Jardin D'ebene

Tamboerskloof, Cape Town, South Africa Book from R1,200

An old Cape Dutch guesthouse in central Cape Town, restored with an eye to modern Africa
A South African holiday for partners Pascale and Ulrike was so entrancing that the Swiss duo turned their backs on a decade-long restaurant career and relocated to Cape Town. They then set about meticulously refurbishing an old Cape Dutch homestead into the gracious Jardin D'ebene. Their attention to design in the 5 rooms (and throughout) is based on a refined contemporary African theme with a touch of European savvy, seen in details from the artworks to the embroidered slippers. The tranquil grounds boast a relaxing daybed nestled in the garden, as well as a plunge pool and a sundeck with breath-taking views of Lion's Head.

As of late 2013, the guesthouse has changed hands, and is now run by Roland and Alexandra, a delightful German couple. We're yet to meet them in person, but they are running Jardin D'ebene in exactly the same way as their predecessors. It is situated in the heart of the city bowl - right below Table Mountain, just around the corner from trendy Kloof Street, and a short drive from the beautiful Clifton beaches and the bohemian de Waterkant Village.

Highs

  • An oasis of peace in the heart of Cape Town
  • Hands-on hospitality from your sophisticated but fun hosts
  • You're walking distance from some fantastic restaurants and Roland and Alexandra are great at making recommendations
  • Striking interior design and furnishings, all made or found in the Western Cape

Lows

  • Rooms, although high-ceilinged, are a bit dark. Though since our last visit the property has been refurbished and we are assured it is much brighter
  • Activity in the communal areas, especially around the breakfast table, ups the early-morning noise levels

Best time to go

All year round! High summer is from late September until the end of February, and March is delightful. April to September is referred to as the 'Green Season' in the Cape (it sounds better than the rainy season) but days can be as hot as British summertime, without the fierce sunshine of the South African summer.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Guesthouse
  • 5
  • Breakfast only
  • Children of all ages are welcome
  • Open all year
  • Plunge Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room: Cheetah

Rooms

All 5 bedrooms are decorated in a style that is modern but with references to colonial times; predominant colours are stone and earth toned with local art, crafts and wall-embedded paintings.

Rooms are placed in either the Standard or Luxury category and each is named and designed after an African animal: Lion, Cheetah, Zebra, Buffalo and Elephant (look out for the pertinent footprint outside your door). We stayed in the Luxury Zebra Room, complete with authentic zebra-skin rug and ebony wardrobe; Buffalo has bamboo ceilings and Elephant an appropriately massive open-plan bathroom. All 3 can be set up with twin beds. Lion is the Small Standard and Cheetah is the Large Standard Rooms; Cheetah has a lovely view over lemon and olive trees in the garden.

All rooms have luxurious ensuite bathrooms with scoured concrete floors and big wooden beds with pure cotton bed linen. Elephant and Zebra have bathtubs while the other 3 ensuites have showers. Beach towels, fluffy gowns and slippers await guests on arrival. The ambiance is tranquil and soothing - old-style Africa with upscale comfort.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Beach towels
  • Central heating
  • City Guide & Map
  • Cots Available
  • Fan
  • Phone
  • Plunge pool
  • Safe box
  • Slippers
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

For those who consider the lie-in an essential holiday element, breakfast is served until a civilised 10.30am every morning (although we were woken earlier by the bustle of the buffet). Cereals, yoghurt, freshly baked breads, cheeses and meats are laid out on an impressive hand-made ebony table.

In the evenings, unwind and restore your soul on the veranda with a sundowner or perhaps a hand-picked selection of the choicest local wines. The cosy, romantic fireplace is the perfect point to savour an aperitif whilst deciding where to eat...

And for that enticing proposition, turn to Roland and Alexandra. They know their food and can recommend the latest must-try restaurants in Cape Town. On their advice, we had a fantastic meal at Carne. As the name implies, this isn’t one for veggies - prime cuts of meat are brought to your table to choose personally. We loved it.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • The Castle of Good Hope is one of the oldest colonial buildings remaining in South Africa
  • Every day (except Sunday) you can stroll over to Green Market Square, a flea market with a choice of African art and crafts
  • Head to the top of iconic Table Mountain with its magnificent views over the Cape
  • Be sure to visit the Two Oceans Aquarium at the Waterfront, it's one of the biggest in the world
  • Robben Island, the jail where Nelson Mandela was kept prisoner for 27 years, is a must for anyone with an interest in South Africa's history
  • Wander the Muslim Quarter of Bo-Kaap, with its colourful houses
  • Spend a day at the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, home of the Chacma Baboons and Boulders Beach, the home of the African penguins
  • In every room, you will find a handmade book listing a large selection of wine farms in the Winelands around Stellenbosch and Franchhoek. It's an easy 1-hour drive away and Roland and Alexandra can organise tours
  • For those who don’t have enough time to travel along the Garden Route, Hermanus is an hour and a half's drive from Cape Town. You can enjoy whale-watching there between July and October

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Hiking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Whalewatching
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome, but as no extra beds are available, it's perhaps best suited to families with older kids who can occupy their own room.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

All rooms can fit a baby cot.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots are available on request.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
8/
Food
9/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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