Hg2 Cape Town co-author Keith Bain recently spent a night in Camps Bay’s long-awaited POD hotel; he slept like a baby, and in the morning there was little need to scramble out of bed to claim a prime spot on the beach, a mere hop, skip and jump away….
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Behaving or not, the conspiratorial triumvirate of weather, sky and ocean, casts a magic spell upon the boulder-studded curves along Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard. The dramatic show they put on never fails to impress, and witnessed from the three levels of pared down Modernist bliss at Camps Bay’s newest hotel, POD, you’ve every chance of being blown away. This is the contemporary minimalist’s dream space, sensually designed with a love of textures, most of them natural and more than a little rough-hewn.
Sleep with your huge glass sliding doors open (definitely get a sea-facing unit with private pool); it lets in the very fresh night air, but who can bear to shut out the roaring chorus of crashing waves that pound on and on through the night, like a operatic lullaby sending me off to a dreamy sleep. The waves are the wildest thing hereabouts; my room—even though it’s one of the “smaller” ones—is plush with conveniences and luxuries, but without the many frills and fripperies so common in most standard hotel rooms these days. You know the moment you check-in that there’s a bar next to the front door, so no need for a humming fridge in your room, and the same for the standard kettle—instead there are espresso machines on each floor.
Despite its lean, handsome good looks, it’s the thick, firm, sensually covered bed that really wins me over. It’s a room for shagging in, and bragging about. You’ll want to invite someone up to show them the unique layout, but you’d better have a pretty good line to get rid of them if you don’t want them to spend the night.
After getting drenched beneath what is surely Cape Town’s biggest rainfall showerhead, I slip downstairs to the big, open-plan lounge and test out the experimental designer sofas. Staring out through massive floor-to-ceiling glass walls that slide away when the weather is cooperating, I watch massive white seahorses building and tumbling at the edge of the beach, smashing against the rocks, while above them, the sky is filled with grey clouds threatening to clear. It’s hypnotic. The view, though, is squeezed between two neighbours, one a Modernist mansion directly between us and the beachfront, and the other a hideous Seventies facebrick monstrosity that defies description but by all accounts (and any means) should be torn down and forgotten.
In the other direction, the view takes in the Twelve Apostles, now cloaked in moody grey clouds, like the onset of a spooky dark night in a beautiful horror movie. The scene is vivid and compelling, the spell broken only by that ugly neighbour. But it’s refreshing to know that for once you can stay in beautiful digs and have virtually instant access to the beach, a mere hop, step and jump away. More than that is the joy of knowing you needn’t ever get caught up in the summer road jam that clogs this part of the city as every one and his dog vies for a part of the beach action.
It’s not yet 9am and I’m tapping my toes and swinging my body to a rhythmic electronic lounge soundtrack. A definite buzz, brought on by an endless succession of espressos (not the best in town, but they’re learning), and an awesome night’s sleep. And I’m high on the knowledge that Camps Bay just got a whole lot classier…
Check out the full review here