A phoenix has risen from the ashes.
Have you or will you, ever be looking for a romantic destination for Valentines Day? A weekend break? Your honeymoon? Well you don’t need to search for the perfect location any longer, it’s here in Cape Town. Tintswalo Atlantic, sits right on the ocean, within the Table Mountain Nature Reserve, the only hotel within this prestigious reserve.
The story of the hotel is inspiring. During the bush fires at the beginning of 2015, a vast amount of the Table Mountain Nature Park was scorched causing huge amounts of damage. Tintswalo Atlantic was also unfortunately caught up in the blaze, losing approximately 70% of the hotel. But like the surrounding Fynbos which needs the fire to replenish the soil with nutrients, Tintswalo rediscovered itself, with new buildings and interior designs.
After the disaster of the fire, and only six and a half months of hard work later, Tintswalo 2.0 was launched. And what a space they have created, as you pull in off Chapman’s Peak Drive and look down the ravine to the ocean, you spot the roofs of the lodge blending into the landscape, with a small golf cart visible, winding its way up the paved driveway that twists and turns to the hotel.
The short drive down the cliff side is an adventure in itself, a prime lookout position across the Atlantic Ocean and over to Hout Bay harbour opposite the hotel. The driver was an exceptionally friendly man, who told us he’d been at the hotel since its first opening, he pointed out various plants on our path and told us about the unfortunate fire.
We were welcomed at the front door with a smiling face, a refreshing welcome drink and were invited into the main lodge’s lounge area. A beautiful, light and airy space, with fully opening doors to access the outside decking area, a perfect place for an evening drink or to enjoy a morning coffee. Large, comfortable sofas throughout make an inviting place to take the weight off of your feet, with a good bar and fireplaces for the colder evenings.
Walking towards our room, we noticed the stunning and individual doors to each and every suite. Each door has a unique style or feature and gives a great character to the lodge. Just walking through the property, the work that has been completed to such a high standard, makes the feat of being up and running again in such a short time all the more impressive.
We arrived outside of our suite door, the sign outside created with shells stated its name, “St Marie”. Being inside the Table Mountain National Park, the hotel cannot leave a footprint, the materials used, whilst giving the feeling of luxury also make you feel surrounded by nature. As you enter you are hit with a spacious, light and airy atmosphere, a large and extremely comfortable bed with excellent linens. An indoor seating area, which flows effortlessly onto a deck area, ours had great hanging chairs, perfect to sit and read a magazine or book whilst listening to the ocean waves.
We managed to stay at Tintswalo on the first rainy, cloudy day after a blazing few weeks. We thought that this might hinder our stay, but it was actually perfect. The rooms have both air-conditioning and fireplaces for the ever-changing Cape weather. During a break in the clouds, we took a quick stroll to the hotels private beach. A stretch of sand and amazingly coloured pebbles, complemented perfectly by a hammock strung between two trunks and amazing beanbag loungers.
Just above the beach is the pool, a lovely decking area encloses this private space, and the loungers offer a great place to relax and cool off (when the weather is hot).
Later in the evening we made our way to the restaurant, which is also open to outside guests, looking for an intimate setting right on the ocean front. We had a lovely glass of wine in front of the hotel on their main decking area and were treated to some delectable canapés. Watching the sun creep ever closer and eventually over the horizon, we made our way inside. We were shown a magnificent menu with mouth-watering sounding food. After we placed our order, it wasn’t only the descriptions that were mouth watering.
Very full after a great meal, the staff had lit a fire in the main lounge, so we went with our remaining wine and soaked up the heat from the fire, sitting on a sofa, whilst watching the pouring rain outside. Eventually the weather subsided and we made our way back to our room to turn in for the night.
Unfortunately, as all stays at a hotel do, they come to an end too soon. We woke up to a clearer day, and after making a coffee, went to treat ourselves with more food at breakfast. The selection is vast, not only serving great coffee and pastries, hams and cheeses, but a great choice of hot a la carte items.
Another great meal down, and it was time for us to collect our things and leave. But unlike other hotels were you are waved away by staff, here there is a fantastic family tradition. When the owners of the hotel first saw the site, they went for a walk on the beach, made a wish and threw a stone in the sea. Their wish was to turn the site into what Tintswalo is today, so before you leave, a stone with your name on it, saying ‘May All Your Wishes Come True’ is given to you. On the front deck of the lodge, you make you wish with the stone in your right hand and back to the water. When you’ve thought long and hard about what you may want to come true, you cast the stone over your left shoulder into the ocean.
With such thought going into a guest’s whole stay, Tintswalo constantly makes guests feel at home, with great, personalised service. This Atlantic lodge is a marvellous place to start, finish, or stay for your entire trip to Cape Town.
Tintswalo Atlantic kindly hosted us for a complimentary stay.
All opinions within this blog are our own and any hosted stays will be disclosed in the relevant blog posts. We do not trade off complimentary stays for a positive reflection of any kind, and we will only give credit where credit is due. We put in a lot of time and effort researching the properties we visit, we want to build long standing trust with you, our readers, with honesty and integrity being incredibly important to us.
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