Fodor's Expert Review The Dock House Boutique Hotel
Portswood Close, Portswood Ridge, Cape Town, Western Cape, 8002, South Africa, Cape Town, South Africa See on Map
Victorian splendor meets modern glam at this stunning boutique hotel perched over Cape Town's trendy and ever-popular V&A Waterfront, next to the Time Ball Tower. The property's prime location allows easy (and safe) exploration of the Waterfront with its plethora of dining, shopping, and other attractions. But, with a private chef dishing up room-service meals, a pool and bar overlooking the harbor, and a full range of treatments and gym facilities at the Sanctuary spa annex, it's entirely possible you'll never want to leave.
Soak up the history while you're in situ: the building was once the Harbour Master's private residence back in the 1800s.
The five large and lovely rooms (plus a suite) are decked out in antique silver artifacts, crystal chandeliers, and cream upholstery. Beds are king size, with 400 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, and extremely comfortable. Three of the rooms have balconies, and one has a terrace leading out onto the pool.
The en-suite bathrooms are equally large and luxurious, with heated towel rails, heated floors, and cozy bathrobes and slippers provided.
The hotel reception area is as elegant as the rest of it, although staff sometimes have to run over from the Newmark Group's sister properties (including the Victoria & Alfred Hotel, among others) to check in guests.
The pristine pool is a gorgeous place to relax, with a bar, deck chairs, palm trees and a view of Table Mountain. Some spa treatments are available pool-side.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Guests from some of the hotel group's other properties can also use the pool, so it might not as quiet as you'd hoped.
Sanctuary Spa is lovely, with fantastic therapists and massages, and products inspired by Table Mountain and indigenous botanicals.
There's a gym within the spa too.
The hotel has its own dining room (and chef), where the delicious breakfast is served, but guests who book on a bed and breakfast basis can also eat in the property's sister hotels on the waterfront at no extra charge--at the restaurants Ginja or Dash. Dinner is also available at the wholesome Ginja, or the fine dining Dash (named after Queen Victoria's dog).
The lovely poolside bar serves drinks all day.
The hotel is brilliantly located within steps of the V&A Waterfront. It's a quick drive to other Cape Town favourites, incuding the beaches of Camps Bay or the restaurants and bars of the CBD.
Den Anker (6-minute walk), is a snappy Belgian restaurant offering beer and mussels by the water. Or try Willoughby & Co (7-minute walk). It's in a shopping center, so not the most atmospheric of locations, but the sushi is fantastic when you get inside and while you queue, waiters dish out complimentary Sauvignon.
Bascule Whisky, Wine and Cocktail Bar (8-minute walk), in the Cape Grace hotel, is not to be missed by whisky fans: it has 400 varieties in a suitably swanky setting. Or at the opposite end of the scale, the Ferrymans Tavern (3-minute walk), in an old train shed, is a traditional pub-style hangout.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Simply one of Cape Town's loveliest small boutique hotels - and that's saying quite a lot in a city which seems to excel in this type of property. You get all the benefits of staying near the lively V&A Waterfront without actually being in it, while simultaneously feeling like you are in a remote retreat complete with spa and pool, plus great views of Table Mountain and the sea. Not bad at all.
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