The Alphen Boutique Hotel - Constantia's chic historical sanctuary
The Alphen Boutique Hotel is set within a majestic and historically significant 11-acre estate, comprising of several meticulously restored Cape-Dutch heritage buildings. When you arrive, an expansive green square flanked by time-honored trees create the first impressions of tranquility and grandeur. Located in the very heart of the picturesque Constantia valley, which is one of Cape Town's classiest suburbs, this property was first established as a farm over 300 years ago. Today it is home to an exclusive all-suite hotel, two private companies and a few residential homes.
Its distinctive architecture includes several listed structures from different eras - the eldest being the fascinating slave quarters and an ancient mill. The imposing 18th century manor house has been converted into a modern reception area and elegant lobby lounge - it also houses their premier restaurant and conferencing facilities.
The Alphen has 19 expansive suites and offers travellers a choice between 3 different room categories. Their luxurious lodgings are divided amidst two buildings - the original Dowager House and The Mill House, a new addition which blends in perfectly with the existing setup. Visitors can also reserve the secluded and self-contained deluxe suite if they require that extra bit of privacy...
I was thrilled to check into a very comfortable superior suite - the stunning space featured extra high ceilings, plush furnishings and opulent finishes. Flooded in natural light, its vibrant bohemian theme was inviting and soothing at the same time - forging a perfect union of glamor and serenity.
Apart from the expected modern conveniences like an Illy espresso machine, docking station and complimentary minibar, my quarters also had two separate bathrooms - now that's something you don't see everyday! Stylishly decorated in hues of black, white and gold, I'd imagine that these lavish washrooms are quite convenient when traveling with a partner.
This special property provides guests with a range of culinary options. Starting with their signature eatery, Blanko, which showcases a contemporary Italian menu. This remarkable restaurant is set within the ground floor of the original homestead, where an impressive collection of fine artworks adorn the white walls. The modish space mimics the air of a chic upscale gallery, and it retains many authentic fixtures like the large wooden doors and pristine Dutch delft fireplaces.
I savored a marvelous dinner here, and the spectacular unpretentious cuisine was perfectly suited to the unique surroundings and inviting atmosphere. From a generous charcuterie plate and asparagus with baked ricotta, to the expertly cooked salmon fillet followed by the most delicious tiramisu, it was a particualrly memorable meal I won't soon forget.
Next door, nestled amongst the tall aging oaks, lies their beautiful bakery and bistro, La Belle. A real rustic refuge and the ideal setting for an al fresco lunch or indulging in a flakey pastry from the boulangerie. Their delectable breakfast is served here in this comfortable country style environment, and I must mention that the skilled baristas know how to brew a perfect cup of joe.
The hotel also has a poolside bar lounge, known as The Rose Bar - overlooking the lush lawns, this stylish open air terrace is where guests can enjoy cool cocktails to chilled tunes. And at night it happens to be quite the popular hangout for local socialites...
As this is a boutique hotel, one can expect a personalized level of service. Before my arrival, the reservations team thoughtfully enquired if there was anything special I desired in my room - like flowers, wine or even candles. Upon check in I was met by the amicable and well traveled guest relations manager who kindly showed me around and provided valuable insight into the premises. Overall, the staff were helpful and available, facilitating an unobtrusive yet genuine experience.
In terms of leisure facilities, there may not be a dedicated onsite spa or gym, but this small hotel has a big personality and generous heart. The exclusive estate possesses a striking character and enchanting charisma, making your stay here unlike any other. If sophisticated pastoral solitude is what you're looking for in Cape Town, The Alphen Boutique Hotel is definitely the best place to book. You'll thank me later...
* I was kindly invited by the hotel and my stay was complimentary.
All photos and opinions are my own © Traverate 2017