We left Cape Town passing over Sir Lowry’s Pass and continued on the N2 towards the quaint seaside village town of Arniston and Ginkgo Luxury Spa Arniston en-route stopping at a fig farm where we purchased fresh figs for our trip.
We followed the signs that led us to the town of Arniston/Waenhuiskraal, and after taking a Shot’left we finally arrived at our destination: the iconic Arniston Spa Hotel & Spa, only 2 hrs from Cape Town. The hotel is next to the old fishing town of Kassiesbaai and close to sand dunes, sea caves, endless beaches and nature reserves.
The entire front of the Arniston Hotel, the “grand old lady” is sprawled across lush green lawns facing majestic ocean views. My first thought was “the ship has landed” We “embark” the steps that open to the iconic hotel that has withstood many storms. This iconic hotel stands upright with unspoilt panoramic Indian Ocean views and only a few steps away from the beach.
The Porter took our baggage and quietly led us to our luxurious and spacious ‘state room’ with a king sized bed and a large over-sized white bath in a family size bathroom. From the main bedroom a few steps below was a comfortable lounge area opening up to panoramic sea views – no porthole on this ship!
Fresh clean ocean air wafted in through the lacy curtains that flowed and invited us to just relax and unwind. A carafe of Monis Medium Sherry sat on the table waiting to be poured as this gorgeous hotel welcomed us to this side of the coast. In the room was a coffee/tea station, bottled water and an information booklet available for our perusal. In this booklet you can read all about the famous Arniston Ship that ran aground as well as all services offered by the Hotel. We sat on the open air balcony and watched the turquoise ocean while sipping a sherry; aah this is the life! All aboard!
A walk around this majestic ‘ship’, the iconic Arniston hotel where crystal clear waters invite you to a pool area with sun lounges, a sea facing bistro and lounge area to read or treat yourself to a luxury spa treatment at the Ginkgo Spa and Wellness centre that is on the property.
This iconic hotel in Arniston supports most of the community in Kassiesbaai by creating jobs for the locals, from kitchen to dining staff, keeping the grounds neat and weed free to keeping the rooms in tip top condition. In the shop you can purchase cards and paintings from a local artist or aprons sewn with love from another local. Down the street in Kassiesbaai was also a local craft shop.
The Arniston Hotel was built as far back as 1933 and would only allow the men to stay over; single ladies were not welcomed. But today it is the vibrant hub of Arniston, supporting the locals and inviting everyone in. Yes for this little picturesque town, the good ol’days was no good at all.
This was the perfect location to settle in for a few days and absorb the area. You can walk around the well-known fisherman houses of Kassiebaai and chat to the locals. I did a walking tour with Miems and you can read all about it on my post that is coming soon. There are plenty of photographic opportunities of the much loved white fishermen houses, each with a story to tell.
Enjoy late afternoon romantic walks along the coast or visit the famous photographed Waenhuiskraal caves at low tide. Scenes at sunrise are breath-taking and will fill your memory card very quickly, be warned.
Enjoy the beach directly in front of the hotel which offers the warm Indian Ocean waters and is shallow enough to swim in. When you return back to the “ship” a foot bath is at the entrance where you can wash the sea sand from your toes as you enter the hotel.
We were booked for the first seating at 06h30 for dinner, but decided to do room service instead. The Dining area looked relaxed with a soft ambience as fellow travellers shared their stories of the day and findings over low lit candles. Room service was exceptional at this luxurious 4* Hotel. A Butler brings in a silver trolley with silver domes and all the condiments you might need to enjoy your meal. I was highly impressed as he turned his back to not look in the room, as I signed the bill. He was Professional and discreet.
We ordered the Fatoush salad and it was delicately balanced with grilled pieces of pita bread and fine slices of radish. We chose to top it up with olive oil and balsamic vinegar which left a delicious salty tang in our mouths. Our main dish was grilled stuffed chicken breast filled with ricotta cheese and spinach and served with basmati rice and grilled vegetables on the side, delicious and cooked to perfection giving height to the plate.
Turn downs included a chocolate for the night, plus a card with information of the next day’s forecast of the tides and weather so you could plan your beach walks. They offer complimentary bath products from Charlotte Rhys collection for your enjoyment to use and a bath soap that you can take home with you to remind you of your luxurious beach stay.
We fell asleep to the sound of the waves as they tossed back and fro creating a relaxing and gentle lullaby rhythm. In the morning after a great sleep we enjoyed coffee on the patio as we greeted the sunrise. The sun gently glowed over the sea, inviting fishermen to venture to sea and soaking up the night dew on the green grass and fynbos dunes.
Breakfast is an absolute delight to the foodie enthusiastic and makes for great food porn. We knew it was 5 o’clock somewhere in the world, so we hit up a Bloody Mary for breakfast. You can also enjoy Sparkling Blush if you are celebrating or maybe a Tomato cocktail with Vodka for the night owls, freshly squeezed juices for the health fanatic or filter coffee for the caffeine addict. Teas were not boring either with a choice of camomile to green teas.
Cereals, granola and yoghurt to fresh and canned fruits of your choice, pastries and freshly made flapjacks with real cream and topped with syrup or honey for those who love something more sweet. Pastries and freshly made traditional scones only making your decision to choose even harder. The correct way to start your breakfast buffet is with something sweet then savoury, whereas dinners are first savoury then ends with sweet/dessert. I took up this opportunity and enjoyed the flapjacks and a scone.
Far too many cheeses to mention, salmon and cold meats with breads, croissants and jams are included in the array of cold buffet.
The hot buffet has apart from bacon and sausage, savoury mince and roasted potatoes cubes plus eggs anyway you enjoy it including boiled eggs. The omelette was made to order with mushrooms and a generous helping of cheese that left my mouth longing for more, but my stomach telling me I had enough to eat!
The Management and staff are very friendly and provide you with information of places to go and visit. Excellent service is given and the dining staffs are very knowledgeable who knew the dinner menu exceptionally well. Dining is open to the public and you can choose the formal dining area or the beach side bistro.
This is the go to place to get away for a week-end and not too far to travel to experience this coastal town. A perfect base to discover Struisbaai, stand where the Indian and Atlantic Ocean meets at Cape Agulhus, visit the lighthouse, shop in Bredasdorp or stroll through the Shipwreck museum. Play golf at the award- winning 9-hole golf course in Bredasdorp, 2 sets of clubs available for use at the Arniston Hotel.
This luxurious 4* Hotel is worth every cent and you will want to come back again and again! Great news is that they are offering a winter special –specials/ which includes a decadent buffet breakfast and you might just spot a whale!
Arniston Spa Hotel provides many options to linger longer from a beautiful size swimming pool to soaking up the sun and swimming, get pampered at the Ginkgo Luxury Spa Arniston with a well-deserved “me- time” or enjoy a couple’s treatment. Read all about it here: https://www.wanderingwarthog.com/blog/2019/06/13/beached-whale-given-new-life-in-a-sanctuary-of-total-bliss/ Experience the outdoors with body boards for riding the sea waves or bicycles to cycle around the town, available for use at the Hotel. There are plenty of photographic opportunities to hone in on your skills from land to ocean.
Explore and discover this quaint little town” with easy beach strolls or hike the dunes for the energetic. Enjoy sun-downers over the ocean or romantic moonlight walks, as they say “what happens on the ship, stays on the ship” Yes this ship has docked and it really felt like the Q2 on land, utter luxury and excellent service, the best guaranteed getaway location to revitalize your mind.
To book your experience visit https://www.arnistonhotel.com
*This article was not paid for by The Arniston Hotel*