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Ali Rowling describes her memorable honeymoon at The 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa in Cape Town, South Africa Tying the knot? Stuck for where to head for your honeymoon? Worry no more, as the answer could quite possibly lie in the buzzing South African city of Cape Town, as my...

Cape Honeymoon & Spa

Ali Rowling describes her memorable honeymoon at The 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa in Cape Town, South Africa 

Tying the knot? Stuck for where to head for your honeymoon? Worry no more, as the answer could quite possibly lie in the buzzing South African city of Cape Town, as my new husband and I discovered. With only a time difference of one or two hours from the UK, British brides like me can sleep off our wedding receptions on the plane and awake to a whole new vista of culture and climate, jet lag not included! 

Set amongst the breathtaking and diverse backdrops of the Atlantic Ocean and the Twelve Apostles mountain range, home to the dominant Table Mountain, the place appeals to virtually all tastes. Fabulous beaches, upbeat bars and nightlife, great restaurants and good shopping: it really has it all. Add to that a host of daily activities to indulge in, such as visiting one of the area’s many wine estates, touring the Cape’s wonderfully rich-in-wildlife peninsula (islands of seals, marvellous birds and more), taking boat trips to the infamous Robben Island, and for the most daring, cage diving with great white sharks. 

A city with so much happening needs a balance of relaxation, essential to any honeymoon; waste no time in deciding where to put your head down and check into the intimate five-star Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa. Located in the upmarket Camps Bay area, the hotel has more than 70 rooms in a unique cliff-edge location, each delighting its occupiers with stunning views of mountain and/or sea. Our spacious room overlooking the ocean had a real “on the beach” feel coupled with great elegance. We couldn’t have asked for more. 

The bed was huge, as was the bathroom, and we were treated to thoughtful honeymoon gestures such as petals strewn all over the room and complimentary sparkling wine – small touches that make all the difference. Towelling robes, slippers and toiletries were luxurious and attentive but discreet staff, which was spot on for our type of holiday. 

The Spa 

The Sanctuary spa offers an enticing range of treatments. After all the stresses of the wedding plus the overnight flight, visiting the spa was our first opportunity to wind down and was at the top of our “to do” list before exploring our new surroundings. 

The spa entrance was down a few steps leading into a darkened reception area. Wafting incense and smiling Buddhas mirrored on either side of a cascading waterfall had the desired effect, immediately calming and relaxing us. Further on, the spa was reminiscent of a James Bond film, as we entered what can only be described as a small cave built into the cliff edge. Ambient low lighting and candles were dotted about the various small pools, ideal for chilling out before and after treatments and giving us the feeling of being nicely tucked away from the rest of the world! Even though there were other people present, we hardly noticed them; we were too busy enjoying the unique setting. 

The spa has seven treatment rooms (two for wet treatments) and an extensive range of therapies varying from massage and facials to reflexology and body wraps, as well as treatments using indigenous plant extracts. Being on our honeymoon, we naturally opted for a shared treatment–the spa’s signature Moya crystal massage, a superb combination of aromatherapy and massage with South African crystals, renowned for their relaxing and beneficial properties. Our treatment rooms interlocked into one large area and our therapists started the massage simultaneously. We both fell asleep during the treatment, which left us feeling completely relaxed and smelling fabulous. 

If the temperature outside is warm enough (it was bright but a bit chilly when we were there in late September) the spa can arrange for your treatments to be carried out on treatment tables positioned up in the hills, allowing you to enjoy the uninterrupted sights and sounds of the ocean while your tensions and troubles are massaged away. 

The hotel’s other facilities include a 24-hour al fresco cafe, complete with desirable views, and hot and cold rock pools. You can take a dip before indulging on yummy and comforting menu joys such as potato wedges, sandwiches and burgers. I can personally recommend the passion fruit smoothie as being out of this world. And if you both just want to stay put in your gorgeous room at times, as we did, all the selections can be ordered from room service. Perfect! 

Another attraction is the Leopard Room Bar, famous for its sunset views. People come from all over to see the last rays of the day dipping over the horizon, so get there in good time to grab a seat on the balcony. 

The elegant Azure restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but as we were out on our many excursions around the Cape (which the hotel can arrange for you), breakfast was the only meal we sampled there. On our final morning we decided to indulge ourselves with a champagne and smoked salmon breakfast. As we were taking sips from our flutes and commenting on what a great stay we’d had, a Southern-Right whale breached out in the ocean as if to say goodbye. We couldn’t have dreamt up a more perfect end to our honeymoon in this romantic destination. 

The Twelve Apostles and Spa, like its home city, offers such an array of options that you are spoilt for choice and leave a little disappointed that you couldn’t do more. A good excuse for a second honeymoon? 

The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa
Cape Town
South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 437 9000

(Originally published in Worldwide Spa Review Magazine)

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