintswalo Atlantic is one of those.
Set on the rocky shores beneath Cape Town’s Chapman’s Peak Drive, Tintswalo Atlantic clings to the shoreline of the Table Mountain National Park, between fynbos-clad slopes and the restless Atlantic Ocean. For front-row seats to a sea view, you can do no better.
The proximity of all that water didn’t help much in February though, when a kitchen fire razed the public areas and damaged a handful of rooms. But in just six months Tintswalo Atlantic has been rebuilt and refreshed, and is looking better than ever.
New décor and design in the lounge and restaurant retain the upscale seaside aesthetic, with intimate lounge spaces on the outdoor deck tempting guests to settle in for signature sundowner cocktails. During dinner — a three-course table d’hôte affair — you’ll want to delve into the older vintages from leading Cape estates on its extensive wine list.
But during the day it’s the pool deck where you’ll want to be. With its heated pool and hammock strung above the high-tide mark, it’s a five-star Crusoe fantasy made real. Or perhaps you’ll just want to revel in the privacy of your luxe suite. There are 10 Island Suites, plus a spacious two-bedroom villa to choose from. Bespoke décor channels each suite’s namesake, from elegant Sicily to the island-breeze-blues of Java. Shower with a sea-view? Tick. Private deck? Of course.
And for the lucky few that get to call Tintswalo their home away from home in the Mother City, the good news is that you’ll hardly have to share it. The revamped lodge is now more exclusive than ever, with non-residents only allowed in for lunch on Wednesdays. And that’s subject to availability too.
There are plenty of great hotels perfect for exploring the many faces of Cape Town, but Tintswalo Atlantic isn’t one of them. Once you’ve checked in, I’m betting you won’t want to leave.
• From the November edition of Wanted 2019.