South Africa

Cape crusade

12apostlesbeach - Lunchmag

Azure Restaurant in Capetown’s glorious The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa is an ideal sanctuary on the particularly wet evening I dine there in late April.

It’s absolutely bucketing down outside and as the wind buffets the hotel as it whips in off the Atlantic Ocean, you can imagine it sinking further back into the comforting embrace of the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range behind.

This really feels like the edge of the world. In front lies thousands of kilometers of Atlantic Ocean and behind, mountains plunging straight into the sea. The hotel lies at their feet, similar to a glorious ocean liner tied-up with the ultimate tether – concrete foundations.

The restaurant’s earthy, elegant and warmly inviting décor matched with its attentive staff ensures this is exactly the place you want to be on a cold Cape Town evening.  The food while leaning towards becoming art on a plate is full of fresh flavours and comforting. Matched with wines suggested by sommelier, Luvo Ntezo, it is a meal made for a night close to the high seas with all the hatches battened down.

My dining companion, Peter Unsworth is tells me a few stories of his time in South Africa.

Originally from Manchester, Unsworth initially came to Africa to dance. A professional dancer, he arrived in South Africa’s Sun City in 1990 and fell in love with the country. Nowadays, after a number of career twists and turns he is the head of his own public relations firm looking after some of South Africa’s iconic luxury boltholes as well as a number of celebrities.

One of the luxury hotels in his portfolio is obviously The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa.

Renowned for its superb accommodation, signature menus, stand alone location and award winning spa, it was recently voted the No 1  City Hotel in Africa and the Middle East and the No 1 Hotel Spa in Africa and the Middle East in Travel + Leisure’s 2009 World’s Best Awards readers’ survey.

This 70-room, stylish and distinctive luxury hotel combines African chic with continental sophistication and service.

It sits within minutes of world-class beaches, tourist attractions and just 15 minutes from Capetown’s famous V&A Waterfront.

A major drawcard for visitors is The Sanctuary Spa – an African-inspired refuge, where world-class facilities combine with an atmosphere of tranquil splendour to create the ultimate haven. Its unprepossessing entrance hides a beguiling retreat with a cave-like interior, which draws visitors into the mountain behind.

That morning before the clouds and mist had engulfed the mountain range behind the hotel, I had walked around its fringes. Bushwalking paths led up toward the mountaintop and to little spa gazebos overlooking the ocean. It was mountain goat territory but breathtaking with the ice-blue colors of the ocean below.

I visited the spa and enjoyed a one-hour Swedish massage before retiring to my room to wallow on the lounge in its sunken lounge area.  Later on in the day I head down into the Leopard Room Bar and Lounge for a drink. The bar exudes warmth with its cosy, chic design and the service is immaculate. I have no agenda. This is pure luxury and I don’t want to ever leave.

James Sherbon

The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Victoria Road, Camps Bay

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