Cape Town
Images: IOL

These are the things I love best about winter: snuggling up with a good book and a warm throw; cuddling with my babies while watching a feelgood movie.

My list could go on and on. But most probably the best thing about winter are staycations.

It gives ordinary South Africans like ourselves the chance to experience the best our country has to offer because off season means many premier hotels and restaurants are offering discounted winter specials.

It was for this very reason I found myself bundled up in a fluffy throw while watching the waves crash against the Atlantic coastline at the aptly named Tintswalo Atlantic for the evening.

The ocean facing suites have all the mod cons you’d expect from a 5-star hotel.

I wasn’t there for the 5-star service or luxuriously appointed room, although I’ll get around to them later. No, my needs were very simple. All I wanted was to relax with a good book, eat generous amounts of comfort food and walk around in my socks while the underfloor heating took care of the rest.

Known as Cape Town’s “best-kept secret”, Tintswalo Atlantic is situated within the Table Mountain National Park. But that’s not its claim to fame. The 5-star establishment sits just below one of SA’s most scenic mountain drives – Chapman’s Peak. If hotels won awards on location alone, Tintswalo would take gold.

The hotel prides itself on treating its guests to the “Tintswalo experience”. That’s why they only have 10 perfectly appointed suites.

On the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, Tintswalo is never short on views.

Each suite is modelled on different islands from around the globe. I was lucky enough to stay in the Cousine Island suite. The island in the Seychelles is famous for its stunning species of shells, fish and marine life.

The room itself has splashing of aqua colours and sea shells strewn around various open spaces, giving the illusion of an underwater world. But the pièce de résistance are the sweeping views of the unrelenting ocean that greet you once you open the doors leading to the secluded balcony.

And then there are the swing chairs that are strategically positioned to give you a front row seat to Mother Nature in all her glory. Just climb in with a mug of hot cocoa and you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’re literally hanging off the edge of the world.

Situated in Table Mountain National Park, the hotel is surrounded by natural beauty.

If you can bring yourself out of your daydreaming reverie, feed your tummy and your Instagram feed with head chef Guy Clark’s 4-course dinner. It’s a foodie experience of gastronomical proportions.

Beautifully plated, the combination of flavours is one to be savoured – and no meal is exactly alike. I’ve been told that the menu changes every evening, so if you plan on staying more than one night, it’s best that you make the most of it because watching Clark plate his dishes is like watching an artist putting the finishing touches on his most beloved paintings.

The reception and lounge is an open plan affair that still manages to feel like a home.

The attentive staff are the backbone of any successful business. And Tintswalo knows the value of their staff like operations manager Jabu that made sure all our whims were taken care of. It’s because of this that I’d love to go back.

Meals can be prepared in advance, and guests can enjoy them in the privacy of their suites.

IOL