Many luminaries have made this iconic hotel their home from home. Would that some of the Belmond’s past guests — Winston Churchill, John Lennon, Nelson Mandela, to name a few — could have checked in at the same time: the three guys walk into a bar potential would have been grand.
Nestled at the foot of Table Mountain, the always-elegant, ever-indulgent Belmond Mount Nelson offers both leafy tranquility and easy access to all goings-on in this sparkling city on the coast. Painted pink since the great peace of 1918, its interiors are exquisitely restored with a palette of calming hues and every modern touch. From deep tubs to fine linens and iPod docks… let your imagination run amok with all the pleasures of truly timeless hospitality. A rose-lined path leading to an idyllic Victorian cottage. The chance to soak up some beloved South African vitamin D on the balcony with a cooling drink, the trill of a Cape Sugarbird and the tinkle of ice in the air. Inside, a wealth of exquisite details are carefully executed: from elegant four-poster beds and Venetian mirrors to cozy fireplaces and the delicious, much-lauded cuisine and fine local wines of the Cape. Glittering with the patina of history, the oak-panelled Lord Nelson Restaurant, once the hotel’s writing room, features — along with its stand-out cuisine — an original bust of Admiral Nelson, carved from the timbers of the HMS Victory.
An exquisite suite or charming cottage makes the ideal pied-à-terre from which to explore this exciting coastal city. True to roots of this 119-year-old estate, suites are each individually designed, with sumptuously dressed king-sized or twin beds, lavish marble bathrooms with separate bath and shower, and spacious sitting areas. In addition to a fitness centre, indoor and outdoor yoga and pilates classes are on the menu, as well as tennis courts with resident pro. Two heated outdoor swimming pools (one thoughtfully reserved for over-16s) offer rewarding opportunity for quality R&R.
A little rest and relaxation can be quite appetite-building, of course. Et voilà, from fresh summer salads to wintery Beef Wellington and more, every good taste is catered for – be it poolside by day or candle lit by night.
The verdant vineyards of Cape Town are the rolling stuff of dreams, and explorations round its lush terroir to taste its most refined tipples constitute a very fine day out indeed. So too, many diverse outings from the hotel doorstep: perhaps to enjoy the majesty of local flora, fauna and first light on a dawn walking tour; or a city walking tour led by resident expert in art and architecture; or equally beguiling, a painting class with the very talented Cyril Coetzee. (He does portraits too, from photographs or sittings.) What better souvenir from your Cape Town adventure? Among its further delights, the indulgent Librisa Spa offers heaven-sent treatments and therapies.
Little ones in tow? Drop them off at the children’s club free of charge.