Someone once told me that Cape Town is called the Mother City because it takes nine months to get anything done here. The folks at Tinstwalo Atlantic seem to disagree, considering they managed to completely rebuild their five-star luxury lodge in just seven months, following the devastating Cape Fires of March 2015.
The local tourism industry suffered a huge blow when it emerged that Tintswalo had completely burnt down in the fires. Even today, driving through Chapman’s Peak towards the lodge, you can still see the aftermath of the fire – blackened vegetation peppering the mountainside of the Table Mountain National Park. As you wind down the newly-cobbled road, however, you emerge into a world of luxury you simply couldn’t have imagined a few months ago.
Tintswalo Atlantic maintains its ‘beach house feel’, with owner Gaye Corbett saying she took the rebuild and refurbishment as an opportunity to ‘do things right’. Corbett says she wants people to feel like they’re walking into their own home when they pass through the doors at Tintswalo.
The lodge enjoys a view of Hout Bay and the Sentinel Mountain that is second to none. It’s often difficult to get a good vantage point on Chapman’s Peak Drive, and why bother when you can grab a deck chair at Tintswalo and enjoy the view in your own time?
A fascinating piece of furniture within the lodge’s lounge and dining area is the custom-made bar, fashioned out of the majestic milkwood trees that dotted the area around the lodge before the fire. Milkwood trees are actually protected in South Africa, meaning they cannot be cut down. Damaged in the fire however, the lodge was granted special permission to repurpose the destroyed trees into various stools and tables, as well as the magnificent bar – arguably the only one of its kind in the country.
As the evening mist that Hout Bay is so well-known for descended upon Tinstwalo Atlantic, isolating us from our surroundings, I felt an eerie calm descend. It’s incredible to think of the amount of time, effort and passion that has gone into the rebuilding of this iconic Cape lodge.
Where Tinswalo Atlantic, 1 Chapmans Peak Drive, Hout Bay
Contact +27 11 300 8888 or book online
Photography courtesy Tintswalo Atlantic and Jonathan Meyer