The Most Elegant Retreats on the False Bay Coast
Discover Rovos Rail’s stately and elegant seaside retreats overlooking the vibrant fishing village of Kalk Bay and St James with majestic views across Cape Town’s False Bay.
St James, historically known as ‘millionaire’s mile’, is making its comeback as one of the trendiest
places to stay in Cape Town. Small though it may be, the church, the school, the hotels, the old aquarium, thebeaches, the homes and the people all contribute to make this a unique suburb steeped in history. Just over a kilometre in length, this prestigious little stretch along the coastline of False Bay, where the mountains meet the sea, is where Rovos Rail has established its three five-star guesthouses – St James Manor, Seaforth and Homestead.
The main road through to Kalk Bay Harbour is Mediterranean in style and a trove of novel antique shops, delis, sidewalk cafés, boutiques and art galleries. A mere five-minute walk away, fresh fish can be bought from the local fishermen and the harbour itself has charming restaurants offering home-style cuisine and fine-dining experiences. The area still boasts the colourful Victorian bathing boxes and grand old houses reflecting the splendour of the early gold- and diamond-mining era.
In front of the guesthouses, across the road, you will find the famous tidal pools and swimming beaches. A favourite pastime is the early morning swim in the temperate waters of St James. The area also
offers interesting walks along the historic promenade and up the imposing mountains, which provide an impressive backdrop to both houses. Perhaps the biggest attraction is the land-based whale watching. In season they appear literally metres from the shoreline and can be seen clearly from the properties.
Built over 100 years ago, St James Manor is a five-star stately seaside retreat overlooking the trendy and vibrant fishing village of Kalk Bay with majestic views across False Bay and the Indian Ocean.
It was built as a single-storey thatch residence by a Mr Philip Morgenrood in 1874,
The Manor has an aura of grandeur and old-world charm with a magnificent wood-panelled staircase leading up to the five large suites and standard twin, each of which bears the name of historic, local characters of St James.
The individually decorated rooms reflect the opulent times of a bygone era with gorgeous floral fabrics and calm colours,
Persian carpets and early English and South African antiques.
Carved into the mountain is
a private and wind-protected swimming pool and tanning deck where those reluctant to leave the exclusive environment of the house will no doubt happily while away the warm summer days.
Seaforth has been refurbished to create a modern guesthouse with a casual but elegant atmosphere in keeping with its seaside village location.
This luxury accommodation is strewn with Arabic rugs, fashionable fabrics, antiques and handmade South African furniture, while the three individually designed bedrooms are furnished in soft cerise, greens and blues with original paintings by local artists such as Peter Jander and Eugene Marais.
The downstairs facilities are as engaging and stylish and include a breakfast and dining room, a well-equipped kitchen and a large lounge and study that flow onto the verandah, pool and ground-floor gym.
St James Seaforth is perfect to hire as a private villa for a family or group of friends. Breakfasts are a speciality offering a wide choice of interesting fare and are inclusive, as are all beverages. Dinners and lunches are available by arrangement.
The Homestead’s elegant Cape Dutch façade and conservatory is both striking in its contemporary feel yet in total harmony with the well-to-do little suburb of St James squeezed between the rocky shore and steep mountainside.
Featuring a tiered back garden with a pool and viewing deck and ample front-of-house parking,
Homestead’s six sea-facing suites are the epitome of beautiful accommodation, showcasing a fusion of old-fashioned seaside charm and vibrant décor equipped with every modern convenience.
The house features a well-equipped kitchen and laundry, an open-plan conservatory lounge and dining area, an upstairs sitting room with an open fireplace and a balcony with exceptional views across False Bay.
Breakfasts are a speciality offering a wide choice of interesting fare and are inclusive, as are all beverages.