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Cape Town - Shortly after disembarking from our flight in Cape Town and collecting my car at the drop-off zone from the gents of Weparkyoufly (love their service), my friend Illa remarked: “Durban isn’t as pretty as Cape Town”.
Now this is debatable, but I had been thinking something similar as I sipped a sundowner beneath the looming presence of Signal Hill, gazing over the Victoria and Albert Waterfront from the balcony of our two-bedroom “home” at The Mantis Collection’s Lawhill Luxury Apartments.
To call it home from home, however, would be a stretch as my abode looks nothing like it and isn’t located within one of SA’s premium patches of real estate. But Lawhill is a great spot for holidaying couples, families and groups – and self-catering can be more relaxed than a hotel stay.
Whether you choose a one- or two-bedroom apartment, or a three-bedroom penthouse, you’re assured of plenty of bells and whistles.
The interior is chic with cool colours and a light, airy feel. There is plenty of glass and chrome, marble and steel, inside and outside the apartments.
Penthouses have swimming pools and some apartments have plunge pools. All have top-drawer fittings and finishes, some almost beyond us relative troglodytes. Three of us stood and stabbed at the AEG hob for an age before I (of course) got it fired up.
It’s great to have a dishwasher with detergent provided and I appreciated the neatly concealed washing machine and tumble dryer. This means you don’t need to cram half your wardrobe into your suitcase, which leaves space for the odd bottle of wine should you head out to the wine estates, or trinkets from Long Street’s antique shops.
All penthouses have large patios. The lounge has a large flatscreen with satellite TV, as did my bedroom.
Illa and I flipped a coin and I got the master bedroom with a huge, comfy bed, en-suite bath and separate shower and sliding glass doors onto the balcony with waterfront views. Illa had no bath but mountain views.
There is underfloor heating, wireless internet, a nifty sound system and access to a communal pool and gym, underground parking and the adjacent One and Only, where we broke fast at the sumptuous Reuben’s restaurant.
From our balcony we looked down onto the canal and over the One and Only’s villas and spa, past sculling boat crews and fabulous private yachts.
Security is watertight and Lawhill offers a 24-hour concierge service. Ask and they’ll organise you continental breakfast packs that will be left in your fridge, ready to take as you head off in the morning. We found all the staff obliging and helpful.
The apartments are within minutes of the city centre with quick access to the freeway for forays to wine routes, mountain passes and gorgeous beaches.
The Waterfront offers plenty of attractions: shopping; the Two Oceans aquarium and SA Maritime Museum; gourmet dining and pubs; cruises; helicopter flips; a trip to Robben Island; or shark cage diving. - Sunday Tribune
l Rates from R1 800 for a one-bedroom apartment. Contact Lawhill Luxury Apartments on 021 418 2138, e-mail for special offers.
1Time: Voted best low-cost carrier in Africa for three years running, 1Time airline offers you More Nice, Less Price flights to all major destinations in SA. Not only does the airline fly between Joburg (OR Tambo and Lanseria), Cape Town, Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth and George, you’ll find the red planes touching down in Zanzibar, Livingstone and Mombasa. For bookings and more info, visit www.1time.co.za
Avis (they do try harder): Avis Rent a Car is the leading South African car rental company, its success underpinned by the Brand Ambassador programme. Each staff member has made a personal commitment to exceed customer expectations at every interface. Destinations are cities and towns throughout South Africa; travel destinations include the Garden Route, plus international locations. For bookings call 086 102 1111 or visit www.avis.co.za