I actually delayed writing this post as I wasn’t sure where to even start when sharing about the most incredible 2-night stay that I recently got to enjoy at the well known and iconic 12 Apostles Hotel in Cape Town. It was certainly one of the most incredible hotel stays I have ever had, and I honestly do not know if my words could even do it the justice that it deserves – but I will give it a go!
Located on the winding road that leads from Camps Bay to Llandudno the hotel is so fascinating as it is literally the only building out there – completely isolated, and with what one would imagine would be the most incredible sea and sunset views. Having driven past the hotel more times than I can possibly remember, I always wondered what the view would be like from the deck and what the inside would look like…
Fast forward 15 or so years, and I made that dream a reality in February, with what I can only describe as the highlight of my #HeatherVisitsTheCape trip – 2 nights at The 12 Apostles Hotel.
From the moment you step out of your vehicle, they offer non stop attention to detail and service that I have never experienced in my life before.
Check-in was seamless, our porter wrangled our baggage, and a glass of bubbly was poured while we seated ourselves in the armchairs, and gazed around at the beautifully polished wood, memorabilia and the in house cat – who is happy to be petted and have a bit of snooze at your feet, at a moments notice. The lobby also sports the gift shop – where you can purchase beautifully branded Red Carnation (the international hotel group) items like bathrobes, to stunning luxury bags, earrings and the like.
Our suite on the second floor was beautifully appointed and offered the most breathtaking view out over both the mountain and the sea, with its own little balcony for enjoying the view.
A chilled bottle of bubbly awaited us on arrival, and the beautiful shades of blue and whites/creams worked perfectly together – from the wallpaper to the headboard and lounge furniture.
The suites/rooms all boast just about every amenity under the sun – tea and coffee making station, bottled water, bar fridge, Wi-Fi (critical, if you know me at all), hairdryer, ironing board and iron – and whatever is not in the room, you can just buzz down to reception and someone will bring it right over.
The bathroom was huge – two basins (yay!) bath and large shower, tons of fluffy towels and their in house range of bath salts, shower gels, shampoos etc. I like a nice bathroom, I won’t lie – my one at home is not very big, so this is the very first thing I explore when I am staying in a hotel!
The hotel offers the perfect view for drinks and sundowners in the Leopard Bar, which is also open to the public, my cousin came to meet me for a drink the first evening and we were lucky enough to procure an outside table – it gets pretty popular around 5 pm in summer as the after-work crowd filter in, and enjoyed a chilled glass of vino or three, and complimentary bar snacks.
Our waiter was friendly and helpful and made our long overdue family catch up that much more enjoyable. One can also sit inside the Leopard Bar, which is decorated like something straight out of a colonial hunting lodge. I loved it! Big sofas, leather wing back chairs, sash windows, thick patterned carpeting and wall art, with THE coolest ceiling fans that look like plaited palm leaves on a mechanism that sways back and forth. Don your pith helmet Dr Livingstone 😉
Dinner is served every evening in The Azure Restaurant (which also serves breakfast in the mornings) but the look and feel from day to night is a vastly different one – you would be forgiven for thinking it was a totally different restaurant!
At night the soft glow of candles, beautiful shells placed artfully on the plates and of course the big windows looking out over the ocean and the last rays of the setting sun, just exquisite.
The walls are a unique blend of wallpaper and mirrors, adorned with art and on the central service tables sit beautiful big glass vases and other unique objects de art – an incredible use of the space. From the ceiling hang curtains that can be pulled closed to make an exclusive dining area for guests who may need a bit more privacy – think film stars and celebs, of course.
Executive Chef Christo Pretorius is on pointe with his menu – you can select from the a la carte menu or the ‘Journey Through The Cape’ which is a tasting and wine pairing menu extraordinare. We opted for this one and boy were we in for a treat.
No attention to detail was spared, this is literally a gastronomic journey through all the Cape regions from the Hemel en Aarde Valley to Stellenbosch and Tulbagh, your tastebuds will love this. Utter highlight – the Pork Dumplings and the Marinated Yellow Fin Tuna. Nom.
The hotel sommelier, Gregory Mutambe was just fabulous and I have to give a special shout out to him! Knowledgeable about every single wine in his stable, Gregory took us through the food and wine pairing with ease, answering our questions and even on one course supplying us with a second option to compare the different wines and food tastes – while making polite conversation and literally serving just about every table (well it looked that way) and the place was packed!
I would return just for this dining experience alone – and is certainly one that I cannot recommend more highly.
Want to work out while you stay? No stress – the gym is located right at the top of the hotel, and sports treadmills, weights, Bosu balls, skipping ropes and the likes, and offers a pretty cool view out over the sea, the best way to work out in my opinion. Towels, chilled bottled water and a fruit basket are also placed in the gym – no excuses, fitness fiends.
Want to take a walk around the property and discover the local fauna and flora? This too is right on hand. The hotel sports a variety of walking trails – long and short – with shady benches, and well-explained flower/bush signage plaques. There is even a helipad at the top of the hill if you want a bit of a leg stretch to go check that out.
Unwind in the spa – and I promise you this grotto/cave/built into the hill spa is a one of a kind. The rock walls are painted white, and the stunning furnishings are white and taupe with fresh plants dotted about. All hotel guests can enjoy the general facilities at no cost at any time, but treatments (signature and traditional therapies to facials and more) should ideally be booked well in advance. We relaxed by the warm and cold plunge pool in the downstairs area, as well as spending some time in the heated saltwater flotation pool, great for curing exhaustion, jet lag and the like.
After your spa adventure, do make sure to unwind by the beautiful outdoor pool area – comfy loungers and fluffy towels await, and a refreshing dip while looking out over the ocean is a must on a sweltering summers day.
Spend some time (or pack the younger ones off) in the onsite 16 seater cinema. Movies are on every two hours or so, and range from more kiddie orientated films in the morning, to more adult/grown-up related content in the evenings. Popcorn, milkshakes and more await in your own private movie theatre!
Breakfast is served daily in the Azure Restaurant as well – either inside or on the deck, weather permitting and the extensive buffet is well stocked with every favourite – fresh fruits, yoghurts, cold meats and cheeses, and fresh-baked pastries are set to make your mouth water. Grab a chilled glass of bubbly or orange juice and make sure to have a freshly made cappuccino or two along with your a la carte order. I am a total stickler for Eggs Benedict, so will admit that I ate that on both mornings – soooo good – while my travelling partner raved about the omelettes.
If you are looking for some fun things to do during your stay – make sure to check in with the concierge in the reception area. The staff are really knowledgeable about what is great to do in and around Cape Town for just about every taste, and they also offer free shuttles/transport to be able to assist with getting you where you need to be.
All in all, I cannot give The 12 Apostles Hotel a bigger 2 thumbs up and 5-star rating than I just attempted to do above. This is one stayover that I will never forget as long as I live – thank you to the entire team for making our stay so incredibly memorable.
A: Victoria Drive, Camps Bay, Cape Town
T: +27 21 437 9000