South Africa, Cape Town
The dazzling white Twelve Apostles hotel sits alone on a rugged hillside—a beacon of old-fashioned romance and hospitality just a heli-ride or hike from town.
Flanked on one side by Table Mountain and on the other by the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range, 12A, as it’s known to locals, is a Red Carnation-owned boutique hotel. Drive too quickly and you’ll miss the driveway nestled discreetly into the hillside on Cape Town’s romantic coastal road, which connects the très chic residential areas of Camps Bay and Hout Bay. (Take a helicopter transfer for an exhilarating flight over the spectacular peninsula or if you’re simply in a rush!)
Watch whales breeching and dolphins dancing from inviting decks and hammocks scattered throughout the 70-room hotel’s secluded grounds. The infinity pool also overlooks the turquoise ocean, and mountain-side there are more quiet places to hunker down with a good book—including a charming jacuzzied rockpool for jet-lag recovery or soaking après spa.
On the subject of spa-ing, 12A is known for its rasul chamber—a spot for traditional Arabian-inspired cleansing, with a menu of holistic treatments and signature massages. The cave-like feel of the underground spa wasn’t for us, so we opted instead for an oceanside thatched-roof gazebo for our Apostles Touch signature massage, which employs hand-selected Table Mountain stones and ocean shells. Definitely something to write home about.
As is our nicely appointed, butler-serviced Presidential Suite, with its open-plan dining room, bar and lounge, business study and wrap-around terrace.
Fabulously fun touches that epitomize the hotel’s personalized family feel: The stylish Leopard Bar, a local favourite; a cozy 16-leather-seat cinema, with a varied selection of films and our choice of complimentary goodies, including popcorn, hot chocolate, milkshakes and candy; a sports buddy program, where staff will accompany guests for cycling, golfing, tennis or yoga experiences; and deliciously packed picnic baskets to take along on a walk on the property’s scenic seaview walking trails.
Another nice touch is a complimentary shuttle that takes us back and forth to town and, for a reasonable fee, to the airport.
On land, on sea, in forests and on mountainsides, Roushanna Gray and her Cape Point-based Veld and Sea team are well known wild food innovators and avid foragers who offer immersive seasonal and sustainable experiences.
Local indigenous plants inspire their cooking and botanical medicine classes, cocktail workshops and travelling foraging tours. Private guests or tours are invited to join Roushanna for a unique adventure during which they’ll be encouraged to experiment with exciting foods, flavours and fynbos diversity.