Cape Town Travel Guide
Shark Week fans, this one’s for you. Not only is the best nature show on TV returning this weekend, but we also bring you a killer package that will let you get up close and personal with those toothy fish we have all grown to love, hate or just be fascinated with. If you happen to have a strong sense of adventure, South Africa might already be high on your list of ultimate destinations. Going on safari is probably the first thing that comes to mind, ripe with danger from angry hippos, charging rhinos and velociraptor-like ostriches (look it up, we dare you). But lets not forget what is lurking where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Rebranding / Hotel Renovations / South Africa Hotels / Hotel Design / Cape Town Hotels / Hilton Hotels / DoubleTree Hotels / → All Tags
Last week, Hilton Worldwide opened the 183-room DoubleTree by Hilton Cape Town - Upper Eastside, the brands first DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in South Africa. Yes, the name is a mouthful, but we can swallow that if it means a new affordable option for Cape Town.
We’ve noticed lately Hilton’s been stylifying (yeah, made that word up) their DoubleTree brand, and this newly reno’ed, upscale property is no exception. The lobby is filled with white latticework and vibrant nature colors of green and blue. Rooms are a mix of earthy browns, greys and whites. The Rooms range from executive and suites to two-story loft rooms located on the penthouse floor with sweet views of the city’s skyline.
Lots of hotels have presidential suites. Though we can't manage to get a video camera into all of them, we can sometimes get excited when we learn of a particular guest that has stayed in one.
Back in June, in the days leading up to Mandela Day, Michelle Obama visited Cape Town, where she reportedly toured the District 6 Museum and lunched at the Kitchen, a small deli on Sir Lowry Road Woodstock. Her hotel of choice? The Table Bay Hotel, where she, Sasha, and Malia slept in the Table Mountain Presidential Suite.
The Bachelor Hotels / One and Only Hotels / South Africa Hotels / Reality TV Hotels / Brad Womack / One and Only Resorts / → All Tags
Yeah, we dig The Bachelor, but not because we're cool with one guy basking in the attention of a harem of women, all begging him to put a ring on it. No, we haz da luv because it’s unintentional travel eye-candy. The network thinks we're watching the cast, but really, we're peeping the background.
This season starring Bachelor Brad Womack is coming to an end and we love-love the location: South Africa. Last night's show andwe're toldthe March 14 finale has studly Brad and the last three ladies standing at two gorgeous properties—Lion Sands Private Game Reserve and the swank One & Only Cape Town.
Hotel Restaurants / Luxury Hotels / South Africa Hotels / Cape Town Hotels / One and Only Hotels / → All Tags
So where Gordon Ramsay failed, a local chef is hoping to succeed. Ramsay may have been forced to close his Maze restaurant at One & Only Cape Town last month, but Sol Kerzner obviously has faith in South African chef Reuben Riffel, who will open Reuben’s at One & Only Cape Town on October 1.
Although he may not be as famous as old sweary boots, Reuben has won acclaim (and awards) for his restaurants in the Franschhoek wine valley called (we’re sensing a theme here) Reuben’s and Reuben’s at The Robertson Small Hotel. This will be his first urban resort, though.
Hotel Woes / Gordon Ramsay / Hotel Restaurants / One and Only Hotels / Cape Town Hotels / → All Tags
Gordy and Tana at the opening of Maze One & Only. Guess he should have concentrated more on the food than the highlights.
UPDATE: Gordon Ramsay also owes the U.S. government millions in unpaid taxes!
According to the Mail on Sunday, Maze at One & Only Cape Town - which was his only restaurant in Africa - was shut down by Sol Kerzner on Thursday because after a year and a bit, it still wasn’t pulling in the punters.
This week, a combination of wanderlust and hotel lust led us to research the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa, which a roving HotelChatter correspondent briefly had the chance to visit last year. We deemed Mount Nelson worth a second look from afar, because of the consistent buzz it garners for its exaggerated sense of luxury. Then again, if it weren't exaggerated it wouldn't be lust-worthy, would it?
Fat cats who travel to areas of the world deemed "exotic" aren't usually in the game of roughing it. Maybe they've come for a safari, but they better be welcomed home at the end of the day by plush linens at the very least.
No need to worry about that at Mount Nelson, where Garden Cottages located away from the main hotel building offer grown-up Richie/Regina Riches their very own white picket fence, rose garden, marble bathrooms, and use of an adults-only pool. Socialite's kids can be notoriously snotty, so this division of property is welcomed by singles and child-free couples alike. The price of privacy: approximately $1,478 per night, according to listed rates and our currency conversion.
Hotel Missoni wastes no time. On the crest of the wave of hype surrounding the very first Missoni Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland (it opened yesterday!), Rezidor Hotels has just announced that Missoni will bring its mutilcolored, dreamy lodging designs to Cape Town, South Africa in 2010.
Hotel Missoni Edinburgh opened its doors amidst a technicolored flurry of publicity, and as we wait on Missoni's second lodging outpost to open its doors next in Kuwait this fall followed by an Oman location later on, we've apparently got a fourth location to look forward to. The 157-room Hotel Missoni Cape Town will be, supposedly, opening "just in time" for the FIFA World Cup in 2010 "in the heart" of Cape Town complete with a Missoni Cucina restaurant, a bar, a spa and a rooftop terrace "with a cantilevered swimming pool and views of Table Mountain."
No word on when the Missoni brand is planning on crossing over into the ol' US of A, but we're going to go ahead and assume it won't be for a good long while if Rezidor's got its eyes fixed on spots like Edinburgh, Kuwait and Cape Town but we'll keep you posted; you can always somehow procure yourself one of those fly kilty-apron things and wear it around your house to achieve a similar effect.
Hotel Openings / One and Only Hotels / Mariah Carey / Cape Town Hotels / Celebrity Scoop / → All Tags
One & Only Resort has opened and despite the worldwide economic troubles, the luxury resort has decided to open with a serious bang--having Mariah Carey perform for Nelson Mandela at a private luncheon hosted today. Except that private luncheon including about 350 rich and famous folks. The official press release says:
Sol Kerzner (One and Only owner) introduced his 350 guests including: Mariah Carey, Thandie Newton, Marisa Tomei, Morgan Freeman, Sharon Stone, Robert DeNiro, Clint Eastwood and Matt Damon to the resort’s world renowned chefs, Gordon Ramsay and Nobu Matsuhisa.
The master ensemble of global musicians including Clint Eastwood’s son Kyle Eastwood on bass, legendary Dave Koz on saxophone; Jonathan Butler on guitar; the magnificent Patti Austin on vocals; Maceo Parker, formerly James Brown’s saxophone player, on sax; 6-year-old Cape Town percussion prodigy Daniel Peterson on drums and the amazing Hugh Masekela on Flugle & Trumpet performed an array of hits including “Fire & Rain,” “I’ll Take You There,” “Let’s Stay Together” and many more.
Naturally, a One & Only resort that opens with this much fanfare does not come cheap and we hardly expect room rates to be dropping anytime soon. Marina rooms begin at $540 a night and junior suites on one of the resort's two private harbour islands, begin at $1,770 a night.
Long a favorite of the rich and famous, the One & Only Resort chain seems to only build properties in the most drool-worthy of locations, yet adding nightly prices to make your throat go dry. The newest addition to their fancy flock is the One & Only Cape Town, due to open on April 3 and boasting such frills as an island yoga pavilion and restaurants from star chefs Gordon Ramsay and Nobu's Nobuyuki Matsuhisa.
Lovers of One & Only Resorts (mainly the famous and the wealthy) will be thrilled to know that the resort group's newest location is opening April 4th in Cape Town, South Africa.
One & Only Cape Town is described as a "urban chic waterfront resort" in the heart of Victoria & Alfred Waterfront which will have killer views of Table Mountain and Signal Hill. The crescent-shaped, seven-storey Marina Rise building will house but more accommodations and the One & Only Spa can be found on two private islands in the middle of the waterway.
Generous interior spaces are adorned with fabrics and furnishings recalling the warm, muted tones of Africa’s savannahs, with bright splashes of colour paying tribute to the land’s vibrant personality.
All rooms and suites are indulged by the discreet yet attentive services of a dedicated butler, 24-hours a day. Sumptuously appointed oversized baths are complete with rain shower, private water closet and dual vanity.
Those marina rooms are also being touted as the largest hotel rooms in Cape Town. Even better? Each room has "expansive glass doors that lead onto private balconies" for maximum killer view appreciation.
Cape Town Hotels / South Africa Hotels / Hotel Restaurants / Orient-Express Hotels / Monica Guy / → All Tags
Our roving correspondent Monica Guy has recently blessed the rains down in Africa--South Africa--and is giving us the scoop this week on the Cape Town hotel scene. Have a question or a suggestion? Let us know and we'll do our best to answer it. Enjoy.
How the other half live. Or rather, not half, but the small minority of wealthy (almost all white) travellers who stay in the Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town's Grande Dame.
The drive up to the hotel entrance (a guard salutes you on the way in) is via a tree-lined road through their vast, landscaped grounds - smoother than most of Cape Town's main roads. A huge, white columned building, and inside, a marble-floored entrance hall complete with antique décor, oil paintings, stuffed animal heads and suited butlers.
We didn't stay overnight so we can't tell you more about the rooms. But we did try out the restaurant, however, which is allegedly the best in Cape Town for Cape Malay-style fine dining.