Kensington Place

Higgovale, Cape Town, South Africa Book from R3,900

Reviewed by Nikki Tinto
One of Cape Town's most stylish small hotels, an ultra-chic townhouse set on the slopes of Table Mountain
Kensington Place is a luxurious boutique hotel set on the slopes of Table Mountain in one of Cape Town's prime residential areas. Its 8 individually-designed bedrooms are a striking blend of contemporary European décor and African art and textiles. Throughout, earthy tones and natural textures have been used successfully to create an understated elegance.

The central location makes it an ideal base for forays to historical sites, vineyards, nature reserves and beaches. After a day out, return for a dip in the plunge pool. Then retreat to your private terrace to enjoy wonderful views of the city, harbour and mountains and contemplate your dinner venue - trendy Kloof Street is just a stroll away. Exceptionally well run, the service at Kensington Place is professional and personal. Staff will happily offer to run errands or rustle up a midnight sandwich for a hungry guest.

Highs

  • Waking up in a supremely comfortable bed to watch the sunrise over Table Bay
  • The stylish interiors and the friendly, young staff
  • The location is handy for some of Cape Town's hippest bars and restaurants
  • Breakfast is served all-day and there's room service so you can work to your own schedule

Lows

  • Apart from soft background music, you'll hear little noise - for some, it could be just too quiet and laid-back
  • You will need to book early - it's small and very popular with business travellers
  • Only children aged 12 years and over are accepted

Best time to go

Any time! High summer is from late September through to 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.

Our top tips

Look in the drawer beside your bed - you’ll find a small box of paracetemol, throat lozenges and a little emergency aid for honeymooners!

Great for...

City Style
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 8
  • Breakfast and room service only (+ restaurants nearby)
  • Over 12s 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
  • Gym passes
Room:

Rooms

There are just 8 luxurious guest rooms, all large and each with a balcony offering wonderful views across the city. No expense has been spared in the furnishings - heavy draped curtains and dark wood furniture combine with fresh flowers, crisp linens, Calvin Klein blankets, sisal flooring and African prints and textiles.

All the rooms have a different feel. Room 6 is the only Standard Room - it has lots of raffia and is open-plan. Of the Superior Suites, 7 and 8 have a contemporary feel; 3 and 4 are more traditional and 1, which is on the corner, is light and airy, commanding both mountain and sea views. Suite 2, where we stayed, has a long terrace with views over the city harbour - watching Cape Town’s lights gradually twinkle on in the twilight was a delight.

Bathrooms are spacious with natural marble and wooden decking. The power showers have sleek minimalist chrome fittings, and the towels are thick and soft. All the Superior Suites feature either a sunken or freestanding custom-made bathtub.

All rooms are extremely well-equipped: satellite TV, DVD players, electronic safes, air-conditioning, minibars/fridges, iPod docking stations, skype phones and laptops with free WiFi. Little noise filters from one room to another - you may not know you have fellow guests until they drift in to breakfast.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Dvd player
  • Fan
  • Ipod dock
  • Laptop
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Plunge pool
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Terrace
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

Breakfast is served all day at Kensington Place - we didn’t test whether it was any better at 4pm but we certainly enjoyed it at 11am. Fresh yoghurt, muesli and fruit, plus creamy scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, are served on the airy terrace.

For other meals, many good restaurants are within walking distance from the hotel - we waited to get an outdoor table for lunch at Café Paradiso but the chilli calamari linguini made it worthwhile. The hotel has an extensive list of restaurant recommendations, but if you fancy something light, there is room service. We opted for this one evening and enjoyed a supper on our private terrace of smoked chicken Caesar salad washed down with our complimentary bottle of white wine. Sometimes the simple things are the best - especially if they include a sunset view over Table Bay.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Visit Robben Island - the former prison where Nelson Mandela spent most of his 27 years of imprisonment

  • Take the cable car up Table Mountain - a must for sunset on a clear evening

  • Bo-Kaap, the city's Cape Malay area, is worth a visit for its cobbled streets and colourful historical houses

  • Adrenaline seekers can abseil down Table Mountain or paraglide off Lions' Head with local operators

  • Check out some of Cape Town's trendy beaches - but watch out as the winds can be strong and the water very cold

  • Plant lovers should not miss the famous Kirstenbosch Gardens, where you can wander through the unique flora of the region - take a picnic

  • There are plenty of oppurtunities for hiking. There's a nature reserve nearby or you can walk up Lions' Head for some great coastal views. The more energetic can climb up Table Mountain

  • Spend a day in the Winelands (30 minutes' drive away) most vineyards are open to the public for tasting

  • Drive down the scenic Cape Pensinsula to Cape Point, stoppong off en route to see penguins at Boulder's Bay

  • Township tours can be arranged through Uthando charity - see Social Responsibility

  • Use of local golf, squash and gym clubs can be arranged by the hotel

  • Back at the hotel take a dip in the plunge pool or sunbathe on the deck

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Adrenaline Sports
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping / markets

Kids

No children under the age of 12 are accepted - this hotel is designed to be a peaceful haven.

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
9/
Food
10/
Service
10/
Value
10/
Overall

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