Set on 1.5 acres overlooking Bantry Bay on the Atlantic Seaboard, Ellerman House may just be Cape Town’s most exclusive and luxurious boutique hotel address. Once a private residence, the sprawling property is a work of art in itself –and a haven for lovers of all typesof art, with over 1000 artworks spanning four generations of South African artistson display in the rooms and public areas,and the spectacular on-site gallery.
Revel in the work of everyone from mid 19thcentury pictorialist Thomas Bowler to the pioneering 1930’s works of Gregoire Boonzaaier, Maggie Laubser and Irma Stern. From there, the rise of more experimental art is represented by works from Walter Battiss and Alexis Preller and onwards to more inclusive art from towering figures like Gerard Sekoto and George Pembe. The gallery, specifically, is home to thought-provoking contemporary works from artists like Benon Lutaaya, Heidi Fourie & Blessing Ngobeni. Not many people ever get to see the work of landscape maestro J.H. Pierneef or social commentator WilliamKentridge ‘in the flesh’ –but Ellerman House is home to several examples from each artist. All the works are regularly rotated throughout the property, and such is the property’s devotion to showcasing art,that visits to the iconic Zeitz Mocaa gallery at the V&A Waterfront are part of the includedoffering.
The main building houses 13 rooms, each individually decorated and all with private terraces that offer uninterrupted views of the ocean. Two Villas operate almost entirely separately, for those who want the luxury of privacy, with private chef and hospitality teams dedicated to catering to every whim. Villa One and its three or five bedroom configuration is the only place in the hotel that welcomes children under 14 –the towering bronze spiral staircase in three bedroom Villa Two is probably too treacherous for small, enthusiastic humans.
Service is discrete, but engaging, with every staff member well-briefed on every guest’s preferences, to deliver a seamless stay–there isn’t even a formal check-in process, with an emphasis on preserving the feeling of being welcomed into a home.The lengthy list of standard inclusions is also tailored –for example, the in-room minibars are stocked to each guest’s exacting specifications. Luxury transfers to and from Cape Town International Airport include on-the-go WiFi.
The Wine Gallery is home to another array of art –this time, of theliquidvariety. The very best of the7500 bottles of the finest South African and international wines are showcasedin abeautiful10foot tallcorkscrew sculpture that forms the centerpiece of the space. The backdrop to this tantalising artwork is a ‘Terroir Wall’, where visual representations of the soils from South Africa’s finest estates offer both aesthetic and educational value. Beyond thatis the Brandy Tasting area and a beautiful counter which hosts daily Wine Tastings from select cellars. The ground beneath visitors’ feet is steeped in history –two short staircases beneath the corkscrew lead to the Champagne Cellar, stocked exclusively with rare and special vintages of Dom Pérignon.With the focus on such high-end winesand champagnes, they’re one of the few things at the property that aren’t included in the price of a stay –though almost all wines are available by the glass, with mealsand the daily tutored wine tastings also offer the chance to sample magnificent examplesfrom within and without the country’s borders.
Back in the main building, with its panoramic view over some of the world’s most expensive real estate, is a 24-hour pantry, filled with all manner of snacks and drinks for guests to sample –seemingly unnecessary in light of the extraordinary food which issues forth from the kitchen, but perhaps welcome after a hard day(and night!)of taking in all that theCape has to offer.
Sundowners on the terrace are worth rushing back to the hotel for after a day exploring Cape Town
–exquisite cocktails, impeccable service and live music combine for a truly magical, memorable experience.
Rooms start at around R10000 per night, depending on the season and category.
180 Kloof Road, Bantry Bay