One&Only debuted in the South African legislative capital in 2009. The hotel completed a refurbishment of its 133 rooms and suites and public spaces last year, inspired by the city’s natural beauty and landmarks such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Table Mountain.
Where is it?
The main entrance is on Dock Road in the city’s marina, a short stroll to the V&A Waterfront where there are plenty of retail and dining areas. The resort is approximately 25 minutes’ drive from the airport, though traffic is heavy at peak times.
What's it like?
The hotel has a calming resort feel, with a series of canals passing through the property frequented by small boats and paddleboarders. A bridge connects the main building (Marina Rise) to two islands (spa and main island).
The view as you enter the open-plan lobby in the Marina Rise building is astounding, with floor-to-ceiling windows framing the majestic Table Mountain. We were blessed with beautiful blue skies and the scene resembled a movie set – grabbing a drink at the Vista Bar and Lounge to soak it all in is recommended.
Around 90 per cent of the renovation has been completed by local designers, artisans and suppliers, offering a real sense of place. Notable is Kenyan artist Stanislav Trzebinski’s Watchers sculpture, which acts as a centrepiece at Vista Bar and pays homage to Table Mountain’s creation myth. The first floor mezzanine, meanwhile, has a contemporary African Art Gallery.
Check in is from 2pm, with check out at 11am. Note that the resort operates as normal during loadshedding (planned power outages, common in South Africa since 2007) as it has multiple backup generators. I noticed a slight drop-out and then it rebooted.
On the sustainability front, there is a resort-wide ban on single-use plastics and the property is planning conservation partnerships with Two Oceans Aquarium and Endangered Wildlife Trust this year, supporting the organisations with portions of the nightly revenue from its Table Mountain and Presidential suites.
Rooms are spacious, starting from 63 sqm, and the majority are located within the Marina Rise building, with 40 (known as Island rooms and suites) on the main island. All include terraces or balconies, flooding the rooms with natural light and allowing guests to enjoy the natural surroundings.
Interiors feature an earthy colour palette with an emphasis on organic materials. There are also several nods to the Mother City’s ties to gemstones: rooms include a painted artwork depicting a shattered Tiger’s Eye gemstone, while gemstone-shaped shields by artists in the Eastern Cape add sparkle to the interiors.
Cultural elements include the use of a Namji Doll serving as a ‘do not disturb’ figurine and beaded pots by Zimbabwe-born artist Richard Madongwe.
The king beds are comfortable, and large bathrooms include a standalone bathtub and rain shower, along with fluffy bathrobes, slippers and wardrobes.
If you need to get some work done, there is a desk with USB and plug sockets with a European outlet. Further features include a TV, safe and minibar.
Food and drink
There are four dining venues which include Japanese-Peruvian fare at Nobu, all-day dining by chef Karen Dudley at Vista Bar and Lounge, breakfast at Ochre in the Marina Rise building, along with light meals at poolside Isola on the Main Island (exclusive to resort guests).
The hotel also has its own wine studio, a sophisticated glass-walled space where guests can choose from almost 700 references. We had a delicious four-course dinner with wine pairings, tutored by the charistmatic head sommelier Luvo Ntezo. Guests can also take part in a blending experience (R1,750/£80), creating and labelling their own blend.
During my visit in early February, the hotel hosted a party for South Africa’s 364th wine birthday, with stalls featuring various producers across the country. It was a wonderful way to pay tribute to a significant part of the country’s culture and identity.
The property has various event spaces in the Marina Rise building.
The hotel has its own mini island for spa facilities with 12 treatment rooms and a lush garden for post-treatment relaxation. On the same island is a yoga studio and beauty salon StudiO. The main island has an infinity pool (and some resident otters), and the Marina Rise building has a fitness centre on the first floor. There are also plenty of activities. We enjoyed a challenging but stimulating 6am hike up Table Mountain.
The hotel’s stylish refurbishment connects it to the Mother City, featuring locally inspired design and an array of experiences that make the most of the heritage and natural surroundings.
- Best for Serene stays in the waterfront area with African design and hard-to-beat views of Table Mountain
- Don’t miss Learning about wine from sommelier Luvo
- Price Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in May start from R13,090 (£589) for a Marina Harbour King Room
- Contact Dock Road, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa; +27 21 431 5888; oneandonlyresorts.com