|1 Royal Street Guesthouse – Riebeek Kasteel, Western Cape |
Address: 1 Royal Street, Riebeek Kasteel, South Africa (across the road from The Royal Hotel)
Bookings: On major booking sites or via website
Good to know: Solar power, fantastic walk-in-showers, excellent WiFi, Netflix, gourmet continental breakfast
Airport transfers and transport in RK: Yes, by arrangement – e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp Antonio on +27 82 920 1327
We stayed at the stylish and beautifully appointed, 1 Royal Street Guesthouse in Riebeek Kasteel, during a media preview for the 2023 edition of Solo Studios – Intimate Art Encounters – in the Riebeek Valley. The valley is 87km from Cape Town – about one hour to one hour 15 minutes- depending on departure point. Solo Studios is an annual weekend of creativity which includes visual art (studios of artists are open to the public), walkabouts, performances, film, talks, food, wine and is happening from August 18-20, 2023. During Solo Studios 2023, 1 Royal Street Guesthouse, will be open to the public. Visitors to Solo Studios will have the opportunity to see its extensive art collection, lovingly acquired by the owners, Antonio Tomazini and Ashley Stone. The collection features many works by artists in the Riebeek Valley, such as Ade Kipades, Gordon Williams, Leila Fanner, Wiehan de Jager, Claudia Gurwitz and Jenny Parsons. They have two spectacular works by Jody Paulsen who lives in Cape Town.
The guesthouse opened in November 2022 and according to Tomazini, it is currently (August 2023), the highest rated guest house in Riebeek Kasteel. The stylishly and impeccably appointed boutique guest house is equipped with solar panels and battery backup – essential for any traveller/leisure seeker – in our electricity crisis in South Africa. No worries about load shedding (electricity outrages), the power stays on (unless we go into an extended outage in which case, the batteries will go so far). There is Netflix and fast WiFi. Bedrooms are equipped with fabulous en-suite bathrooms (amazing walk-in-showers). Amenities in rooms, include a bar fridge, Smeg kettle and tea and coffee. The art is everywhere – bathrooms, bedrooms, communal areas. The house is filled with art and objects or curiosity and wonder – and books- art books, novels- so much to browse through.
The ebullient Tomazini hails from Brazil and is front-of-house, chef and concierge. This delightful and warm human provides a warm welcome – with sherry offered on arrival. Tomazini loves the Riebeek Valley and he has the names of restaurants and wine destinations on tap. Check out their Instagram page for recommendations of where to go. They arrange airport transfers and do drop offs and picks up at eateries, wineries and other spots in the valley. This a big bonus – to have helpful hosts to assist with transport. If one wants to drink at a winery or at a restaurant in the valley, safety first and get a lift back.
Room rates include a 3-course continental breakfast. Tomazini tags it as “continental” but it is way more than what I would expect from a continental brekkie – home-made jams and other delicacies. Tell Tomazini what you do or don’t eat and he will tailor a bespoke breakfast. In winter, breakfast is served in the dining room, adjacent to the fire place (stunning art in this room). In warmer weather, breakfast is served by the pool terrace in the garden.
The guest house is new and they are still ironing out glitches (for instance- our bathroom had no extractor – it needs one). They are landscaping the pool area and it looks like it will be fabulous when complete. The position is great – across the road from The Royal Hotel and within walking distance of the hub of Riebeek Kasteel.
To book for Solo Studios: See www.solostudios.co.za or contact Shawn via WhatsApp on 082 528 6785.
✳ Featured image- The dining room at 1 Royal Street Guesthouse – Riebeek Kasteel, Western Cape. Pic: Robyn Cohen/TheCapeRobyn. TheCapeRobyn was hosted by 1 Royal Street Guesthouse and Solo Studios Intimate Art Encounters.