The Refined Cape Grace
By Brandon Schultz
Cape Town, the beloved “Mother City” of South Africa, is a bucket list destination. It’s been named the best place to visit in the world by The New York Times (2014) and is home to two of South Africa’s top draws, the breathtaking Table Mountain, and the V&A waterfront, a sprawling retail and dining space that is one of the most visited sites in the entire continent. Between these, seconds from the waterfront and boasting mountain views, is the Cape Grace, a bucket list hotel.
Cape Grace was conceived for people who don’t like hotels. It’s designed as the ultimate home-away-from-home experience, though it’s unlikely your home is quite as well-appointed as this one. Each of the 120 expansive accommodations, including two penthouses, apartments, and family suites ranging up to three bedrooms, is uniquely designed and furnished in various Cape styles spanning three centuries of distinct design. The five floors of Cape Grace showcase more than 300 antiques and artifacts thoughtfully arranged with each floor telling the tale of a different era in the rich Cape heritage.
Rooms are appointed with everything you expect from top-tier accommodations (including tea and espresso machines, robes and slippers, fully stocked mini-bars, snacks, a vast array of grooming amenities, i-pod docking stations, and international outlets), but true luxury is intimate and thoughtful, and this is where Cape Grace shines. Small touches like personalized book selections and fresh flower arrangements invite a sense of home, welcoming you to your custom sanctuary. Decadent features like marble bathroom suites with serious square footage, more than ample living space, and French doors opening to water views guarantee sumptuous respite in the culture-packed capital.
The Spa at Cape Grace is a plush experience from pre-treatment indulgence in the Relaxation Room to post-treatment refreshment from the complimentary Health Bar. Services include massage, cupping, hand/foot care, hair care, and skin care, all customizable. If you’re traveling with the family, take advantage of the teen and tween services, or even the “little spa menu” for those 11 and under, illustrating Cape Grace’s commitment to even its youngest guests. The hotel also offers nanny service, story time, just-for-kids in-room amenities, and fun programs like gingerbread decorating. Next door to the Spa, the intimate fitness studio provides standard equipment and personal training options, including 1-on-1 yoga and Pilates.
Enjoy afternoon tea or evening port and sherry in the library daily, but save some thirst for Bascule Bar, Cape Grace’s renowned whiskey haven. Don’t be overwhelmed by the selection that includes more than 400 international whiskies; much like wine, just tell the bartender what flavors or qualities you prefer in a drink and you’ll be promptly served with a new favorite. A signature cocktail list and an extensive wine menu round out the options in this upscale bar and tapas venue that truly wakes up as the sun goes down. Signal Restaurant anchors the property’s culinary program, serving a wide range of reimagined Cape cuisine in a dramatic and elegant environment that, like the rest of Cape Grace, never loses sight of local authenticity.
From furnishing and décor to service and cuisine, Cape Grace consistently elevates your perception of world-class luxury while grounding you in a sense of place. The soul of the property is its endless attention to Cape Town influences, bringing the city and its heritage home to guests. The art of hospitality this seamless is called “grace”, and few embody it as well as Cape Grace.