Fodor's Expert Review The Last Word Constantia
Spaanschemat River Rd., Cape Town, Western Cape, 7706, South Africa See on Map
A relaxing retreat that makes a great base from which to explore Constantia's nearby wine estates, this boutique hotel has 'hidden oasis' written all over it. Thanks to a friendly and attentive staff, you may end up feeling as though you're staying with wealthy cousins as you pad around the light-filled lounge, pool and tropical gardens. The entire property can be rented for groups (there are nine rooms).
Rooms are light, elegant and classical, and pretty big, feeling more like bungalows than rooms. Some even have small gardens and two share a little private pool. All have mod-cons like underfloor heating, tea and coffee facilities and large TVs. The general color scheme is cream, with highlights of brights, including turquoise and yellow. The carpets feel very luxurious and the greenery outside every window is relaxing.
Bathrooms are spacious, some with pretty mosaic showers and others with gorgeous freestanding bath tubs.
The hotel lobby, really just a reception desk in a small entrance space, is a little underwhelming given the general sense of luxury and comfort in the rest of the property. However, there's parking, and you are greeted at the door - and staff are very competent and kind.
The foliage-surrounded pool is a gorgeous spot.
There's no spa or gym, although there's a Virgin Active nearby (and bikes available for guests), and staff can arrange for in-room treatments with one day's notice.
The hotel serves a superb breakfast, which can be enjoyed in the garden.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Lunch and dinner in-house are only available on request, which is unexpected considering the fact that the hotel's retreat-style feel encourages guests to linger on-site. There's an independent restaurant called Peddlars next door, though.
Complimentary drinks (including afternoon tea and cake) are included in the room rate - a nice touch - and guests can choose the lounge, conservatory or poolside to sup them.
Look out for the welcome bottle of sherry included in all rooms.
The hotel is set in an area fondly known as Cape Town's vineyard, so it's perfect for a wine-based trip in a car, taxi, or by bike. It's a bit further from the city center, though, taking a while to get into town - between 30 and 45 minutes by car depending on where you are headed. The beaches of Hout Bay can be reached in about 15 minutes.
La Colombe (11-minute drive), a lovely vineyard restaurant fusing local ingredients with French flair, is worth booking ahead. Or try Greenhouse (8-minute drive) at the gorgeous Cellars Hohenort hotel, recently ranked one of the top 50 restaurants in the world.
For a local drink, Peddlars (1-minute walk) is a jovial pub with outside space frequented by locals. Or head to La Parada Constantia Nek (8-minute drive) for a great, buzzing tapas bar in a century-old building.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Refined and luxurious, the Last Word Constantia is a lush green hideaway in the city, perfectly placed for exploring Cape Town's vineyards. There are only nine rooms, so it feels exclusive and quiet, and we particularly like the impeccable service and complimentary drinks around the pool.
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