The Bishops' Court is an exclusive guest house
Bishops' Court: Our full report
Update 16 March - Unfortunately as of 31 March 2012 Bishopscourt Guesthouse is closing and will no longer operate as a guesthouse, with no plans in the forseeable future to reopen.
Bishops Court is one of the quietest of the leafy suburbs on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. Here you'll find the small, exclusive Bishop's Court Guest House in a location that is ideal for exploring different parts of the Cape Peninsula – 15 minutes' drive from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, and barely 10 minutes' from the wine-growing area of Constantia.
Bishops' Court is also within walking distance of the well-known Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, and is a short drive to the very smart 'Cavendish Square' shopping mall – where there are numerous boutiques and good restaurants. In short … we think this is one of the best areas of Cape Town to stay in if you plan to get around and explore a little.
Bishops' Court Guest House itself is set within pretty gardens with a sloping lawn leading down to an infinity swimming pool, as well as a tennis court. It has uninterrupted views of Table Mountain, which is visible from all the rooms as well as from the large outside deck where breakfast is served on warm summer mornings.
The main lounge area is very welcoming with comfortable sofas and armchairs surrounding a large coffee table, which is usually decorated with fresh flowers – and usually dotted with a good selection of magazines for guests to read. Nearby tables are used for breakfast, as an alternative to the outside deck.
This lounge area is a focal point of Bishop's Court. It's a meeting place for guests during the afternoon for tea, and often in the early evening over a complimentary glass of wine, before they head out for dinner at local restaurants. One wall is completely covered with bookshelves with a wide-ranging selection of books for guests to browse, and there is an open fire for those cold Cape winter evenings. A large picture window draws you to admire the view of the gardens and Table Mountain beyond.
Large vases of colourful flowers from the garden (notably lots of indigenous proteas) are dotted around all the main areas of the guest house, and there are paintings on the walls by local artists.
Bishops' Court has only five guest rooms; the two suites are located on the upper level, and the other three rooms are on the lower level each with direct access onto the garden. (Click to read more about the suites and superior rooms).
As a small guest house, Bishops' Court automatically organizes breakfast – which all has a very home-made feel, and they're completely flexible about the time of it. Lunches and dinners can be eaten here – and are very good – although they do require advanced notice, and given that Cape Town is quite a 'foodie' place, most visitors prefer to eat out.
In line with their flexible approach to requests from guests, Bishops' Court can organize a car and chauffeur for you, if we give them a little advanced notice. That said, most visitors will drive themselves here using a hired car, which we usually arrange.
Our viewBishops' Court is a small and personal guest house offering great comfort, peace and privacy. We've been sending travellers here since about 2003 – and over the years we have consistently had excellent feedback about it. We've also, of course, visited it ourselves on numerous occasions, most recently in November 2007. Then we found the staff friendly and attentive; the rooms very comfortable, well-decorated and spotless; and the breakfasts delicious. This came as no surprise; we regard it as a real gem of a place.
Ideal length of stay: 4 - 5 days
Directions: Self drive from Cape Town airport (directions available)
Owner: Property chain - The Last Word
Staff: Manager: Thomas Vallee Relief Manager - Sam Driver – Daniel
Food & drink
Usual board basis: B&B
Food quality: Breakfast is usually served in the dining room or, in good weather, outside on the patio. There is a 'buffet-style' choice of fresh fruit, yoghurts and fruit juice. Catering to about 10 visitors at maximum, the staff here work hard to serve a range of very fresh produce, including plenty of home-made bread and pastries. This is followed, if you wish, by an impressive hot breakfast, cooked to order and served to you at the table.
Lunch and dinner are available, on request with a little advanced notice, however most guests prefer to sample some of the many good restaurants available in Cape Town.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Drinks included: There's a small, separate bar area adjacent to the lounge – and moderate consumption of drinks here are included. We've never had anyone who has been charged for drinks here … although if you set out to drink it dry – then expect a large bill!
Attitude towards children: No children under 12 years old.
Generally recommended for children: No
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: There is a charge for international calls, but no charge for local calls. Free internet access 24 hours on the guest houses' own computer, and a network port available.
TV & radio: Satellite TV is available in all the rooms
Health & safety
Malarial area: No
Medical care: There is a local doctor and hospital 10 minutes' drive away.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: The property has high walled and security gates – as is often wise in many of the best areas of Cape Town. Each guest is given a key and remote control for the gate. There is secure off-street parking and a member of staff lives on the property.
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers outside the rooms and in the kitchen.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: Yes however there is an extra charge – same day service
Money: There is no money exchange available on the property as there are numerous banks nearby.