Suggesting that this exclusive hideaway overlooking Cape Town’s über stylish Camps Bay offers a Room with a View would, in my mind, be rather an understatement. A stay at this barefoot luxury accommodation is to experience more than an outstanding South African Cape view panorama – it is to be embraced by style and luxury.
As soon as you arrive you are invited to kick off your shoes, pour yourself a chilled glass of fresh and crisp Sauvignon Blanc, sit back and enjoy the comforts of this sumptuous beachside residence.
Described modestly as a luxury guest house, this home-away-from-home is an impeccably appointed and super stylish coastal villa (once a privileged private home) now remodelled with exquisite suites and private apartments, promising one of the most memorable places to stay in the Mother City. In fact I’d say it was the best accommodation we experienced whilst in the city of Cape Town.
First impressions of the villa give very little indication of what lies beyond the front door. It looks much like many of the other large homes in the area, with discreet grey walls facing the street. Yet once inside you realise that this elegant beach house has multi-million dollar views of Cape Town’s super chic Clifton Bay and Camps Bay, as well as striking, cinemascope vistas of the Twelve Apostles and the Atlantic Ocean. The villa is found in probably the most sought after residential area in South Africa, and offers the chance to walk down to the sheltered coves and glorious beaches of Clifton Bay and Camps Bay, as well as to the restaurants and bars of these popular neighbourhoods. If you’re feeling energetic, then forming a backdrop to the property are Lion’s Head, Signal Hill and the iconic Table Mountain, all providing plenty of hiking routes amongst calming nature. The city centre of Cape Town is a 10-15 minute taxi drive away depending on traffic and the airport is anything from 30 minutes away.
Greeted at the entrance by Cobus, Cape View Clifton’s Manager we were invited to take a seat in the lobby for the informal and friendly ‘check-in’. Directly in front of us were open windows, offering that expansive view out across the Atlantic. Immediately, I just knew I was going to love this place. Cobus, an elegant young man, is genuinely friendly and helps set the tone of this relaxed beach house.
Built into the cliffside, the villa’s street level access is in fact one of the building’s upper floors, so as Cobus took us through the villa, we were in fact descending through the seven story house. Don’t worry there’s a lift and anyway, you won’t be allowed to lift a finger, as the professional team (each smartly presented in deck shows, chinos, white shirts and cashmere sweaters) will take care of you, carrying your luggage and placing it in your suite. What’s more, there’s even Butler Service with the swish newly opened ‘Clifton 7’ luxury self-contained apartment.
You get that private house party feeling in the living space, on the pool deck level, with its comfy sofas, long dining tables and open plan kitchen – all found on one of the lower floors. Help yourself to a bottle of wine, beer or soft drink from the abundant Honesty Bar (but I would have loved to have seen G&T on offer), a few gourmet nibbles, or maybe a slice of the day’s freshly baked, decadent treat. Here is where you’ll typically meet the other guests too, chatting over drinks or at breakfast sharing one of the long tables.
The space has floor to ceiling glass doors opening on to the property’s stunning deck – the place to chill in the shade or take in the South African sun on a sunbed, around the pristine pool. The deck just invites you to kick off your shoes and soak up the view (which I just can’t stop mentioning!).
Back inside, and looking around at the timeless style of the interiors, it comes as no surprise to discover that the Director and Founder of Cape View Clifton, Jess Latimer, is in fact an interior designer and stylist by trade. The aesthetic is very much South African, and maybe California beach chic too – an ambiance of laid back luxury; warm, welcoming and relaxed, yet extravagant with plush fabrics, seating and design details. There’s just enough eclectic knick-knackery to make the place feel homey, without being cluttered – every piece, every detail, from vintage ornaments to back copies of National Geographic, is clearly considered. The neutral earth tones of the contemporary styling allow the immense framed views from the windows be the protagonist.
Found on an upper floor, with privileged sweeping views from its wall of concertina floor to ceiling windows, the Deluxe Suite 1A certainly delivers more of the Cape View Clifton ‘wow factor’. It’s a contemporary, light filled space, with a timeless elegance accented with silvery greys, creams and warm wood. Rugs, throws and cushions invite you to feel cosy and at home.
The room, one of three extra-large Deluxe Suites, feels more like a small apartment – the space is generous, with a King bed, two contemporary chaises longues facing a comfortably designed living area with large TV, sofa, as well as antique style solid wood table with chairs, dressed with a delicate orchid. A tray laden on the sideboard is laden with treats, gourmet, coffee and mineral water – together with a personalised welcome card from Cobus and the team.
The concertina doors were folded open upon arrival, inviting that extraordinarily Cape View into the suite. The private terrace was furnished with small olive trees, table and chairs and two stylish sunbeds.
The bedroom area was elegantly furnished with a beautifully dressed bed, antique style night stands, (with iPod dock), chest of drawers and a wardrobe, where one found the safe (unfortunately too small for a tablet or my PC), beach bag and pool towels.
The bathroom was vintage style; with large glass shower cubicle, twin wash basins and tub. Lighting wasn’t the best – would have benefited from more halogens, and the shower needed an extractor fan to whisk away the steam after an indulgent shower. Robes, slippers and divine Africology bath amenities completed the 5 star luxuries.
As a guest house there isn’t an al carte restaurant, yet the team at Cape View Clifton were very accommodating and offered to prepare dinner for us if we wanted to stay in (but the thing is, Cape Town is such a foodie destination, that clearly wasn’t going to happen!). But Cobus explained that there were homemade ‘comfort food’ dishes available with advance booking. Alternatively, if we wanted to push the boat out, the team would be happy to arrange for a chef to visit and prepare a bespoke, gourmet meal to be serving in the suite or the on the pool deck.
Breakfast is served on the pool deck and dining room. Each day there is a hot special; luckily for me it was Eggs Benedict, my favourite. Whilst Celeste rustled up our breakfast, I got chatting with some of the other guests – the seating is very sociable and even if you’re not a ‘morning person’ you’re sure to enjoy an interesting conversation – the villa attracted some fascinating guests, all with a passion for travel.
The generous buffet breakfast items are creatively presented on logs, in baskets and rustic wooden crates and on wicker trays. Expect juices, smoothies, fruit, cheeses, hams, conserves etc. – it all looked so appetising and healthy.
The Rest of the Property
In addition to the three Deluxe Suites, there are also two Junior Suites. In addition there are a choice of ingenuously designed two & three bedroom suites that really are more like little apartments, with equipped kitchen, and separate living and dining areas – ideal for families. In addition to private terraces, two of these apartments have private Jacuzzis.
There’s also a terraced garden with more sunbeds.
New for 2016 is the ultra-luxurious Clifton 7 apartment. Adjacent to the main house, this two-floor apartment is reached via an interlinking bridge. It has a stand-out, stunning deck with a covered seating area, al fresco dining area and plunge pool. The upper level is home to a spacious living room, open plan kitchen (with adjacent laundry) and a generous dining room for eight. Downstairs there’s the large bedroom with ensuite bathroom with floor to ceiling glass looking out to those ocean views that I just can’t stop talking about.
But the most decadent feature – well that would be the apartment’s private Butler, waiting at your beck and call.
Rates start from ZAR 2,700 (approximately £170) per room per night on a B&B basis.
Address: 232 Kloof Road, Clifton, Cape Town, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)21 438 8748