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The Rectory is an historic arts and crafts house designed by Sir Herbert Baker (who designed parts of Oxford University, and New Delhi with Lutyens). The house is large, cool and minimalist, with wooden floors and shutters on the windows. It is designed in a way that is not overlooked and you have total privacy with the windows wide open - have your shower looking down over frigates, submarines and naval exercises, or lie in the huge original Edwardian bath looking up the mountain! The shutters are used to reduce the light and breeze whilst keeping the windows open. Some bedrooms open on to a balcony with magnificent sea and mountain views. The house is finished to a high standard, with a huge kitchen and butler's pantry. There are 3 reception rooms. Simon's town is is a historic and...The Rectory is an historic arts and crafts house designed by Sir Herbert Baker (who designed parts of Oxford University, and New Delhi with Lutyens). The house is large, cool and minimalist, with wooden floors and shutters on the windows. It is designed in a way that is not overlooked and you have total privacy with the windows wide open - have your shower looking down over frigates, submarines and naval exercises, or lie in the huge original Edwardian bath looking up the mountain! The shutters are used to reduce the light and breeze whilst keeping the windows open. Some bedrooms open on to a balcony with magnificent sea and mountain views. The house is finished to a high standard, with a huge kitchen and butler's pantry. There are 3 reception rooms. Simon's town is is a historic and still close-knit village on the Cape peninsula. It was the British naval base and now houses the South African navy. It is a safe place: we can and do walk around day and night, including the children. For the early risers, if you get to the beach before 6.30 you can swim in the sea with the wildlife around you, whilst watching the sun coming up. It is exhilarating and as though you are in your own scene from The Blue Planet.
The Rectory in Simonstown offered a beautifully unique experience to unwind and restore. Ideally located around the corner from the bohemian hotspot of Kalkbay for what is a fantastic day out, and also a stones throw away from the magical Boulders Beach, complete with penguins and ethereal atmosphere alike. Owners Jonathan and Sarah were most accommodating and thoroughly helpful along with the housekeeper-Goodleisure, who ensured my stay was comfortable and easy. All in all, a great location to ease away from the intensity of everyday life and unwind in a house that compliments every aspect of a great holiday.
Visited January 2015
Written February 1, 2015. This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Nether Wallop, United Kingdom30 contributions
A memorable Christmas stay in Simonstown
We have just returned from a wonderful week in Simonstown at The Old Rectory. It proved a perfect base for expeditions around the Cape, visiting family, touring the Winelands, climbing Table Mt, enjoying the atmosphere and shopping in Kalk Bay and just having fun relaxing on beautiful local beaches. I was a little nervous about booking a house as opposed to a hotel for our stay but as we were spending Christmas there I felt it would be much more informal and relaxing. I was grateful for the pictures on the website but I don't feel they provide a complete picture of the house and was utterly delighted when I saw the real thing! It is a beautifully uncluttered, simply but elegantly furnished home with masses of space for guests to relax in so everyone feels they have room to unwind. The bedrooms are large and light, shutters help keep the occasional Cape breeze - the 'doctor' - at bay but allow air and light to circulate. The bathrooms are wonderful - fantastic powerful showers and a great bath placed at the centre of the room. Fabulously comfortable beds and crisp linen. It was a joy to work in the impressively equipped kitchen; every possible implement was there and cooking Xmas lunch was a breeze (although if anyone plans to do the same I was glad I took the advice of a Capetonian and got to Woolworth at Sun Valley by 7 30 am on Xmas Eve). The oven is double sized and there is masses of storage space in the fridge and larder. Last but by no means least - Good Leisure was a star...he was discreet but quietly present and offered to help at every opportunity. It was marvellous to have help with 4 sons' washing and although we washed up/stacked the dishwasher at night he would come in early to tidy up the kitchen so we would be met with a sparkling clean slate every morning....a real holiday for this working mum! The house could not have been cleaner and bedrooms/ bathrooms were cleaned and tidied daily.
We felt v safe and at ease walking around the streets of Simonstown and had an evening constitutional around the upper levels most afternoons. It pays to spend a little time pottering in the town so that one can identify places to eat/shop.
Look up Water's Edge beach on the i/net - hard to find as it's behind a gate but close and not too busy even in this most hectic of weeks.
We ate at the Food Barn at Noordhoek Farm Village which we visited 12 years ago - fantastic meal and at the present exchange rate, excellent value. Boulders Beach restaurant was another fun evening...but the house was so welcoming and comfortable we were happy to eat at home most nights.
We climbed a challenging route up Table Mt with Riaan Vortser's climbing tours (on Tripadvisor). Warren guided us and even this vertigo inclined mother managed the chains and overhanging boulders....
Shopping i Kalk Village - even teen boys enjoyed this! Great pottery cafe and shop.
We went on to visit the Zulu Battlefields in Kwa Zulu Natal which is another story - but once again highly recommended.
All in all, this proved a wonderful week away in a very lovely, characterful old house. I will not forget the stunning views across False Bay which greeted us every morning and the sun pouring through the shutters. Finally, we relaxed in the garden and on the terrace once or twice. Again all beautifully maintained although because of the position of the house inevitably a little short of evening sun. I couldn't recommend this house more highly as a lovely place to relax and holiday in.
Visited December 2014
Written January 1, 2015. This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Brussels, Belgium79 contributions
great house for a family gathering
We booked The Rectory for a week in November and the house was big enough for our family of nine adults and two children aged 3 and 5 years.
The house designed in 1898 by Sir Herbert Baker has been beautifully restored. The window shutters and wooden floors throughout add to its’ charm. All the bedrooms on the top floor have a view of the bay.
The top floor has four rooms with double beds and one room with a single bed. The rooms are spacious and two of the rooms have doors leading onto the balcony. Each room had a chest of drawers to put clothes in however it would have been nice to have a wardrobe to hang clothes in.
There is a small guest toilet and large bathroom with double washbasin, bathtub and fantastic shower on the top floor.
The ground floor has one bedroom with double bed and a bathroom with shower. There is a family/entertainment room with TV and DVD player, separate to that is a large lounge area with plenty of couches to relax in.
The kitchen is fully equipped and has a lovely big dining table in the centre, gas cooking top, refrigerator, washing machine and double washing sink. There is also microwave and two wine coolers. The kitchen opens up onto the terrace that overlooks the lovely garden and fishpond. There are deck chairs as well as dining table and chairs on the terrace.
There is parking in a small driveway for two cars and the rest of the cars we parked in the street.
There is wifi in the house.
Good Leisure is the House Manager/Keeper and lives on the premises. He is a wonderful and warm person and was quick to respond if we needed anything.
Visited November 2014 Traveled with family
Written December 19, 2014. This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
York, United Kingdom1 contribution
Stunning views and a very comfortable house
We arrived as the sun was setting and the moon rising to the most glorious views over the harbor. The house is very comfortable with a lovely airy feel, super kitchen and great sitting areas, inside and out. Very comfy beds and lovely bathrooms. It was a perfect base for exploring the Cape.
Visited March 2014 Traveled with friends
Written April 17, 2014. This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Lovely house with fabulous views
This was our third visit to this magnificently restored Herbert Baker house. The location is spectacular with a panoramic view over Simon’s Town’s Yacht Club, Naval Base, with False Bay and the Sir Lowry’s Pass in the distance. There’s even the distinctive Simonsberg Mountain to be seen towering behind Stellenbosch. For early morning risers the view over the great bay as the sun begins to make its appearance is unforgettable. For those with a naval bent, there are always the two submarines and various frigates to observe while young naval recruits are put through their swimming paces in the sea. At the weekend there were thirty or so yachts and dinghies participating in races just beyond the Naval Base.
This beautifully appointed and spacious house is north east facing, yes, NE even this far south, so you have the benefit of both the sea and the mountains as well as the sun. Five of the six bedrooms, as well as the two reception rooms and kitchen on the ground floor, all have a great view. The view is particularly good from the small sheltered balcony which leads off two of the bedrooms. We loved having breakfast and lunch just outside the kitchen on the veranda which runs the length of the north-east side of the house. Apart from the view, in the foreground there is a pretty and well-maintained garden with a small pond. Should you want to eat inside there is a lovely large table in the nice big kitchen which has been very tastefully arranged. It is such a pleasure to have a larger than average stove and one those big side by side fridge freezers as well as separate coolers for drinks. There is even a separate TV room with full DSTV, although we always seemed to be otherwise occupied. We loved walking down to see the penguins and continuing on to one of the sheltered beaches or burning up some calories going up the mountain behind the house to the 1st WW Cross and ‘Just Nuisance’s’ gravestone for the spectacular view from the top. We also enjoyed being able to jump on the train from Simon’s Town station to go to one of the many restaurants in Kalk Bay with the sea only a few meters away throughout the brief journey.
There is just this lovely feeling of space throughout the house with its high ceilings, which gives such an uncluttered impression. The ever-attentive and charming housekeeper, who lives on the property, looks after the house and garden with great pride and energy. Nothing is ever too much trouble for him. We were once again sad to leave this beautiful house which feels to us so like a home from home. -
Visited March 2014 Traveled with friends
Written April 17, 2014. This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
The best holiday rental we've ever had
Everything the owner Sarah says about her house The Rectory is absolutely true. This is a stunning home of manor-house proportions: six bedrooms, at least three bathrooms (but I'm sure there were more!) a kitchen so large you could fit a snooker table in it (there isn't one, but you could put one in there) and best of all, a friendly, capable and discreet housekeeper.
Two of the rooms open out onto a beautiful balcony, perfect for breakfast coffee or evening cocktails. The view is breathtaking: you can see all of the northern False Bay coastline stretching out in front of you, with the naval base (more like a marina, really) directly in front of you.
The house is so quiet at night it's absolute heaven. Even when the south-easter is blowing, the house feels (and is) so solid and safe. There are wooden floors and staircases throughout - but not a creak from any of them.
It's absolutely beautifully decorated and appointed. (It must have cost a fortune to do up to this standard, I'm sure). The kitchen is so clean it felt as though we were the first people to stay there, ever - seriously, the gas hob and electric oven (Smeg, of course) looked as though it had never been used before - we used it though! The bathrooms are fantastic: the main bathroom has a shower cubicle so big you could actually swing a cat in it without touching sides (not that I'm recommending that!). Everything is, in fact, incredibly light and spacious.
It is absolutely true to say that I've never rented a holiday house so beautiful, so comfortable, so perfect as The Rectory, in more than thirty years of going on holiday with my family.
I'd go back in a heartbeat. And I will.
Visited January 2014 Traveled as a couple
Written January 23, 2014. This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Surrey, United Kingdom7 contributions
House with a view
A beautiful house which felt more like your own luxurious home that came with the wonderful care of houseman Witness. We thoroughly enjoyed home to a clean and tidy house. Witness was wonderfully discreet and at the same time attentive.
We all enjoyed being able to walk down into Simonstown for a coffee, lunch or dinner. Boulders with its penguins is only a 5 min drive away and my husband and I enjoyed going running in the morning along the coast.
A fabulous base to explore and visit the area.
Visited December 2012 Traveled with family
Written January 15, 2013. This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
I really hoped you ended your run with a refreshing swim in the sea, with the sun coming up. Awesome. It is like your very own scene from 'The Blue Planet'. This season we swam with penguins, cormorants flying overhead out to their fishing grounds, wild dolphins and the very rare Cape Otter. I love Simon's Town and feel very lucky to live there.
Written January 19, 2013. This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Antibes, France2 contributions
Historic Simon's town at its best!
Witness, our host, is an absolute legend. He was friendly and always happy to clean up after us. Beautiful family home. A bit pricy but all in all a great holiday.
Visited November 2012
Written January 10, 2013. This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of Tripadvisor LLC nor of its partners. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you so much for your kind words about our beautiful house and our Houseman. Witness is indeed a legend; he is Jeeves-like in the way he shimmies about unobtrusively whilst seeming to anticipate what you want, and getting your laundry back into your room at the end of the day.
I am proud to say The Rectory is actually significantly cheaper than similar luxury accommodation - the prices in Cape Town can be silly. We protect ourselves from wayward guests with a hefty deposit which is given back the instant Witness confirms all is in order. The cost can be as low as £40 pppn for the breakfast option, with bread and pastries freshly baked that morning, the highest quality Brazilian and Ethiopian coffee, fruit and conserves; luxury linen and furnishings, at less than half the price of a very ordinary English b&b, Mount Nelson living at a fraction of the price!
Written January 15, 2013. This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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What this rental offers
Shared tennis court
Staff on property
Fishing spots available
Golf course (within 30 mins drive)
Golf course (within 15 min walk)
Horse riding facilities
About the neighborhood
Book kayaking, cage shark diving sea bird watching or whale watching from the harbour below the house. Go to Boulders beach to swim with the protected African penguins. Book a fishing charter boat. Visit magnificent Cape Point and watch the oceans meet. Go to Muizenberg and learn to surf (boards/swim suits provided), and kite surf. Qualified scuba divers can book dives with the dive shop in Glencairn, the next village, or learn to dive with PADI instructors. Go to the local harbour of Kalk bay and buy fresh caught fish straight off the boat. Visit beautiful St James and enjoy the restaurants. Hike all along the peninsula and Table Mountain. Gallop horses along the Noordhoek beach (where the racehorse trainers go). Take the train from Simon's Town to Cape Town Main station and take the most beautiful commute in the world. Take the cable car to the top of Table Mountain - one of the new wonders of the world. Relax with coffee in historic Gardens. Set off for the day towards beautiful Stellenbosch and the stunning wine route, with excellent restaurants on the estates. Drive to Franschhoek and enjoy the suberb restaurants there. Golf on the tricky Simon's Town course (0.5km) , Westlake (5 km) or the upmarket Steenberg course (10km). Or relax in Simon's Town itself, in the Gordon Ramsay-trained patisserie, the African market and good restaurants.
How to get there
Just 45 minutes from Cape Town International Airport: the car hire companies are all represented at the airport and cost about £20/day.
Fishing spots availableGolf course (within 30 mins drive)Golf course (within 15 min walk)Horse riding facilitiesTennis courtWatersports
100% refund within 24 hours after booking (provided the stay is at least 60 days away).
50% refund* if you cancel at least 4 weeks before check-in
No refund available if you cancel thereafter
*Booking fee is excluded from refund amount
About this property
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