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“Fantastic place to stay”
Review of The Tarragon

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The Tarragon
Ranked #3 of 59 Hout Bay B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
London
1 review
“Fantastic place to stay”
Reviewed September 27, 2007

We chose The Tarragon for our stay in Cape Town/Hout Bay on the basis of the other reviews on Tripadvisor.com, and were so glad we did. The accommodation itself is fantastic - lots of space, great decor and a beatiful private veranda with a BBQ and stunning views of the mountians. And the location is great - easily placed for the City, the coastline and the wine regions. The owners, Mark and Julia, were really welcoming and helpful, and so clearly care about making The Tarragon a great place to stay.

Stayed September 2007
Helpful?
Thank jomcg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Date | Rating
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  • English first
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  • German first
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English first
Boston, Massachusetts
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2007

I stayed at the Tarragon from August 31 to September 6, 2007. Cape Town was my third stop on a two-week round-the-world business trip; I arrived into CPT airport on the 12-hour overnight flight from Singapore and took a taxi down to Hout Bay bright and early in the morning, exhausted and wondering how I would stay awake until check-in time. No worries; the owners Mark and Julia were there at the compound awaiting my arrival with smiling faces and open arms, and my cottage (Saffron) was fully-prepared and spotlessly clean.

First things first - the bed was easily the most comfortable of the trip (and this was no small feat, since my previous two hotels were the Intercontinental Singapore and the Sakura Tower in Tokyo - both 5-star establishments). The bed was covered in two brand-new duvets, the weather was crisp, and the only sounds were those of the bucolic Hout Bay countryside and the bubbling brook outside my window. Consequently, I can proudly say that I slept for 15 hours straight! I attribute this record-setting accomplishment not only to the comfort of the bedroom but also to the discretion of Mark and Julia - they had received a message for me that afternoon, and not knowing whether I was asleep, they attached it to the door rather than risking waking me up.

Saturday morning, Mark and Julia arrived bright and early (again) to help me map out my weekend sightseeing strategy. Although they're from Britain originally, they seem to know the Cape area much better than most locals. My original plan had been to try to BMW (bus, metro, walk) my way around greater Cape Town - I'm not a big fan of driving - but Mark and Julia said that since I only had a few days to sightsee, I would be much better off with a vehicle. A couple of phone calls later and they had lined up a real BMW - a 1995 525 model - from a local garage for 150 ZAR a day, all inclusive (about USD$21: easily the cheapest rental I've ever had). Take that, Avis!

My first full day, I drove along the M6 into the city - who knew that the drive from Hout Bay to Cape Town would be one of the most dramatic in the world, with crashing South Atlantic waves on the left and the steep peaks of the 12 Apostles on the right! [Chapman's Peak Drive, to the south of Hout Bay and supposedly even more impressive, was closed for repairs, alas.] That day I saw the waterfront and the city center as per Mark and Julia's recommendations. Definitely a nice town - safe, clean, relaxed - and every Cape Towner I met was warm and polite.

Mark recommended a casual restaurant in Hout Bay for a late lunch - Primi Piatti - to which I returned for secondi and terzi. Try the lamb chops, gorgonzola gnocchi, or chicken/eggplant parmesan foccacio - as good as anything in Italy, and with huge servings. There are also a couple of seafood shacks on the Hout Bay waterfront serving very fresh calamari and hake; further, Mark recommended a Thai restaurant but I never made it there. At any rate, between the restaurants in Hout Bay, Camp's Bay, Constantia, and in Cape Town itself, you won't have any problem finding a good place to eat.

On Sunday, Mark recommended a drive to Greater (Groot) Constantia (wine country), Simon's Town/Boulders (to see the only mainland penguin colony in the world), and southward to Cape Point (the Cape of Good Hope).

Monday and Tuesday the sightseeing was over as I had two full days of meetings at the Arabella and the convention center in Cape Town. Meetings started at 9:00am; at 8:30 I was rushing out the door (with toothbrush in mouth) when Caroline, the very warm and kind cleaning woman, stopped me and ensured that my extremely-rumpled suit received a good pressing. Outstanding! By 8:35 I was on the road, winding up the M6 between the ocean and the cliffs and into town - I really wouldn't mind having to make that commute every day.

The cottages at the Tarragon were always spic and span - Mark took me on a tour of all of them - the decorations were very feng-shui, the lighting warm and comforting, and each cottage had very nice bathrooms and kitchens (there are a couple of excellent supermarkets in Hout Bay including a Woolworth's), and all of the technological accouterments (flat-screen, satellite, DVD, wi-fi, etc.). There are several washing machines for guests' use, although Caroline washed and ironed my suitcase-full of dirty laundry from Asia for just ZAR70 (USD$10). There's a swimming pool, koi ponds with waterfalls, terrace with a view onto the valley, and Mark and Julia were building a jungle-gym play area down in the woods as well. Clive, the groundskeeper, is a true professional who keeps the compound looking like the Singapore Botanical Gardens. Not far from the Tarragon I followed a great hiking trail as per Mark's recommendation that takes you up to a hidden waterfall in the woods (watch out if you climb the rock up to the top of the waterfall because getting back down is quite tricky).

I must admit that all of my business associates in Cape Town thought it strange that I would stay down in Hout Bay on a business trip - but am I ever glad that I did! I was able to get all of my work done efficiently, but it felt more like a vacation than work. I reluctantly left the Tarragon on Thursday night, but rather than being exhausted after a business trip I was completely refreshed - so much so that the 24-hour journey back from CPT to BOS (via LHR) was a piece of cake - I even made it back in such good shape that I was able to go see the Yankees cream the Red Sox (alas) that Friday night at Fenway Park in the second-longest MLB game in history (Dice-K, why do you take so very long between pitches?)! How's that for refreshed?

On the face of it, the Tarragon is an unlikely destination for business travelers, but already I'm trying to swing another trip back. So: if a businessman had so much fun there, imagine how great a vacation destination it would be! Mark says that sometimes groups book the entire compound for special celebrations - I'm working on an excuse with my friends to do the same.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank hexterhuddigan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rutland, England
2 reviews
Reviewed August 15, 2007

The Tarragon is a great place to stay. We stayed in one of the smaller units which was very well fitted out and had everything that we needed. The owner (Mark) was very helpful and informative. We would definitely recommend The Tarragon to everyone.

  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DCBM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Keswick, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2007

Fantastic cottages in a lovely peaceful setting but close to all attractions. The standard of interior decor is excellent with great attention to detail such as fresh flowers, toys for the children etc... The whole cottage was clean, spacious and extremely comfortable. The bathrooms are luxurious and the kitchen well equipped. The grounds are very pleasant but unfortunately for us it was a little bit chilly to use the pool or BBQ facilities.
The host, Mark could not have been more helpful and courteous. He met us at the front gate in torrential rain with a large umbrella for us and showed us around the accommodation. He was able to give expert advice on where to shop, eat out and attractions for the little ones.
To summarise The Tarragon is a thoroughly first class place to stay. I would not hesitate to stop there again or recommend to others.

  • Liked — Excellent fixtures and furnishings and very clean
  • Disliked — No washing machine in the cottage but laundry room very close.
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lloydy191065
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2007

We found the tarragon by chance during our three week stay in Cape town - and how lucky we were! There simply isn't a negative thing to say about this get away. Mark and his staff were delightfully accommodating without interupting the tranquil setting.

The accomodation itself was spacious, both inside and out and the decor superb... you couldn't ask for more.

My only hesitation in recommending the Tarragon is that it may make it more difficult to secure my booking for next year!

  • Liked — Service / Decor / Garden / Tranquil Setting
  • Disliked — I didn't get to stay longer
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Kababra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
stoke-on-trent
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2007

A wonderful retreat after a busy day sightseeing in Cape Town. Spacious accommodation and peaceful beautiful garden setting. Wish we had more time to spend in Hout Bay itself. Convenient for Cape Town and rest of the peninsula. Looked after very well by Mark and all the staff. Would definitely say here again next trip to SA.
Thanks.

Stayed February 2007
Helpful?
3 Thank awanderer_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
southsea
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 3, 2007

The Tarragon is situated in a most beautiful, tranquil setting. The accommodation - just perfection, with spacious rooms all very tastefully decorated and the attention to detail made this stand out from other places that we have stayed. I can not say enough goods things, so just go and see for yourself and the owners will make you extremley welcome as they did with us.
5 stars all the way !!!

Helpful?
1 Thank SouthseaTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Tarragon

Property: The Tarragon
Address: 21 Hunters Way, Hout Bay 7806, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Cape Town > Hout Bay
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 59 B&Bs / Inns in Hout Bay
Number of rooms: 5
Also Known As:
The Tarragon Hout Bay, Cape Town, South Africa

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