Celebration of local, traditional and modern
This is one of the best city hotels I have ever stayed at. With a penchant for character, I have always been drawn to historic hotels. This is not without its risks – think musty curtains, dodgy plumbing, creaking stairs and dark, pokey rooms. Not this one. I don’t quite know how they have done it, but the Cape Heritage Hotel in Cape Town is the perfect blend of old and new.
One of the oldest buildings in Cape Town, the hotel has been perfectly preserved. The walls are at least half a meter thick, with deep-set sash windows. The original wooden stairs are solid (and cleverly carpeted in the middle). There are fresh, modern fabrics throughout and the décor is both tasteful and creative. Local vibrant South African art celebrates the context and brings colour and texture to every room. Beautiful modern-but-traditional wall-mounted lights fittings and chandelier add elegance and grandeur. The hotel prides itself on its glamorous and spacious bathrooms, which are a delight to experience.
A sumptuous breakfast is served in the sunny courtyard next to the oldest living grape vine in the city.
Unusually, I choose one of the standard rooms at the Cape Heritage Hotel, because I have fallen in love with the elegant bath placed in the bedroom up against a high window. The bed is equally pretty and superbly comfortable. I wake early and roll over to find a perfectly positioned light fitting within easy reach. I look around and realise that every single luxury feature in the room is well chosen, and perhaps more importantly, functions effectively. There are thoughtful extra touches – a well placed extending mirror in the bathroom, a glass jar with cotton wool, a heated towel rail. I have a moment, like at the end of a great stage performance, where I want to first sit silently nodding in appreciation, then break out in quiet, slow, lengthy applause.