The dogs of the Villa.

Here we have our lovely 3 Dachshund, who spend their free time at the Villa,
when they’re not out soaking up the sun or chasing squirrels in the park.

Monty, Black.
He loves to step out to welcoming you at the entrance. He expects a bit of fussing over as a reward. :)

Berty, Tanned brown.
Our rescue. A bit nervous at first, but loves a good head massage.

Taylor, Chocolate brown.
Our queen – as in Elizabeth Taylor we like to say, and the leader of the pack too.

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We also had the lovely Brandy, the Golden Retriever for many years.
Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to her in Feb – we miss her dearly.If she wasn’t out the front entrance, catching some sun, she waited patiently in the office for some belly rubs too.

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Constantia Winelands Cycle Tour with AWOL Tours

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AWOL Tours have created a 15-km cycle tour that introduces travellers to the Constantia Wine Valley in all its splendour.

This private tour, which can be customised to suit personal taste and cycling ability, treats cyclists to beautiful winelands scenery and includes visits to three of the wineries that make up the original, historic Constantia Wine Valley. You will also have the chance to stop at the Groot Constantia Manor House and at the Sheikh Abdurahman Kramat (Islamic holy shrine). Depending on time and participants’ interests, the tour can be extended to include an additional 3.5-km ride through the lower part of the Tokai Forest to experience all the colours and scents of the Cape Floral Kingdom.

And of course, a trip to the wine region would not be complete without a sip and swirl session and a gourmet lunch experience, and time is made for both during the excursion (wine tasting is included in the tour fee, but lunch is for participants’ own account).

For booking and information, call +27 (0) 21 418 3803 (office), +27 (0) 83 234 6428 or email info@awoltours.co.za

COFFEE AND CAKE ANYONE?

Petits fours Restaurant in Blaauberg

Treat yourself to a drive to the other side of Table Bay for coffee and cake or a light lunch (on a wind-free day because this can be a hectically windy beach setting). It’s well worth the trip!

Blaawberg coastline outside Petits fours Cafe

 

 

FACILITIES & SERVICES

Check-in: If you arrive earlier than 2pm, you can store your luggage with us at no charge. We will not be able to give you your room key until after your room has been serviced – at 2pm –  however.
Check-out from the room is 11am (luggage can be stored for you as on arrival). We MAY be able to offer you a day room at an additional charge if you request this at reception upon arrival, or during your stay.

In the room:
- Air conditioning/heating
– Flat screen TV – Satellite TV (news, sports, movies)
– Complimentary Wi-Fi access
– Hair Dryer
– Tea/coffee station with cookies
– Electronic safe
– Free toiletries
– Wake-up calls and packed breakfast for an early start.

In the house:
- Concierge
– Laundry (see note below)
– A communial honesty bar fridge
– Complimentary afternoon cake
– Port and sherry in the evenings
– Swimming pool (see note below)
– Small library with daily newspapers and book swap shelf
– Guest computer station for free emailing and browsing
– Gift shop with very carefully selected African curios
– Free public parking (see note below)
– Lounge

Please note the following:

Image result for swim logo hotelSwimming pool: The Western Cape is experiencing the worst drought in 100 years and the city has severely limited water usage. As from 1 October 2017, Level 5 water restrictions were introduced and thus the filing of swimming pools is now against regulations and all pools must be covered at all times to avoid water evaporation or drained completely. This means that our swimming pool will be out of commission until further notice. The city is looking at alternative water sources such as desalination and tapping into underground aquifers, but as things stand, we are forced to adhere to the city regulations to avoid heavy fines. Sadly this is something that is out of our control. Luckily we are a short drive away from the wonderful beaches of Cape Town and a large public sea water pool is situated in Sea Point.

On 5 Dec 2017, the City Mayor announced that Level 6 water restrictions will be implemented as from 1 Jan 2018 due to the sharp drop of water levels in our catchment dams.
This makes things more difficult as all citizens and visitors to the city have to reduce water consumption drastically.
We ask guests to follow some simple steps at our hotel to help us conserve water.
No more bathing, only SHORT 2 minute showers allowed – Soak, Turn off tap, Lather and Rinse.
Toilets, only flush when necessary. If it is YELLOW, let it MELLOW, if it is BROWN, flush it DOWN.
Every time you flush a toilet, it consumes 10 Lts of drinkable water (sadly the city does not use recycled water for toilets yet), think hard before you flush as every flush deprives a family/household of 10Lts of drinking water, meaning the poor will be hit the hardest as they are the least able to afford buying bottled water.
If we all do our bit, it will take a bit longer before we reach “DAY ZERO” as it is referred to in Cape Town – hopefully this is only a temporary measure, but let’s all help so you can still enjoy your holiday by protecting our most valuable commodity – WATER.

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Laundry service
  – Monday to Saturday. Inside your wardrobe are 2 laundry bags (for darks & lights), they are for your use whilst you’re with us. Place the laundry in the bag and drop it off at reception by 10am, to get it back the same day. Wash & Fold service only. If you require any ironing or anything extra, there is a small additional charge. Laundry is charged by weight and the rates can vary for heavier bags. Clothes are tumble-dried with HEAT, so if there are any delicate items, do not place them in the bag.

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Parking
 – We do not have reserved parking. Free street parking in front of – or close to – the Villa. We recommend that guests do not arrange for a car rental for their first two or three days as parking in the city can be congested and cars tend to be a liability – not in our area so much but in the city center. Mostly rental cars end up being parked in the street unused as most city attractions are within walking distance.

ATTENTION HIKERS!

In the Cape Peninsula, we are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to hiking. Some locals spend their entire lives exploring these mountains and never see it all. Some hikes take you to a waterfall, grotto, yellowwood grove, shipwreck or spectacular viewpoint. The routes range from challenging climbs to the top of Table Mountain to leisurely strolls among the fynbos or along city beaches, and will appeal to hikers of all levels of experience – whether aspiring ramblers or diehard adventurers. For visitors, these hikes are the most easily accessible.

Lions Head
This short hike (about an hour up in general), gives a fantastic panoramic view of the city and beaches. Just a five-minute drive from the city’s centre, Lions Head is perfect for a sunrise or sunset hike. The full moon hikes are exceptionally popular too.
Cost: Free
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Table Mountain
If you want to skip the cable car there are a range of different routes you can take to get up top on the flat top. The most direct route is up Platteklip Gorge, which is also arguably the most challenging one. India Venster has great views of the city all the way up and then there are alternative routes up from Camps Bay and Kirstenbosch too. Just remember, what goes up must come down. Find out more here and read a full description of Cape Town’s best hikes here.
Cost: Free
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Silvermine
A 20-minute drive from the city centre, Silvermine Nature Reserve is a popular spot for walking and hiking, as well as bird-watching, picnicking, and mountain biking. There are several short, easy-to-manage hiking trails that offer beautiful views of the landscape from False Bay to Cape Point. One such trail is the hike to Elephant’s Eye, a large cave so-named because the mountain looks like the shape of an elephant’s head and the cave the eye.
Cost: R50 for adults, R15 for children (age 1 to 11)
Operating hours: 07h00 – 19h00
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BEACHES IN CAPE TOWN

Cape Town has two glittering coastlines with a beach to suit every mood and moment. Whether you’re after beachside bars, secluded coves, big waves, safe swimming beaches, or a romantic spot for a sunset picnic, there’s something here for you.

Related imageClifton
Clifton has four beaches (Clifton 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th) with each one home to its own set of typical visitors. The beauty of Clifton is not just the bathers (but yes, the eye candy is something to behold) but its positioning. Clifton hardly receives any wind and provides a sheltered bay for the yachts and small boats. A great place to see and be seen.


Image result for camps bay beach sunsetCamps Bay
Camps Bay is near Clifton but much bigger and more of a family beach. To the right lies Glen Beach, which has the best surf in the area, and behind Camps Bay beach is a Miami-like strip of bars and restaurants ensuring that a cold drink or hot meal is never too far away.

AMAZING RIGHT?

Image result for muizenberg beachMuizenberg
Muizenberg is well-known for its multi-coloured beach huts and is located in the scenic False Bay, on the opposite side of the Cape Peninsula to the above-mentioned beaches. It is a recognised Blue Flag beach and a favourite spot for families and aspiring surfers.

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Llandudno
Llandudno has it all, a beach big enough to play sports on, great waves for surfers and even a nudist beach, Sandy Bay, within walking distance. This is a bit further from town than Camps Bay and Clifton but is a popular beach with locals.

A CAPE TOWN GUIDE IN YOUR POCKET

9BA7D992-D0C3-41AA-8F26-3A916467D1E9Everything you need to know about Cape Town, downloadable for free from the App stores for IOS and Android devices.

Official Guide to Cape Town.

iOS download link
Android download link

app

Targeted predominantly at first time visitors to Cape Town, the app is like a “local in your pocket” with an insider guide sharing hints and tips from locals alongside a carefully arranged and easy-to-use list of practical tools.

Featuring hundreds of Cape Town sightseeing landmarks, practical visitor information and user-friendly maps – the new Official Guide to Cape Town will also allow you to create and store an itinerary as you go, or simply suggest some themed itineraries for you.

FOR THE ADRENALIN JUNKY

If you’re coming to Cape Town and you’d like to know how you can keep busy, here are some suggestions. :)

Helicopter ride over Cape Town.
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Cape Town is a beautiful place to explore, but to do it from the air can be sensational. The easiest way to do this is to go to the V&A Waterfront where the steel birds take off daily. There is a range of different routes you can choose from, such as the Atlantico, Two Oceans, Robben Island and Full Peninsula. As there are different operators to choose from and we will gladly make a reservation with our favourite one!
Cost: R1,050 per person – R4,000 per person
Operating hours:  08h00 – 17h30 -7 days a week

Ziplining.
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Cape Town Ziplines is close to the CBD and easily reached on the Hop-on Hop-off City Sightseeing Bus. This is one of Africa’s longest and highest Zipline tours. The zipline is approximately 2.3km in total length, with single cables that stretch up to 500m and that soar 155m above the ground at their highest point. Ask us to book this exciting experience for you.
Cost: The two-hour tour costs R480 per person
Operating hours: Monday – Sunday: 09h00 (first tour departs) – 16h00 (last tour departs).
Tandem Paragliding.
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Tandem paragliding flights are mostly done from Signal Hill but they also occasionally take off from Lions Head inside the beautiful Table Mountain National Park. The paragliders either land in Camps Bay or Green Point after the thrilling ride down from the mountain. Just beware, it’s over much faster than you might imagine (7-20 minutes), and you’re definitely going to want to do it again. We will happily book a flight for you!
Cost: R1150 per person per flight
Operating Hours: 07h00 – 19h00, weather permitting.

Surfing.
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Muizenberg is considered South Africa’s ‘best learn-to-surf beach’ due to its gentle and consistent breaks. Voted by National Geographic as ‘One of the World’s Best Surf Towns’, Muizenberg offers a great introduction to the wonderful thrill of surfing.
Cost: Gary’s Surf School charges R380 for one person for a two-hour lesson. The Surf Emporium charges R330 for one person for a one and a half hour lesson. For both, the price drops for larger groups.
Operating hours: Times change according to the tides. Contact the surf schools to arrange a time before you go.

Kayaking in Three Anchor Bay.
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Kaskazi Kayaks launches its tours from a small beach in Three Anchor Bay and embarks on a 3 – 5 km journey either towards Granger Bay or Clifton Beach. A range of seabirds can be seen on the trips but it is the penguins, seals, dolphins and whales that cause the most excitement. Trips are approximately two hours long. If you have previous paddling experience they can arrange half day kayak trips too.
Cost: R350 per person
Operating hours: The first tour departs at 07h30, next one at 10h00.

Seal snorkelling in Hout Bay.
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Animal Ocean has marine guides who are dedicated to getting you in the water with the playful Cape fur seals. Cape Fur seals occur naturally on islands around the southern African coast and are found nowhere else in the world. Duiker Island in Hout Bay is home to 10 000 seals, which, as they say, ‘brings you mask-to-whisker with playful and inquisitive wild animals in their natural habitat.’
Cost: R650 per person
Operating hours: Typically leaves in the morning and takes 3 hours.

Sound exciting? Stay tuned, more to come. :)

SAFETY IN OUR CITY

South African Travel Safety Tips

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Safety has become an important issue throughout the world. The Tourism Safety Task Group of South Africa has compiled the following tips for tourists and migrants who come to the country:

In the street:
Avoid ostentatious displays of cameras and expensive jewellery, especially valuables such as necklaces that is easy to snatch.
It is definitely not advisable to carry large sums of money around (rather, we recommend using URCard, a safe, convenient prepaid debit card designed specifically for travellers)

  • At night, steer clear of walking in dark, isolated areas, use taxis instead
  • It’s better to explore in groups and to stick to well-lit, busy streets
  • Plan your route beforehand
  • A policeman or traffic officer will be glad to direct you if you get lost
  • If you want to call a taxi, your hotel or the nearest tourism information office can recommend a reliable service

In a car:

  • Leave nothing visible in a parked car – NOTHING, not even an empty carrier bag
  • Do not pick up strangers when driving.
  • Keep windows up at traffic lights.

Keep cash and documents (as flight tickets. passport etc) in your hotel’s safety deposit box.
Leave your valuables at home, your luggage may be opened and your valuables missing from your bags when you collect your luggage from the check out area.

  • Do not wear expensive jewellery.
  • Do not allow yourself to be separated from your hand luggage.
  • Laptops, camera’s, mobile phones and handbags are targeted items.
  • Do not allow yourself to be distracted by one person while another person runs off with your possessions.

If you are hiring a car and intend driving from the airport be sure you know the exact route you should take so that you need not stop to ask for directions making yourself vulnerable and an easy hijack target.

Avoid walking in deserted areas on your own during the day and particularly at night.

South Africa is not the only country where the above list applies, it applies to many destinations and innocent tourists are caught up in unpleasant situations because they are not vigilant and do not apply wisdom because they are “on holiday” and in a carefree mood.

Please also avoid giving money to beggars; you are more likely to lose your whole wallet in this type of situation. Poverty breeds crime!