x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Hotel Insider: The Cape View Clifton, South Africa

Sarah Gilbert checks into the recently opened Cape View Clifton hotel in South Africa.

A handout photo of the main pool deck at Cape View Clifton in Cape Town (Photo by Hamish Niven)
A handout photo of the main pool deck at Cape View Clifton in Cape Town (Photo by Hamish Niven)

Sarah Gilbert checks into the recently opened Cape View Clifton hotel in South Africa.

The welcome

The hotel is perched on a cliff top in glamorous Clifton and, as I passed through the unassuming street-level entrance into the light-filled lobby, I just had time to take in the gorgeous beach-chic decor before catching sight of the arresting views over the Twelve Apostles mountain range, the Cape's rugged coastline and white-sand beaches swept by aquamarine breakers.

The neighbourhood

Affluent Clifton's sea-facing apartments are among the most sought-after real estate in South Africa. The area makes an ideal base to explore the city: the cafes and restaurants of Camps Bay are just around the corner and the historic centre, Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront, with its shops and eateries, are all a short drive away. It's also home to the city's most popular Blue Flag beaches, where enormous granite boulders divide a stretch of soft, white sand into four smallcoves. Fourth Beach is the most easily accessible and the most family friendly, while First Beach attracts sporty types. The beaches are sheltered from the trade winds but be warned, the water is chilly year round.

The room

The four enormous deluxe suites and smaller junior suite are spread over four floors. While no two are exactly the same, they all have floor-to-ceiling windows that open on to private terraces overlooking the ocean. They're all beautifully decorated in white and neutral tones, with contemporary sofas and sleek daybeds, supersized flat-screen TVs, thick rugs, designer light fittings, large black-and-white framed prints and carefully chosen African crafts. The king-size bed comes with crisp linens, plump pillows and lots of cushions and the sparkling white marble bathrooms have both giant tubs and powerful rain showers. There are also two self-catered suites - one two-bedroom and two-bathroom and one with three en suite bedrooms, each with its own well-equipped kitchen, sun deck and Jacuzzi.

The scene

The self-catering apartments are great for families and small groups and they attract both international and domestic visitors.

The service

The service is excellent - efficient while delightfully informal and unfussy. Mitch, the general manager, is a mine of information on what to see and do, and there's always someone on hand to book tables, taxis and tours.

The food

Breakfast is served at long tables in the bright dining room-cum-lounge or alfresco at large wooden tables on the communal terrace, next to the plunge pool. Every morning, Celeste sets out her just-baked bread and muffins, homemade granola and Bircher muesli. Yogurt, fresh fruit, local cheeses and cold meats are also on offer, as well as a daily special, such as pancakes topped with berries and fresh cream or a smoked salmon and dill omelette. You can help yourself at any time to water, soft drinks, a range of teas and Nespresso coffee, and snacks, from cookies and dried fruit to South African favourites, rusks and biltong (dried meat).

Loved

The fact I could just step on to my terrace to catch Cape Town's spectacular sunsets, as my suite was bathed in a golden glow.

Hated

It's not directly on the beach and there are a lot of steps down to the shoreline, so don't forget anything - and it's even tougher on the way up.

The verdict

The setting is so memorable and my suite so inviting, I found it hard to tear myself away to go sightseeing. I felt like I was staying at the fabulous beach house of a friend with impeccable taste.

The bottom line

Rooms cost from 2,700 rand (Dh985) per night, including breakfast. Cape View Clifton, 232 Kloof Road, Clifton (www.capeviewclifton.co.za; 00 27 21 438 8748).

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