• The Kensington Diary

A Unique Stay in Camps Bay: The Bay Hotel and Camps Bay Retreat

Updated: Dec 29, 2021

Camps Bay is Cape Town's most vibrant suburb, where you can find the trendiest restaurants and bars bordered by white sandy beaches with turquoise waves. Most impressively, it's is where you also experience the most amazing sunsets that lead pink-orange-purple hued skies that overwhelm the surrounding sea and the 12 Apostles Mountains in this beautiful location. Situated 25-30 minutes from Cape Town International Airport, a stay in Camps Bay provides easy access to all parts of Cape Town or a base to explore the Garden Route or Cape Wine lands.



On our latest trip, we stayed at the The Bay Hotel in Camps Bay and followed this with a stay at the Camps Bay Retreat Hotel, both part of Village N Life Leisure Club.


The Bay Hotel, A Unique Position in Camps Bay


With its unique position and incredible location right at the central beach of Camps Bay, The Bay Hotel offers the most wonderful family friendly stays. Whilst accommodating 3 pools, a padel court, The Tides Restaurant, Caamil's Bar and The Bistro at The Bay, it is also alongside the host of bars and restaurants Camps Bay has to offer. With plenty of pools and fun activities on site, we enjoyed the sunshine of glorious Cape Town and indulged in delicious celebration boards at the pool.



Both sea and mountain view rooms are on offer, and on this stay we faced the gorgeous 12 Apostle range. The mountain view suites have a king size bed, tea and coffee making facilities including nespresso machine, international plug points and separate bathroom with shower. Our room additionally had a children's bed to accommodate Alex.



Sandy B is the private beach club of The Bay Hotel and offers the perfect setting to enjoy Cape Town's immaculate sunset whilst lounging or sipping a cocktail. With the hotel's membership program, regular patrons will have the opportunity to become members of this exclusive hotel to enjoy not just the beach club but also enjoy amazing benefits including access to all the business facilities, gym, sauna, steam room and pools. The hotel does not have a spa but offer spa in-room facilities and delectable massages.



Accommodating the COVID-19 situation, we were treated to an a la carte menu with the most delicious options every morning, at The Tides Restaurant. Best of all, we were always treated to warm personalised service with a smile, always perfection in hospitality at The Bay.


Camps Bay Retreat


Breath-taking views awaited us on the morning we woke up at The Camps Bay Retreat. Set in a private nature reserve in the heart of Camps Bay, tucked between the mountains and the Atlantic Sea, 360 degree views of the sea, Lions Head or 12 Apostles mountain range, were available from all parts of the hotel.



The main Manor House is steeped in history, with a gorgeous lounge and central library, where alongside its tranquil grounds within the nature reserve, you can find tennis courts and spa and 3 pools including a freshwater pool. Built in 1929, the Earl's Dyke Manor is the heart of the Camps Bay Retreat estate. Even with the upgrades, the Manor House has still managed to retain its old world charm.



Rooms on offer are diverse, ranging from suites at the Manor House, Deck House and Nature or Ocean Villas. Not only do they represent a perfect getaway, but they boast different views. On this occasion we stayed at the Sky Suite, overlooking a pool and located at the Deck House across the charming wooden rickety bridge from the Manor House. Alexander loved this little journey to breakfast from here every day, a perfect little adventure for kids. Each suite has a king size bed, kitchenette, tea and coffee making facilities including nespresso machine, international plug points and a bathroom area with shower and stand-alone bath. Our room additionally has a children's bed to accommodate Alex.



The Camps Bay Retreat is an exclusive members-only hotel where the signature Japanese restaurant, Himatsu, offers the most divine Japanese-fusion cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For breakfast, we were offered classics like eggs benedict and eggs florentine together with nasi goreng and buddha bowls. Lunch and dinner are also available but book ahead as it gets busy and is a highly attractive location to the local members.



The Mint Wellness Spa simply took our breath away. We were treated to amazing treatments in a tented suite within the nature reserve, with views of the sea. Our masseuse applied the perfect pressure and listened to our body's needs - we treated ourselves to a neck & shoulder and foot & leg massage. Services at the spa also include a steam room, spa bath, and sauna.



The beauty of Camps Bay Retreat is that you also have right at your doorstep loads of hiking trails, a haven for kids and families alike, and it's just walking steps from the beach. There are beautiful art and sculptures on the grounds of the hotel with little swings to just soak up being in a nature reserve in the centre of Camps Bay. It was such an amazing location to discover, a hidden gem.


Village N Life Club


The Village N Life Leisure Club concept offers amazing accommodation for a variety of budgets from serviced apartments to luxury hotels in amazing locations in Cape Town and along the Garden Route including the V&A Waterfront, Camps Bay, Mouille Point, De Waterkant, Hermanus and Langebaan. Both The Bay Hotel and the Camps Bay Retreat are featured hotels within this concept.


Not only can you be hosted by hotels and in accommodation where the same ethos is shared and where you have a central base whilst enjoying the offerings of the Western Cape, but also enjoy a range of benefits like exclusive package offerings up to 50% off and a range of on-site facility discounts. Following your first stay at one of the accommodations on offer in the group, you can enjoy all that Village N Life Leisure Club has to offer. Please find more on how to enjoy benefits, specials, accommodation and destination options at www.vnlleisureclub.co.za and, coming soon there will also be the option to book your next stay


Bid Adieu


We loved our stays at The Bay Hotel and Camps Bay Retreat for not only their unique yet diverse experiences whilst in Camps Bay, but the staff's warmness and friendliness (especially at The Bay), plus superb cuisine. The walking distance to the beach from both locations is a plus and they represent the perfect base to explore Cape Town and The Garden Route.


Top tip is to book via the Village N Leisure Club to access discounts to stay at these amazing locations. South Africa takes COVID-19 very serious and strict measures are in place including temperature checks, hand sanitising and face mask wearing both indoors and outdoors, at the time of our stay.



Much love Shanti

The Kensington Diary

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DISCLAIMER: This is an honest review that written as part of a hosted stay offered by the Village N Life Leisure Club Group





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