Tintswalo Atlantic by Janine Southwood

Last week I was invited to Cape Town for the re-opening of Tintswalo Atlantic. This lodge belongs to Ernest and Gaye Corbett and Warwick and Lisa Goosen who also own Tintswalo Waterfall and Tintswalo Lodge in the Manyeleti . The hotel was completely burnt down in the fires earlier this year and has taken 7 months to rebuild and get back on their feet ready for the high season ahead.

It took me around 30 minutes to get to Tintswalo Atlantic from Cape Town City bowl. It was a beautiful drive passing Camps Bay, Llandudno and through Hout Bay. The lodge is located within the Table Mountain National Park. I dropped my car off at the top, and similarly if you were being transferred you would wait here while a vehicle is sent up to collect you. The drive down to the lodge itself is steep and windy.

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About a kilometre down you will find the most gorgeous lodge – tucked away between the curves of the Chapman’s Peak Mountains. It is totally hidden away and you are truly isolated. The lodge faces the bay of Hout Bay and the sound of crashing waves against the rocks literally beneath the hotel is consistent and mesmerising.

The reception is in the little shop as you arrive – The hotel is made up of 10 individually decorated suites and a presidential suite. Each suite has a unique design and theme. All suites are sea facing and right on the shoreline however Presidential suite is a level up and more secluded.

Robben Island (my room) – this room pays tribute to of course, Nelson Mandela. It has very calming colours yet quirky and hip.

Princes Island – There are a total of 9 islands in the northwest sea of Marmara known as the Princes’ Islands (around Turkey region) – use of colours are terracotta and clay.

Antigua Island – As the name says this room has very Caribbean “shabby-chic” theme – bright blues and yellows.

Madura Island – Dark colours depicting the Balinese Islands so blues and browns.

Cousine Island – Cousine Island is a Seychelles Island famous for the beautiful species of shells, fish and marine life. Lots of aqua colours.

Sante Marie Island – Santé Marie is a beautiful Island off the coast of Madagascar. No blue in this room but lots of glass and light. Most feminine suite.

Sicily Island – Most famous Italian island, this suite pays tribute to classic Italian Style.

Lamu Island – Lamu Island is a Swahilian Island just off the East coast of Africa and formerly a penal colony. The interior is fun, natural and organic – a distinct African feel.

Ithaca Island – Ithaca Island Suite takes its name from the Greek Island and represents the country in classic Grecian style. Has a crisp, minimalist feel with blues and indigo look and feel.

Zanzibar Island – as name says, again an East Africa look and feel. It has a vibrant historical look. (This suite is a wheelchair friendly room).

Presidential Suite (Elba and Corsica) – this suite consists of 2 island suites joined by a common living area. It is decorated in classic Atlantic style.

Although located about 30 minutes out of town, guests are privileged to the most beautiful scenes with Hout Bay Mountains and bay area. Whales and dolphins do visit the bay (whales from around late July to November but spotted often through to February). The location of the hotel is most definitely unbeatable. It is recommended for guests looking for exclusivity and privacy and is ideal for honeymooners. They do take children however I wouldn’t suggest it as it is a very quiet hotel and not much to do for children.

When the tide goes out, you can walk a little in front of the hotel and you will be re-introduced to our beautiful natural beaches and so untouched, no litter… just crabs and shells, mussels, rocks.

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On the 2nd evening I returned after a dinner in Camps Bay and was waiting at the gate for my courtesy vehicle to take me back down. I looked out towards Noordhoek and it was absolute darkness, not a light in sight – just the natural night light. Noordhoek was hidden by one of the Chapman Peaks mountains. The feeling was quite eerie knowing how the first settlers to Cape Town must have felt. So although so close to Cape Town, this hotel is really isolated and uninhabited and absolutely unforgettable and a true gem.

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The management couple, Ryno and Melissa, have been there for around 8 years so are very much a part of the Tintswalo family – so accommodating and professional. Nothing is a problem and anything can be arranged.

Janine Southwood – Head of Luxury Collection (Thompsons Africa)

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