“Smart period property with spacious rooms; great peaceful location to tour the city or Cape Peninsula before returning to relax beside the pool with a drink,” wrote one happy guest, and that pretty much sums up what we love about 1 Kensington. Built-in 1903, this grande dame is located in a pretty garden in wind-free Higgovale, with tree-fringed views of the city and Table Bay. It is a fabulous location: walking distance from Kloof street’s dining mile, yet in a quiet residential area renowned for its mix of beautiful turn-of-the-century and the city’s best contemporary homes. A quick hop over Kloof Nek (which is where you’ll find the Table Mountain cable car) lies the picture-perfect beaches of Camps Bay and Clifton.
Designed to accommodate a scion of Cape Town society, replete with a separate staircase for staff, the villa was transformed into a popular four-star hotel before its current incarnation into an exclusive-use villa. It is one of our largest, comprising 9 en-suite bedrooms rooms, many of them decorated with antiques and featuring period details such as high ceilings; some have additional nooks for children’s beds. The ambiance is elegant yet welcoming, and the facilities are comfortable enough to while away the day at home on those days some of you don’t feel like sightseeing.
The new kitchen – open to the dining room and an atrium-like space – is the heart of this home, both functional and warm, a place to enjoy cooking before gathering around the long table, with a separate scullery to keep things tidy. Another highlight is the pool deck, with loungers and a shaded dining table from which the views of the city and the mountains that embrace it are quite mesmerizing. The established garden to deserves a special mention – clearly tended with love by green-fingered gardeners for many decades, it is a delight – sitting here, surrounded by greenery and bird song, it is hard to believe you are in the city! Plenty of parking, daily servicing, and of course the concierge services that are part and parcel of every Icon Villa, make this the most ideal choice for a large family group or friends wanting privacy, space, and value.