If I’ve been too effervescent in my praise for Cape Town, please forgive me — there’s simply no other city out there that combines the urban milieu with its stunning landscape quite so seamlessly. While I’ve listed some of my favorite hotels to check into while in the Mother City, one of its most remarkable properties, Molori Clifton, is a different beast altogether. Not quite a resort but not quite a rental villa, it is far better: a private beach retreat meticulously designed for a self-sustainable, all-inclusive jaunt.
Perched above one of Cape Town’s most exquisite beaches — Clifton Beach, a veritable jet-set playground — Molori Clifton is the latest addition to the Molori Private Retreats portfolio. At the helm of these exclusive properties is the design-driven Kirk Lazarus, hotelier and owner of Molori Design, not to mention a Tastemaker this month. Molori Clifton is his second property in South Africa (the first being the award-winning Molori Safari Lodge in the Madikwe Game Reserve, where John Travolta and Kate Moss have vacationed). Each of Molori Clifton’s suites stands alone — the design is not only very specific to each room, with each guest room entrance padded in a different color of mock-croc skin, but also memorable, with eclectic accents culled from Lazarus’s travels all over the world: a grand collection of vintage National Geographic magazines, classic album covers adorning the media room.
Spectacular interiors aside, my favorite feature of the retreat has to be its custom retractable glass walls ‹ the better to offer an uninterrupted transition between the indoors and out, and a Molori brand mainstay. Entertaining friends in the Main Villa is ideal, which holds up to 12 and features a cutting-edge kitchen and dining room, and a blow-up portrait of Marilyn Monroe peeking up over the table’s edge. A private chef is there to prepare savory seaside fare and candy-colored, freshly baked macarons. The Presidential Suite alone is worth the roundtrip airfare — its retractable wrap-around glass walls showcase amazing views of the Twelve Apostles mountains, to say nothing of the private boudoir and walk-in closets.
Because this is Cape Town, sunbathing is a must — and Molori Clifton ensures you get your Vitamin D in style with two retro-chic chairs located inside the swimming pool; numerous daybeds are littered throughout the deck.
If you can afford this small slice of heaven, I’d suggest you run, don’t walk.