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Swanning five star

Published Jul 3, 2015

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BEATRIX the Boston has a pretty comfortable life. Daily walks, healthy meals and a warm bed are all part of the package. She enjoys travelling, as we have seen, and loves discovering new places. Things are not too shabby, all round.

But recently Beatrix got to experience a whole new world. As Die Antwoord would say, she moved to another level. And we’re very worried she’s going to get accustomed to it ...

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It all started when the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa spotted this column and decided to invite Beatrix for a visit. You see, it turns out the hotel is extremely pet-friendly. Well, for small dogs (and even cats, we found out). There’s a bit of a back story. The Twelve Apostles forms part of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection (which also includes the Oyster Box in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Bushman’s Kloof in the Cederberg, as well as hotels in the UK, Florida, Switzerland and Ireland). Founder and president of the collection, Beatrice Tollman, travels everywhere with her beloved dachshunds Honey and Hanze.

Being a dog-lover, she wanted to make sure that guests staying at her hotels could feel welcome to bring their pets. So she’s done just that. There are two suites at the Twelve Apostles which are specially designed to accommodate pets, and this is where Beatrix found herself this month. Swanning about in five star luxury, being pampered by adoring staff members. You can see why we’re a little concerned ...

The Twelve Apostles is perched above the Atlantic on the stretch of road leading out of Camps Bay. Its back is snuggled against an iconic section of Table Mountain (hence its name), and it’s surrounded by swathes of fynbos. Sunsets are obscenely beautiful – and can be tracked from a variety of settings, ranging from the fine-dining Azure restaurant to the chilled Leopard Bar, or one’s own bedroom balcony. There’s a cinema, swimming pools and a designer spa. So the setting, you can understand, is rather special.

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A standard pet visit means that one is accommodated in one of the suites, which are divided into separate bedroom and lounge areas. Our room led on to an enclosed and private courtyard, from which it was easy to take a stroll on to the mountainside. Comfy dog beds are available on request, there are bowls for water and food, dog food is available, as are dog sitters and lifts to the nearest parlour, if needed.

Beatrix’s visit was marked by a couple of special events, the first being the most adorable gathering hosted by two of the staff’s three-month-old Boston Terriers – Diesel and Benson. Our Boston Tea Party, which was fabulously put together by Viki Pretorius, featured special doggy cupcakes and biscuits, and quickly became a drawcard for many of the hotel’s staff. We are pleased to report that Beatrix was on her best – and most friendly – behaviour, sharing her biscuits with her furry friends and making sure to greet EVERYBODY with a lot of high-powered heavy breathing.

As if that were not enough excitement (and indeed, Benson and Diesel looked like they were going to sleep very well that night), we also got to try out the new Twelve Apostle’s Pet Menu. It’s been put together by executive chef Christo Pretorius together with vet Dr Conrad Prins, and quite frankly looks better than some human menus I have seen. It includes a chopped vegetable and chicken salad, beef fillet steak with boiled potato wedges, a lamb burger with rice and ostrich mince with cooked oats and fresh apple.

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Prices range from R65 to R105. Beatrix tried a little of most of the items, washed down with a bowl of fresh water, and practically inhaled her meal. She loved the stuff. It was slightly embarrassing – like we don’t normally feed her or something. Sigh.

Later on we made our way to the Leopard Bar where us humans drank something a little stronger than water. Then we sprawled on the couches and savoured the view over a stormy sea, feeling all snug. That’s right – Beatrix was allowed on the furniture, and could cuddle up with us. Bonus!

Needless to say, an extremely comfortable night followed. And when it was time to go home the next morning, we could sense the beginnings of a revolt on our hands. Somehow, in the space of 18 or so hours, our Beatrix had decided that she was clearly born to five-star service. A packet of Friskies and a romp on the vlei wasn’t going to cut it anymore.

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It was with great difficulty that we dragged her home, and every now and then we still catch a look of resentment in her bulgy little eyes. Clearly, her Twelve Apostles stay has not been forgotten.

What we can say is that is we were all blown away by the tremendous attention to detail at the hotel, and the friendliness of all the staff towards all of us (offering Beatrix bowls of water whenever we sat somewhere, and leaving a chewy toy and a brand new ball in her bed). It’s not a cheap place to stay, and it may not be to everybody’s taste, but it is certainly an extremely special experience if you can make it.

Beatrix-o-Meter

HHHH (Four stars are the highest accolade on the chart, as Bostons have four paws and it corresponds.) We loved the special tea party, and tasting the new menu, and being allowed to cosy up on the couch in the Leopard Bar. We also appreciated all the attention, and felt a little bit like how the Kardashians must feel when they’re in public. Now to find out how to get the same service at home ...

l 021 437 9000. Pets are welcome in specially selected rooms with a range of pet beds, bowls and pet menus available, which can be arranged when making your reservation. Only dogs under knee height, and no pets are allowed in the Azure Restaurant during meal times.

Letters to Beatrix

If you wish to write to Beatrix, make suggestions, or know of excellent pet-friendly places, please contact her at [email protected]

Thank you for all the emails that have already arrived. We will be following up on your tips!

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