Tintswalo Atlantic, South Africa review: Spectacular spot near Cape Town

The location

A short drive outside Cape Town down the spectacular coast of Table Mountain National Park, Tintswalo Atlantic sits at the bottom of the cliff face of Chapman's Peak right on the beach overlooking Hout Bay – a popular spot for whales.

The place

The resort consists of 11 private suites, each with ocean views across the bay through to the imposing Sentinel Peak. There's a large dining and lounge area decked out in stylish, homey furnishings with a touch of nautical theme. Each of the island suites is themed for a particular island. There's a small swimming pool on a nearby sun deck while a small private beach can be reached during low tide (the rocky, boulder strewn beach is treacherous at high tide). The property was almost entirely destroyed by fire in March 2015, but was rebuilt quickly, reopening in October the same year.

The room

Mine is the Lamu suite, one of the "island suites" and themed for the Kenyan island for which it is named with various objects d'art, antique furniture and a large, vintage travel trunk at the foot of the bed. There are books and magazines on the shelves and a potbelly fireplace to warm the room (though there's also a modern air conditioning unit).

The waves roll in, crashing over rocks so close you can almost feel the spray from the bed. Alternatively, you can actually feel the spray from the outdoor deck. I have a deck directly outside the bedroom with two lounge chairs, but there's a further deck with a table and four chairs where private meals can be enjoyed. Alternatively, one can work in the outdoors and enjoy the sounds of the ocean (it is, indeed, where I'm writing this).

I'm so enamoured with the view I don't even notice the discreetly mounted flatscreen TV in the corner of the room until much later (which I don't bother switching on).

The huge bathroom offers views of the ocean not just from the bath and shower, but even from the toilet. Sea shells adorn the tiles and there's a bidet – quite common in South African luxury hotels. Toiletries from a local, eco-friendly brand called Healing Ocean (continuing the nautical theme).

There are nice service touches such as "welcome" spelled out in shells on the chest when I arrive. This is rearranged to say "sleep well" after I return from dinner and a hot water bottle has been placed in the bed.

The food

With its proximity to Cape Town and its impressive location, it's not surprising to learn that the hotel restaurant is not just popular with guests, but also day trippers from the city – there are a couple of large groups dining for lunch when I arrive.

Fortunately the views are equalled by the food. The choices are limited as the chef changes the menu daily based on the freshest ingredients available. For lunch I enjoy grilled trout with potato wedges and a delicious orange and feta salad, served with homemade bread. For dinner it's zucchini soup with blue cheese, followed by confit duck with pea mousse and a main of cajun fish with chat potatoes and squid, caponata and bearnaise gratin.


Stepping out

One has a sense of being completely isolated here, despite being only about 45 minutes from downtown Cape Town. Various excursions can be arranged through the property and it would be remiss of any visitor to this part of the country to not travel further down the road to experience the Chapmans Peak route – one of the world's most spectacular drives.

The verdict

Tintswalo Atlantic is a beautiful property in a spectacular location. It's the perfect place to wind down after travelling the Cape Town region, or as a base to explore the coast.


Rooms at Tintswalo Atlantic start from R5085 ($479) a person a night, twin share, including breakfast. See http://tintswalo.com/atlantic/


Location, location, location.


Hard to find a fault, but the closest is that the desk chair was too high for the desk.

Craig Platt stayed as a guest of Tintswalo Atlantic.