South Africa’s tourist capital , fondly called the Mother City is not only exhilarating it’s addictive.
If you can’t abscond for a trip overseas, take the staycation route and pay a visit to some of Cape Towns most plush hideaways – whether you’re lounging at a pool with a cocktail or dipping your toes into the icy water at a tidal pool, these are some of the best ideas while escaping in Cape Town.

The 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa

The epitome of South African luxury, with opulent but cosy rooms , this award winning family run hotel makes for the most picturesque retreat. Nestled between the Twelve Apostles mountain range, and dazzling Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by a tranquil national park , yet a stone’s throw away from some of the best beaches the city has to offer. The setting is idyllic, the hotel and facilities oozing in splendour and the service second to none. The hotel boasts 2 outdoor pools, a cinema ,The Spa has 7 treatment rooms, Rasul Chamber, 2 mountain gazebos with ocean views, salt water flotation pool and a health bar. All rooms have private balconies or patios , my superior sea facing room with its sunken lounge and breath taking views as far as Lions Head made it difficult for me to tear myself away and make use of the complimentary shuttle into town. High Tea at the Leopard bar is a full-on indulgence of cakes, finger sandwiches, pastries and …. of course scones that can’t fail to wow you.

The Crystal Tower Residences

Meet the chicest new apartment on the block, with fully – furnished executive apartments that provide luxurious self – catering accommodation for both business and leisure. The elegant, fully serviced rooms with modern bath rooms and under floor heating make this home away from home. Taking advantage of the glorious Century City settings after a scrumptious breakfast, I took a stroll across to the conveniently located premier shopping centre of Canal Walk. Walking over the bridge, I stopped to admire the canals and waterways that offer canoeing. Intaka Island , a 16 hectare wetlands reserve has over 120 bird species. The precinct has over 40 restaurants and a flagship Virgin Active Health Club. My jaw dropping moment was looking out my window in the evening at the spectacular view of the moon shining silver against the view of city lights.

Turkspirit Cafe

The perfect introduction to a deep and meaningful conversation with friends is Turkish coffee paired with locally hand – made Turkish delight in historic Stellenbosch. The owner, Dilek originally from Istanbul demonstrated how to prepare the coffee using a cezve that is traditionally made of copper. Sugar is added before the coffee is cooked, never after, as the coffee comes to the boil , the foam must be allowed to rise, Turkish coffee without foam is incorrect . It is served with a glass of water and some authentic Turkish delight made with honey. This hidden gem has been in existence since 2007, complete with traditional fabrics adorning the seating and Turkish melodies enveloping the atmosphere.The rose flavoured Turkish delight is a personal favourite.

Saunders Rock Beach

Named after the mammoth granite rocks that are the main feature of this mostly wind – free secluded beach, it’s an ideal spot for people staying in the surrounding areas from Sea Point to Camps Bay. I chose to walk along the promenade, just when you think you won’t find it there it is. The last beach in Sea Point with some steps leading down to the white sand. The small tidal pool is set in a magical position nestled between imposing boulders , it provides a perfect opportunity to discover marine life and watch the magical sunset after an intense day, as the waves break gently into white foam and the orange yellow blob slides down from the sky into the ocean.

Gold Restaurant

Offering an authentic African experience, with a 14 – dish taste – safari paired with traditional Mali puppets and entertainment. Enjoying the rhythmic beat of the marimba and djembe drums, captivated at the same time by the taller than life graceful Mali puppets you are whisked off to different corners of the African continent. Located inside a revamped warehouse, open 7 days a week be prepared for a fun and mouth watering evening.The Queen is the star attraction, she sprinkles the guests with gold dust as dancers surround her and drums beat.This is the beat of the African food scene.

Camps Bay

Soak up the sun on this blue flag beach, voted as one of the top 25 beaches in the world, while dreamily staring out at the clear azure ocean with its buoyant waves. Feeling peckish ? then wander over to the Camps Bay beachfront strip and try out one of the trendy eateries. With its Mediterranean vibe this glitzy strip is the place to be seen. Beautiful people, sunsets that dip below the horizon and clinking cocktail glasses, one can’t help but smile as the salty spray caresses your face.

Long Street

Famous as a bohemian hang out, the street is lined with various ethnic restaurants , bars, bookshops, antique stores and anything in between. The Victorian era buildings guide your eyes upwards as you absorb the detail of the wrought- iron balconies and pretty broekielace . This iconic road is one of the oldest in the city , after a day of hanging out on the pavements, the night life is nothing short of awesome. With roof top bars, and out of the ordinary clubs you are spoilt for choice. Sadly this road comes with a word of caution for ones safety.

V&A Waterfront

A walking tour that lasts approximately 1.5 hours is the best way to experience this historic location that dates back to 1654. With breathtaking views of Table Mountain, tantalising food that will beckon you from every corner and buskers with performances scattered all around this working harbour it is a tourist showpiece. Nobel Square is a lively public space in the heart of the waterfront, while listening to some of the talented performers in front of the four bronze statues of South Africa’s Nobel Peace Prize laureates don’t forget to peer over the railings into the water. On a sunny day the seals will frolic for hours in the water while seagulls swoop through the air and cry out.

Bo Kaap

The best way to experience one of the most photographed areas of the Mother City is to simply wander around the plethora of brightly painted exteriors. The earliest development in the area was in 1760 by Jan de Waal , he built what is now the Bo Kaap Museum, and is also the oldest house in the area still in its original form. The Aural Mosque in Dorp street is the country’s oldest mosque, construction on it began in 1794. For a perfect roof top view of Waal street with the colourful houses and Table mountain as a backdrop take the stairs inside the Atlas Trading spice company, bypass the coffee shop and head straight to the roof.

Fynbos flowers

The Cape’s floral kingdom is one of the richest areas in the world for plant biodiversity. It is said that the Western Cape is more botanically diverse than the richest tropical rainforest in South America, including the Amazon.This plant paradise has over 9000 plant species and is found nowhere else in the world. The national flower of South Africa, the king protea , is probably the most famous species of fynbos. When driving around the Cape Peninsula make sure you windows are open to get a whiff of the pungent, peppery smell that is synonymous with summer. Foxglove Studio at Canal Walk sells dried out sugar bush flowers and many others that you can take home as reminder of your holiday in the Cape

The Company Gardens

The sprawling gardens were first built in 1652 as a refreshment station for the trade route that rounded the tip of Africa. Ships sent by the Dutch East India Company would dock here after having been at sea and stock up on fresh produce grown in the garden. Up until 1679 the gardens were used exclusively to supply the ships, however with the arrival of Simon van der Stel, he converted it into a botanical and ornamental garden. Strolling along Adderley Street which is 1020 metres long and is a continuation of Government Avenue will get one from one side to the other. Don’t be in a rush though, there is the Saffron Pear tree believed to be the oldest tree in the garden and presumably planted by Jan Van Riebeeck, there are statues, the slave bell and the friendly squirrels that will eat from visitors hands.

Getting around

The obvious way to travel is to Uber , but the best way to explore the promenade is by bike then wander around by foot. I am a firm believer in walking a city , its the best way to get to know whats local

Holidaying in Cape Town remains an enduring favourite in the country for both locals and foreign visitors. The influence of Cape Town goes way beyond a host of memories , chatting to a lady I met from Belgium on the beach in Camps Bay, her story was one that had literally changed her life forever.

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