Hotel check: The Twelve Apostles

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Background

Not only one of Cape Town’s iconic hotels, but also a famous city landmark overlooking the mighty rollers and the rocky shores of the Atlantic Ocean in Camps Bay. This 5-star boutique hotel sits on a world heritage site and is part of The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, who re-named it The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa.

What’s it like?

Asking a question like that is akin to asking whether actress Mila Kunis is attractive or if Jack Nicholson can act. It’s the last word in understated elegance and opulence and when you swoop in under the portico, time stands still and you enter a parallel universe where you call the shots and people are at your beck and call, with a gracious smile. The check-in behind a small antique desk sets the tone and makes you feels as if you’re doing a deal in a private bank.

Where is it?

Best reached in a silver open-top Bentley, but a hire car will do just fine, or you can enlist the hotel’s complimentary car transfer service or land your helicopter on the nearby helipad. The hotel is not more than 20 minutes drive from the City Centre and the V&A Waterfront, beyond Sea Point and Clifton. Llandudno and Hout Bay beckon, along one of the great coastal drives in the world, and Camps Bay beach is just a few minutes away.

Rooms

There are 55 deluxe guest rooms and 15 luxurious suites overlooking the ocean or the mountains. All rooms are light, airy and welcoming and are decorated in an eclectic mix of contemporary African style, and classic European. It’s worth taking a little time to examine the art works. All beds are positioned a step or two up from panoramic windows. Lying in bed and watching the violent Atlantic Ocean at war with itself one winter morning was a sight to behold. I was late for breakfast! All rooms include 24-hour room service, individual air conditioning, entertainment centres with DVD, and bathrobes and slippers. My robe could have been a little larger, but I coped.

Restaurants & Bars

The Azure restaurant is famous for its fynbos menu, which the hotel claims “will infuse your taste buds with organic ingredients chosen daily from our own herb garden and the local markets, depending on the season”. My partner and I opted for a Cape Malay curry on a bitter winter’s night, complemented by a clever wine choice recommended by a hovering, but discreet, sommelier. The food was in one word, memorable. The Café Grill is open 24 hours a day and for sundowners I’m told the Leopard Bar keeps a wide range of vodkas and ports. I didn’t have a chance to try it out, but the ambience looked inviting. Another clever innovation is the dinner and movie evening – dining at the Azure and then an intimate viewing of a classic film at the small private cinema. Very ‘Hitchcockian’.

Business & Meeting facilities

There is a business centre and full secretarial services, with complimentary Wi-Fi and nine conference type rooms – the largest holding 90 delegates – and all with state-of-the-art technology. It all looked in excellent working condition to me.

Leisure Facilities

The Twelve Apostles was recently nominated in three categories of the SPA Traveller Awards 2011. Nuff said. There’s a heated infinity pool overlooking the ocean and a smaller secluded rock pool with mountain views. In the recently re-launched spa itself there are hot and cold plunge pools and a hydrotherapy bath. In seven treatment rooms there’s a promise of pampering, with a range of treatments including many based on the indigenous fynbos flora.

Verdict

As Arnie said – I’ll be back.

Contact

Address: Victoria Road, Camps Bay, Cape Town+27 21 437 9000, 12apostleshotel.com

Jeremy Maggs

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