Rovos Rail is well known for its incredibly luxurious African train journeys that enable you to capture a taste of times gone by. They also have a small collection of equally luxurious and elegant guesthouses in Cape Town, South Africa. The St James Guesthouses are located on the False Bay coast and comprise of three beautiful five-star properties: St James Manor, Seaforth and Homestead that overlook Kalk Bay and St James with majestic views across the Indian Ocean.
Historically known as ‘millionaire’s mile’, this prestigious stretch of coastline along False Bay is making a huge comeback as one of the trendiest areas to stay in Cape Town. Rovos Rail has situated their stately seaside retreats in St James, a characterful, small town steeped in history. The area still boasts colourful Victorian bathing boxes and grand old houses that really reflect the splendour of the early gold and diamond mining era. In and around the guesthouses you will find a large number of novel antique shops, delis, sidewalk cafés, boutiques and art galleries and the harbour nearby provides a great selection of charming restaurants that offer both home-style cuisine and fine-dining. Tidal pools and swimming beaches can be found in front of the guesthouses and there are plenty of interesting walks to explore including along the historic promenade and up into the surrounding mountains. One of the biggest attractions (in season) is land-based whale watching, where the magnificent creatures appear literally metres from the shoreline and can be seen very clearly from the guesthouses.
The St James Homestead was originally built as a simple thatch-roof dwelling in around 1870 and remained relatively unchanged until the 1940s when the new owners undertook extensive renovations to create the Cape Dutch-style homestead visible today with beautiful ornate sloping roof facades to the front and back of the property. Since then Rovos Rail has painstakingly restored the property and turned it into a luxurious guesthouse for guests to enjoy from around the globe.
The St James Homestead features a large outdoor area with tiered back garden, pool and viewing deck (with BBQ) that’s perfect for enjoying a glass of wine whilst admiring the views. Inside the property you’ll find a stunning open-plan conservatory lounge and dining area that looks out onto the ocean through fully retractable glass doors, allowing you to feel like your outdoors even when you’re inside. as well as a well-equipped kitchen and laundry. Upstairs lies the sitting room with an open fireplace and a balcony with yet more exceptional views across the bay. There are six incredibly airy and spacious sea-facing suites which have been decorated with a fusion of old-fashioned seaside charm and modern style. You can choose between the larger Classic Suites at roughly 60m² or the smaller 40m² Deluxe Suites. All of the elegant suites feature a bedroom area, lounge area, private bathroom with shower and tub, satellite TV, DVD player, safe, mini bar and snacks, tea and coffee making as well as robes and slippers and bespoke amenities. Stays at the Homestead include a daily full gourmet breakfast, all alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, in-room mini-bar fridges and snacks, internet access, parking and personalised concierge services. Tours, transfers, spa treatments and picnic lunches can also be arranged for a fee on request.
So, If you’re looking for a refined and elegant escape by the sea with plenty of activities to keep you busy all year round, then the Rovos Rail St James Homestead is the perfect destination for you.
Disclosure: Our property, service and product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.