Travelling along the M6, arguably the most scenic road in the Western Cape, you exchange the chaotic buzz of Cape Town’s inner-city traffic for the rugged, natural beauty of the South African coastal landscape. Situated between Camps Bay and Llandudno, at the foot of the Twelve Apostles mountain range (hence the name) is the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, a member of the Red Carnation Group.
Upon entering the reception, you immediately feel at home. The decor is warm and inviting, reminiscent in many ways of a seaside villa, passed down from generation to generation, soaked in history and elegance but still familiar – a theme that is continued throughout the hotel. The coastal blues, greens and taupes mirror the colour palette of the Atlantic Ocean that lies opposite and can be seen from almost every window of the hotel. The interiors reflect the strong influence of the president and founder of the Red Carnation group, Bea Tollman. Every one of the 55 deluxe guest rooms and 15 luxurious suites (including the presidential suite) is individually designed to an exceptionally high standard, with Bea’s personal touch clearly present in every decorative decision.
Being overlooked by Table Mountain – a Unesco World Heritage Site – adds to the unique beauty of the property. The hotel provides a regular shuttle service running to and from Camps bay (10 mins) and Cape Town’s Waterfront (30mins), where all of your shopping and cuisine cravings can be satisfied. For residents happy to relax on-site, the impeccably trained staff are waiting to facilitate all your holiday aspirations. Their award-winning spa (hidden among underground caves) is a must: with three plunge pools and seven treatment-rooms, and an extensive menu of massages and cosmetic cures, they have a remedy for any traveller’s stress or strain.
Mountain hikes can also take place from the grounds, ranging from a short 10-minute taster to an hour’s trek. These excursions are designed to allow you to explore the stunning fynbos-covered slopes while enjoying the views of the Atlantic ocean below – and delicious packed lunches can also be provided to keep your energy levels up. The hotel also employs a buddy programme, for guests who prefer to not embark on such activities alone, so you can enjoy the excursion with a friendly member of the Twelve Apostles team.
The hotel has four dining options: the Azure restaurant, headed up by the executive chef Christo Pretorius, which offers fine-dining with spectacular views over the Atlantic Ocean; the Café Grill, with relaxed dining 24/7, sat below the Twelve Apostles mountain range (the fresh sushi is a excellent light lunch option); and the hotel’s main spot for sundowners, the Leopard Bar. For high tea, there is also the Conservatory.
With an array of exquisite dining options and rooms you’ll never want to leave, the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa must be your first point of call upon landing in the Mother City. And if not to stay, at least to share a drink under the hypnotic spell of the African sun melting into the hazy Atlantic Ocean from the balcony of the Leopard bar – you won’t forget it.
The Twelve Apostles, from about £360 a room a night.