‘Maison Noir felt like a trial of heaven,’ wrote one Californian guest. ‘They have refined hospitality to a level I have never seen… I wish everyone the experience at Maison Noir. You will leave a better person.’ He was right, of course, in more ways than one.
That was 2015. Fast forward to today and you’ll discover that the much-loved Maison Noir is now part of Future Found Sanctuary with some exciting changes. Set in seven acres of beautifully landscaped private gardens and natural forest on the slopes of Table Mountain National Park. Owner Jim Brett realised its potential and healing powers years ago - so much so that he’s chosen Cape Town as his home over New York and recently redefined the offering here to include so much more for the conscious traveller. With everything from four tea rituals for different times of day, yoga in the circular rill garden with spectacular mountain views, farm-to-table foraging with resident chef Charisse, and now their own epicene scents by Agata Karolina of House of Godzawa, Maison Noir promises to reconnect you to nature and her healing elements by re-setting your mind, body, heart and spirit at every level. Their new ‘WholeBeing’ programme, designed to encourage ‘WholeLiving through ancient practices and modern integration science’ is experienced by every guest, whether renting the villa exclusively or by suite.
All it takes is a whiff of Reflect, Godzawa’s signature scent with African wormwood, Cape snow bush and rosemary to bring back memories of early mountain walks to the waterfall or a walk up to the ‘meditation forest’. Learning about these indigenous plants is also part of the culinary experience (and believe us, you’ve never tasted salads like these), which includes sampling some of the Cape’s lesser-known wines (chosen by Jim, a self-confessed wine snob himself!) or tasting artisanal gin and local whisky.
Staying here is a blissfully immersive journey, whether you love your art, food and wine, or simply retreat and enjoy the peace and serenity here with a spoil at the new hammam and spa up through the garden at sister property, Villa Verte. Maison Noir has always had a significant collection of work by local artists but look out for striking new pieces by Penelope Stutterheim and a trio of works by rising star Sthenjwa Luthuli in the gallery linking the bedroom suites – a wonderful place to linger with a glass of wine when the fires are lit in the evenings and there’s time to privately enjoy each artwork.