Waiting at baggage claim in Cape Town, South Africa last year, my wife and I struck up a conversation with a local. We were there on vacation. My wife was celebrating a numerically significant birthday and wanted an adventure. She must have subtly or casually communicated this information to the travel agent for we received better treatment then we deserved for the entire trip. All with congratulations.

Our new friend asked us where we staying while in town. We answered The Cape Grace Hotel. This pleased our companion greatly. They said in their experience, it was one of the finest hotels in Cape Town and possibly all of South Africa. We were excited to be staying at such a fine hotel but grew fearful that they might not accept our Days Inn points, not that we are always able to stay at a place as nice as a Days Inn.

We claimed our luggage and the rental car and headed out in search our lodgings. I brought my own GPS so there would be one less random thing to confuse me. I’m certain they have GPS’s there but I know how mine works. All I had to do was buy the South African map.

After a short, efficient drive, we arrived at the hotel. I circled the parking lot twice looking for the pop-up trailer that I assumed would be our home for the next few days. Not finding it, we went inside to check with reception. Turns out we had a room IN the hotel. We chose to ignore their apparent lack of due diligence and accepted the key.

The Cape Grace is a very nice hotel as I expected. What I wasn’t expecting was the fact that the common areas were populated with high-end antiques. Like this armoire:


The South Africans have a fondness for contrasting tones.

There are antiques in the lobby, in the hallways, in the elevator lobbies and any other place a guest may wander.

More case pieces with this dresser:


Continuing with the contrasting wood.


With this interesting bead detail on the drawer sides.

Near the dining room was this unique storage bin/shelf unit:


Holding yet more antiques. I didn’t check in the bin.

At the hallway ends are collections of stacked antiques.


Dressers and cabinets and chests, oh my…

This is one of my favorite contrasting pieces:


Contrasting wood and wedged dovetails. I’m gonna have to build me one.

They have painted furniture as well:


Three of many.

This, they claim, is one of the most iconic of Cape Furniture, the riempiesbank:


Named derived from the thin leather strips plaited (braided) to form the riempies seat.

And there are tools all over the place:


Nice wall hangers.


You can see a reasonable sample of the Cape Grace Collection by clicking HERE.