The Winchester Hotel by Newmark Reborn Inside Cape Town’s recently renovated gem

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Words by Yvonne C Mtengwa

Cape Town, Africa’s southernmost eclectic city, has long been globally recognised as the quintessential destination for travellers on a quest for the ultimate in epicurean moments. Here, were history meets modern luxury at every corner, the vibrant coastline boasts a landmark recently reborn. The Winchester Hotel by Newmark, an iconic establishment steeped in history, recently underwent a meticulous refurbishment, unveiling a stunningly refreshed contemporary space that blends seamlessly with its heritage.

It is always a treat to visit the Mother City, even more so when the weather and blue skies are showing off their magnificence. As we drove down Sea Point Promenade towards the hotel, my excitement rose at the thought of how this aesthetic transformation now breathes new life into the hotel, solidifying its position as a premier destination for discerning travellers seeking a luxurious and stylish Cape Town experience. 

A Glimpse into the Winchester Hotel’s Past

Upon arrival and settling into my charming, well-appointed space boasting ocean views, I took to going on a tour of the hotel first before enjoying a hearty lunch. Through artworks on the walls, furnishings and colour palettes that contrasted the prominent blacks and whites, it almost felt like the building itself was telling its own story at each turn.

I learned much about how the Winchester’s story begins in the roaring 1920s during my tour of the hotel’s spaces. Designed in the elegant Cape Dutch architectural style, this property remains a testament to the era’s grandeur. Its bold facade, with its distinctive gables and whitewashed walls, immediately captured the attention of passersby on the Sea Point Promenade. The interior, adorned with classic finishes such as black and white floor tiling and arches strewn throughout the Bougainvillia-adorned courtyard where visitors and guests gather for dining experiences, offers guests a sophisticated haven overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Throughout the years, the Winchester has played host to countless travellers as its walls whisper tales of bygone eras and the ever-evolving tapestry of Cape Town.

Unveiling the Refurbished Winchester

The recent refurbishment marks a new chapter for the Winchester, truly showcasing a modern metamorphosis. While respecting the hotel’s rich heritage, the renovation has resulted in a stunningly refreshed contemporary space. I imagined stepping into a haven where classic elegance meets modern sophistication at arrival and was pleased to witness my expectations exceeded. The lobby, once grand yet slightly dated, now exudes a welcoming charm as soft lighting illuminates the space, highlighting carefully curated artwork and plush furniture in a palette of calming colours against wooden and metallic accents with delightful pops of colour.

The guest rooms have undergone a remarkable transformation, replacing more traditional furnishings with stylish, modern sanctuaries designed for ultimate comfort. Modern amenities also include high-speed Wi-Fi to keep you connected, luxurious en-suite bathrooms with walk-in showers and plush bedding for that indulgent night’s sleep.  I woke up to breathtaking ocean views through my windows, with my rising from my bed having been ushered in by the morning calls of seagulls, sounds of cars whizzing past as the city began to come alive from its slumber and my need to begin the day’s activities.  The colour scheme in my room, a blend of crisp white linen layered by calming yellow and peach coloured throws and warm creams, created a sense of tranquillity during my stay.

Unveiling the Delights of Shoreditch Restaurant

The Winchester’s culinary scene has also been reimagined. Shoreditch Restaurant, the hotel’s signature eatery, was my dining spot for dinner and it truly lived up to the hype. With the concept based on preparing most plated items by flame, the talented chefs draw inspiration from fresh, seasonal ingredients to create a menu that showcases South African cuisine with a global twist. From tasting items from a delectable seafood platter, to savouring succulent steaks grilled to perfection for my mains, accompanied by innovative vegetarian dishes, I celebrated each morsel of food placed before me, indulging in its raw flavours set off by having been cooked by fire. Plated creations all came paired with recommendations from an extensive wine list featuring award-winning local vintages.

The restaurant boasts a stylish yet comfortable ambience, with both indoor and outdoor seating options. Sunsets were dreamy here, as I soaked in the refreshing ocean breeze blowing in from across the promenade while watching the sky turn from blue to orange and purple hues. While I opted for breakfast in the courtyard, guests can also enjoy a leisurely breakfast on the terrace overlooking the ocean. 

A Sanctuary of Tranquillity: The Winchester Spa

What’s a taste of Capetonian luxury without a Spa experience. The Spa at the Winchester Hotel spared no spoils for me as I was treated to an afternoon of pure relaxation and rejuvenation during my first afternoon inhouse. Expertly trained therapists offered me an extensive menu of treatments to choose from, each designed to soothe the mind, body, and soul. And so of course I was up for a revitalizing massage and facial! The highlight for me was the use locally sourced botanical products, which the scents of each product used aiding my quest for luxuriating in the stillness of my treatment room. Guests are guaranteed that the spa’s serene atmosphere, with its calming décor and subtle use of natural light, is well designed to create the perfect environment to escape the everyday hustle and bustle or enhance your rest while staying at the hotel.

Beyond the Walls, A World of Exploration Awaits

The Winchester’s prime location on the Sea Point Promenade positions guests at the heart of Cape Town’s vibrant energy. A short stroll takes you to the iconic V&A Waterfront, a bustling hub of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. History buffs can delve into the rich past at Robben Island, art enthusiasts will be captivated by the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa and adventurers can take to flight by helicopter to see Cape Town from above. Nature lovers can explore the scenic beauty of Table Mountain National Park, hike Lion’s Head for panoramic views, or simply relax on the pristine beaches that fringe the coastline. Whether you seek adventure, cultural immersion, or pure relaxation, Cape Town offers a plethora of opportunities to venture into the city for a high-octane, gastronomical or shopping experience, or further out for a little taste of South Africa’s rich selection of local wines from its vineyards.

The Winchester Hotel by Newmark: A Tale of Enduring Allure 

A testament to its ability to evolve while staying true to its roots, The Winchester Hotel by Newmark is a place where history meets modern luxury, where guests can experience the best of Cape Town’s vibrant energy while retreating to a haven of tranquillity. Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway, an exploration of Cape Town’s cultural treasures, or simply a luxurious escape, the Winchester offers an unparalleled experience. I stepped into a world of refined elegance, savour exquisite cuisine, indulged in rejuvenating spa treatments, and created lasting memories in one of Cape Town’s most iconic landmarks – an experience I will certainly return for with my loved ones!

To learn more about The Winchester Hotel by Newmark, visit

Yvonne C Mtengwa is the Founder/Editor-in-Chief of the award-winning Travel Essence Magazine, a Communications Strategist by profession, with an avid passion for discovering Africa and the Middle East’s iconic landscapes through her travels. Connect with and follow her travel, tourism, and lifestyle experiences on: IG @Quintessentially_yvonne.



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