by Lauren Mellor

Once Cape Town

Situated in the beating heart of the city with an electric nightlife.

Absolute Highlight

Rad cafes and restaurants on your doorstep with hiking or a lazy beach day just around the corner.

In a nutshell

No. of rooms
The design aesthetic is...
simple and clean with a pop of African vibrancy.
The typical guest is...
a real mixed bag of travelers to local South Africans visiting family and friends in Cape Town.
The sustainability features (ie. plastic free, recycling, green wall, garden) are...
mindful; including complimentary 100% natural soap by ‘GIVE HER HOPE’ - a small local business that empowers women in local communities to generate an income. Once is also super water efficient, with low-pressure showers, high-pressure toilets and a bucket in the shower to collect water for cleaning.
The location is...
super central. Turn right and head into town with its buzzing cafes and shops. Turn left and go hike Lions Head or Table Mountain. A little further and you’re on the white sandy beaches of Camps Bay or Clifton.
Interaction is encouraged by....
everything from complimentary yoga sessions to “Power Hour (free beer and wine - yes please!), a ‘disconnect to reconnect’ no cellphone policy and a welcoming communal space to share stories of the day’s adventures with fellow travellers.. They also give guests the option to join a Whatsapp group to stay connected with the Once community while in town.
You should stay here because
Yours Truly serves you a delicious brekkie in the morning under a lush hanging garden and buzzes in the evenings with a diverse, vibrant crowd. The staff are also fun and helpful, and the location is smack bang in the middle of everything you want to do.
What took you there?

Cape Town has been voted the world’s top tourist city for the seventh time running –  no wonder, when it caters for all types of magnificently diverse people out there. For those who love to feel the soul of the country through its rich culture and history, I’d recommend a trip to the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art – architecturally designed in an old silo. Then, immerse yourself in the legend of Nelson Mandela with a day trip to Robben Island where the man who changed a nation was imprisoned for 9 years. 

For the active adventurers,  the city also offers mountain ranges to hike and white sandy beaches for the beach bums and surfers. Just a 30 min drive from the Once takes you to the lush vineyard valleys of Stellenbosch. Encapsulated by mountains and quaint, picturesque farmhouses, you’ll find yourself surrounded by some of the finest wine around. Let’s not forget the restaurants and fresh food markets back in Cape Town – a foodies dream come true. As the African sun sets over the sea, the lights of the city illuminate the night, guiding the party seekers into secret gin bars with DJ’s bursting the dance floors. All of this wrapped in the arms of the warmest, most hospitable South Africans makes Cape Town a true gem of a city at the Southern tip of Africa.

What was your room like?

Cute and clean with a pop of African vibrancy (you can buy the awesome throw pillows a few doors down). After beers and pizza at Yours Truly, take just a few flights of stairs up and flop onto your comfy bed. Be sure to switch the fan on in summer, mozzies are about! A little tea and coffee station is the perfect way to start your morning while admiring impressive Table Mountain from your bed. Be patient with the showers, they’ll get the job done in typical laid back Cape Town fashion. Being water conscious means the water pressure is low – we’ve all got time for that. For a quiet night’s sleep book a Mountain View room, these are further away from the buzz of Yours Truly and Kloof street.

What about the venue

What a rad spot! A walk through the hanging garden of Yours Truly takes you to reception which always has at least 3 people at the desk answering questions, checking people in and generally looking pretty cool. The staff are friendly, laid back and welcoming with a wealth of knowledge on Cape Town. There’s a weekly board at reception giving you the low down on everything from the weather to where to party that night. There are no lifts so good luck with those heavy bags…  however, there are plenty of helpful hands if you ask. There’s private parking at the back and with Yours Truly attached to Once there’s always a buzz of people around giving the venue a good vibe and a secure feeling.

Tell us about the destination

Once is on the very cool, hip Kloof Street. Across the road is The Wellness Centre with shops, a grocery store and an excellent yoga studio. Kloof Street leads into famous Long Street and the centre of town. From top to bottom are restaurants, cafes, local designer stores, bars and art galleries. You can walk to all these areas but best to keep street smart and handbags zipped. If you head in the other direction you’ll hit Table Mountain and the cable cars. There’s also Platteklip Gorge which is the most direct, oldest hiking route up the mountain. Lions Head, the free-standing peak located next to Table Mountain is an exhilarating hike with epic views. Just on the other side of the mountains, you get Camps Bay and Clifton which are great beach spots however if you’re after the surf head further to Llundudno or Muizenberg.

Who did you meet there?

Yours Truly is a super diverse crowd. I took tequila shots with a group celebrating a 40th, hung out with a Dutch traveler drawing caricatures, got chatting with a crew touring from Louisiana and exchanged some recommendations with the barista.

Cape Town, South Africa
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Surrounding Activities

Table Mountain

Hike or take the cable car up Table Mountain. There’s a restaurant at the top or take your own snacks to enjoy at the many viewpoints. Lions Head is a great hike early in the morning or for sunset if you have a head torch to come down in the dark.

Table Mountain

First Thursdays

On the first Thursday of every month Long, Loop and Bree street in town open all the gallery and bar doors until all hours. It’s festive, cultural, fun and a great way to see some local talent.

First Thursdays

The Oranjezicht City Farm

Fresh local produce and food stalls with Wednesday night opening up the bars.

The Oranjezicht City Farm