Treasure trove by the sea
Colona Castle’s eclectic decor evokes the gracious charm of yesteryear, writes Sarene Kloren
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.
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.