Captivated by Kensington Place Boutique Hotel, Cape Town

Having spent a night at Kensington Place, a luxury Boutique Hotel set on the slopes of Table Mountain in Higgovale, an upmarket and leafy residential area of Cape Town, I can safely say that it is a must-stay-at hotel.

On arrival, my husband and I were met by Michael, who works in reservations. Even though we were a late arrival, we were met with welcoming smiles and a welcome drink, while our luggage was whisked away to our suite. We also did not have to worry about our vehicle, as Kensington Place offers off street parking and 24 hour security.

On our way to our suite, we were able to catch a glimpse of some of the features on offer: a spacious lounge area, a bar area, an outside lounge, a pool and lush gardens. Our meticulously designed, 5-star suite boasted a marble bath, king-sized bed, iPod docking facilities, laptop and Skype facilities plus all the usual facilities one would expect to find in a quality hotel. The under-floor heating and air-conditioning also make this an all-year-round place to stay.

After explaining how all the facilities worked, Michael suggested we step out onto the balcony. Breathtaking somehow fails to describe the view that greeted us. With views over Cape Town towards the Atlantic and Table Mountain being close enough to almost touch, this just has to be one of the best locations in the Mother City.

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Being within easy access of the heart of Cape Town, Kensington Place is situated within walking distance of very good eateries, as we discovered when we had dinner at the Baccini’s Pizzeria, an Italian family-run restaurant just 1km from the hotel.

Breakfast at Kensington Place was equally delightful. As soon as we were seated, we were greeted by Blessing, whose warm smile and friendly “Hello” set the tone for the morning. She offered us coffee and fruit while we could peruse the menu. Wow! So many choices. My husband decided on the omelette and I had the home-made muesli with fresh fruit and we finished off with a bran muffin and jam. Delicious, to say the least.

While we were having breakfast, Sasha, the owner of Kensington Place, introduced herself to us. It was great being able to speak to her about her establishment and it was quite clear that she prides herself on making all guests feel welcome and at home. The personal touch is definitely a priority at Kensington Place.

Before leaving, we spoke to some tourists who had already spent three nights at the hotel. They were still enjoying every minute of their stay and were planning on returning. They shared our sentiments that the staff at the hotel make impeccable hospitality seem absolutely effortless.

Kensington Place, in my opinion, is the ideal location for the discerning traveller who is looking for privacy and tranquility, coupled with friendly yet professional service.

– Review by Klein Client Liaison and Reservationist, Leigh-Ann van der Westhuizen


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Banksia Boutique Hotel, Paddington and the Fat Cactus

Do you still remember Paddington? Whether you met him on TV, in a book or piecing him together out of a 1000 piece puzzle, most of us have pleasant memories of the friendly bear. But you have to admit, with his duffel coat, floppy hat and boots, Paddington Bear would look well out of place in a summery Cape Town.

Banksia Boutique Hotel and Paddington, the resident cat

Francois bonding with Paddington at Banksia Boutique Hotel in Cape Town

That is exactly why we were enchanted when we met our very own Cape Townian Paddington. A very special Persian cat, Paddington looks nothing like his name sake and even less like a cat. Living the royal life at the Banksia Boutique, Paddington spends more time at hairdressers than most women do, has featured in many a photo shoot and has even appeared on Top Billing. But Paddington adds a unique element to the offering of Banksia; the presence of such a large and fluffy friend makes you feel, in a strange way, at home.

In the leafy southern suburb of Rosebank (not to be confused with its more famous cousin in Johannesburg), you will discover the boutique hotel that Paddington calls home. Well hidden in this old residential area of Cape Town dotted with close knitted homes, finding Banksia Boutigue Hotel can be a challenge. Make sure you study the directions on the internet carefully and take down the establishment’s number, just in case…

When we recently returned from a Crocodile Dundee crossed with Tarzan African holiday, we longed for a place where we could unwind, relax and, perhaps most importantly, for a place where applying Tabard was not our main priority. The Banksia offered this sophisticated luxury without a cluttered feeling.

Banksia Boutique Hotel Exterior

Banksia Boutique Hotel Lawn and Exterior

Believed to be the old farmhouse on the Rosebank farm of yesteryear, the double storey Banksia Boutique Hotel has been beautifully renovated. It boasts a manicured garden and impressive indoor swimming pool in the glass-panelled aviary-like wing of the establishment. Two conference rooms cater for corporate functions Visitors can also look forward to the opening of a spa on the premises in February 2012.

Wonderful views over the lush Southern suburbs, the University of Cape Town’s campus and the backside of Table Mountain greeted us from our room (and sunken bath!).  With only eight rooms it presents overnighters with a quaint and private setting, an ideal night away for the Mr. and Mrs. The front balcony (although not child friendly) offers a panoramic view for a lazy afternoon with a cup of tea or a snack from the locally-sourced contents of the minibar in each room.

Banksia Boutique Hotel Living Room and Fireplace

Banksia Boutique Hotel Living Room and Fireplace

Despite the simplistic elegance of the Boutique, it was the secret surprises in and around Banksia that impressed us the most. One of these interesting aspects is that the Banksia is a display of the work of interior designer and owner, Shelley Kingston. This means that very little of what you see and touch is mass-manufactured, adding to the unique ambience of Banksia.

Walking distance from the Banksia you will find (which is now) our favourite Tex-Mex eatery, the Fat Cactus, in Klipfontein road. Make sure to satisfy your hunger and distinguish your thirst at this unique and special restaurant.

Ready for breakfast at Banksia Boutique Hotel

Ready for breakfast at Banksia Boutique Hotel

On your return, you will find your room turned down with soft romantic music seeping through the walls, while fresh rose petals await you in the bath. You can specify at which time you would like to enjoy breakfast, which means you don’t have to set an alarm for the following morning. With your delicious breakfast you also receive a one page wrap-up of the day’s news, just to keep you in touch with the outside world.

As the Banksia Boutique Hotel caters mostly for corporate clientele, holidaymakers will be able to enjoy a surprisingly peaceful getaway during the busy weeks over the festive season – you might even be lucky enough to have the entire house to yourself!

– Review by Klein Companions, Francois and Shané Barnard

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