We're Warming up for Winter: 10 Reasons why The Last Word Hotel is the Cosiest Cape Town Choice

The Last Word Intimate Hotels are a small group of luxury, boutique hotels which teem with international and local guests in the heat of the summer months. At the arrival of spring, our exquisite country manor garden comes into full bloom in Constantia; the temperature of our luxury and private pools, at all three locations, delight swimmers and the brilliant Cape Town sunshine makes a reluctant retreat at eight pm; leaving plenty of time for sundowners in ideal locations. 

 Indeed, the summer remains the favoured time of year for most to visit the Cape; but what about the undiscovered luxuries that can only be experienced in the winter?

 As a homely establishment that prides itself on the warmth of its staff, its five- star cuisine and its comfortable yet elegant king sized beds and furnishings, we’ve got a few ideas about what constitutes the perfect winter holiday in Cape Town and we’re sharing them here:

1. Cape Town's exclusive winter beauty

It’s no fallacy that the Cape Town afternoon sunshine is more brilliant in the cold winter months. Perhaps the frosty, evergreen lawns and cool breezes of the Constantia Valley offset these brilliant, blue skies? In any case, there’s something astonishing about the freshness of the terroir from April to August. The rains come down in sheets and fertilize the Newlands forests, Franschhoek flora and southern coast fynbos, providing wonderful holiday snaps for any Cape Town visitor. 

 Our own indigenous country garden in Constantia competes with the wild fynbos that surrounds our Long Beach estate; while The Last Word in Franschhoek reveals its own Provencal foliage. Visit our website for the full galleries of each unique property in winter.

2. Private chauffeurs to your destination of choice

 Migrating between each hotel is an easy and luxurious voyage with our private chauffeurs who will safely accommodate your large family and all of the luggage that comes along with you. We offer inter-property transfers as well as daily transport services to anywhere in the Cape, at a reasonable levy, and pride ourselves on our unique flexibility in this regard.

Our private car services become a necessity when heavy rains and traffic inundate the roads; allowing you to dine at the restaurants of your choice, several glasses of wine included. 

3. In-suite breakfast so that you can keep sleeping

The Last Word Intimate Hotels are renowned for their extensive yet delicious breakfast buffets and menus. At all three locations, breakfast is an occasion. Our buffet includes a selection of cold meats, different local cheeses, fresh tropical fruits, nuts, seeds, a variety of low GI cereals and breads, fruit juices, French pastries and artisan preserves. We’re sure there’s plenty more on offer.

The menu includes a range of different eggs, served hot, with toppings such as avocado, bacon, salmon and homemade hollandaise.

Upon request, the full menu will be delivered to your private suite so that you don’t have to budge from your warm duvet and morning paper. Cappuccinos are our speciality but we’ll cater to your personal coffee preference.

While we don’t serve lunch and dinner exclusively in Constantia and Franschhoek, upon request you can enjoy a salmon salad and a glass of sauvignon blanc by the pool and in Long Beach, a three course seafood dinner with a bottle of your chosen wine while you watch the Atlantic waves beat the shores. Our recommendations and reservations for top Constantia and Franschhoek restaurants always appeal.

4. Underfloor heating, luxury baths and private massage

 In addition to our complimentary white gowns and slippers, we keep the under-carpet heating turned up and you can always adjust the temperature to your explicit warmth requirements. Our king sized beds are fitted with soft white linens and pillows as well as fluffy, additional blankets; and upon return to your room, you’ll always find the lights dimmed, the candles flickering and a warm crème brulee for dessert.

 Our expert, in-house masseuse is available upon request and offers steaming, hot rock, full body or head and neck massages in the comfort of the room. Afterwards, feel free to sink into a large tub of bubbles in one of our spectacular mosaic bathrooms. 

5. Red wine and chocolate in Constantia & Franschhoek

 When you’re ready to venture out and explore, you’ll discover that the Constantia and Franschhoek Valleys are prime wine tastings destinations. Despite the coolness of the Constantia terroir, many farms in the area produce some riveting red wine varieties and open their boutique tasting rooms to guests every day. We recommend Buitenverwachting for their quaint Old Cape venue, top notch Merlot and fine restaurant menu. They are situated three minutes from our location, putting boozy lunches in easy reach.

You’ll also enjoy the extravagance of Steenberg Vineyards modern, aesthetic tasting room where you can enjoy a five wine tasting of their signature reds, including an Italian varietal, the renowned Nebbiolo and their flagship blend, the Catharina (named after the illustrious founder of their estate – ask a steward for the full ‘Out of Africa’ story). Their lounge features a blazing fireplace and while Catharina’s Restaurant offers wholesome country fine dining on the estate, Bistro 1682 specialises in five star tapas and light yet elegant breakfasts and lunch.

 This just in: Constantia Glen now offers luxury, handcrafted dark chocolate and Bordeaux style red wine pairings for winter. Details available on Cape Town lately.

 In Franschhoek you’ll find a revered wine estate on every corner. Our personal favourites include Allée Bleue’s L’Amour Toujours (a red blend), Bellingham's entire The Bernard Series and Bokenhoutskloof’s Syrah. You’ll also discover the beauty of chocolate and wine pairing on various estates, the most atmospheric being La Couronne. Our personal, private gem is the olive oil, cheese and wine pairing at La Bourgogne.

 If you’re looking for something with a bit more sugar and fire to warm your chilly bones, you can also pair reserve brandy with fudge at KWV in Paarl, just around the corner from the Franschhoek hotel.

6. Scrabble, Allesverloren and a cheese platter for two?

 Why not curl up in front of one of our roaring fires with Scrabble, our house port, Allesverloren and a cheese board to share?

 The Last Word Intimate Hotels are also a child-friendly places and provide a collection of children’s books, DVDs and games to give your little ones hours of endless joy if the grass is too wet for that anticipated game of Frisbee.

7. Winter menus make dining out sensational. We know the restaurants:

 Some of the top restaurants in South Africa are situated in Constantia, Franschhoek and Noordhoek, near to Long Beach. The celebrated La Colombe in the Constantia Valley has warmed up their Gourmand, winter menu with rare, handcrafted wine pairing. We will call ahead and book for you on the night of your choice. The same applies to the highly popular Foliage in Franschhoek, where tables should be secured months in advance.

If you’re staying in Long Beach and looking for some country fine dining, you won’t want to miss The Food Barn in pastoral Noordhoek, which serves up a Neo French menu as well as the most popular tapas in the southern suburbs.

8. Outdoor activities that are better in the cold

 If you tire of eating, drinking and being merry indoors and feel the need to stretch your legs, we’ll book you a Table Mountain hiking tour, cable car-ride or mountain bike experience from reception.

The more adventurous might enjoy kite surfing in Muizenberg while trail running and walking in the Constantia forests and Silvermine Nature Reserve are another great winter choice; when the fynbos and forests are in full flourish.

 We recommend that you visit at least one museum and one gallery during your stay. Red: The Gallery at Steenberg Village is a stone’s throw from the Constantia Hotel and features contemporary works by local artists. Adjacent; sits their cosy coffee corner and deli.

If you’re looking for the quintessential Cape Town museum experience, we can ferry you to the Iziko, South African Museum in Whale Street, behind Parliament and if the kids get bored, the Two Oceans Aquarium is a few minutes’ drive from the city.

9. High tea, speciallity coffee and reading at 16:00 in the lounge

 Return to us after your busy day of Waterfront shopping for private, high tea in the lounge at 16:00. Despite the boom in speciality coffee in Cape Town, we offer our own luxury brand; specially blended for the guests who stay in our hotels. Each hotel is fitted with a small library of fictional novels while Exclusive Books and Wordsworth Books are nestled in the small shopping centres of Constantia Village and Longbeach Mall; where we can pick you up a copy of anything on their shelves.

10. The warmth of our staff

 Our greatest winter offering is the friendliness, flexibility and humanity of our staff. We go the extra mile because we care and this sets us apart from other hotels and guest houses, specializing in luxury Cape Town travel.

There’s a delicate balance between intimacy and privacy at The Last Word Intimate Hotels and many of our former guests have commented on the homely environment that they have experienced during their stay.If we haven’t persuaded you to stay with us, you can visit our official website for the bigger picture of our intimate hospitality or email us: have@thelastword.co.za.

We look forward to your stay with us this winter.

Keep warm until then.

The Last Word Team