Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town scores full marks for its unspoilt, natural beauty as the perfect backdrop to Tintswalo’s stylish new villa.
Within the Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area, Boulders Beach is surrounded by the granite boulders which it is named after. Protected from strong winds and the wild waves of the Atlantic Ocean, the soft sandy beaches are clean and safe. The turquoise sea is calm and seems less cold than elsewhere in Cape Town, inviting swimmers and snorkellers to while away the time to explore its small coves and shallow kelp forests.
An idyllic, and perfectly #instagrammable spot, Boulders Beach is rarely crowded, except perhaps by the endangered African Penguins who have laid claim to this unique alcove on Cape Town’s South Peninsula. It is here, perched above the boardwalk overlooking the world-renowned penguin colony, that Tintswalo has created the latest jewel in its crown. Tintswalo Lodges is an exquisite collection of five family-owned and managed safari lodges and boutique hotels situated in unique locations within South Africa.
Getting to Boulders Beach is about an hour’s drive from the Cape Town city centre via spectacular Chapman’s Peak Drive, passing Hout Bay and sister property Tintswalo Atlantic along the way. Alternatively, use the other scenic route through the quaint villages that hug the coastline and stop for lunch en-route in Muizenberg, Kalk Bay, St James or Simon’s Town.
Boasting a unique North-facing position, Tintswalo at Boulders is a hidden gem in the true sense of the word. Set in a quiet neighbourhood, the villa’s location is breathtaking amongst the natural beauty of the surrounding fynbos, and with unobstructed views over the sparkling cerulean ocean. Arriving here feels like coming home. The butler is at your service to help with luggage and to welcome guests with drinks on the terrace. This also presents your first opportunity for penguin watching on the beach below, and thanks to their distinctive braying in the distance, you will soon discover why African Penguins used to be known as Jackass Penguins!
Inside the villa, elegantly furnished open-plan lounge areas are decorated in Tintswalo’s signature turquoise hues, fresh flowers, coffee table books and objects d’art with a touch of glamour in silver and crystal. Comfortable sofas, fluffy cushions and oversized armchairs invite you to relax and enjoy the views. In winter, cozy fireplaces create a warm cocoon against the Cape of storms, while downstairs a TV room with a big screen keeps sports fans and children entertained.
Two welcoming, open-plan kitchens are fully equipped for self-catering purposes when the villa is booked on an exclusive use basis. Alternatively, a chef is available on request. A wind-protected courtyard with comfortable seating and a central fire pit creates the ideal corner to meet for complimentary afternoon snacks, sundowners or pre-drinks, or stargazing and nightcaps while sharing stories about the day’s adventures.
Long dining tables are set up inside or café-style on the outdoor terraces to seat up to 22 people. The villa is the ideal venue for birthday celebrations, special occasions and small weddings, or home-away-from-home to families and friends travelling together.
Included in the bed and breakfast rate is Tintswalo’s signature breakfast – a lavish, multi-course feast. Start with freshly squeezed juices, yogurt, cereal and fruit, followed by a cheese and charcuterie platter, and freshly pastries. Still hungry? End off with Tintswalo’s famous Eggs Benedict or hot breakfast to order and a pot of fragrant tea or freshly brewed coffee.
Spreading over three levels, each of the nine luxurious suites have generous en-suite bathrooms and some have private balconies. Named after famous ships, suites are individually decorated to pay homage to maritime history and the location of the villa outside the naval village of Simon’s Town. These range from the Mayflower and the Cutty Sark, to Jan van Riebeeck’s Drommedaris. Children of all ages are welcome at Tintswalo at Boulders and the adorable Penguin Children’s Suite comes complete with a playroom stocked with toys and television.
On the top deck of the villa, the heated swimming pool features sea views and loungers to soak up the sun. The garden pathway to a secret, private gate leads directly to the Boulders Beach boardwalk and the entrance to the SANParks penguin viewing area. The boardwalk allows for excellent, close-up viewing of the waddling penguins, arguably South Africa’s cutest and most famous birds, whilst keeping them safe from human interference.
Other attractions in the area include nearby Cape Point, and within walking distance, the charming little shops and restaurants in the seaside village of Simon’s Town. Tintswalo at Boulders also offers a concierge service for bookings of restaurants and tours, snorkelling safaris and guided sea kayaking excursions.
The plight of the African Penguin and its fight for survival. African Penguins first came to False Bay in 1983 from Dyer Island, near Gansbaai. There was plenty for them to eat and the colony grew rapidly. In 1910 it was estimated that there were approximately 1,5 million African Penguins. In 1956 when the first full census was conducted on the African Penguin, approximately 150 000 breeding pairs were counted. The Boulders Penguin Colony was established in 1983 and numbers increased from surrounding island colonies to bring breeding numbers to 3 900 birds in 2005. Sadly, commercial fishing, marine pollution and habitat destruction have taken its toll. In 2009 there were only 26 000 breeding pairs left in the world. These numbers indicate a loss of more than 80% of breeding pairs in just over 50 years. In 2010 the species was classified as endangered and today there are estimated to be between 2000 and 3000 birds at Boulders Penguin Colony. See www.sanparks.org/parks/table_m
• Reservations: Tel 021 773 0900, Email: email@example.com, See www.tintswalo.com for more information.
• Tintswalo at Boulders Boutique Villa operates on a bed and breakfast basis with 9 double suites, as well as a children’s suite. Rates from R2800 per room per night for two people sharing (including breakfast, afternoon snacks and wifi).
• The villa may also be booked on a self-catering, exclusive-use basis, sleeping up to 22 people, from R26 880 per night. (accommodation only).