No Dirty Sanchez At This Trailer Park

Last night, Hg2 Cape Town co-author Keith Bain got suited up for a night in South Africa’s most audaciously cool hotel. Situated in the lush Elgin Valley, some 75km from the city centre, the location may sound like the terrain of the Village People, but the concept has real city smarts. Besides, Elgin is one of several steadily emerging Winelands districts situated within an hour from Cape Town, making it a novel alternative to Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, and a good choice if you prefer relative proximity to a handful of coastal towns and villages. With the world whale-watching capital, Hermanus, a mere 35km away, it’s a useful base from which to explore the entire region—or simply settle in for a few days, taking in one wine farm at a time.
Buy Hg2 Cape Town here

Old Mac Daddy Luxury Trailer Park
112 The Valley Road, Grabouw, Elgin Valley, Winelands
I’ve just spent a night in the Dirkie Sanchez Suite at Old Mac Daddy, the newest creative brainchild from the team who established two of Cape Town’s most interesting city lodgings, the artist-decorated Daddy Long Legs, and the world’s first rooftop Airstream Trailer Park (atop the Grand Daddy), both of which are on infamous Long Street, known for its bars, clubs and restaurants. Here, once again, they’ve brought a thought-provoking twist to the traditional lodging concept, insisting that guests have as much fun as downtime in their hotel bedroom. Again, it’s the presence of vintage Airstream caravan trailers that sets the tone for novelty—although the stunning setting, deep within the fertile Elgin Valley—makes a definite impact, too.

Taking their inspiration from the vineyard- and orchard-laden rural setting, they’ve gone with the flow and jazzed up the country bumpkin theme: the public areas are housed in a large contemporary version of what might pass for a farm barn, spruced up with vast windows and pared down Scandinavian-minimalist furnishings (by Cape Town duo Pedersen + Lennard). Each of the light-filled, comfortable suites is arranged at a different level on a steep hillside embankment reached via a network of wooden stairways and gangplanks. Dirkie Sanchez is the uppermost of these suites, with a splendid view over the rest of the trailer park as well as a breathtaking sweep of valley, which spreads far away towards distant mountains. It’s thrilling enough entertainment to simply watch the clouds tumbling in as evening falls and the setting sun turns the sky all sorts of indescribable colours. But if the unsubtle changes in the weather and cloud formation aren’t enough to hold your attention, there’s a heated pool; sturdy bikes for exploring the mountainous terrain (or getting from one wine cellar to the next); a well-stocked bar; and, of course, the novelty design of your sleeping quarters.

Each unit consists of a wood-and-metal frame box-style lounge area, with loads of floor-to-ceiling windows, most of which fold away entirely creating unimpeded access to those drop-dead views across the valley. The bedroom is in an attached Airstream trailer. Each one was specially imported from the USA, then renovated and given an innovative make-over honouring a novelty theme. The Dirkie Sanchez is a flamboyant, slightly crazy, ode to Mexican wrestling; décor is a tribute to the imaginary character after whom the suite is named—if the pictures are to be believed, this guy was born ready to rumble. And, of course, the entire bed—plump, genuinely comfortable, and wrapped in fine cotton threads—is transformed into a miniature wrestling ring by means of soft, stretchable cord. There are even masks and kinky costumes on hand so you and your partner can play dress-up and then jump in the ring for some, er, wrestling of your own. The trailer’s interior is alive with tongue-in-cheek references to Dirkie’s personal history; a gallery of make-believe photographs, souvenirs from his wrestling career, and even specially-created wallpaper depicting several complicated wrestling manoeuvres, some of them best enacted in the bedroom.

Tonight, I’ll be test-driving another trailer, hoping that it’s even half as brilliant as Dirkie Sanchez. I’m hoping, too, that the recently-relaunched restaurant can improve on last night’s terrifying service. Not only had they run out of seating (I was forced to dine at the bar), but my food arrived more than an hour after ordering. To make matters worse, they somehow felt it appropriate to deliver my soup and main course simultaneously (“because you’ve waited so long, sir”). My kingklip was astonishingly good, although I was so ravenous by the time I ate it, I doubt I appreciated it properly. Even after breakfast, there hasn’t been a word of feedback following last night’s disaster, so I’m guessing there’s a lack of communication behind the kitchen door. I’m guessing this is a teething problem, no doubt more difficult to solve in an area only recently introduced to serious tourism. With food and accommodations this close to genius, Old Mac Daddy deserves to be in the hands of the seriously competent.

Advertisements

About Hg2 | A Hedonist's Guide To...

Hg2 | A Hedonist's Guide is a luxury city guide series coveted by travellers who value both style and substance when it comes to soaking up a city. Irreverent, inspired, and, above all, intelligent.

Your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: