By RUBIN VAN NIEKERK AND ALAN SAMONS
We felt such profound sadness when we heard Tintswalo Atlantic had burned again. Being one of our favourite destinations, it was a blow. First, parts of the hotel succumbed to the flames that ravaged Hout Bay a few years ago. Then, more recently, a fire started in the kitchen. Each time, Tintswalo Atlantic was rebuilt without any loss of character.
We were delighted to receive an invitation to visit the new incarnation and we were happy to spend some time enjoying a short stay at Tintswalo Atlantic once again.
Winding our way down below Chapman’s Peak Drive in the minivan shuttle, we felt a familiar sense of excitement. Tintswalo Atlantic is among our favourite Cape Town properties and we were excited to see the newest incarnation of this beautiful hotel.
Situated on Parks Board land just above a pebble beach close to the water’s edge below Chapman’s Peak Drive, this is one of the most stunning positions in all of Cape Town. Overlooking Hout Bay and its famed Sentinel Peak, the view is incomparable. It is an ever-changing vista reminiscent of an Impressionist painting. Blue sky, clouds, fiery sunsets and spectacular full moons will enthral any visitor. We have even been there during a cold, rainy winter storm when the distinction between sky and sea was blurred by rain, fog and roaring waves. It is a view one could never tire of.
When it comes to offering an incomparable guest experience, the Tintswalo group gets it right every time. From the friendly check-in, to the inevitable sad departure, every moment is an experience, whether one is simply chilling at the pool, enjoying a spa treatment, or sampling some of the fine food created in the open kitchen.
As with all the properties in the Tintswalo portfolio, attention to detail is of utmost importance. It can be seen in elements of the décor that provide a humorous touch, such as a beaded gecko in the bathroom, right down to the way food is plated by the chef. No detail is overlooked. This also extends to the interpersonal relations between staff and guests. There is a genuine warmth in the simplest of gestures and greetings.
Each of the ten suites is individually themed and has its own fireplace and deck. The ocean is just a stone’s throw away, and with the patio doors open wide, the fragrance of the sea wafting into the room and the sound of waves and seagulls providing the background music, its possibly the most relaxing place you can be anywhere in the Mother City.
The suites are all named after islands – there’s Madagascar and Zanzibar, Java and Corsica, Sicily and Robben Island and though the décor is elegant, there are touches that speak of home and of real warmth and gentle humour. The owner, Gay Corbett, added shells to adorn the bathrooms, gluing them around the basins and dado-like above the half-tiled walls. There are other touches, like beaded geckos and bugs, that impart a sense of humour and playfulness into the décor scheme. This lightness of heart and playful spirit is what makes all Tintswalo’s properties so special.
This is the ultimate escape from life when you need to go into seclusion, but don’t fancy withdrawing from humanity completely. Guests are ensconced in elegant surroundings and all your physical needs are taken care of – from sleeping in comfortable beds covered in fine sheeting, to lazing at the pool with a cocktail, or enjoying a fine meal and good wine. This is the perfect place for honeymooning couples, or travelling alone.
Tintswalo Atlantic strives to bring an exclusive lodge experience to their guests, and walk-in lunch and dinner guests are not encouraged. Over and above overnight guests, the lodge does cater for outside lunch reservations, special occasions and events. Visitors may book for lunch on a Wednesday with a maximum of 10 guests per booking, and due to high demand, booking in advance is essential.
Tintswalo Atlantic is a haven of calm amid the hustle and bustle of Cape Town. If you haven’t yet experienced this unique property, put it on your To Do List.