After spending time on a variety of different safaris and trying out safari lodges, I got to explore the great city that is Cape Town. Given the recent controversy in South Africa, this experience is now especially important to me; I survived unscathed and so have all of our clients. Not even a tense moment!
I started my Cape Town leg of the trip in Cape Grace, which is a beautiful hotel right on the V&A Waterfront. It’s only 5 minutes walk away from the main shops and restaurants, which means you can really get out and about easily during the day without worrying about renting a car. The hotel itself is very traditional and elegant in style, with large, well-appointed rooms and all the creature comforts of home. Breakfast in particular is excellent, there was an extensive buffet for cold food and hot food is available a la carte. They’re always serving something in the lounge when you’re feeling peckish – coffee and biscuits in the morning, soup and bread at lunch, afternoon tea and cakes, and port and sherry in the evening. Parking is free for hotel guests and is completely secure with a 24 hour guard. In my opinion, this one would particularly suit older couples and more discerning honeymooners.
Next stop was Kensington Place, which was definitely my favourite in Cape Town. It is very individual in style, with lovely rooms that are all different. They’re also well equipped, with a laptop and wifi free to use during your stay, Molton Brown amenities, an iPod docking station, large plasma TV with DVD player, and an extremely comfortable bed! The hotel is located on the slopes of Table Mountain, just five minutes from Kloof St and 10-15 minutes from the V&A Waterfront, which still places it conveniently within range of Cape Town’s amenities. The breakfast was incredible and is served from 8 am until the last guest has arrived. The hotel also has a small pool and a lovely sun terrace, which were nice and peaceful. This would actually be my first choice for honeymooners – I just found it to be very friendly and relaxing.
A couple of small places I visited; Four Rosmead is located near to Kensington Place, with nicely decorated rooms and good sized public areas, but the rooms themselves seemed quite dark and smelled musty. Cape Cadogan was another small hotel I visited, which is just off Kloof Street. It was light and airy, very fragrant and extremely elegant, with decent sized rooms that are nicely furnished and comfortable. There is also a lovely small courtyard with a plunge pool and loungers, making this a better choice than Four Rosmead. More Quarters is another hotel owned by Cape Cadogan which was set in just the next street along, with a choice of 1-4 bedroom serviced apartments at the end of the street; these are perfect for families and couples wanting more of a self contained united. The hotel is in the same style as Cape Cadogan, light, airy, and elegant.
Welgelegen is another hotel I visited near Kloof Street, off in a quiet cul de sac with a security guard at night. This is a very homely hotel; strangely it reminded me most of a posh British B&B! It has a cosy lounge, a lovely breakfast room, and a nice courtyard with a plunge pool. I could easily imagine cosying up on the sofa in front of the fire with a nice glass of Pinotage. All rooms are individually decorated with impeccable taste, very well designed and finished to a high standard. Welgelegen is excellent value for money and I’m going to recommend it with confidence going forward.
My next stop was the One & Only, which is very close to the V&A Waterfront. You can get there by water taxi. The hotel has a huge lobby with a central bar overlooking the pool and waterways. It has a Nobu Restaurant on one end and Reubens at the other, both of which are great places to go from non-residents and hotel guests alike. On Friday night you can go and get five cocktails for 120 Rand and a Bento box from Nobu for 95 Rand. A cheap but tipsy night out! The Marina Rooms in the main building have a more corporate feel – I’d definitely recommend the Island Rooms for honeymooners especially. They feel more resort and are close to the pool area. The hotel also has an amazing gym and spa. The One & Only is a very good stand of hotel, but a little too big. I think Cape Town is more about the smaller hotels rather than a chain.
The Last Word Sea Five is a stunning hotel seti n an elevated position overlooking Camps Bay. It’s five minutes’ walk from restaurants, bars, and the beach. It’s very beach house in style with white tongue & groove walls, lovely linen bedding and a neutral colour scheme. It also has a lovely sun terrace and swimming pool. The public areas are very light, airy, and comfortable, and breakfast was lovely. Some of the rooms at the back have a garden view or a view up the mountain, which is nice, but personally I think it would be silly not to have a sea view here – it’s worth the extra! This is an excellent place to be based, it’s only ten minutes to the Table Mountain Cable Car, 15 to Kloof St, and 20 to the V&A Waterfront. There are some amazing bars and restaurants in Camps Bay – it has a lovely vibe. This is perfect for honeymooners.
If you’re looking for a bigger hotel in the same area, I also visited The Bay, which is just across the road from the beach in the heart of Camps Bay. The rooms are an adequate size and well decorated in neutral tones. The pool area is also nice with decking facing the beach, which is great for daytime drinks and sundowners. Overall, this is a very nice hotel.
Pop back next week for my trip through Franschhoek!