Cape Town is a city full of contrasts: luxury clashes against poverty, cityscapes collide with mountains and oceans, and some of the best restaurants in the world contrast with local eateries where you can dine like a King for the price of a bag of chips in the UK.
Another contrast is obvious when you look at the accommodation options on offer. In Cape Town itself, where the tourists tend to flock, you’ll find the sort of chain hotel that you may have found yourself sleeping in versions of in Europe, North America, and Asia. Look just outside the middle of Cape Town, though, and towards areas with a more “villagey” feel, and you’ll find fantastic accommodation options that leave you with more cash in your pocket and a warmer welcome to boot.
We found one such gem in Camps Bay, the place to see and be seen in and around Cape Town.
The guesthouse in question was The Bay Atlantic, a gorgeous guesthouse set about 150 metres from Camps Bay beach, consistently rated as one of the best beaches in the world.
We enjoyed staying in Camps Bay as it was just a quick hop away from all of the tourist attractions in Cape Town, but had a peaceful, serene atmosphere that you just don’t find very often in the hustle and bustle of Cape Town itself.
Watching the sun setting and rising over the ocean and mountains bordering Camps Bay was also something pretty special.
The guesthouse has six rooms, all of which are individually decorated. They vary in size and price and the one we picked was one of the smallest and cheapest (the Garden Room). However, to say it was small would be unfair. It was tucked away on the ground floor in a quiet corner and boasted a separate seating area, along with a huge comfy bed.
The best features of this guesthouse, however, aren’t the rooms themselves. One of the features we enjoyed most was the communal seating area upstairs. This doubles up as the breakfast room, which boasts spectacular views of the ocean and mountains.
During the early evenings, we’d sit in there to have a pre-dinner drink and to get some recommendations from the friendly owner Bernie regarding where to eat and where to drink, as well as what to do and what not to do the next day! Bernie was a font of local knowledge and we felt like he couldn’t do enough for us during our stay. We also loved cuddling up with the guesthouse dogs (we were missing our cats and were craving some animal attention!)
The honesty bar was a fantastic addition as well. There were local wines and spirits on offer that gave us a great introduction to what we might find later on in our South Africa trip when we headed to the winelands. Everything was reasonably priced and this allowed us to save some money in comparison to going out drinking at a bar in the middle of Cape Town.
Special mention should go to the breakfasts. They are spectacular! After filling up on cereals, fruit, amazing coffee, and toast, you can pick a hot breakfast option. We chose the omelette with chili and loved every bite, every morning. In fact, whenever we order an omelette now at a hotel, we judge it against this one! It’s fair to say that none have compared favourably since and I can’t imagine an omelette ever beating the one on offer here.
When we were staying in Camps Bay, the weather wasn’t ideal; it was warm but sunbathing was pretty much out of the question. This doesn’t matter when you have all the sightseeing of Cape Town on your doorstep, but if you visit when it’s much hotter, you’ll love the swimming pool at The Bay Atlantic, as well as the sun loungers in the garden area.
A quick look at Tripadvisor will prove to you how popular and widely loved this accommodation option is and take it from me, if you’re looking for a calm oasis in which to stay in this city that never sleeps, you could do far, far worse than opting for The Bay Atlantic.
Categories: Hotel Reviews - Africa