Hotels we love: La Grenadine Petit Hotel in Cape Town
I love Cape Town city. And by city I mean the actual inner city part, the part the locals call City Bowl. It’s not only a mecca for the best shops, bars, and restaurants, but also the central point from where you can easily reach it all: beaches, mountains, vineyards and of course unless you are a complete city slicker like me this is what you came for. With this comes a never-ending stream of different accommodation options: guest houses, hotels, and self-caterings with real life sound machines playing ocean waves, mountain vistas or the possibility to roll directly from your bed into the wine barrel. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of these scenarios, but I love our city more and so I guess it doesn’t come as a surprise when I will tell you that my favourite accommodation in Cape Town is smack bang in the middle of it.
You may start to see a pattern with me if you remember my last post about my most beloved hotel in Bangkok, The Asadang. I like tiny places, the ones that are quiet and charming. Preferably one that comes with a dog, an owner who has an eye for beautiful things, a location that is central but hidden. A few years ago I would have gladly used the term Boutique Hotel, but I have since learned that a Boutique Hotel can by definition have up to 100 rooms, so now I have taken on the term Petit Hotel.
La Grenadine coined this term and is exactly such a place to my liking. I was first introduced to it by clients when they first opened and it has since become my preferred option where I like to send friends and family members alike when my couch is unavailable. Nestled in a tiny little side alley off busy Kloof Street, it is easy to miss unless you know what you are looking for. But with that in mind comes the advantage of bustling city life in one of the trendiest parts of town all around and peace and quiet once you step inside. The name La Grenadine, French for pomegranate syrup, gives it away – open the wooden gate and you will find yourself surrounded by pomegranate trees.
You will first be greeted by Pele, the dog, and then by Maxime and Mélodie, La Grenadine’s charming owners. Originally from France they came to Cape Town a few years back and like so many others fell in love with the city and decided to stay. La Grenadine used to be an old farm house from the 19th century which the two transformed with the help of local artists and an incredible artistic eye into something that is modern yet has kept its old world charm. You will find that both the house and the garden are a bit French country, a bit industrial, and a lot of Alice in Wonderland. Next to the pomegranates take your pick, quite literally if you ask nicely, from avocados, guava, and olive trees. Vintage sewing machines have been turned into small breakfast spots and a long wooden table invites for sharing meals with all of your best friends or to make new friends with strangers.
The main house consists of five bedrooms, a lounge, a library, and a kitchen to share. There are two large and airy rooms upstairs that allow lots of light while offering fantastic mountain views – and yes, if we say mountain view in Cape Town we mean Table Mountain view. The downstairs rooms have garden access so don’t be surprised if you find guests wondering in their pyjamas from room to lounge in search of a night cap.
Newly built is the two bedroom self-catering cottage next door, which offers not only a private kitchen and lounge, but also a lovely shaded courtyard.
All rooms, in the main house and the cottage, are decorated with a certain je ne sais quoi that makes them feel homey yet refined. Sleep in the most beautiful linens, eat your breakfast off antique crockery, browse through European coffee table books, drink a lemonade that tastes like homemade, and sit back into a hill of handmade scatter cushions. For lunch or dinner there are many options within walking distance though you made be tempted to get a take-away and enjoy it back in the garden with a pomegranate in sight for desert under the watchful eyes of Pele who is hoping for crumbs.
Images from La Grenadine and Annika.