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Memories linger long after check-out

There is a beautiful tradition at Tintswalo Atlantic's five-star boutique lodge that is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression long after you have checked out.

When you check out of the hotel, a stone with the words "make all my dreams come true" written on it is given to each guest. The staff encourage you to proceed to the wooden deck and throw the stone using your right hand over your left shoulder as you make a wish.

This is a similar tradition made famous in movies where coins are thrown at Rome's Trevi fountain to beckon luck and love.

I did not think twice to engage in this romantic ritual as one can always use some luck.

The past 24 hours at this small piece of heaven nestled below the mountains and hugging a pebbled private beach on the Hout Bay harbour had been magical.

The hotel is situated on Chapman's Peak Drive just a few metres before the Chapman's Peak tollgate, and forms part of the Table Mountain National Park. Driving down the precarious road from the gate to the reception area is through breathtaking twists and turns as if you are on a Ferris ride.

The road drops dramatically as I look at the vast Atlantic Ocean before me while Siya, the driver, carefully makes his way down.

Guests have to park at the main gate and can only make their way to the popular wedding destination by way of a chauffeur, who knows how to negotiate the steep twists.

Upon reaching the reception, magnificent mountains hug the hotel, while on your left and right hand side is all sea. All 12 rooms are sea-facing and access to the beach is a few feet away.

I was met by a reception officer, looking as suave as James Bond in a blue sharply cut suit, with a chilled glass of champagne. Sipping on that bubbly is the first hint of how the other half lives.

The reception area is next to the dining area and a huge deck which provides the main reason for anyone to come to Tintswalo Atlantic. It is here one can imbue the natural seaside splendour as you watch the sun set on the top of The Sentinel peak.

The suites are named after famous global islands such as Greek's Ithaka, Seychelles's Cousine Island, and Italy's Sicily, for example. I was hosted in Robben Island dedicated to Madiba.

Some may feel the bathroom door with a window which replicates his cell window by the details of burglar bars is unnecessary, but the rest of the furnishings in the suite aim for luxurious pampering.

I loved the personal touch of the "welcome" and "sleep well" messages written with small sea shells in my room.

The hotel also placed a silver bucket in the shower to catch the cold water, which they use to clean the room in their bid to help Cape Town's drought. They also use glass straws to avoid the use of plastic.

From the kitchen, chef Thando surprised me with yummy and hearty meals prepared with real five-star treatment. Many boutique hotels only serve food for adventurous palates but his dishes including coriander and pumpkin soup, sea bass starter and pork belly for mains was delicious.

While I thought the food was the best experience about the hotel, I then woke up to the view from my bed of the sun rising as the waves danced next to me on the pebbled beach.

*Nkosi was hosted by Tintswalo Atlantic.

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