Being in-the-know at Kensington Place.
Tucked away on a winding street in Oranjezicht at the foot of Table Mountain we found Kensington Place, a style-savvy guest house offering Service with a capital S. This design infested establishment checks off all the must-haves of such a hotel while adding just the right extras to make your stay in Cape Town indulgent and memorable.
The entryway is hidden, almost like a garage door. As we crept through, the view opened up onto a sprawling garden and pool area next to an open terrace, where guests were enjoying breakfast. We were greeted and escorted to the lounge area, where countless fashion magazines and coffee table books lay, taking in the airy atmosphere, furnished with dark wood, plush cushions and metal panelling. Our urge to soak up some sun led us down to a seating area by the pool where we sipped deliciously light Kensington Coolers and watched a family of five arrive to the same warm and helpful welcome we had enjoyed. The hotel’s policy allows no children under 12, which we have found to be a great indicator for the mood, especially in small hotels like this one. There is an air of calm and repose that is just what some travelers are looking for.
The staff is knowledgeable and enjoys giving guests the true local experience. So, alongside organizing trips to wine country and excursions to the penguin-filled Boulder Beach in Simon’s Town, they also make sure visitors have reservations well in advance for the food lover’s paradise that is Cape Town. If you book your room well in advance the staff is glad to make reservations at the legendary Test Kitchen, the Mother City’s most booked-out eatery. We were a bit tardy, but were given recommendations and the hotels own list of places to go on a walking tour.
As we were led to our abode, the manager admitted that despite its lack of a view, our room (room 7) is his favorite. It’s built on two levels with a sunken tub and floor-to-ceiling windows facing the lagoon-like private gardens outside. The classic, dark-wood style of the bed and room furnishings didn’t detract from the open feel of the space and fit well with the bright mosaics in the bathroom. Beside the bed is an “emergency” box with tissues, pain killers, cough drops, mints, tampons and condoms. These people really think of everything.
Having planned an outing for the afternoon, we ordered room service, a burger and deconstructed sandwich. We were informed that the words “deconstructed” and “tapas” are current must-haves on every self-respecting menu in Cape Town, and since Kensington place prides itself on the insider knowledge of local hipsterdom, how could they do otherwise? The food was beautiful, warm and delicious, just the right pick-me-up for our busy afternoon.
We ventured down to the nearby Kloof Street to begin our walking tour. After a day and night on the town, speckled with recommendations from our host, we crawled into bed and slept like babies. In the morning we were excited to try the acclaimed breakfast (which is served all day) and ordered eggs benedict and a salmon omelet. We were more than pleased with the light texture of the omelet and the perfect ratio of toppings to hollandaise in the eggs benedict. The restaurant serves breakfast lunch and dinner all day and while Kensington Place tempts you to lounge around there all day and we truly recommend the food, do venture forth to discover what culinary finery Cape Town has to offer. Make sure to get the low down on the current hot spots in town, for 5 pm drinks before your dinner reservation.
The Verdict: Smart contemporary design meets mouth-watering food at Kensington Place, where every guest is welcomed like a family friend and leaves feeling like a local.
Kensington Place – Click here
38 Kensington Crescent
Cape Town, South Africa
+27 (0)21 424 4744