Totally at home on my private, fifth-floor balcony, I place my nutty rooibos tea on the wooden African table and gaze out at the
silent waters of the marina. A canoe floats past, disrupting the flawless surface with ripples that soon dissipate. Clouds are slowly moving in, hiding Table Mountain, the Mother City’s proudest natural wonder, but I don’t worry too much as Cape Town is a city known for experiencing four seasons in one day.
More island resort than city hotel, the lush, landscaped grounds of the One&Only Cape Town are built alongside what was once the fuel of this South African coastal city: the working harbour where gigantic ships that crossed the Atlantic Ocean came to be replenished before continuing their journey through other far-flung waters. Today, the historic Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront has transformed into a buzzy precinct filled with boutiques, cafés, restaurants and Robben Island Museum.
Table Mountain, the prominent fixture that famously dominates the city’s skyline, is visible from most of the hotel’s rooms. It is, of course, the best seat in town but on the occasion it isn’t taking reservations, diners can sample local delicacies at the hotel’s Reuben’s restaurant. If you’re in the mood for some international flair, you can head to Nobu, which needs no introduction, but is the home of the Japanese legend’s first restaurant in Africa.
The hotel’s guest rooms are spaciously arranged around the picturesque harbourside, either on the landscaped waterfront or in the seven-storey Marina Rise tower, which features 91 rooms and suites. The urban-chic resort is also home to an award-winning Balinese-inspired spa that is the ideal oasis from the city – situated on the island in the middle of the marina. Directions are simple: Just cross the bridge from the main hotel and pass the Cape fur seals sunning themselves alongside the pool and the marina together with One&Only guests.
But you don’t need to indulge in a massage or a facial, as even a simple stroll through the foyer is a sensory experience; the hotel’s signature Charlotte Rhys fragrance is piped through the ventilation. The same scent is fused into the Charlotte Rhys soaps and bath foam (all made in Cape Town), ideal for filling the oversized, egg-shaped bath in my Marina Suite.
Along with the tub and marble-clad bathroom, an earthy palette of terracotta, reds and browns is used throughout the interiors of my suite. Touches of rainforest green surprise the eye every so often, African art adorns the walls, and the king-sized bed is fitted with crisp white, 300-thread-count linens. And if the fluffiness isn’t quite to one’s liking, the pillow concierge is at your beck and call. I end my day as it began on the balcony (the suite’s pièce de résistance) with a Nespresso coffee, the sounds of nature creating a harmonious melody in the background and the omnipresent view of Table Mountain.
THE IMPORTANT BIT
WHAT: One-Bedroom Marina Suite
WHERE One&Only Cape Town, South Africa
PRICE: From US$915
TEL: + 27 21 431 5888