From the moment I arrived I knew it was going to be some kind of magic. But that isn’t entirely true because the magic started long before the trip began. What happened is that I won a “name in the hat” draw at a travel industry function with the prize being a number of luxury land and air experiences contributed by South African suppliers. With a travel buddy, I lost no time in planning and booking my Southern Africa adventure.

I was right about the magic though, because from the moment we arrived at an ornate gateway marking the approach to Tintswalo Atlantic Boutique Lodge Cape Town we had the feeling of being completely taken care of. Nestled at the base of Table Mountain National Park just a 30-minute scenic drive from Cape Town, the award-winning 5-star lodge occupies a pebbled beach with panoramic views of Hout Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The name Tintswalo in the indigenous Shangaan language means “the intangible feeling of love, gratitude and peace bestowed upon someone offering you a meaningful and worthy gift.”

This quiet charm is apparent from the moment you arrive, with the décor, the light and the architecture all complementing the Atlantic Ocean waves crashing on the beach a few metres below. It gave me the distinct feeling of having arrived in paradise. We were offered chilled hand towels and welcoming drinks and a chance to soak up the magnificent setting before being escorted to our suite. Once our host left us there were girly squeals of joy knowing this magical place was ours and ours alone for two whole nights.

The ten luxuriously appointed suites at Tintswalo Atlantic are individually decorated to mirror the personality of ten beautiful islands of the world, ensuring that every guest has a unique experience. We were told though that each suite has the same hypnotising views across the Bay and out over the Atlantic Ocean. Tintswalo Atlantic is certainly the perfect location to relax and rejuvenate body, mind and soul away from the stresses and distractions of daily life.

One tip I can give is to arrive with a very empty tummy! The food is sensational and seemingly endless. During our stay my travel buddy and I ordered a gourmet picnic lunch basket for a day-trip to the Cape of Good Hope and found that the basket was not only delicious but plentiful. On both days we also enjoyed a sundowner on our own private deck, lapping up the sounds of the ocean at our feet and the sunsets bursting with colour and mood.

If we had stayed longer we would have ventured out to nearby Hout Bay Harbour and Seal Island, visited the world-renowned Cape Winelands region inland from Cape Town and done some more exploring in the Cape Point Nature Reserve which is also in the Table Mountain National Park.

And, if we weren’t feeling so damn decadent, which is truly what Tintswalo Atlantic leans towards, we could have walked from the lodge along one of the many paths and walkways through the magnificent Fynbos, a coastal heathland regarded as the worlds’ richest floral kingdom. As it was, we relished being in the only accommodation establishment in the National Park.

When it came time to leave we were both given a small coloured rock collected from the beach below the lodge, with our names written on it. It is then a ceremony to stand with the sea to your back, make a wish and throw the rock over your shoulder. It solidified our experience and connection to Tintswalo and whetted our appetite to visit the three other luxury properties that the Tintswalo Property Group runs in South Africa: Tintswalo Safari Lodge and Tintswalo Manor House in the Manyeleti Game Reserve adjoining Kruger Park, and Tintswalo at Waterfall Equestrian Estate near Johannesburg. They are all places I cannot wait to experience.

Rest assured though that if you can only fit in Tintswalo Atlantic I can guarantee you will enjoy exclusive accommodation in a breathtaking setting with 5-star fine dining, warm family-style hospitality and a host of unexpected pleasures. This gem on the Atlantic Coast near Cape Town is just magic! 

Have you been to South Africa? Let us know your highlights in the comments section below.