Babymoon Review: The 12 Apostles, Cape Town
Kate Watkins, 30, 4 months pregnant, and husband Owen, 31, journey to Cape Town to relax in ultimate luxury at this elegant South African resort, at the edge of Table Mountain national park
Summary: We chose Cape Town for our babymoon because, as well as it being a destination on our list of must-visit places, it is malaria-free and the temperature when we went (May) meant it wasn't too hot for my pregnancy-related hot flushes! The 12 Apostles Hotel, a member of the Red Carnation Hotel group, particularly appealed to us because the attractions we wanted to visit were accessible, while its idyllic location – at the edge of Camps Bay – is perfect for the peace and quiet we were also after.
Why we chose this hotel: The intimate hotel is named after its location: it is situated in front of the Twelve Apostle mountains. The Twelve Apostles Mountain range is part of the Table Mountain National Park. It really is an area of outstanding natural beauty and the hotel itself is situated right at the sea’s edge. We stayed in a sea-view room, which gave us the benefit of being able to watch the sun set from our own balcony.
We flew with KLM, changing at Amsterdam as, during May, it is the winter season in South Africa. Despite the fact that I'm pregnant and prone to feeling uncomfortable, I enjoyed both flights and the staff were more than accomodating. The on-board refreshments were prepared ahead by booking an a la carte Dutch inflight meal.
Accommodation: Walking into our room after a long flight really took our breath away. Beautifully decorated in neutral tones, the two-level room, with a sitting-room leading to our large balcony, was the perfect calming retreat to return to after our sightseeing and beach days out. I enjoyed curling up on the sofa in the evenings to catch up with the news and my husband loved lounging on the balcony. He was convinced he was going to spot a whale – but peak whale watching season in Cape Town is from July to October. Although we didn't see any whales, we did spot some playful dolphins splashing about, not far from the coastline.
Highlights: The hotel offers state of the art facilities including a 16-seat cinema and helipad. We didn’t make use of those services, but just knowing they were there made the place feel even more decadent! There are also some fabulous mountain walks that start from the hotel, which make use of its unique location. We loved spending time at the rock pool and sundeck; both of which have a fantastic view of the mountains behind. It made us feel like we were sightseeing without even having to leave the hotel. Baskets of sun cream are at hand beside the pool – a thoughtful touch. Also, the pool area was never crowded. We only ever saw two or three other couples, making it feel extra special. There is also a spa at the hotel, one of only five Leading Spas in South Africa.
Food & Drink: The 12 Apostles Hotel offers a wide variety of delicious meals. The attentive staff made sure we were well-fed throughout the day by bringing us food to our sunbeds – including a rather delicious cheeseboard. We thoroughly enjoyed our evening dining experience, and my husband especially loved the wine tasting ‘flight’, which consisted of three glasses of recommended South African wine, while I happily tucked into my tasty ‘mocktail’ and Cape Malay curry. The food is a stunning mix of African, Malaysian and Dutch influences, reflecting the country’s heritage. Before dinner we enjoyed a drink at the hotel’s renowned Leopard Bar where, after a sea mist cleared, we were able to watch the sun set over the sea – an unforgettable experience.
Local area: In between our days spent at the spa and lounging by the infinity pool, we headed into Camps Bay and Cape Town, using the shuttle provided by the hotel. Liaise with the concierge to book this service, which is available throughout the day, every day. Unmissable sights include taking the cable car up to the top of Table Moutain – a must see for every visitor. I lost my sea legs a bit on the way up, but it was worth it for the outstanding view from the top. We would recommend taking the sightseeing bus as you can hop on and off as much as you wish. Also, a half day trip with Hylton Ross down to Cape Point and Boulders Beach to see the penguins is well worth it. A half day was perfect, as I began to feel a little travel sick just as we pulled back into Cape Town!
We can’t wait to visit the area again with our family once our baby is older. The 12 Apostles was a brilliantly calming and relaxing venue and we did note that the facilities for children are also good. The flight was quite long, but we noticed that the KLM staff provided an excellent service for young passengers. There is also the benefit of no jet lag - Cape Town is just one hour different to the UK. There were three babies on our flight on the way out and, as we're only parents-to-be, we held our breath that they wouldn’t cause too much in-flight disturbance – but, thanks to the stellar service, they didn’t! Not long until we are on the other side...
We made the most of our trip to Cape Town with a few night's stay at the wonderful Cape Grace Hotel, located at the V&A Waterfront. Don't miss our essential babymoon review.
We flew with Dutch airline, KLM. KLM operates flights from London Heathrow to Cape Town from £770 including taxes and charges.
Book now via www.klm.com
All prices quoted are subject to change and optional extras may be applicable at the time of booking.
Six big family moments that matter – and the products that make them easier to navigate
These products from John Lewis & Partners help support the memorable moments of family life.