La Grenadine

Gardens, Cape Town, South Africa Book from R1,170

Reviewed by Jo Duxbury
A French-style farmhouse with bucketloads of modern style and a tranquil garden, in central Cape Town
Having met and fallen in love in, and with, Cape Town, Parisian couple Melodie and Maxime elevated Franco-African chic to a whole new level with this unique ‘petit hotel’. It’s rustic yet stylish, urban yet tranquil - and we were made to feel at home within minutes. Originally stables, and subsequently a school and private residence, La Grenadine has been transformed with sensitivity and style by its artist owners. While retaining the charm and history of the old architecture, the thick, cool walls, high ceilings and wooden beams are now offset with an airy colour palette, arty décor, and touches of Africa. Metal and glass verriere walls reminiscent of Parisian apartments separate bathrooms from the 5 bedrooms; there's also a charming 2-bedroom cottage. Chairs upholstered in funky African prints and bold protea flowers in vases remind you that you’re in Cape Town.

The peaceful, slightly wild, scented and fruit-laden garden is a rare find in the city centre; step out of this hidden oasis and you’re within walking distance of Cape Town’s hippest bars, restaurants, galleries, museums and sights. This is ideal for urban explorers and nature lovers alike; beaches and Table Mountain are only a 10-15 min drive away.

Highs

  • A fabulous location: tucked away so you'll get a good night’s sleep, but walking distance from Cape Town’s social buzz
  • Fantastic prices
  • The garden: jasmine scents the air, and pomegranate, guava and avocado trees create pools of shade
  • Maxime and Melodie are warm, friendly, helpful and interesting
  • Instagram-worthy vignettes at every turn

Lows

  • No pool
  • Only the Mountain View Rooms have air con, and only The Cottage has a TV
  • Bathrooms are semi open-plan so lack privacy, and showers over baths or open to the room make everything a bit wet
  • Off-street parking is limited and tight, but you can do without a car here (an additional High!)

Best time to go

Cape Town is a great all-year destination. La Grenadine’s garden starts blooming in October and it’s warm enough to sit out in it at night from November through to April. The busiest period is from mid-December to mid-January, when the city is packed with local and international holidaymakers.

Our top tips

Art galleries stay open late on the first Thursday each month. Walk down to Bree and Loop Streets to see the latest in local art, jewellery and design - and eat at one of the funky food trucks.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
City Style
Family
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 5 rooms and a 2-bedroom cottage
  • Breakfast only (restaurants nearby)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

The 5 rooms are all different, all beautiful. Their calm palette is paired with pops of colour (we had a bright orange bathtub), bright African print cushions, historical framed prints and indigenous protea flowers. Large, comfy beds are dressed in luxurious cotton bedlinen, hand embroidered at Melodie’s family atelier in Mauritius.

Ground-floor rooms lead onto the tranquil garden; upstairs rooms have gorgeous mountain views. Ensuite bathrooms are semi-open plan (best if you know your roommate well!). Some are open to the room; others can be closed off behind shutters or glass doors.

Families or groups will love The Cottage, which has 2 double/twin bedrooms (1 with in-room bath), a full kitchen, lounge and large terrace shaded by an ancient olive tree.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Honesty bar
  • Ipod dock
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

A continental breakfast is served at a long table in the dining area or garden, and includes pastries, local cheeses, homemade jams and freshly-pressed juices.

No other meals are served. The Cottage is self-catering with a full kitchen, and if you're staying in the rooms but want to bring in a takeaway or picnic, you're welcome to use the hotel crockery. The restaurant over the road will deliver food, too.

Eating out is great value for most overseas visitors, and the quality is excellent. Many of Cape Town’s most popular restaurants are on nearby Kloof and Long Streets - Melodie and Maxime can advise. During peak season (November-March), you’ll need to make reservations in advance.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Coffee tea making
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Hike or take the cable car up Table Mountain; best done an hour before sunset to see the city in both day and night light
  • Spend the day on one of Cape Town's gorgeous beaches; we love buzzy Camps Bay, or the quieter Clifton beaches round the headland
  • Take a tour of Robben Island to see where Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners were incarcerated during apartheid
  • Explore the colourful Bo Kaap district (you can walk there from La Grenadine) and discover its Malay culture and history
  • On Saturdays, don’t miss the Oranjezicht City Farm market - an organic, foodie, hipster paradise
  • Head out to the Winelands for a day of tasting, beautiful scenery and delicious food
  • Borrow a book from the hotel’s trilingual library and curl up in the colourful lounge or a find shady spot in the garden. There's a record player and cool collection of vinyl, too
.

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Surfing
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Children are welcome. Maxime and Melodie are parents themselves and happily lend their kids’ paraphernalia to guests.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Families tend to book The Cottage, which has 2 double/twin rooms and is self-catering. The 2 Mountain View Rooms share a terrace and are good for families with older kids who are happy to have their own room. All bedrooms can fit a baby cot or extra bed

Distances:

  • Airport: 30 minutes
Kid Friendly: COPYRIGHT ISSUE - ASK LIZ

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
7/
Food
10/
Service
10/
Value
9/
Overall

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Rates for La Grenadine