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The pink lady

In the very heart of cape town, the historic hotel Belmond Mount Nelson is a pretty-in-pink oasis. Built by shipping magnate Sir Donald Currie, who owned the Union-Castle Line, to accommodate his company’s first-class passengers, the hotel opened in 1899. Throughout the decades, the likes of Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling, the Dalai Lama and Oprah Winfrey have stayed here. Although Mount Nelson showcases its rich history and old-world glamour, the comprehensive luxury facilities and customer service are decidedly contemporary.

The elegantly decorated Planet Restaurant features an entrance gilded in crystal balls, galaxy-themed carpets and a planetary chandelier. Chef Rudi Liebenberg has created a menu incorporating the freshest local ingredients, and guests wishing to enjoy a more interactive culinary experience can reserve the Chef’s Table.

For breakfast and lunch, head to the Oasis Bistro on the sun-soaked terrace. And be sure not to miss the Belmond’s famous afternoon tea, which can be taken either in the lounge, on the terrace, or around the fountain amongst the rambling gardens.

In the historic Garden Cottage suites, next to the secluded Cottage Pool, guests can ensure peace and privacy with a king-sized, four-poster bed, marble bathroom and mini library. The Presidential Suite features similar luxury amenities plus a balcony with breathtaking views across to Table Mountain. Interior designer Graham Viney has decorated the suite in soft hues and luxurious silk fabrics, 1930s light fittings with baccarat crystal and an original desk that dates back to the hotel’s opening.

Belmond Mount Nelson is surrounded by a diverse array of cultural attractions such as Kloof and Long Streets, with their busy markets, restaurants and bars. The pedestrian avenue of Museum Mile is the spot for museums and art galleries. Those looking to explore Cape Town further can choose one of the hotel’s specialised itineraries. The adventure itinerary includes a hike up Table Mountain, a powerboat tour, and a close (but nonetheless safe) encounter with a great white shark. Other itineraries focus on culture, history, local townships, shopping, wine or sport.

The hotel’s Librisa Spa offers signature treatments designed to balance energy. Visitors can relax before or after treatments in the Finnish sauna, steam bath and plunge pool – or just unwind in the tranquil conservatory.

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