The Hout Bay Hideaway

Hout Bay, Cape Town, South Africa Book from

Reviewed by Justin Fox
Beautifully decorated 1930s-style Art Deco guesthouse set in a lush garden near Cape Town
The Hideaway is just the place to unwind after a long journey to, or around, South Africa. English owners Sue and Martin live on the ground floor of this stylishly converted 1930s barn, set high on a slope above the beach and fishing harbour of Hout Bay and only a 20-minute drive from downtown Cape Town. They’ve furnished the 3 suites and 1 apartment with Art Deco delights, antique trimmings and European artworks.

Grab a book and retreat to the abundant garden of yellow wood, flowering protea, lemon and wild olive trees. Or simply surrender to a hammock on the deck above the pool or head to the discreetly positioned outdoor bathtub for a relaxing soak. Sue and Martin’s retreat is beautiful - thank goodness they don’t mind sharing it.

Highs

  • The privacy, serene atmosphere and impeccable furnishings make this a charming hideaway
  • If you’re into Art Deco, you won’t find better interiors in Cape Town
  • Hout Bay’s shops, beach and some good restaurants are within easy walking distance
  • Sue and Martin are knowledgeable and convivial hosts

Lows

  • No restaurant on the premises, although every room has a small fridge, a sink and a microwave (self-catering rates are available on request)
  • We'd like a sound system or iPod dock in our room, but there is WiFi, satellite TV and a CD/DVD player (we're just being picky!)
  • Children are only welcome by prior arrangement

Best time to go

The Hideaway is a fine destination all year round. In the winter months (June-August) you can take advantage of the cosy fires and underfloor heating, while in the peak summer season (December-March) the pool and beaches will draw you.

Our top tips

Stop by the smallest pub in Africa, just before the start of Hout Bay’s main strip of restaurants - it’s a good place to have a cold Savannah cider and discuss the controversial toll plaza on Chapman’s Peak Drive.

Great for...

Beach
City Style
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Guesthouse
  • 4
  • Breakfast only
  • Not accepted (unless pre-arranged)
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room:

Rooms

This place will suit couples, families or groups: you can book either an individual suite, an apartment, a whole floor or the entire property, which sleeps up to 9 guests.

The suites and apartment have been individually decorated with care and attention to detail, but all in 1930s style. Rooms are filled with Sue and Martin’s impressive collection of antique furniture, colourful kilims, original Art Deco clocks and lamps (many from the Amsterdam School), and fine artworks.

The 3 suites on the upper floor vary in size, but all have shower rooms and views of Sentinel Mountain. We stayed in the Skylight Suite with its wonderful wraparound veranda overlooking the pool. The Sentinel Suite is similar, but it faces the sea. For extra space, opt for the Bay View Suite; not only do you get the best views of the bay, you also get an enormous private deck with teak furniture and hammocks.

Wooden bay windows and French doors open onto the garden from the ground-floor Garden Apartment, which has the added luxury of a spacious sitting room with a fireplace plus a separate bathtub and shower in the bathroom.

Deep armchairs, fireplaces and underfloor heating make all of the rooms a cosy option on winter evenings. Extra-long kingsize beds are laid with fresh cotton percale linen and each room has a satellite television, a DVD player, WiFi and a kitchenette with a sink, a fridge and a microwave.

All have ensuite bathrooms with a hairdryer, heated towel rails and fluffy dressing gowns. For the adventurous, there's also a functioning open-air Victorian-style bathtub set among ferns in the garden. Lie back and soak in a bubble bath while staring at the Southern Cross!

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Dvd player
  • Fireplace
  • Fridge
  • Hairdryer
  • Kitchenette
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

As the emphasis is on privacy at the Hideaway, your breakfast - fresh croissants, bread, fruit, yoghurt, orange juice and morning newspapers - will be discreetly left outside your door to be enjoyed whenever you wake up. You can also order cooked eggs if you wish.

All rooms have their own kitchenette with a fridge, a microwave-oven, a toaster, a kettle, a filter coffee machine and an iron. All are supplied with teas, coffees and milk. There's a barbecue area to try your hand at a traditional South African braai - fresh seafood can be purchased down at the harbour or there is a good supermarket nearby.

Restaurants within walking distance include the Chapman’s Peak Hotel, famous for its calamari and chips, and Dune - try the smoked ‘snoek’ pate here. A restaurant considered one of South Africa’s best is a short cab ride away: Kitima. Even if you can’t get a table (it’s usually booked weeks in advance) have a sample of its superb Thai cuisine in the elegant bar... and ask about the ghost!

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Coffee tea making
  • Fridge
  • Kitchenette
  • Limited self-catering
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Hout Bay beach is a lovely stretch of white sand if it’s not too windy. It’s not the best for swimming (the water is very cold), but the setting is spectacular. Have sundowners at Dune, a restaurant on the beach

  • Follow Chapman’s Peak Drive, one of the most beautiful roads in the world, and enjoy a picnic at sunset. The views are breathtaking... and you can spot whales from the drive during the winter months

  • Hout Bay's fishing harbour offers a colourful scene and is great for photography or sketching

  • Hout Bay’s famous World of Birds has more than 3000 birds in pleasant, walk-through aviaries

  • Suikerbossie Tearoom at the top of Hout Bay valley offers fine views down the peninsula

  • Watersports in the bay include scuba diving, fishing, sea kayaking and sailing

  • Llandudno is a beautiful bay with massive sandstone boulders and good surfing waves (less than 10 minutes by car)

  • Go hiking, biking or horse riding along the many mountain tracks

  • Cape Town with it's many attractions is an easy 20-minute drive away, don't miss Table Mountain, Robben Island or the V&A Waterfront

  • The Winelands can be reached in about 30 minutes

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Horse-riding
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Whalewatching

Kids

Children cannot be accommodated at The Hout Bay Hideaway, unless it's cleared with Sue and Martin before booking.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

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

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