Privacy and Luxury at Labotessa Boutique Hotel, Cape Town

Words: Crush

Cape Town’s CBD is a veritable treasure trove of beautiful architecture, design and historical spaces. One such spot is Church Square, an area of the city that is steeped in history and has slowly but surely been brought to life again. It is on this square that an exquisite new boutique hotel, Labotessa, finds its home, bringing its own brand of stylish charm to the area.

labotessa interior retail

Church Square

Church Square itself is a central part of the city’s story, as the location of the original slave quarters. In fact, the square itself is where slaves waited for owners attending church at the Groote Kerk. In 1961 it was declared a heritage site and slowly but surely has undergone rejuvenation.

Did you know? Granite block memorials in the cobbled square pay homage to the area’s history and to the preservation of human rights.

Labotessa Boutique Hotel

Labotessa is housed in what was previously a 17th-century congregational church now turned lifestyle hotel and is perfectly placed in the corner of the square. The original doorway opens up to a grand staircase, which leads up to the ‘reception area’ – less hotel-reception, more graceful welcoming lounge.

Labotessa Boutique Hotel main entrance
Labotessa lounge

The hotel has six suites and the Governor’s Penthouse and the idea has always been to keep it personal. Owners, Johan and Jan, childhood friends from Bloem, always envisioned operating something unique and intimate.

Johan was there to greet us and show us around this beautiful property ahead of our stay, and his passion for hoteling is evident. Having spent many years in the industry he knows what guests want and how to deliver that in a superlative stay.

The Suites

Our room was decorated in soothing navy blue with pops of colour from couches and cushions in the lounge area. The beds are uber comfortable with crisp, plush linens – the kind that make it very hard to get up in the morning. Much of the decor has been custom made and sourced and is sleek and stylish.

Labotessa Bedroom

The rooms also feature a small lifestyle bar with a selection of stylish curated basics; the idea is that if you are in the city for a few days, there may be times when you want to have something light to eat in your room versus out and so the amenities are provided for you.

The mini bar is complimentary and is restocked daily with drinks and light snacks, teas and coffees.

The Views

The rooms all look out over the square and Lion’s Head, the higher your room, the more you make of the view. The Governor’s Penthouse enjoys breathtaking city vistas and boasts a private balcony and splash pool.

Labotessa penthouse view

The Penthouse at Labotessa Boutique Hotel also has a fully equipped kitchen and can play host to a private event with a chef that comes in to prepare meals. Imagine the potential of this lovely spot to host a private dinner for you and a group of friends in this unbeatable and vibrant city location.


One of the most unique features of the hotel is the private access to each room. Your tag allows you access to your floor/room directly via a lift, so at times we felt as if we had the whole place to ourselves, as we never run into other guests.

Sensory Experience

The ground level of the hotel is occupied by two spaces – the in-house café and an aromatic retail area stocking Diptique products.

Labotessa Boutique Hotel cafe
Labotessa Boutique Hotel imported perfumes
Imported from Paris, this unique range has the headiest fragrance that permeates the space. An excellent idea for a gift for yourself or a special someone – they stock a range of scented candles, perfumes, face and body products.


Southern suburbians and those in-the-know will recognise the Starlings Café name. I, for one, was very excited to know that there is now a CBD location.

Well-known for its superb food offering, Starlings is the perfect fit for Labotessa Boutique Hotel. It is where guests breakfast in the morning and light lunches and in-room dining can also be ordered. The café opens out onto the square and is open to non-hotel guests as well.

Starlings Cafe breakfast at Labotessa
Starlings Cafe dining blt
We enjoyed the most delicious  breakfast of Eggs Benedict with salmon, and toast with avo and homemade pesto. The peacefulness of the square on a Sunday morning, accompanied by great coffee, was such a great start to our day.

Admittedly, it was actually closer to a brunch experience for us because we enjoyed an unusually lengthy lie-in. The block out curtains in our room had us snoozing in blissful peace way past 9:00 a.m. – an unheard-of luxury for us. What a treat!

Just adjacent to Labotessa is the upmarket restaurant FYN, owned and run by Executive Chef, Peter Templehoff. As a dinner option, Labotessa can arrange for a meal to be brought to your room from FYN. If you’re in the penthouse, chefs from FYN can prepare meals for you in the suite’s state-of-the-art kitchen. There are also so many great restaurants in the nearby vicinity that you will be spoilt for choice.

City Living

Although our stay at Labotessa Boutique Hotel was brief, we found it incredibly restorative. You may think that you need a sea view or an escape to the countryside to get that effect but really you don’t.

In the right environment, a city hotel can be just as relaxing and Labotessa proves exactly that. I highly recommend a stay at this unique boutique hotel, they offer an unobtrusive and personalised stay that frequent travellers will love.

Contact Information

5 Church Square, Cape Town

Make a reservation. | Facebook | Instagram | email | Tel: (21) 010 6600

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