Cape Town already feels like it’s at the tip of the world, and at Tintswalo Atlantic that sensation is magnified as guests get cozy in a suite just a few meters from the ocean. Park in the lot just off the famed Chapmans Peak Drive and take a hotel van that winds its way down a steep road, dropping guests at a collection of semi-detached units. Each is themed after a different island—Zanzibar, Antigua, Sicily, and even, oddly enough, Robben (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned). The details are thoughtful, not kitschy: elaborate wood-carved headboards, seashell-encrusted bathroom walls, idyllic paintings. It’s hard to find a setting more romantic and remote, and a shuttle whisks guests to Cape Town, just over a half an hour away.
Note: Tintswalo Atlantic was mostly destroyed in a fire March 2015. The hotel rebuilt and reopened in October 2015.
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If you choose Tintswalo, the big draw is the seclusion. There’s no real beach on-site—it’s just a rocky outcrop hovering over the sea. For an idyllic swath of sand, drive to nearby Llandudno Beach, a gem that’s a big hit among locals. The resort is also right by one of the most scenic highways in South Africa—and perhaps anywhere in the world—Chapman’s Peak Drive, and it’s right on the route that takes you to Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope, the southwesternmost point of the African continent. Head to the nearby village of Noordhoek to go horseback riding along the beach, and have lunch at the rustic-chic Foodbarn, where chef Franck Dangereux, an expat from Cannes, adds his French touch to local ingredients in dishes such as roasted lamb rack with tomato-basil quiche.
Need to Know
Rooms: 10 island suites, one presidential suite. From $386. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options: The lodge doesn’t have a dining room as much as a dining aerie. A beautiful deck with ancient milkwood trees growing through it is adorned with twinkling lights and chandeliers, providing a magical setting for meals. Spa and gym details: While the lodge doesn’t have a spa or gym, in-room massages can be arranged, and there are two pools and a Jacuzzi.
Who it’s best for: Honeymooners and couples looking for a romantic escape. Our favorite room: Each spacious room has its own distinct charms, but sea lovers might be partial to the Seychelles-inspired Cousine suite with its vivid turquoise accents. Good to know: Even if you aren’t staying at the lodge, it’s well worth a visit for a sundowner or high tea on the magnificent deck—Tintswalo is perfectly positioned for a visit on the way back from the drive down to the Cape of Good Hope.