Africa, Cape Town, Hotel Reviews, Newsletter, South Africa

The Winchester Hotel, Cape Town

07/04/2022 by .
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Brian Berkman stays at this spectacular seaside stay in Sea Point.

The Winchester, a 76-key luxury boutique hotel, has recently completed an R90-million (about £4.5 million) refurbishment. This historic building, the first block of flats in the Atlantic seaside suburb of Cape Town’s Sea Point, was turned into a hotel in 1960 and has been a popular landmark since. Owned by the Wainford family, originally from the United Kingdom, it continues to be a destination loved by sleep-over guests and day-trippers alike.

The Winchester has always enjoyed strong local support for afternoon tea and scones in the Bougainvillea-festooned courtyard and a table at the sea-facing terraces of Harvey’s Bar on one side and the Shoreditch House restaurant on the other are always in high demand.


Wainford Family

The biggest changes during this refurbishment, aside from under the hood improvements to wiring and plumbing, are beautiful new bathrooms that echo the black-and-white theme of the hotel’s foyer. The lobby chandelier is, in equal parts, ethereal and dramatic. Today, The Winchester is run by General Manager, Michael Liffmann, who counts The Cape Grace, The Sheraton, The Westin and AC Hotels By Marriott among his impressive addresses.

Liffmann says that the greatest challenge in concluding this project was in maintaining the heritage status of the building and protecting the important architectural features while bringing it to the high standard that travellers nowadays demand.

Madré Meyer, of SOURCE Interior Architecture, created the new look. The fabric awning in front of the revolving door has been replaced by a contemporary steel and glass structure but lovers of the bijou anteroom, just to the left of the entrance, will be thrilled it has been retained and the Simon Jones painting has pride of place.

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Monochrome is carried throughout – the black and white tiles in the foyer and courtyard, the room bathrooms and the black and white striped canvas umbrellas and similarly-styled plush pool loungers and poolside conversation setups which are for the exclusive use of residential guests.

As a former apartment building guest rooms are quite different from the next. While each room is intentionally individually decorated all will deliver a high level of comfort and luxury.

The Art Nouveau-inspired fountain at the courtyard’s centre now looks more elegant than ever. The Wainford family also planted a row of Palm trees that acts as a landmark for this building.

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The menu has also been updated with a strong focus on cooking over coals. Steaks, for example, are served to the table sliced, designed for sharing while the meaty tasting whole fire-roasted cauliflower with chimichurri sauce will delight vegans and carnivores alike.

Now managed by Newmark Hotels, Reserves, Lodges and Residences, a group that began life with The Ambassador Hotel in Bantry Bay and The Victoria & Alfred Hotel, the first hotel to open at the V&A Waterfront. Located less than 10-minutes from the City and about 20-minutes from the popular Camps Bay beaches and restaurant strip, Sea Point as a destination is among Cape Town’s most cosmopolitan communities and the much-loved Sea Point Promenade, a paved and grassed six-kilometre walkway along the coast, is popular dawn to dusk with walkers, runners and people and their pets.


RM302 Luxury Suite

Tandem Skydiving, where you and a guide jump from the top of the Lion’s Head mountain directly behind the hotel and then land on the grass immediately in front of the hotel is a high-adrenaline way of seeing the beautiful mountains and sea and will earn you significant bragging rights.

Within easy walking distance of The Winchester are many and varied restaurants – one of the best mainland Chinese ones, He Sheng, is very nearby and there are both upscale and well-priced eateries all around. You will find quality supermarkets easy to access too and the MyCiTi transport corridor runs directly past the hotel.

Tell Me More About The Winchester Hotel

The Winchester Hotel  221 Beach Rd, Sea Point, Cape Town, South Africa 8005

T: +27 (0)21 434 2351.  E:

Seasonal prices vary. Expect to pay between R4600 (£230) and R9960 (£498) for two people including breakfast in increasingly larger rooms categories.






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