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12 Apostles Hotel Review: A Luxury Retreat in Cape Town

They had us at the view.

Our room at the 12 Apostles Hotel wasn’t quite ready at check-in, so we were invited to drink chilled South African bubbly in the Leopard Bar (on the house, of course).

12 Apostles Hotel review

Leopard Bar 12 Apostles:

The Leopard Bar must be one of the best bars in the world.

Inside, the cozy space is decorated with leopard print carpeting and gilt-framed pictures of leopards.

12 Apostles Hotel Review: Its Leopard Bar must be one of the world’s best bars.
The Twelve Apostles’ Leopard Bar gets our vote as one of the world’s best bars

We sat out on the terrace.

Sea salt scented the air. Gulls perched on the white colonial-style balustrade. And we gazed at enormous waves crashing on the giant boulders lining this stretch of Atlantic coast, as an orange sun dipped below the horizon.

Two glasses of bubbly each later (and long after our room was ready), we reluctantly decided to see our room.

About the 12 Apostles Hotel, Cape Town:

The 12 Apostles is one of the best hotels in Cape Town
The 12 Apostles is one of the best hotels in Cape Town

That welcome set the stage for our stay at the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town.

Flanked by South Africa’s iconic Table Mountain and the Twelve Apostles mountain range, the stunning hotel is on the scenic route just outside of “central” Cape Town. Built around a Dutch-style hunting lodge dating back to 1929, it’s made up of three low-rise, white-washed buildings, connected by skylit walkways.

12 Apostles Hotel Cape Town
Poised above the Atlantic Ocean, the award-winning 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa is one of the best Cape Town hotels

Cool feature!

The 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa has a 16-seat private cinema, screening some six movies a day (several are oldies like “Casablanca”).

Twelve Apostles Hotel rooms

The  hotel has 70 serene rooms and suites.

Each room is individually decorated.

But you can expect creamy marble floors, white louvered window shutters, four-poster king beds with luxurious linens embossed with the hotel’s logo, an in-room Nespresso machine and both winter fleece-lined silk bathrobes and summer cotton robes.

12 Apostles Hotel & Spa guest room
Rooms are elegantly decorated and have sea or mountain views

You can tell the interior designer had fun here.

Hallways are laid with carpets striped in multiple colors of red, blue, yellow and green. The numbers for the guest room doors are placed inside what looks like a a shell. And the original art on the walls ranges from the somewhat serious (gilt-framed oil paintings) to the whimsical (collections of tropical fish).

It all lends the hotel a light-hearted beachy feel.

Planning a safari? You’ll see all the “Big Five” animals on a safari in Sabi Sands Game Reserve!

Walking trails

12 Apostles Hotel mountain trails
There are several short mountain walks right behind the hotel

Behind the hotel, several private trails wind up the mountain, past cacti and pine trees.

You can take a picnic basket to enjoy at one of the hotel’s scenic picnic spots, which have stone benches and sun umbrellas.

Fancy a picnic at a spot like this on the mountain behind the hotel?

Want to hike up Table Mountain? See our complete guide to hiking Table Mountain

12 Apostles Hotel restaurant

The fine dining Azure restaurant at 12 Apostles Hotel
The fine dining Azure restaurant

Be sure to treat yourself to dinner at the Azure restaurant in the 12 Apostles Hotel.

Everything is tantalizing, starting with the lovely selection of house-made breads (cheese sticks, heavy whole grain and date-and-seed bread), accompanied by both regular butter and an anchovy-and-whipped-cream-cheese paste.

And the prawn curry! It’s very light, almost like a soup, with at least a dozen little plates of coconut almonds, roasted almond slices, lime chutney and other bits and bites to spice up things.

The chicken curry at 12 Apostles Hotel is delicious!
The chicken curry is also delicious!

The palate cleanser of two little spoons of berry sorbet before the main course is a show-stopper– the waiter pours liquid nitrogen into a ceramic tea pot on the table and the fog overflows all over the table and rolls down onto the floor.

The breakfast buffet in the restaurant – complete with bubbly and oysters – is also an affair to linger over.

Dessert at the 12 Apostles Hotel, Cape Town
Mmmm… Cheesecake, anyone?

Recommended reading: Pssst! Check out the fun wine tasting tour we did in Stellenbosch!

Swimming pool

The Atlantic Terrace pool is another great place to park yourself for a while. It too has great ocean views.

12 Apostles Hotel Atlantic Terrace pool
This outdoor pool also adds to the feeling that you’re staying at a seaside resort, not in the city

Wow! Such service

It’s the extraordinary service, however, that really makes this boutique hotel a standout.

From sanitized TV remotes (sealed in plastic after each guest use) to smiling staff galore, the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa knows how to win over its guests.

Location: Where to stay in Cape Town

Many people like to stay around the central Victoria & Albert Waterfront area in Cape Town. We found that area quite touristy.

Located in Camps Bay, on the edge of Cape Town, the 12 Apostles Hotel is admittedly not smack-dab in the center of things. But it offers complimentary hourly transfers by luxury SUV to the city’s central V&A Waterfront – as well as the beaches and restaurants of Camps Bay. So you can easily get into town to tour Cape Town’s sights.

For us, the hotel’s location was perfect.

We had the feeling of a seaside resort, but with easy access to everything we could want to do in the city.

Recommended reading: Check out these unmissable things to do in Cape Town!

More 12 Apostles Hotel reviews:

The 12 Apostles is one of the best Cape Town hotels and consistently rakes in great reviews.

It’s also received several top awards, including being named one of the “Top 30 Hotels in Africa” in the 2020 Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards and “Africa’s Leading Luxury Hotel 2019” (World Travel Awards).

Without a doubt, it’s one of the top 5-star hotels in Cape Town, and we’d have no hesitation staying there again!

12 Apostles Hotel & Spa: Check rates and availability

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12 Apostles Hotel & Spa

Photo credits: 5 © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase | Remaining photos the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa

We stayed as media guests for the purposes of writing a 12 Apostles Hotel review. But we are always free to write what we want (the good and the not-so-good) for the magazine and newspaper articles we write, as well as for posts and reviews on this blog.

About the authors

Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George Mucalov are the publishers of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents. See About.

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