Earlier this year, Lauren and myself packed our bags and drove just 25 minutes from home to the beautiful Banksia Boutique Hotel. Located in Cape Town’s historic Rosebank, Banksia has the ability to make you feel as if you’ve jetted off to a luxury villa located on a lush, tropical island.
Banksia Boutique is an elegant eight room boutique hotel housed in a grand 19th century Victorian-styled home. Part of the beauty and uniqueness of Banksia is seen in each suite as you take note of just how many features they have managed to save from the many years ago when the house was built.
As you pull into the driveway on arrival, you’ll find yourself blown away by the beautiful building standing before you. The breathtaking, grand entrance to this exquisite 19th century Victorian boutique hotel sets the stage. From the topiary lined entrance, perfectly manicured garden to the beautifully tiled entrance and woodwork- nothing has gone unnoticed, and no stone left unturned when it comes to preserving the property’s history.
We were greeted by Joy, one of the friendliest women we’ve met whilst doing a travel review, and she kindly took us around the entire hotel and gave us a breakdown of each room. Beyond the exceptional staff, there is so much love that has been put into restoring the old world charm and glamour to this incredible home turned hotel. We were shown all 8 well appointed bedrooms, each en suite, are comfortable, neutral and spacious with everything you need to have a luxurious stay. The linen is crisp and of the best quality. You are treated to the luxurious range of Charlotte Rhys bath and body products in your rooms, complimented by freshly picked blooms from the garden and fluffy bathrobes, perfect for relaxing in your room, cup of tea or glass of bubbles in hand.
The owner, Shelley Kingston, has made sure that all of the details of the architecture have been maintained from what it was when it was first built, and has done such a beautiful job.
I struggle to find the words to describe our experience, to be honest. We were given our own rooms, right next door to each other on the balcony, which meant that we were really secluded, and could sit facing the pool area from above. We felt as if we were in Bali in a private villa, and would enjoy our morning coffee or dinner from above.
The large glass conservatory houses a beautiful pool as well as Jacuzzi. Adorned with tropical plants and palms, it creates an old world and colonial look and feel.
Teak sun loungers surround the pool and are perfect for long lazy days spent relaxing. Just perfect after a spa treatment (right on the premises) or a slow, continental breakfast.
Before bed, we climbed into the Jacuzzi, which I’m sure most of us can appreciate – and the hospitality just showed when we came downstairs – they had turned the lights off, and lit some candles to make it peaceful and private.
We never once felt that it was too busy, and rarely even saw any other guests, apart from at breakfast or on the Sunday morning when a couple was using the communal pool area.
There wasn’t a moment where we weren’t in awe of how beautiful everything surrounding us was – when just sitting on our balcony and looking down at the same pool area we’d been looking at since the moment we arrived. Or even just sitting out front, enjoying the beautiful gardens.
On the Saturday, we were invited to visit the Spa which is located at Banksia. We walked over and were greeted by the lovely, gentle Stefanie. Don’t let her sweet voice fool you – she’s got a firm handshake and means business when you ask for a medium pressure massage!
She suggested the Rasul Treatment, which was something that neither Lauren or myself had done before. You use an exfoliator and mud mask on your entire body. You climb into the steam room, and the room fills with steam and then ends with a rain. I certainly felt the benefit of this treatment, however, it was definitely an experience, and I wouldn’t recommend it for someone who is claustrophobic. Our skin felt so fresh and soft and smelt divine after this.
We then had a 30 minute back, neck and shoulder massage which was everything we needed and more. Stefanie is the only therapist in the spa, but less is certainly more in this case. The pressure was perfect, she knows when a client just wants silence and doesn’t force sales in your face. 10/10!
Another lovely thing about the spa is that you don’t need to be a guest of the hotel to book a treatment. And when you book a treatment, you’re able to make use of the pool area.
We were absolutely spoilt by choice at breakfast each morning, as it is B&B. Not only do you get to choose from a buffet of fruit, freshly baked muffins, yoghurt, cereals and croissants with cold meats and cheeses – but you can also order from their menu for egg and bacon, salmon and French toast! You’ll also get fresh fruit juice and your choice of hot drinks. It was flawless!
The hospitality of Banksia is something I’ll never be able to speak more highly of. We met Joy and Tarryn who both treated us like queens. Not just because we were reviewing the hotel, but because they are both so good at their job. They are genuinely lovely women who care about their guests and just want them to have an amazing, memorable stay.
Our rooms were always cleared, beds made, duvet turned down before bed. Our snacks, fridge, etc, was restocked before we even had a chance to request for anything to be replaced.
As busy moms, this little escape was everything we needed, and more. It felt so great to climb into our car and drive down the road to this little slice of heaven. Sometimes it’s the places that are right on our doorstep that are the gems.
I’ll return in a heartbeat to get that feeling of having travelled abroad to a tropical island. If you’re Cape Town based – don’t let that put you off! Sometimes a little holiday close by is all you need. It’s the perfect anniversary spot or even a great place to escape to with a friend. Banksia is super close to some incredible spots in Cape Town. You’re spoilt for choice with coffee shops, restaurants and things to do. It makes a perfect place for foreigners too! You have many of Cape Town’s attractions right on your doorstep!
From the front patio, conservatory or the formal lounge- there is always somewhere other than your suite to catch up on some reading (or even work as there is Wi-Fi). Rosebank is a leafy and peaceful suburb, close enough to town or bustling restaurants, but Banksia is secluded enough to feel like you are somewhere far away.
We found that Banksia Boutique Hotel is really affordable, and the spa treatments are also really well priced. Don’t just go for one night though – you won’t want to leave! So definitely make a weekend or good couple of nights of it. You can thank me later.
My first reaction to Banksia was: “I can’t believe this is in Cape Town”. And I feel that that sentence in its own should be powerful enough.
Thank you for having us! We will certainly be back soon!
Photography: Shante Hutton Photography
Hair & Makeup: Makeup By Mish
Wardrobe: My Scattered Heart & AP Jones
Jewellery: Spirit Jewellery
Words: Lisa Harrison & Lauren McCreath Interiors