* This article first appeared here in VIEW Magalogue
With a plethora of staycation offers in the Cape Winelands, sometimes it’s worth spending some time to find that hidden gem. Heading up a three-kilometre driveway on a recent trip – almost directly into the foot of Simonsberg Mountain – I had the distinct sense that I’d found my hidden gem.
Less than 45-minutes from Cape Town, Angala is a five-star boutique hotel and break that gives new meaning to the words serenity and tranquillity. Set high on the slopes of a wine estate, this exclusive location is wondrously tucked away from it all.
Before even visiting your room you’ll realize that a stay at Angala includes the invitation to experience the healing and calming properties of water. The water journey begins with the Instagram-worthy eco pool alongside the dining room. The natural pool is kept sparkling clean by circulating it through a living ecosystem of water plants, so no salt or chemicals are used and no sterilization equipment is necessary.
Next follow the water to the lower level, where you can enjoy some hydrotherapy in the Ozonated Pool. Adjacent to it there is a heated plunge pool where I spent at least an hour each day. Lastly, there’s an infrared sauna and steam room to complete the relaxation. Circulating through each of the experiences feels like a wellness ritual in itself.
Angla offers two room categories – four Luxury rooms and then six Deluxe rooms. There’s also a Garden Cottage for complete privacy, replete with facilities for cooking and its own splash pool. Across all rooms the theme of sanctuary continues with calming spaces ready to welcome guests. The fireplaces and outdoor showers are enticing editions – along with the supremely beautiful bathrooms.
For a completely restorative experience, ask the staff to arrange a massage in the comfort of your room. Ask for Zani if she’s available – I’ve seldom experienced such intuitive healing hands – very quickly identifying and calming every knot in my body.
There’s no shortage of tempting food fair at Angala. From English breakfasts, hearty lunches and then the three-course dinners. For that matter there’s no shortage of wine either – each day your minibar is restocked with complimentary wine, and when you’re ready to visit a wine estate take along the complimentary tastings for the neighbouring Rupert and Rothchild and Vrede En Lust. Beyond that, Angala is an almost equal drive to Franschhoek, Paarl, or Stellenbosch.
One thing that’s also guaranteed, is that you’ll fall in love with the team – who go out of their way to make sure you’re completely at home at Angala. From Carmen who is ready to greet you at reception with a smile, Maxwell the talented in-house chef, Foster who cares for the bustling gardens, Donoval who makes a seriously mean cup of coffee, and then Aubrey calm and caring general manager.
As with many establishments, the pandemic has led to smaller staff compliments – with remaining staff having to carry extra responsibilities. The staff at Angala, taking this in their stride, were a firm reminder that despite the immense challenges being faced, the hospitality industry is ready to go above and beyond.
Be sure to look out for their spring specials – prices from R1,484pppn which including accommodation, breakfast, two massages, a complimentary mini-bar, and use of all the facilities. angala.co.za