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A high five for the Sea Five

The Last Word is a group of premium luxury villas in the Mantis Collection. They all succeed in providing an intimate (typically with fewer than six suites) level of service but Sea Five, the newest addition to the collection with its beach-house meets Lake Como, feels like The Last Word on steroids.
The views from the lounge are superb.
The views from the lounge are superb.

With Italian money behind it, the look, albeit in collaboration with local Francois du Plessis, is a big part of the experience. Adjunct to the look in, is the look out which, even by Camps Bay standards, is splendiferous. From the third-floor penthouse suite there are views and balconies all the way around. Even the bathroom has a spectacular view of The Twelve Apostle Mountains.

Local management is by a posh-accented IT girl Kate Salt who relates as well to guests from the music and Hollywood industries as she does to those who love décor and design. Prior to managing Sea Five, she was involved in the Stefan Antoni spin-off, Okha.

First-rate meals are just a moment away

From the light fittings above the ground-floor coffee bar, which doubles as a brilliant breakfast buffet, to the textures on the wardrobe doors, design here plays the starring role. This is the sort of boutique hotel that Wallpaper founder Tyler Brûlé would stay at in Cape Town.

Comfortable and spacious.
Comfortable and spacious.

Although only breakfast is offered, lunch and dinner are easily available. They keep a list of top private chefs on call to do anything from a lobster picnic on Camps Bay beach, just 300m away, to private dining in your penthouse suite.

The 110m² penthouse accommodates four guests. The master suite runs nearly the entire width of Sea Five with a king-size white timber four-poster bed extra length, of course; the coolest spa bath that magically fills from a tap inside the plug, a two-headed glass-walled shower and then, regrettably, an open-plan toilet.

Loo with a view, with a view of the loo

This suite was obviously designed by someone very beautiful for whom modesty isn't a requirement. I had to run around the 30m length closing curtains and misting the air with sweet smelling scents before sitting down on the throne. I don't mind telling you that I prefer the tiniest toilet enclosure to these palatial open ones.

Loo with a view - and a view of the loo.
Loo with a view - and a view of the loo.

There is a genius bit of design that I intend to replicate the next time I build a bathroom. The guest loo in the suite has two doors. Visitors to the suite can comfortably use the loo accessed via the sitting area, while guests in the second bedroom (intended for children rather than friends as there will be fights over who gets the master suite, access it privately from their bathroom.

Sea Five's position slightly removed from maddening Victoria Road is a blessing. Café Caprice is on the corner of Von Kamp and Victoria Streets which although just a block away makes all the difference to enjoying the quiet when you want it.

There's nothing like a great shower after a day slaving away on the beach.
There's nothing like a great shower after a day slaving away on the beach.

The Penthouse suite is available at R8000 a night but you can also book the entire hotel (all seven suites) for R26 000 or R18 000 during low season. Entry level suites in 2011 low season start at R2500 per suite.

When we visited they didn't yet have telephones in all the rooms. This was the only impediment in my mind to them qualifying as five-star deluxe accommodation.

For more information on Sea Five, 5 Central Avenue, Camps Bay call +27 (0) 21 794 6561 or go to www.thelastword.co.za.

All pictures by JP Fluckiger.

About Brian Berkman: contributing editor, travel

Brian Berkman can be contacted on 083-441-8765 or email moc.namkreBnairB@nairB.

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