- Style Fine art, fine food, fine wine
- Setting Boho St James fishing village
In the breezy seaside village of St James, quietly refined Rodwell House is the ideal place to stay if you want to escape Cape Town's tourist bustle. Lovingly restored to its parquet-floored, marble-columned, clipped-lawn glory, this poised 1930s mansion houses an elegant boutique hotel, an impressive collection of 20th-century art, a huge wine cellar and two passionate hosts, who will do their utmost to give you ‘whatever you want’.
Need to know
- Rooms Eight: seven suites and one double room.
- Rates Double rooms from $168.10 (ZAR1,737), excluding tax at 14 per cent.
- More details Rates include breakfast.
- Facilities Gardens, courtyard, gym, library, wine cellar, boules pitch. In rooms: plasma-screen TV/DVD player, complimentary WiFi, tea/coffee and minibar, underfloor heating in bathrooms.
- Poolside The beautiful pool is fed by a mountain spring, and there are chaises longues to stretch out on; you can also walk down to the tidal pools below the gardens for an invigorating saltwater swim.
- Check–out 11am. Check-in, 2pm, but flexible subject to availability. Guests arriving early or leaving late can use the day shower and the gym.
Children Well-behaved children welcome; it’s not ideal for toddlers. Under 12s stay in their parents’ room for R500 per night. Babysitting can be arranged with 24 hours’ notice and costs R100 per hour.
- Also Personal training, private yoga, beauty treatments and a variety of sports activities can be arranged. The property is non-smoking and has a silent-mobile policy.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms Most rooms have balconies or terraces, as well as oversized beds, twin sinks, freestanding baths big enough for two and walk-in showers; prices reflect room size, but none are really small. Our top picks include the Rodwell Suite for its sea-view balcony and antique leather recliners, or Kalk Bay for its open-plan bathroom, entered through an arched wooden door – both are romantic; and smaller, quieter Mountain, which is very pretty and sunlit in the afternoon. The Proprietors is the executive suite, set in the gardens with an internal courtyard.
- Packing tips Bathrobes, slippers and luxury toiletries are already taken care of. Make a note of friends’ favourite wines; Rodwell House has an amazing cellar and can ship what you buy.
- Also The kitchen can prepare you a fabulous picnic for two to take down to the beach (or just to the pool if you’re feeling lazy). A hire car’s not a bad idea – you’re about 40 minutes from the centre of Cape Town.
Food and drink at Rodwell House
- Hotel restaurant Graham Isaacson uses whatever’s freshest from the sea or kitchen garden that day for his Med-style dishes. You'll mostly eat outside, but the dining room, Electric Orange, is a pumpkin-coloured, teak-floored corker hung with stunning canvases.
- Dress code Whatever you feel like (which may well be foppish Keith Floyd casuals or an arty smock-top ensemble).
- Top table Sit at the communal terrace table near the barbecue, and owners Robin and Joanne may join you to share their passion for food, wine and art. Private tables can also be set up in the light and airy lounge.
- Last orders Pretty flexible; you’ll be asked whether you’re eating at the house in the morning. When the barman leaves, you’ll be trusted to help yourself – and Joanne has been known to rustle up midnight snacks.
- Room service You can order special wines or champagnes to be brought to your room if you don’t find what you fancy in your minibar; light bites are available 9am–10pm.
- Hotel bar The Art Bar is an architect’s pet project in contemporary concrete, with soft leather couches and iPod docks. Beyond is the pièce de résistance: a 15,000-bottle cellar and tasting room. Pull up a bright green chair and let Robin wow you with wines.
Also worth knowing
- Weddings This property is suitable for weddings. More details