12 Apostles: A date with decadence

2013-04-22 08:24

Arriving at the 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa is like stepping into the parallel life you wish you had. From the minute the immaculately dressed concierge greets you and ushers you inside to the minute your room door closes behind you and you're faced with the quiet tranquillity of your luxurious room, it's hard not to feel like you're some kind of royalty. 

In true Cape Town style I had driven past the 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa many times, always stealing a furtive, envious glance up at the lucky people sipping cocktails at the sea-facing bar or lounging by the pool overlooking the ocean, but I had never ventured in. 

So when I was invited to a wedding at the hotel I was delirious with excitement at the chance to explore this ‘hidden' treasure that was right on my doorstep. 

As expected, I was not disappointed. 

Lap of luxury

The opulent foyer was filled with smiling faces and as we walked to our room through the colonial-styled hallways and past the heated swimming pool and deck with an expansive view of the Atlantic ocean sparkling in the afternoon sun I could barely contain my excitement to see our room. 

We were lucky enough to have a sea-facing room that had two levels of luxury. First there is the giant king-size bed which was smothered in big puffy, crisp white pillows and duvet that promised a night of deep and restful slumber. 

This gave way to the second level which contained a lounge area with possibly the most comfortable sofa I have ever sat in. If it wasn't for the magnificent view beckoning from beyond the sliding doors that opened out onto a wooden deck area I could have stayed in the room all evening. 

However as appealing as an evening spent in such comfortable luxury was, I had a wedding to attend.

And what a setting for a wedding. 

Both the ceremony and reception took place at the hotel. The ceremony was held outside in a the Fynbos Garden area overlooking the sea in front and flanked by the majestic mountains behind. It was surrounded by beautifully landscaped shrubbery and bushes that added to the feeling of intimacy and gave the ceremony an air of fairytale wonder.

Just as the cool air from the mountains swept downwards to meet the equally cool breeze from the sea, we headed inside the hotel for the reception at the Atlantic Marquee Terrace.

Pure white table cloths, chairs and flowers decorated the marquee which was unfortunately closed off from the balcony due to the unexpected cool wind that had picked up. But the soft lighting, elegantly decorated tables and generous wine re-fills from the ever attentive waiters more than compensated. 

We partied the night away and eventually headed upstairs to the stylish Leopard Bar for a final cocktail of the evening before retiring to our gorgeous room where a hotel-organised babysitter was looking after our child. 

Child-friendly all the way

Despite my apprehension at checking into this lavish hotel with a very curious and busy toddler it lived up to its promise of being a child-friendly hotel. 

Our room was surprisingly well child-proofed, yet still maintained an air of elegance and I think even my toddler was too much in awe of everything to get up to too much mischief. 

In the morning we took him for breakfast in the very plush Azure Restaurant where we were pleasantly surprised to see how many of the other guests also had young children. The restaurant is pure elegance with crisp white tablecloths and leather arm chairs, each table perfectly set-up with shiny cutlery and sparkling glasses. 

However the waiters were all very welcoming and brought over a highchair as soon as we walked in and not once did we feel unwelcome despite the occasional loud protest from the sometimes-grumpy toddler. 

The breakfast options were plentiful; there was a fruit buffet, so many different types of warm breads and rolls as well as cereals and a large cooked buffet breakfast to choose from too. And of course, it was all delicious. 

When it came time to check out I was really quite sad. I had grown very fond of my beautiful room and the wonderful service from all the staff at the hotel. No longer will I merely drive past the 12 Apostles as I head somewhere else, from now on I think it should rather be my destination. 

What you need to know

With a choice of 70 bedrooms and suites, including the Presidential Suite you can choose from the following options:

CLASSIC All 14 classic rooms lead out onto outdoor patios that overlook the indigenous Fynbos gardens. (Average size: 33m² / 35ft²)

MOUNTAIN-FACING Eleven mountain-facing rooms surrounded by the majestic Twelve Apostles Mountain range (Average size: 33m² / 35ft²)

LUXURY The 21 luxury rooms offer guests partial views of the Twelve Apostles Mountain range, as well as the Atlantic Ocean. (Average size: 40m²s / 430 ft²)

SUPERIOR SEA-FACING Nine superior sea-facing rooms, offering guests an open split level design with a large sunken lounge area complimented by the best sea views of the Atlantic Ocean. (Average size: 55 m² / 592 ft²)


The Suite Collection offers unequalled accommodation with breathtaking views.

ONE-BEDROOM SUITES The hotel offers 3 mountain-facing and 9 sea-facing one-bedroom suites, all with unique views. All suites include a separate lounge and dining area for private entertaining. Suitable for families travelling with children under 12 years. (Average size: 70m² / 753 ft²).

GARDEN SUITES Both one-bedroom Garden Suites have their own outdoor Jacuzzi bath and secluded garden. (Average size: 70m² / 753 ft²).

PRESIDENTIAL SUITE The Presidential Suite provides guests with unparalleled luxury and includes a private lounge and dining room. Included in the top of the range accommodation, is a dressing room, ‘his' and ‘her' bathrooms as well as a private terrace. (Suite size: 170m² / 1829 ft²).

The hotel also boasts two pools perched above the ocean; its award-winning health and beauty spa; Azure Restaurant, the Café Grill and the Leopard Room Bar and Lounge; meeting, events & wedding facilities for up to 90 guests; and a 16-seater private cinema. 

Indulge at the spa

Spoil yourself with a visit to the hotel's spa, which re-launched in 2011 with a magnificent white crystal grotto interior and offers the following: 

- 9 fully equipped treatment rooms and 2 spa mountain gazebos
- Rasul Chamber 
- Perfect finish tourmaline salon for manicures and pedicures
- Tranquility lounge 
- Health bar and spa menu
- Plunge pools
- Floatation pool
- Separate male and female changing rooms
- B|Africa - A new, exclusive product range created by The Red Carnation Hotel Collection drawing inspiration from the oceans, wilderness and mountains.
- Spa gift vouchers 
- Spa packages
- Fitness centre
- In-room treatments available for hotel residents.

The spa is open in winter from 9am to 7pm and in summer from 8am to 8pm. 

Winter indulgences

With winter making herself known, now is a good time to make use of a choice of winter special offers at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, offering five-star service and amenities at incredible value-for-money, encouraging guests to spoil themselves and hibernate the luxurious way. 

Dinner and a movie 

R350 per person for Dinner and a Movie, or from R1277.50 per person sharing per night for Dinner and a Movie...and overnight 

Enjoy a perfect night out with a three-course gourmet dinner for two in the romantic Azure Restaurant, followed by a cosy movie night in the hotel's very own cinema, complete with popcorn, hot chocolate, candy and milkshakes. To end the evening on the perfect note, make a night of it and stay over in one of the hotel's plush guest rooms. Full English breakfast is included the next morning. 

Detox and Delight 

From R1278 per person sharing per night 

Detox and Delight is an indulgent overnight spa package that is all about ‘Me Time', allowing guests to escape everyday life and take time out to relax and rebalance. Included in the package are accommodation, full English breakfast with freshly harvested oysters and sparkling wine, and a 60-minute Traditional Arabic Rasul experience, which takes place in The Spa's Rasul Chamber: a skin-smoothing, detoxifying self-treatment, blending mineral-rich mud, steam and heat to provide an experience that releases toxins and re-energises. 

Afterwards guests may relax in The Spa and refuel with light and healthy snacks from the Health Bar. Following a restful night's sleep, guests will emerge feeling like a brand-new person - ready to face life once again. 

Hibernate to rejeuvenate 

From R1492.50 per person sharing per night

The Twelve Apostles' Hibernate to Rejuvenate package enables guests to slip away for two nights of bliss, doing as much or as little as they like, all without having to leave the comfort of the hotel. The stay includes accommodation; full English breakfast with freshly harvested oysters and sparkling wine; a 40-minute head and shoulder massage per person; a one-hour session in The Spa's hot and cold water plunge pools and salt water floatation pool; and daily movies with popcorn, hot chocolate and marshmallows, to be enjoyed in The Twelve Apostles' private cinema; as well as a three-course dinner from the hotel's Choice Select Menu in Azure Restaurant. Guests may also enjoy tea, coffee and hot chocolate in the privacy of their room, or choose from a selection of board games to play in the Leopard Bar, protected from the winter chill at the fireside.


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