Suspended on the steep mountain slopes over Cape Town’s iconic Atlantic Seaboard is an astonishing hidden treasure. Icaria is a delightful surprise in every way. The first surprise is that this most sought-after – and densely developed – address in Africa actually houses a pristine finger of Table Mountain National Reserve that reaches down from the mountain slopes to tickle the swelling waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The second is that the entire southern edge of Icaria – the largest residential erf in the entire area – blends into this pristine, fynbos-covered nature reserve. As you smoothly glide up in the funicular from busy Victoria Road you encounter the best surprise of all: utterly secluded and tranquil Icaria.
We love the way the home is grounded in the environment that surrounds it: the entire south-facing facade is punctuated with windows that bring the granite boulders and fynbos vegetation of Table Mountain Nature Reserve right indoors. The communal spaces are open plan (the kitchen is a cook’s delight!) with picture windows and doors that slide away into the walls framing extraordinary sea and mountain views. And something that we particularly like is the way cleverly positioned panels of walls create peaceful zones so that the space is airy and free-flowing but yet always feels intimate.
The interior is lovingly decorated with furnishings exclusively repurposed or handcrafted for the space. Beautiful artworks and photographs collected by the cosmopolitan owner (his other homes are in New York and the Hamptons) are the perfect finishing touches for a home that celebrates conscious simplicity. The finishes are tactile and delightfully uncomplicated. The slate floors extending from the living areas (where underfloor heating warms them in winter) out to the terrace are easy on the eye as well as smooth and comfy underfoot.
The outdoor spaces are a revelation. Despite its steep location, Icaria has the most wonderful flow. The barbecue area bridges the alfresco dining area and the kitchen, making for sheer practicality and convenience. Even with a full house and whatever the season, there is always somewhere peaceful and private on the different terraces and spaces where you can relax in comfort.
Each bedroom has its own personality and private outdoor space where you can retreat with a good book on a lazy summer afternoon. On a lower terrace overlooking the pool area is the ‘cave’ bedroom – so-called because of the way granite boulders have been incorporated into the architecture.
And then, perched at the very top of the house, there is the master suite with astonishing views of the sea and the mountains. You won’t want to leave this blissful bedroom, and it should come with a travel warning: ‘This seductive space may endanger your travel itinerary!’ It is not an exaggeration to say that the ensuite bathroom has the most iconic view in Africa: as you soak in the bathtub you can take in the Cape Peninsula as it disappears off to the south and gaze out over the endless horizon of the swelling Atlantic Ocean. Simply heaven on earth!
1 master with king bed
3 deluxe room with queen beds
1 single bedroom
All ensuite bathrooms
grocery shops, supermarket, shops, restaurants, bank: 1 mile
bike rental: on request
Beach: 5 minutes