Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cape Town and Surrounds

I spend a very busy day yesterday exploring all of the great spots in Cape Town. It was a clear, sunny and hot day but really a lovely day to be out in Cape Town - Table Mountain towering above and the sea catching the light.

I started out the day at the One & Only. Certainly one of the top city hotels in the area and really quite well done. It didn't have quite the feel of Cape Town in terms of decor in the rooms, but when you sit on your balcony and look out at Table Mountain, I'm not sure what more atmosphere you need to remind you of where you are! The spa was really impressive and the pool was an amazing place to chill out.

From there, I headed to the Cape Grace. What a great location right in the thick of it. Just a foot bridge from the waterfront shops at the V&A, but also quite private. Each floor has its own theme focusing on a local design element - such as nautical, etc. The whiskey bar in the basement is a bit of hidden gem, and there's a yacht that can be booked for exclusive use bay cruises. Great idea for VIP clients.

The V&A Hotel is the ideal spot for travelers who don't have the budget for the One & Only or Cape Grace, but want to be in the waterfront and part of the excitement. Rooms were fresh, clean and nicely appointed and although there aren't as many amenities, you can just head out into the waterfront and grab a bite and explore.

I enjoyed lunch at the Mount Nelson, which is an oasis in the middle of Cape Town's urban center. If travelers aren't staying at the beautiful colonial hotel, I recommend that they visit for High Tea or the impressive lunch buffet. The gardens are stunning and the spa was quite thoughtfully laid out.

Heading up Long Street, Cape Cadogan is really a great bet for a more independent traveler who's looking for something chic, welcoming and centrally located. There are also apartment nearby that are perfect for those staying more than a few days. Service was top-notch and the cool and simple decor made you wish your house could look so relaxed and chic. From Cape Cadogan, head uphill to Four Rosmead. This is a gem of a spot with impressive attention to detail and an amazing local art collection. What a great spot to be for exploring town, but also lounging by the pool or enjoying a bottle of wine in the living room. Kensington Place is just around the corner and offers well designed and trendy rooms with great views overlooking Cape Town. The pool looked quite inviting and lots of thoughtful little touches could be found throughout.

From there, I headed into Camps Bay and the Pod. The hotel is quite new and a posh furniture maker was doing a photo shoot at the hotel - very fitting. The rooms were very spacious, had open bathrooms with large soaking tubs and each with ocean views. Great spot for the jet-set crowd, right off the beach and near the best bars for sundowners. Twelve Apostles was my final stop for the day and what a stunning location overlooking the sea, kelp beds and sea lions. Rooms are well-appointed, and classic but fresh. The hotel is ideal for travelers who don't mind being a short drive from Cape Town and area looking for beautiful beaches, cafes and boutiques.

All in all, Cape Town offers an incredible array of accommodations to suit each travelers' needs. On top of that, restaurants abound - I had dinner one night at Caveau Wine Bar and was really impressed with my Pinotage and lasagna - shopping is as varied from Phillipa Green's jewelery and the Pan African Market to Green Market Square and the V&A Waterfront, there is something for everyone!

I'm enjoying my stay at the Grootbos Nature Reserve right now and spotting Southern right whales, horseback riding and eating well! More tomorrow...

No comments:

Post a Comment