Molo Lolo Lodge is, in many ways, a somewhat secluded gem in the Mother City. With its unassuming, almost aristocrat David-Livingstone-in-Africa-type exterior and lovely location in the cosy suburb of De Waterkant (one of my personal favourites), if you blink twice from the street, you might just miss it.
But for those who hold the pleasure of having experienced it, they will know that this might just be one of the most well-run, snuggest guesthouses Cape Town has to offer travellers…
One Good Experience Deserves Another
When I travel, I have a few basic requirements I refuse to compromise on: friendly, quality service, creature comfort (without breaking the bank, if you please) – and most of all, an experience that will stay with me long after I have left my destination or checked-out of my room. So, when I was invited back by the Molo Lolo Group – who I had pleasurably stayed with during July, at their Durbanville guesthouse, Le Petit Chateau – I was incredibly excited.
This was a place that had already offered me all of the above – along with a sense of homeliness, which I have scarcely encountered before in my other accommodation reviews.
When I arrived for my stay on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in early September, I was already acquainted with what the Molo Lolo Group – brilliantly dreamed up by French interior designer, Laurence ‘Lolo’ Armand, who is also the group’s inspired founder and CEO – had to offer – and yes, I admit, was possibly somewhat favourably biased towards them as a result…
Wow from the Word ‘Hello’
But trust me when I say, I judge each place I visit fairly, especially when I switch into ‘reviewer mode’. The thing about Molo Lolo Lodge though is, as well as matching what I had previously encountered at Le Petit Chateau – it went so far as to even exceed that excellent experience!
And I am someone who believes in awarding full praise where praise is due – particularly when it comes to the hospitality industry, which is always either breathtaking or something of a hit and miss. In the case of Molo Lolo Lodge though, it is a clear bull’s eye on all fronts…
The staff – headed up by the lodge’s warm and attentive manager, Marjolaine Briand, who is closely assisted by house anchor, Amstone, a friendly, quietly impressive man and the kind, vibrant housekeepers Nandi and Amanda – instantly ensure a wonderful welcome, with broad smiles and warm words generously showered upon guests. The Molo Lolo Lodge staff make for a wonderfully professional, close-knit team – another thing that echoed true of Le Petit Chateau.
The entrance hall of the lodge offers a soothing lounge – which is as aesthetically pleasing to the eye as any place I’ve seen – awash with pastel colours, eye-catching decorative wallpaper, African tones and fresh lilies, brilliantly complemented by wooden tables and chairs, and comfortable two-seater couches – that leads into a cheerful, open plan kitchen.
This is truly the beating heart of Molo Lolo Lodge, a place where its guests and staff come together in one tranquil, beautifully designed space to enjoy conversation, quietness – and, of course, incredible breakfasts. For me, it was definitely a winner of a room and immediately set the tone for what I could expect from Molo Lolo Lodge.
And if the lodge’s lounge-turned-breakfast room gives a gentle nod towards softer, more old-fashioned elements, then the staircase – which showcases the lodge’s rotating art displays, created by talented local artists – and subsequent rooftop terrace of note are where its flashes of inventive modernity and colour are to be found.
Rooftop terraces are something that De Waterkant is famed for – but Molo Lolo Lodge’s one is second to none… It is sheltered, delightfully private and above all, beautifully decked out with a rooftop garden, trickling fountain running into a pretty pond, comfy wall-to-wall couches, exploding with bright, colourful scatter cushions and a dining area (complete with its own mini-kitchen space for when the breakfast buffets are enjoyed out here in summertime) with swoon-worthy views…
Best of all though, it even offers its own pool area and 360-degree, show-stopping city views, wherever you decide to stand or sit. In particular, it boasts gorgeous views of the impressive Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, Signal Hill and far in the distance, even the ocean too… What more could you want when visiting Cape Town?
It’s instantly tempting to pull out a book and settle down or bask out here at sunset, with a glass of wine and good company close at hand… I loved it best in the early morning though, when the city was still just waking up from its slow, Sunday morning slumber and the air was refreshing and crisp.
Whatever you decide to enjoy out here, one thing is certain: this will be the highlight of your stay and a place where you long to spend as much of your free time as possible.
It is tranquil, beautiful and scenic, offering incredible views out across the city, as you take in the nearby mosque, colourful houses and coffee shops and eateries from on high…
My Room with a (Table Mountain) View
After a brief tour with Marjolaine, it was time to retire to my room for the evening. She explained that if I needed to go out, the security guard is available to walk with guests from the lodge to any of the nearby restaurants. (While UberEats and Mr Delivery are also easy options, if you prefer to stay in like I did.) Handily, each room key also unlocks the lodge’s main access gate.
In my Pinotage room, I found a fresh arum lily, welcome note (with all the lodge’s necessary guidelines and tips) and a complimentary bottle of red (or white) wine – this is a standard feature in each of the lodge’s room but it’s the small touches like this that really make you feel welcome.
My room offered several windows overlooking the city, including a great view of Table Mountain and Signal Hill, an array of travel magazines for easy reading (which I would later pore over), a gorgeous queen-sized bed (complete with a furry blanket, slippers and a comfy bathrobe for use), a flat screen TV (equipped with a selected DsTV bouquet), twin single-seater chairs, Air Conditioning, a ceiling fan, a mini honesty bar and fridge in one, coffee/tea making facilities and even a wall panel heater to keep me cosy come nightfall.
The honesty bar – which is enhanced by the stellar wine corner downstairs – offers a selection of craft beers, BOS ice tea and other drinks and work on the principle that you will tally up whatever you consume and settle it with your main bill when you leave. Molo Lolo Lodge sources most of their wines from top local estates, Marianne Wines and Deetleefs Wine Estate but there is a great selection for you to choose from and order for your room.
Added peace of mind is supplied in the spacious cupboards, ideal for travellers, and the digital safe, which, if you really feel the need, can keep your most precious belongings safe.
I also noted that, in addition to the array of coffee and tea options, there was also a complimentary packet of cookies, courtesy of Safe Cities, who the Molo Lolo Group supports and has partnered with (yet another reminder of their fair trade practices.)
But beyond the great amenities and classy atmosphere, what really impressed me about my Pinotage room was the décor theme (a nod to the rooms, which are each named after a particular type of wine, like Chenin Blanc or Shiraz – and are then accordingly decorated), which was a deep, rich reddish purple hue and the opulent, slate bathroom, which – just like at Le Petit Chateau, offered water-saving tips, a shower bucket and best of all, an array of complimentary Molo Lolo Lodge toiletries (and plenty of towels, neatly folded and beautifully ribboned).
Best of all though? The gorgeous bathroom’s walk-in shower, which is beyond dreamy! (I wanted to take mine home. 🙂 )
I spent much of my time admiring my room and enjoying all the creature comforts it offered. At sunset, I brewed a cup of excellent plunger coffee in my room and curled up beneath the soft, warm bed throw to devour the provided, in-room leisure magazines.
After a blissful evening, it was time to jump into my spacious, oh-so-comfortable bed for a peaceful and surprisingly quiet night – no doubt aided by my room’s double-glazed windows and black-out curtains…
A Breakfast Setting That Checks Every Box
The following morning, I headed down for breakfast (served daily from 08:00 am) and entered the cosy, warm breakfast room to find the tables already set and waiting for their recipients to arrive, as Marjolaine and the team busied themselves with the breakfasts and welcoming their guests.
Taking a seat among the other guests at my own table, I was soon presented with the breakfast menu, a fine addition to the already visible buffet.
The buffet, meanwhile, was overflowing with an array of locally sourced jams (like vanilla and peach, for example), fresh juices, tea or coffee daintily served in pots, an assortment of fruit and nuts, plenty of white and brown bread alike and even croissants.
The jams in particular have a special story behind them, as popular Leo’s Little Jars, use recipes inherited from her grandmother.
At Molo Lolo Lodge, one thing is certain: you can expect a very tasty, quickly prepared breakfast from this capable team.
Breakfast becomes a leisurely, unhurried affair, as you sip on fine coffee and soak up the peaceful atmosphere, wherein delicious smells and quietly playing music fill the air…
Pancakes were on the go (and these mini, strawberry-topped pancakes were indeed some of the finest I have ever had!) and served in no time. After my coffee and pancakes, I decided to opt for the Croque Monsieur (with brown bread), although guests also have the option of the other signature breakfast dishes, like French Toast or Croque Madame (similar to my option but topped off with a fried egg).
My choice was a delicious variant of a ham and cheese toastie and was seriously good! It had plenty of ham and melted cheese to settle my appetite and ensure a perfect start to the day!
Like Le Petit Chateau, the standout features at Molo Lolo Lodge are certainly the warm, welcoming staff and comfortable rooms – but, perhaps above all, it is the snug breakfast settings that steal the cake. For they are something the Molo Lolo accommodation offerings truly excel at.
This is what really adds a wonderfully memorable home-away-from-home experience for guests – and it is something that I can’t commend the Molo Lolo Group enough for.
Farewell… For Now
After my excellent breakfast – which I would rate 10/10, for quality, service and taste – and a quick stop to the rooftop terrace to soak up that brilliant space one last time, I said good-bye to Marjolaine, Amstone and the Molo Lolo Lodge team, having enjoyed a truly special and blissful stay.
My memories of staying with the Molo Lolo Group twice now are incredibly positive. Owner Lolo has a phenomenal group of people divided up between her accommodation gems. I think the staff are one of the most impressive aspect about any place – and the staff at Molo Lolo Lodge truly love what they do and their passion is constantly apparent, not only in the smiles and laughter, as they prepare breakfast together in the kitchen – but in the way they seamlessly work together.
Overall, my stay at Molo Lolo Lodge deserves a firm 10/10 rating for the following: a prime city location, which is blessed with incredible views; excellent service and quality staff; well-priced, luxurious rooms (pricing ranges between R1985 – R3510, with R640 for children aged 3-12 years; breakfast is included in the per person cost); delicious breakfast options and above all, blissful, faultless accommodation, complete with a killer rooftop terrace, beautiful, comfortable rooms (with every possible amenity anyone could need) to ensure a truly memorable city stay!
I highly recommend Molo Lolo Lodge – and the rest of the Molo Lolo offerings: Addo African Home, Lolo House and Le Petit Chateau, which I can only think will all be as wonderful to experience.
Thank you very much to Molo Lolo Lodge and staff, in particular the following staff members: Amstone, Nandi, Amanda and Marjolaine – with a special word of thanks to Marjolaine, who has been indispensable and amazing to deal with since I first met her over email long before my stay at the lodge.
It was such a pleasure staying over at Molo Lolo Lodge – I am sure it won’t be the last time I bring myself back to their doors.
For more information on Molo Lolo Lodge and all it offers, please contact them directly on: +27 (021) 422 0414, +27 (071) 908 3921 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also visit their website or find them for yourself at: Molo Lolo Lodge, 27 Hudson Street, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.
Author: Tamlyn Ryan
Content writer by day and blogger by night, Tamlyn Ryan passionately runs her own travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust, from her home base of Cape Town, South Africa. And, despite a national diploma in Journalism, in her free time, Tamlyn’s preferred niche remains travel writing.
Tamlyn is a hopeless wanderer, equipped with an endless passion for road trips, carefully planned, holiday itineraries and, above all else, an innate love for the great outdoors.