What’s Hot in Hotels: Antrim Villa, Cape Town
A guesthouse with charm and a knack for giving back.
Cape Town and the Western Cape has it all: mountains, ocean, world class restaurants and a wine region that you could spend weeks, tipsily, touring through. The energy is bright and buzzy and the people share the same kind of California laid-back vibe you’d expect from coastal living. Life in the cape is ‘Lekker’.
Antrim Villa is one of the most exciting places in Cape Town to stay. Located in the hip Green Point neighborhood (think what Soho is to NYC) it’s within walking distance of the Rockwell Theatre, Cape Town Stadium and hot eateries like the Banting Kitchen and Gold. It’s not just the location and style of the Villa that makes it a stand out. It’s that it is the only fair trade certified guesthouse in the city and their commitment to community involvement is impressive.
Built in the late 1800s, this old English Victorian house has been redesigned and updated with hints of African flare, an earthy palate and Scandinavian simplicity. Many of the original features are intact alongside the modern personality of the decor. The small, but inviting atmosphere is ideal for travelers looking to be close to the heart of the city, but are looking fort a quiet place to come back to after a long day experiencing the people and culture of Cape Town.
Marketing Director and General Manager, Joy Daniels feels being environmentally and socially responsible is the way of the future in the travel sector. By joining the Fare Trade certification process, they are setting the standard for other local businesses to do the same. Antrim Villa stands at the forefront of the market as an accommodation that gives back in multiple ways.
Cape Town is currently experiencing its worst drought in 30 years. Water is used sparingly at the Villa and Joy and her staff have taken great care in requesting guests curb their water usage. It’s more than gentle reminders about the water that contribute towards their environmentally friendly efforts; they let laundry dry in the sun and use water saving shower-heads in the bathrooms. They also use eco-friendly cleaning solutions and serve a breakfast of locally sourced and grown items. Antrim Villa isn’t just environmentally responsible, but also supports the community and their staff.
When a guest books a stay at the Villa, a portion (R35) of their bill goes to towards the Darling Trust, a “charitable trust that assists the Darling community by empowering individuals to help themselves, mainly through participation in the sectors of education, skills development and health.” The Darling Trusts boasts many educational and outreach programs for early childhood development the underprivileged children in the area. In 2009, the community pool and education center was opened and blessed by Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu.
They are also members of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that allows travelers to make a lasting impact in the community by bringing and donating supplies for schools or medical clinics in need in the area.
Antrim Villa promotes equal and fare wages, annual leave, ongoing education and a sense of camaraderie amongst the employees. Joy shared how if there is something that needs to be done, whether it be management or maintenance related, the whole staff would be ready to help; it’s a family.
And you won’t have to look any further for a guide or tour operator. GONANA African responsible travel is the property’s in-house tour operator who will help you personalize your itinerary and connect you to local and ethically run activities, shops and restaurants.
Beyond the many impressive measures Antrim has taken, the house itself is charming and high end. From the woven baskets hanging on the wall, to the sisal, linen and bamboo touches; it feels at once exotic and cozy. In the warmer months, guests can enjoy the secluded saltwater pool.
While there are many places to choose from in Cape Town, Antrim Villa is a responsible choice for an intimate, luxury experience.