Kensington Place is a trendy boutique Hotel situated in a quiet, leafy suburb of Cape Town, close to the hotspots yet perfectly removed. An ideal hotel from where to commence or finish your South African holiday. Located on the slopes of Table Mountain and a drive from Cape Town’s amazing beaches, Kensington Place in Higgovale attracts stylish romantics, city lovers and luxury lovers alike. Higgovale is an exclusive neighborhood of winding roads as well as architecturally audacious homes at the top of Kloof Nek where Table Mountain becomes Lion’s Head.
In Cape Town trendy small guesthouses and hip boutique hotels with a personal touch are flourishing, including Kensington Place, right off Kloof Street. This urban oasis exudes an innate sense of style and genuine hospitality. In Cape Town a stay at Kensington Place means romance, carefree indulgence, matchless service and special little touches. It’s hard to beat its level of service. Surrounded by greenery, this luxury boutique bolthole has beautiful views of Cape Town, the harbor and Table Mountain.
Kensington Place offers chic in the heart of city. Each of the 8 suites is individually decorated with art works from mostly South African artists. Every room features balconies, iPod docks, DVD players and bathrooms including divine Aromatherapy bath products. The marble bathrooms have under-floor heating for the winter months. Some of the rooms are on the ground floor and have their own little garden, while those on the first floor have fabulous views.
The hotel is surrounded by lush gardens dotted with orange trees and elegantly lit at night by lanterns. There is a plunge pool and a terrace where guests can relax surrounded by billowing swathes of fabric to provide shade while the staff serve impromptu slices of watermelon. Indoors there is a lounge with a fireplace, plus a cocktail bar and dining room. A full English breakfast with fresh fruit is served each day until 03:00 p.m.
Kensington Place has a restaurant with an outdoor terrace that serves international cuisine and there’s also a full-service bar with an excellent wine list and cocktail menu. You can eat it anytime you feel like. There’s an excellent menu that changes seasonally and it is served throughout the day, anywhere you want. However there are numerous restaurants and bars on nearby Kloof Street which are easily accessible by foot. The staff here at Kensington Place will be the first to recommend all the best restaurants to visit during your stay. They are food fanatics and right on trend with what’s hot in Cape Town.
At Kensington Place, chill in luxury, admire the mountain views and sleep in style. However the concierge can organize massages, sports activities and a variety of day trips including guided walks up Table Mountain but also thanks the central location of Kensington Place, each guest can makes it an ideal base for forays to historical sites, vineyards, nature reserves and beaches, with the hotel’s famous all-day breakfast waiting on your return.
Situated on the slopes of Table Mountain, in the leafy Cape Town suburb of Higgovale, Kensington Place is well placed for the city centre of Cape Town. Kensington Place offers spectacular views of Table Mountain from the public terrace and is close to the National Park. There are endless activities to choose from and sights to see in and around Cape Town. The city centre, V&A Waterfront, Table Mountain cable car and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, the Constantia wine route, the famous sandy beaches of Clifton, Camps Bay, Llandudno and Hout Bay are all within easy reach too, while more than a dozen golf courses are to be found within half an hour’s drive. Cape Town’s airport is a half-hour drive from the hotel.
Value for Money
Double rooms from Euro 190,00 in low seasons; and from Euro 270,00 in high. Mentioned rates are per room and day including breakfast and free Wi-Fi. Rates are subject to change without prior notice.
Access for guests with disabilities?
Kensington Place is not wheel-chair friendly. There are stairs leading up from the Front gate to the reception area & up to each room.
Kensington Place has a strict child policy: No children under age of 12.
Cape Town’s summer season sees the most tourism, with travelers flocking from all over the world to take advantage of the city’s sprawling beaches and outdoor attractions. The weather during this season is warm but not overwhelming.
Autumn in Cape Town is the ideal time for lovers of vino: The temperature drops, and the tourist exodus signifies the start of the annual wine harvest. Many of the wineries in and around Cape Town allow visitors to participate in the gathering and juicing of grapes. Even if you’re not into wine, fall is still a great time to visit.
Cape Town is relatively free of tourists during the winter months, meaning that you can save big on lodging as long as you don’t mind getting wet. Sporadic showers and chilly winds are common during this season, but with daytime temps averaging in the low 15° C, winter can still be a pleasant time to visit.
Springtime in Cape Town is bursting with color: Head to the top of Table Mountain to see thousands of plants in full bloom. And with temperatures on the rise, there’s no reason not to enjoy the great outdoors. This is also another sweet spot for budget-minded travelers.
Our Special Readings
Could Cape Town be the best city in the world?
There are few places in the world that offer some of the greatest things in life in one neat and easily accessible package: Stunning nature, interesting history, awesome adventure, great food and wine, and some of the most exciting wildlife in the world. Cape Town in South Africa manages to do just that. Here’s why we can say that Cape Town could be the best city in the world and why we think you should book a flight over right now. Or at least right after reading this article.
At almost any location in or around Cape Town, you only have to look up to see the magnificent Table Mountain (picture on top). At 1100 mt tall, it dominates the horizon around the city and is, without doubt, Cape Town’s most famous landmark. If you ever get tired of seeing it from below, head on up the mountain to see the vista from a different perspective. You can jump on the cable cars to enjoy an easy glide up or take one of a few different trails ranging from 3-10 km that lead up to the top.
Directly across from Table Mountain sits Lion’s Head at 670 mt above sea level. A 5 km hike to the top provides sweet views with little sweat. Interested in more adrenaline? Schedule a tandem paragliding trip off the top and soar above the city, off the coast and back.
A rich and raw history
Robben Island, where South Africa’s most famous civil rights activist and former president Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, is a must-see. Used as a criminal prison by the Dutch, Robben Island became a prison used by the apartheid-era South African government to lock up civil and political activists who opposed the government. Walking through the compound you can visit the cell where Mandela spent 18 years of his life. Walking outside the compound gives you a view of the iconic skyline of Cape Town, ominously out of reach.
Coming back to the city center you can learn about the trials and tribulations of what was once the city’s soul, District Six. While nothing much stands in this location now there was once a booming neighborhood that used to be home to 60.000+ merchants and immigrants. Under apartheid law District Six was made a white only sector and by 1968 families were forcibly removed and relocated over 25 km away to the Cape Flats. Taking a walking tour of the now vacant area with guides who were themselves evicted in 1968 gives you very raw and real insights into what life in the city was like for decades. Don’t forget to visit the District Six Museum for further insights into what life in the area used to be like.
Best places for Christmas outside Europe
We’re all for snow days and cuddling up with loved ones by the fire, but the month of December is also prime time for traveling, mainly to see how the rest of the world celebrates Christmas. These cities are worth a visit any time of year, sure, but they seem to be exceptionally magical during the holiday season. Whether they’re Asian cities where you can see twinkling lights from a rooftop pool, or ski paradises in the U.S., some celebrations are worth the price of a plane ticket. And let’s face it: You haven’t really seen Christmas lights until you’ve seen 26 million lights all at once (we’re looking at you, Colombia). From Hong Kong to Cape Town, here are the best places to spend Christmas this year outside Europe.
Cape Town, South Africa
If you’re looking to escape winter this Christmas, you can’t do much better than Cape Town, it’s summer in the Southern Hemisphere, after all. You can even visit one (or several) of the South African city’s holiday markets without having to wear a coat and scarf. This one thing will really get you in the spirit: An outdoor screening of Home Alone at the beautiful Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens on Christmas Day at 8:30 p.m.
Quebec City, Canada
Quebec City is one of the oldest cities in North America, and its colonial French architecture gives it an unmistakably European feel. The cobbled streets of the Old Town are packed with quaint shops and delicious bistros, all merrily decorated for the holidays. This one thing will really get you in the spirit: The toboggan run at Château Frontenac (open from mid-December to March), one of the city’s oldest traditions—and quite the thrill. Zoom down icy tracks overlooking the city on a wooden sled reaching speeds of up to 70 km per hour.
Discovering Cape Town without opening your wallet
As major world cities go, Cape Town is pretty affordable. Eating out is fairly cheap by European or North American standards, and many of the museums and smaller attractions charge only a modest fee. But if you’re seeking to save a little more, there are ways to experience the art, culture and natural beauty of the Mother City without opening your wallet, leaving you with more rands to spend on local cuisine, souvenirs or supporting one of the many community tourism projects.
Hike the Table Mountain range
Most people who arrive in Cape Town whizz to the top of Table Mountain on the cableway, but hiking the slopes is a far better, and cheaper, way to experience the city’s craggy centrepiece. The most popular hike is Platteklip Gorge, a steep, 2.5-hour climb that’s hellish on the knees on the downward leg. But there are trails galore throughout the range, from the gently undulating pipe track to the two-hour walk up to Elephant’s Eye Cave. And for the hike with the best view of Table Mountain, join the throngs plodding up Lion’s Head, a short but steep scramble that involves clinging onto chains and ladders to reach the peak. Never hike alone and ask for local advice on safety as there have been muggings on certain trails.
Explore Green Point Urban Park
Whether you’re interested in local flora, keeping fit, picnicking on the lawn or clambering over a jungle gym, Green Point’s park can easily provide a half-day of gratis entertainment. The park was redeveloped when South Africa hosted the FIFA World Cup in 2010 and now acts both as a place to cycle, jog and walk as well as an open-air museum, with information plaques detailing the remarkable biodiversity in the Western Cape.
Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula: Unique and Magical Places
Cape Town was the first town in South Africa that saw the settlement of European settlers. Dutch colonial buildings mingle with modern skyscrapers, sea and so much unspoiled nature. Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula were the last stop on my trip to South Africa, a unique and magical place that impressed me more than many others. When I speak of Cape Town, I refer to the entire peninsula on the south-west of South Africa, which in addition to the small metropolis includes other cities and truly unique places.
They are the symbol of Cape Town, a sort of huge monolith that has the shape of a large table and which with its 1.000 meters of height dominates the city. The summit can be reached on foot, with a very demanding trekking or, in a classic way and honestly more comfortable, with the Cableway: a revolving panoramic cableway that goes up from the city to the summit in a few minutes. From the top of Table Mountain, today a national park, you can admire a spectacular view of Cape Town, the Ocean and the coast. My advice is to buy tickets online to save time and the long line and observe the weather conditions because often the climbs are closed due to the strong wind or poor visibility.
Following the history of apartheid in Cape Town
If you are lucky enough to visit Cape Town on a trip to South Africa, there are two must-see places to understand the history of apartheid: the District Six Museum and Robben Island.
District Six Museum
The District Six Museum is located in the center of Cape Town on Buitenkant Street and shows the history of the now-disappeared district six, the district dismantled in the 60s and 70s due to racial laws. It wants to be a tribute to the history of the approximately 50.000 people residing here before the forced evictions. The museum is managed exclusively by former residents of the neighborhood and tries to rebuild the interiors of the houses of the era. In the middle there is a large map where the people who lived there indicated the location of their home.
It is an evocative place because it allows us to understand what we were forced to do because of the tough South African laws that forced blacks to live in neighborhoods outside the city.
Insider Guide: Cape Town
With picturesque Table Mountain as the backdrop and a variety of things to do ranging from cage diving with great white sharks to hanging out with adorable penguins, Cape Town, South Africa is a great destination for adventurers. There are enough exciting things to do and see to jam-pack a two-week stay, but for a shorter trip, here are some tips on the city’s highlights and then some.
If you’re comfortable driving on the left side of the road with the steering wheel on the right side of the car, rent a car for the day and explore the Cape Peninsula. With only one road in each direction, no GPS is needed. Just follow the highway, always making sure the various picturesque bays are to the right, and it’s impossible to get lost. To begin the journey, check out Hout Bay, stopping at any one of the many roadside seafood haunts for fish and chips. Continue on to Simon’s Town and visit Boulders Beach where getting up-close-and-personal with African penguins is a fun way to spend an hour or two. There is also a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk from which to view the colony of cute critters, but if you continue on to nearby Foxy Beach, visitors can actually walk onto the white sand and view the adorable black and white birds even closer.
Continuing on toward Table Mountain National Park, drive to the Cape of Good Hope, which is the southwestern-most point of the African continent. Snap a few photos at the latitude-longitude sign, and avoid long lines of people with the same idea by going late in the day close to the park’s closing time, which varies by season. Keep your eyes peeled on your way out of the park for baboons, ostrich and other wildlife and keep your windows closed.
Special City Guide: Cape Town
Strikingly beautiful and separated by a barrier of mountains, Cape Town looks and feels different from the rest of South Africa. Its unique topography offers a range of activities, from windsurfing and mountain climbing to wine tasting and sun bathing. But Cape Town’s real draw is its vibrant multiculturalism. Most beautiful, most romantic and most visited city Cape town is the second most populous city in South Africa after Johannesburg. The provincial capital and primate city of Western Cape, it is a seat of National Parliament and is also the legislative capital of country. Few urban centers anywhere can match its setting along the mountainous Cape Peninsula spine which slides into the Atlantic Ocean. The proximity of nature is a constant source of amazement here whether you are spotting amazing wildlife at Table Mountain, or watching whales breach from a restaurant deck overlooking False Bay, or being halted by frolic baboons near Cape Town. To experience all this and much more juts book cheap flights to Cape Town and explore the ravishing beauty of city.
Cape Town is a city of contrasts and has a cool urban edge too. Art galleries, hip bars world class opera and design-savvy shops are all reasons why Cape Town is also referred as Design Capital of the world. It is truly a majestic cosmopolitan city that offers many adrenaline-pumping activities to its guests. Found on the western journey of South Africa, Cape Town’s landscape, from beaches to mountains, rich cultural heritage to historical vibe s which makes it an unforgettable place. Watch Zulu groups singing and dancing as you shop or dine at the V&A Waterfront; mingle with Cape Town’s Muslim community in Bo-Kaap; and party European-style in cool clubs around Greenpoint.