A friend tied the knot there in a bespoke ceremony that looked like it was staged for a scene from a Hollywood rom-com. And others either celebrated a wedding and birthday anniversary there or stopped by for their legendary high-tea experience.
The picture-perfect pictures were enough to give most twinges of travel envy. The weather gods were not smiling on us when my boyfriend and I touched down at Cape Town International Airport. It was cloudy and damp. But the scenic 40-minute drive to 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa livened our spirits.
We marvelled at the opulence of the lobby. The décor is a cross between European elegance meets SA chic. There are mirrors everywhere, offering different profiles of yourself.
And it’s synonymous for its collection of priceless artwork, placed throughout the hotel.
We stayed in one of their luxury rooms. I’m told each room is individually decorated. The beddings and walls had the same floral motif. The spacious bathroom had a tub as well as a shower. Given the water conservation efforts in the city, a bubble bath was not an option.
The white wooden seaside doors opened to a small patio area, where you either watch the hikers make their way up the mountain to your left or get lost in the glistening ocean to your right.
Each room comes with all the amenities, including a soap and pillow menu. That was a first. Then again, this is a five-star establishment.
Instead of staying in, we went to the V&A Waterfront for dinner. A seafood restaurant was our choice before we returned to our hotel.
On Saturday morning, after ordering a breakfast from The Café Grill, we headed out to Hout Bay. The last time I was in town, I had the most remarkable meal at The Wharfside Grill and I was hankering for that prawn and calamari dish again. My boyfriend tried their catch of the day and loved it.
This place is regarded as one of Africa’s best seafood restaurants. And the harbour-side views add to the ambience.
We needed to give ourselves plenty of time to burn off the calories before dinner. We were booked in Azure Restaurant for a 5-Course Tasting Menu and wine pairing evening. This was new to us as we often go for the a-la-carte option. But when you are at a hotel of this calibre, being adventurous isn’t a gastronomic gamble.
So much thought and prep work that goes into every dish, where all the elements on the plate simply come together like a work of art. And before every dish, the sommelier arrives with a brief overview of the wine selected for the dish and why it’s the perfect marriage on the palate. It’s certainly an experience to try at least once.
The 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa is tucked away and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It offers guests the chance to unwind in privacy. And The Leopard Bar is a great spot to wind down after dinner. They have an impressive selection of cocktails. But if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, they will happily create one for you.
If you are feeling indulgent and in need of some rejuvenation, the spa comes highly recommended.
After a weekend here, we now understand what the fuss is about - it’s an idyllic escape for a couple or a family.
We ended our trip with a scenic drive through Chapman’s Peak, exploring Simon’s Town, a bustling Kalk Bay and Muizenberg, before catching our flight back to Joburg.