Jaw-dropping illusions, high-energy juggling and a whole lot of fun
Antrim Villa Guest House
Cape Town accommodation that combines Victorian charm and modern convenience
You often hear the phrase ‘prime location’ being bandied about quite carelessly in accommodation PR-talk, but the term can most certainly be applied to Antrim Villa. Tucked away in a quiet neighbourhood that’s sandwiched between the bend of Green Point and the slope of Signal Hill, this guest house offers a stylish, comfortable place to a stay that’s within easy reach of the city centre and a series of beautiful beaches; not to mention, it’s only minutes away from the V & A Waterfront, Camps Bay, Table Mountain, the Cape Town Stadium and many other tourist attractions.
Though, despite being very close to the hustle and bustle, it’s quiet and calm in Antrim Villa. The personal, intimate feeling is reinforced by the fact that there are only eight rooms. Seven of these are double and one is single.
Aside from the perks that come with the guest house’s ideal location – did we mention that it’s also a mere five-minute walk from the Sea Point Promenade - it is also tastefully decorated. Owner Jonas Sandström has used his interior design experience to transform the Victorian house, which dates back to the 1800s, into a light, natural space reflective of the drama of the surrounding landscape. He takes his inspiration from the grasses and fynbos that grow on Signal Hill, the sandy shoreline just a 10-minute walk away and the curves and lines of the hills and outcrops that wind their way through Cape Town. And while it may sound like it has the makings of a kitsch, African-inspired airport lounge, the property channels a classy and understated aesthetic that, as the cliché dictates, has a home-away-from-home feel.
Each room has an en-suite bathroom that’s classily adorned with Scandinavian simplicity in mind and added African touches. All bedrooms are spacious with high ceilings, a relaxing atmosphere and extra-length European beds that can be semi-detached on request and that come with 100% cotton sheets. And the icing on the cake? There’s a sun-drenched, yet secluded tropical bamboo garden and large swimming pool available for guests to relax in.
“We are very strict on ensuring that our guests are comfortable and well looked after. We are there for them,” asserts General Manager Joy Daniels.
Accordingly, a deliciously healthy non-alcoholic welcome drink and a heated/cooled cloth is served to guests on arrival, and the staff are always up-to-date with what’s happening in and around Cape Town and are available to assist with leisure arrangements. Specifically, they can sort out a chauffeured airport transfer and are happy to book taxis, car rentals, safaris, tours and dinner reservations. What’s more, the villa provides safe off-street parking and 24-hour service and security.And now these luxury trimmings and amenities can also be found in the establishment’s two new off-site apartments, which are housed in a larger complex nearby.
“The one is a studio apartment and the other has a separate bedroom. They still have Antrim’s signature African-meets-Scandinavian look, but slightly more updated,” adds Joy, who is also a certified tour guide.
The new additions are within walking distance of the home base and are, for the most part, self-catering options for couples and independent travellers who want a little more independence and privacy. However, visitors can still arrange to reserve the flat on a bed-and-breakfast basis (the morning meal is taken in the main house).
Speaking of, Antrim’s large, healthy Scandinavian breakfast buffet is prepared fresh, including freshly baked breads, and is served from 8am to 10am on the terrace or in the lounge. Coffee, tea, hot chocolate and fruit are complimentary and can be enjoyed at all times.
Antrim Villa has been awarded a Fair Trade in Tourism certificate for its conscious effort to support entrepreneurs and its mantra ‘think global, buy local’. The team also runs the guest house in an eco-friendly way and has incorporated recycling and energy saving into everything they do.
So, if you’re looking for somewhere to stay that’s close to everything but outside of chaos of the city centre, then Antrim Villa is the perfect choice. The guest house is a comfortable space that offers tranquillity, great service and inspiring design.
Tip: Antrim Villa also offers free internet access at the in-house computer desk, as well as free Wi-fi access. There is also a small library in the communal lounge which guests are welcome to use.
On a shoestring? Find out about budget places to stay in the area with our overview of 10 top backpackers in Cape Town.
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