Today (September 24, 2014): Review of the 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa, Cape Town (South Africa).
- Location: Google Maps
- Address: Victoria Street, Camps Bay, Cape Town, 8005, South Africa
- Hotel website: 12 Apostles Cape Town
- Tip: enjoy VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso
Nestled between the unspoiled natural beauty of the majestic Twelve Apostles mountain range in the Table Mountain National Park, and the Atlantic Ocean, the award-winning Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa is part of the family-run Red Carnation Hotel Collection. The boutique hotel, repeatedly voted as one of Cape Town’s best hotels and member of the prestigious portfolio of Leading Hotels of the World, is a perfect getaway in what is undeniably one of the world’s most beautiful cities and just a stone’s throw away from some of the world’s most amazing beaches.
The Twelve Apostles Cape Town features in my top 10 list of luxury hotels with private helipads.
In this review (more info & photos below our slideshow):
- Pros & things I like
- Cons & things to know
- My verdict
- Tips for future guests & save money
- Best time to visit
- How to get there
PROS & THINGS I LIKE
- The hotel’s spectacular location is its strongest selling point. About 15-20 minutes by car from the city center, the hotel finds itself in an isolated spot in one of the most beautiful landscapes on the planet, and not far from Chapman’s Peak, one of the world’s most scenic drives. On one side, a line of majestic mountains – The Twelve Apostles – reaches towards the heavens; on the other, the sun sets on breeching whales (in season), playful dolphins, and crashing rollers of the Atlantic Ocean Marine Park.
- The hotel’s indigenous garden blends into the mountainside, where you can walk the wilderness trails of the Table Mountain National Park, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The hotel offers 55 spaciously appointed guest rooms and 15 luxurious suites, each individually decorated with an eclectic mix of contemporary African style with classic European comfort. All rooms and suites reflect a fresh, calming environment combining sophistication with simplicity, comfort and elegance.
- Offering seasonal, fresh cuisine, the Twelve Apostles is recognised as one of South Africa’s top places for wining and dining. The Azure Restaurant, with a terrace that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and enjoys incredible sunset views, is the ideal location to indulge in a succulent meat or fresh seafood dish (the modern French menu with South African influences is updated regularly by executive chef Christo Pretorius). The Café Grill offers a more casual and relaxed dining experience with a 24 hour accessible menu.
- The hotel has two small pools: a heated infinity pool overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and a heated Jacuzzi behind the hotel with mountain views. A fully serviced tanning deck and 10 hammocks in the Fynbos gardens are ideal for lazy days soaking up the sun.
- High-speed WiFi is complimentary throughout the hotel.
- On the occasional rainy days, you can watch a movie in the hotel’s private 16-seater cinema. The hotel will even rustle up a bowl of popcorn or other treats for you to add to your viewing pleasure.
- For meetings and corporate functions, there are venues for up to 90 people and a business centre.
- The hotel has a helipad that can make the flight to Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront in just 8 minutes. Alternatively, you can take advantage of complimentary transfers to Camps Bay (and its gorgeous beach) and the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront (with plenty of shops) between 8 am and 9.30 pm.
- The hotel offers several extra thoughtful touches, such as complimentary mineral water, tea and coffee-making facilities, in-room DVD players with an extensive DVD library, a duvet and pillow menu, indigenous turn-down gifting and informal wine tastings in Azure Restaurant.
- The staff is super-friendly and efficient, reflecting the legendary South African hospitality.
- The award-winning Spa, with seven treatment rooms, has a team of qualified therapists to oversee wellbeing and rejuvenation during your stay.
CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
The highlights of the Twelve Apostles Hotel are its location, hospitality and restaurants. It is not perfect though and you need to know the following when considering a stay here:
- A road is running in front of the hotel (between the hotel and Atlantic Ocean). The hotel makes no secret of this, as it is clearly mentioned on its website. Nevertheless, it’s quite a busy road with constant traffic that you can hear inside the hotel (including the ocean-facing rooms). The road prohibits a true back-to-nature experience.
- There is no way to come any closer to the Atlantic Ocean from the hotel and there is no beach to speak of (although you can take the complimentary shuttle to Camps Bay, where you will find some of the world’s most beautiful beaches).
- The hotel’s opulent boutique style may not suit everyone’s taste. The reception is dark with lots of antiques, the hotel corridors are small, and the overall style is bombastic and kitsch. The hotel is definitely more 20th than 21st century.
- There are a lot of stairs inside the hotel, so older or disabled visitors should request a room that can be reached without chairs.
- The lowest room categories (‘classic rooms’) do not come with any view at all. During my stay, I was looking onto the concrete wall of one of the hotel wings. Do your home work and make sure that you book the right room if you want a spectacular view.
- Walls are thin and you can hear your neighbours, which can be troublesome.
- The two swimming pools are very small, too small in fact for the number of guests that can stay at the hotel.
- Location: 8/10
- Design: 6/10
- Rooms: 7/10
- Food: 9/10
- Service: 8/10
- Overall experience: good: 7,6/10
TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
- Save money: read my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like the Twelve Apostles (and/or receive many free perks).
- Save money: enjoy complimentary VIP amenities (upgrade, free breakfast, tea by the sea for two people, a luxury one way airport road transfer, early check-in and late check-out) when you book your stay with Virtuoso. For stays of 4 or more nights guests also receive a scheduled helicopter transfer for two to the V&A Waterfront.
- Book and/or request a room with a view to soak in the spectacular Atlantic Ocean vistas.
- If you are a light sleeper, book a mountain view room or suite (so that you are not bothered by traffic noise).
- Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Cape Town’s hot, dry summer months run from late October to March/April. Temperatures reach their peak between December and February, and this is generally seen as when to go to Cape Town for the best beach weather. Winter months (May to September) can be a wet, cold and rather disappointing affair.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Twelve Apostles hotel is located a 40 minute drive from Cape Town International Airport. The latter is served by major African full-service and low-cost airlines, as well as by most major European and Middle East Carriers (click here for a direct link to their websites). Currently, Singapore Airlines is the only Asian carrier to this marvelous destination. Check the Wikipedia page of Cape Town International Airport for an updated list of airlines that offer direct flights to Cape Town.