Tuesday 14th May
After a good night’s sleep we were up early for a morning photo shoot of Table mountain. John is a professional photographer and Cape Town is truly one of the most photogenic places on earth so it was important not to miss out on a beautifully clear morning with perfect blue skies. Then after a delicious breakfast we headed back into Cape Town for our next set of hotel inspections.
This property is set just off the actual V&A waterfront but has the added bonus of water taxis from the hotel to the waterfront until 5pm in winter and 8pm in summer. The hotel is very close to the Cape Town Convention Centre making it popular with business travellers. This hotel is mainly used for corporate clients and is functional with modern style bedrooms in duck egg and cappuccino. The bathrooms are integrated into the room although there is a wall and a roller blind can be pulled down to save blushes if you were sharing with friends! The Harbour Bridge is approximately a 20 minute walk to the waterfront.
The Lawhill Apartments
Stunning! – We loved these huge self catering apartments that come with fully equipped kitchens. Zak who showed us around was fantastic and extremely enthusiastic about the property. The apartments are also set on a huge waterfront development. Six Superior Apartments have small plunge pools and these can be requested at the time of booking. The Presidential Suite is ideal if you have three couples travelling together and is set over two floors. The views are to die for overlooking the V&S waterfront and the canal. The apartments are next door to the One&Only (hotel) and clients can take a discounted breakfast in the hotel if they do not wish to cater for themselves. To get to the waterfront there is a short walk along the canal through the gardens of the One&Only next door which takes just over 5 minutes. There is also plenty of parking for those guest on self drive holidays.
The Cape Royale
This is a really nice property which I would class as an excellent 4 star plus option. The reception is in black, silver and burgundy. It is very impressive and the staff were extremely friendly. The two bedroom Luxury rooms are perfect with spacious living areas, kitchen and bedrooms. The pool area and bar are amazing and have the most incredible view of Cape Town. They also offer sushi for lunch which would be a lovely option. The main dining room called Grill1800 is known for its fabulous steaks. The hotel also offers a gym and spa. They were offering a two course lunch for only R99.00 which is excellent value for money.
The Sugar Hotel
I loved this small and intimate property which is in the same road as the Cape Royale. The hotel has seven tastefully decorated rooms in earthy colours, the rooms are quite small but I would say this hotel stands out over the Dock House and it has a really friendly atmosphere about it with boutique hotel style. The manager Nkosi was so welcoming and enthusiastic he really made a great impression. The restaurant is light and airy with a nice view over the small pool. The owner Marc is a cordon-bleu chef and normally makes all the breakfasts for his clients. The Sugar Hotel also offers a wellness room. We both loved this little hotel so much.
Protea Hotel Victoria Junction Waterfront
This is a good 4 star option that has recently been refurbished. I liked the style with the exposed brick interiors creating a warehouse effect. The hotel also has a gym. My favourite rooms were the loft style rooms which were set over two floors (mezzanine). They have a small kitchen area, dining table and fabulous views. The upstairs part of the room houses the bedroom and bathroom. The walk to the waterfront isn’t too far and at night they offer a complimentary shuttle service to the waterfront. This might not be necessary as there are many restaurants in the immediate area.
Wednesday 15th May
This morning started with another great breakfast at Melissa’s. We checked out and drove for 20-25 minutes back to Cape Town and arrived at An African Villa mid morning.
An African Villa
We met Keith and Lindsey who took us on a brief tour of this wonderful guest house. The guest house is really inviting and the décor is deep red, white, black and brown in the communal areas which gives it a true African style. There are lots of fun, quirky style elements to the place including ostrich eggs and paper animal heads that light up in the evening! Some of the rooms also have a private patio area which is a nice surprise. We then headed out to see some more hotels. All the properties we visited today accept for The Table Bay Hotel are situated in the CBD area of Cape Town.
This is a basic 4 star hotel and is part of the AHA chain (the same as Harbour Bridge). We were met by Frederick who showed around. The nicest room we saw was a Junior Suite which has a seating area and television with the bed on the next level which you get to by a few steps. The room also has a small kitchen which is handy if staying in Cape Town a while. The hotel has a nice little restaurant and bar area. The hotel also has a roof top swimming pool! It is well situated in the centre close to Kompany Gardens and the cultural and historic part of Cape Town.
The Taj Hotel
This was the best hotel we have seen so far and by far, a truly magnificent property! The hotel is made up of two building one of which used to be a bank. The lobby lounge is simply awesome with the huge vaulted ceilings giving the area a real feeling of space. There is a bar in the lobby lounge and also a Cigar Bar. Late breakfast is served in the area as is afternoon tea. The hotel has two restaurants including the Bombay Brasserie which offers a fine dining Indian experience (bookings are essential for this restaurant). The décor of this restaurant is in blue, beige and wood and is stunningly beautiful. The second restaurant is called Mint where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served and it offers a much more European menu. They also have a bar outside the hotel on the corner of the road called Twankey Bar which serves light food and drinks throughout the day and is popular with locals for a drink after work. On a Thursday there is a market that takes place outside the hotel. The hotel has an Indian food stall on the market which is fun. The rooms either overlook the mountain or the city. In the two buildings there are two types of rooms; Heritage and Tower. We looked at a Luxury Mountain Facing Tower Room and it was a good size with a huge floor to ceiling window overlooking the mountain. Again the bathroom can be seen into from the bedroom however there is a roller blind that can be used to block out the view! Is this a new trend in Cape Town? They also have 16 Club rooms that have their own communal lounge. The hotel has an indoor pool which is worth remembering and a gym. This hotel is certainly comparable with the Cape Grace and the Table Bay.
The Pepper Club
This is a modern 5 star hotel which is only 3 years old. The lobby is modern with floor tiles and black pillars and a huge glass chandelier. The hotel’s style is similar to the Cape Royale and The Queen Victoria. There are four individual reception desks which means I don’t think anyone ever has to wait to check in or out! This hotel is the one we use for the end of our South Africa Grand Escorted Tour. It is also situated in the CBD area. The one bedrooms suite are very nice with plenty of space. The hotel has a gym with a great view overlooking the mountain (definitely the best gym view of all we have seen). The hotel also has an outdoor pool. They also have parking.
Protea Fire & Ice
Wow, this is truly a completely different style hotel! Situated close to Leeuwenvoet House and An African Villa this hotel is much more suited to a younger crowd as it is very funky. The bar has ice around it making a fabulous feature which I have never come across before. The hotel is known for its milkshakes and thanks to Nicholas who showed us around we each had one to try during our hotel inspection. The communal toilets are unisex with a names such a long drop, temptation, Stage Fright and the Out House. The dining room is quite small and they have several tables one of which is a communal table for guests that wish to mingle. I would say that this hotel is only really suitable for couples or honeymoons or people that are intimate with each other as yet again the bathroom is integral to the bedroom (definitely a trend in Cape Town!) The hotel also has a pool and gym. The hotel also has some loft style two bedroom apartments which work out excellent value for money and these rooms also have a small kitchen. I would recommend this hotel for guests with a great sense of humour and who are young at heart. It wont suit everyone though as it has a very modern quirky style.
The Table Bay
I was very impressed with the Table Bay Hotel. There is a huge lobby area which also houses the Lobby Bar where we had afternoon tea. The rooms are large and comfortably decorated in soft browns. All the rooms have separate bedroom and bathroom. In the bathroom there is a separate shower and bath. If the party has children the hotel can offer an extra bed which is a converted sofa bed in the same room as the parents. The rooms are either sea or harbour facing so all have nice views. The hotel also has a spa and beautiful outdoor pool area. This hotel offers everything you require from a 5 star hotel and I would happily recommend it to anyone.
Posted By Paul Hickey-Fry