Tintswalo is a collection of five family-owned luxury lodges and boutique hotel properties, of which two are in Cape Town. While its discreetly located accommodation lodge and restaurant Tintswalo Atlantic at the edge of the ocean below Chapman’s Peak is already well-known, despite being difficult to get into as a non-accommodation visitor, Tintswalo at Boulders Boutique Villa is far more accessible, located in a residential street above Boulders Beach in Simonstown. I was invited to view the property by Janie van der Spuy of Five Star PR, and to enjoy breakfast, at the new property on Saturday morning, with a group of other writers. It was a challenge to get from Camps Bay to Tintswalo at Boulders in Simonstown by 9h00, having had a very short night’s sleep, Instagramming the amazing experience at the brand new Gåte restaurant at Quoin Rock in Stellenbosch the night before, until 4h00. I had to drive via Chapman’s Peak, and I took it very slowly, with huge numbers of cyclists along the way, many inconsiderate. Signage is still poor near Boulders Beach, so I had to stop there and check my Google Maps, which showed that the lodge was nearby. There was off-street parking available, and had I known that it was available, I could have parked inside too. But it is a very steep driveway entrance, so I was grateful for where I had parked.
I was greeted warmly, with a glass of MCC offered, but I could only think of one requirement, and that was a dry cappuccino, after the short night and long drive from Camps Bay. Owner Lisa Goosen showed me around the lounge, dining, and open plan kitchen, until my coffee was ready, the first one a little too milky, but all the subsequent ones were perfect after I briefed Stanford. Then Lisa and I went downstairs, for her to show me some of the nine accommodation suites, as well as the Children’s suite. The latter Suite is twin-bedded, and is penguin-themed, in the wallpaper as well as the bedding. There are games in the room, and a TV section, with everything a child could desire.
Tintswalo at Boulders has direct access to Boulders Beach, and its colony of endangered African penguins. It is surrounded by fynbos. The accommodation lodge has magnificent views, onto Boulders Beach, the rocks on which hundreds of cormorants perch, Kalk Bay on the left, and the Indian Ocean in general. A Marine decor theme has been used, each suite being uniquely decorated, and named and decorated in honour of a well-known ship. Room names include Cutty Sark, Drommedaris, Victory, Mary Rose, and Mayflower. A touch to be seen in both Cape Town Tintswalo lodges is the use of shells as decorative art, created by Lisa’s mother, not only on the walls in the bathrooms, but also carried into the baths, with a water-saving message created with shells to the guests. I am sure that no guest would have the heart to get into the bath, seeing it. In each room a welcome message is also created with shells. Strong wallpaper designs, mainly of flowers, have been used in the bathrooms. It is clear to see how much passion Lisa and her mother, in conjunction with a decorator from KwaZulu-Natal, have put into the decor of the new Tintswalo, strongly dominated with hues in blue.
A cold Breakfast Buffet had been set up on a large table, for us writers, I having been invited with Tamsyn Lee Brown, Megan Peta, Karissa Nichols, Jacqui Cooks, Nadine Carroll, Crystal Espin, and Lucy Corne.
Chef Glynis explained all the dishes to us. Seating was at tables on two terraces, overlooking the ocean, seeing a yacht at a distance, and the penguins and cormorants at Boulders Beach below. I started with freshly squeezed orange juice, a bowl of granola, with a Berry coulis, strawberry and plain yoghurt, and fruit salad. I tried the cappuccino muffin, and croissants and apple pastries also offered. Pre-made salmon, and salmon and egg, croissants were on the Buffet spread, as were spinach and feta quiches, colourful hash browns with bacon and egg, mushroom fritters with a dip, tiny Parma ham and fig as well as mozzarella and tomato bites, and a most unusual lemon and chive tart. I loved the cheese and cracker platter, with grapes, but missed Brie or Camembert on it. The butter had a welcome message too. I loved that the honey jar had a lid with penguins on it.
A full breakfast and afternoon canapes are included in the rates, and a private chef is available on request to prepare other meals. A concierge service is offered for bookings of restaurants, snorkelling safaris, and guided sea kayaking excursions. Tintswalo at Boulders can be booked on an exclusive-use basis for families and friends travelling together, the entire villa sleeping 18 adults and two children. A minimum stay of three nights is required for exclusive-use bookings. Other Tintswalo Lodges are located in the Manyeleti Private Game Reserve, and at Lapalala Wilderness.
On our departure we were told that the word ‘Tintswalo’ means ‘the intangible feeling of love, gratitude and peace that you bestow upon someone who has given you a meaningful and worthy gift’.
An opening special is available until 31 March 2019, offering a complimentary third night when booking a two-night stay. Low Season rates are from R3000, and High Season rates are from R4000, per person sharing per night.
Disclosure: We did not stay over at Tinswalo at Boulders, only enjoying its hospitality over Breakfast. On our departure we received a gift box with a bees wax cream and a penguin key ring.
POSTSCRIPT 21/11: After seeing this post, Green Planet Laundry, a company which recycles water and uses no water from the municipal grid, proudly contacted me to say that they do the laundry for Tintswalo.
POSTSCRIPT 21/11: Today I received an email with an invitation to each writer who attended, from Five Star PR, on behalf of a Tintswalo Lodges, to spend a night at the new lodge on a B & B basis.
Tintswalo at Boulders, 7 Gay Road, Simon’s Town, Cape Town. Tel (011) 300-8888. www.tintswalo.com Twitter: @TintswaloLodges Instagram:@tintswalo_lodges @tintswalo_at_boulders
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein