Trea­sure trove by the sea

Colona Cas­tle’s eclec­tic decor evokes the gra­cious charm of yes­ter­year, writes Sarene Kloren

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - GETAWAYS -

COLONA Cas­tle is def­i­nitely one of Cape Town’s best-kept se­crets. A born and bred Capeto­nian, I was cap­ti­vated by the idea of a cas­tle in the moun­tain­side sub­urb of Lake­side, on the road to Muizen­berg.

On ar­rival I was im­me­di­ately struck by the panoramic views across the Penin­sula, from Con­stan­tiaberg to False Bay and across to the Hot­ten­tots Hol­land moun­tain range.

The el­e­gant bou­tique ho­tel is on Boyes Drive, in a cor­ner of the bend that winds down to Lake­side Main road.

Colona Cas­tle was built in 1928 and re­flects the gra­cious charm of that era.

It was built by Dr Munro

Grier, a noble Scot­tish physi­cian, as a tur­reted ed­i­fice re­sem­bling the man­sions of the high­lands. Shortly after com­plet­ing the cas­tle he re­turned to Scot­land.

The build­ing kept it’s orig­i­nal de­sign for many years, al­though most of the sur­round­ing land was sold by a suc­ces­sion of own­ers.

I was wel­comed by the owner, Ni­cole Brand, who has owned the manor house since 1996.

As­sisted by renowned in­te­rior de­signer Ralph Krall, who was re­cently in­volved with Silo Ho­tel in the V&A Wa­ter­front, she has cre­ated an eclec­tic decor which is an com­bi­na­tion of var­i­ous pieces from all over the world, in­clud­ing English colo­nial, In­done­sia and Burmese Bud­dhas.

Ev­ery­where you look there are valu­able an­tiques and col­lecta­bles – each piece could be a main fea­ture on it’s own.

Two mag­nif­i­cent 18th cen­tury Black­amoor Ital­ian stat­ues over­look one of the din­ing ta­bles. A mag­nif­i­cent gilded ea­gle sits on a stand in front of an gilt-framed an­tique mir­ror sur­rounded by large eggs made from pre­cious gem­stones.

When Ni­cole and Michael Brand ac­quired the prop­erty they un­der­took ex­ten­sive ren­o­va­tions and fit­ted the cas­tle with modern con­ve­niences while re­tain­ing its orig­i­nal charm and char­ac­ter. They con­verted it into a lux­ury guest house, fur­nished with their ex­ten­sive col­lec­tion of an­tiques and ob­jets d’art they had ac­quired dur­ing their trav­els.

There are seven lux­ury suites and a pent­house – all in­di­vid­u­ally themed with ex­quis­ite decor and at­ten­tion to de­tail. We stayed in the pent­house, which boasts it’s own lounge and private li­brary with a mas­sive bal­cony and stu­pen­dous views of the vlei, beach and moun­tains.

All suites have their own private bal­cony or pa­tio with views and most have a sep­a­rate lounge. The suites are all spa­cious enough for guests to be able to re­lax and spend time in the pri­vacy of their own suite with­out see­ing other guests.

We were not even aware there were other guests un­til they joined us for break­fast in the din­ing room.

Break­fast is served in the main lounge, with views over False

Bay and Zand­vlei Es­tu­ary Na­ture Re­serve.

We watched sail­boats and kite surfers on the vlei as we en­joyed a healthy break­fast.

There is no restau­rant on site, but there are so many ex­cel­lent eater­ies in the area that ex­plor­ing the neigh­bour­hood adds to the ex­pe­ri­ence of stay­ing at Colona Cas­tle.

We vis­ited the Blue­bird Mar­ket, an in­door slow food mar­ket held ev­ery Fri­day evening in Muizen­berg vil­lage, which of­fers a va­ri­ety of de­li­cious home-made foods and bev­er­ages. Muizen­berg beach­front is host to a num­ber of ex­cel­lent restau­rants and we chose to end the evening with a hot choco­late at the orig­i­nal Tiger’s Milk, which boasts fan­tas­tic views over Surfers Cor­ner. Kalk Bay and Con­stan­tia are within a 15-minute drive and are home to nu­mer­ous award-win­ning restau­rants.

If you are an early riser and visit be­tween April and June, you can join the arg­onaut hunters who search the beach be­fore sun­rise to col­lect valu­able arg­onaut shells which are sold to col­lec­tors around the world.

Colona Cas­tle typ­i­fies the el­e­gance and grace of times gone by – a per­fect re­treat from the stress­ful dig­i­tal age of the 21st cen­tury, where you can un­wind and be wo­ken to the sounds of birds singing and the warm

In­dian Ocean sea breeze.

Secret Get­aways is of­fer­ing South African res­i­dents an op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence this cas­tle by the sea at the re­duced rate of R1 999 for two peo­ple, in­clud­ing break­fast. Valid un­til April 30, 2018.

See www.se­cret­get­aways.co.za.

there are spec­tac­u­lar views from the pool area of Colona Cas­tle.

Pic­tures: Sup­plied

Break­fast is served in the main lounge, with views over False Bay and Zand­vlei Es­tu­ary Na­ture Re­serve.

The suites are spa­cious and private.

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