A Review OF THE Bliss Boutique Hotel, Sunset Beach
bliss. noun. perfect happiness; great joy. Synonyms: joy, pleasure, delight, happiness, gladness, seventh heaven, cloud nine.
A bright yellow welcome
As soon as we’ve spotted the vivid and cheerful yellow door we know we’ve arrived at our destination in a quiet area in Sunset Beach. With such a striking entrance to go on, one almost doesn't need the exact address, 25 Albus Drive, to find the place. We are here for a quick tour of the recently opened Bliss Boutique Hotel and to enjoy a taste of the chef’s expertise for lunch.
The style of the lounge and reception area is minimalist and contemporary with a few distinctive furniture pieces, including a gorgeous custom-made deep blue velvet sofa. The scatter cushions with metallic motifs are also quite unique. Various textures create interest and the generally neutral and grey tones of the interiors are occasionally interrupted by well-considered splashes of colour.
Table Mountain’s most photogenic angle
Our first stop is the first floor where we head to the open-plan bar/ dining room/ deck area for some refreshments. When entering from the street, one has no idea of the spectacular view to be enjoyed on the sea-facing side of the building!
Table Mountain’s most photogenic angle has always been from this side of Table Bay, but the natural fynbos strip directly in front of the hotel, adds to the feeling of being in a peaceful haven, rather than tourist central. We spot a few birds from the deck and a paraglider in the distance. The elegant bar frames the dining room on one side and colourful paintings by local artist Michaela Rinaldi brighten up the space. This stylish area is surprisingly tranquil, rather than stiff, and the friendly, yet very professional staff add to the restful atmosphere.
Victorian bathtubs and local artists
After a fortifying coffee prepared by Bevan and taking in the the view from the deck we are ready to explore the rest of the hotel. Michelle Butler, the GM, enthusiastically explains the little touches which have been added everywhere for the comfort of her guests. The bedrooms are simple and elegant, most with a sea view and access to a viewing deck. They’ve splashed out with their “signature” rooms and added interesting touches of Victorian elements, seen in the checkered bathroom tiles, a lavish cast iron bath in one bathroom, and vintage toilet cistern and shower mixer in the other. All the rooms also contain smaller paintings by Michaela Rinaldi, creating a kind of theme throughout the various areas.
Business and pleasure
The Bliss Boutique Hotel is bound to become a preferred destination for corporates travelling to Cape Town, and it will certainly be a case of mixing business with leisure. While being fairly close to central Cape Town, the hotel provides a welcome sanctuary in which to unwind after a hard day of corporate dealings. On the other hand, the hotel can serve as a fantastic alternative venue for conferences. Families are just as welcome, with the family suite providing room for up to 4 guests if needed. Tourists, nature lovers, water sport enthusiasts and foodies will also love it here, and the brand new hotel has already drawn a few celebrities and hosted several successful and well-publicized functions.
What’s so pleasant about this hotel are the various areas to “laze around”. There always seems to be another corner, another deck and relaxing space to be, not to mention the heated pool from which a small gate leads to a private pathway through the fynbos to the beach. The rooftop has been converted into another deck, which can be used in a variety of ways, especially during the summer months. There is even a tiny rustic underground wine cellar, which Michelle tells us will be initiated later that evening for a wine and menu tasting.
When we return to the dining room the in-house chef Dean Correira, whom we’ve heard a lot about by now, is ready with our meal. We get to sample three of his signature dishes. Soon we’re all swapping stories of culinary adventures - always a sign that the food is inspirational! Our first colourful course is beautifully presented on a dark slate platter. The crumbed and deep fried goat’s cheese on the beetroot salad softly melts in the mouth, Next up is a butternut ravioli dish is topped with Parmesan slices, burnt sage and pumpkin seeds. Our final dish consists of a mountain of prawns in a heavenly buttery, spicy sauce. Good thing our charming waiter is ready with heated napkins after this finger licking indulgence.
As we prepare to head home we are inspired to check out the area and wish we could prolong our stay. However, even after such a short visit we are feeling quite "blissful" and wonderfully lazy (especially after our tasting) by the time we greet our hosts and wish them luck with their promising endeavour.