Issue 25
A Cape Escape
An impressive stay at Tsogo Sun’s Southern Sun Waterfront Hotel in Cape Town
  ·  2016-05-31  ·   Source:

It’s a beautiful May day when I check into the Tsogo Sun’s Southern Sun Waterfront Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa at about 12 noon. This elegant four-star business and leisure hotel in the "Mother City" (as Cape Town is known locally) is my home for the next night or so and the voluminous, modern lobby provides cool air-conditioned relief from the midday heat.

There is an initial hick-up during check-in causing a slight delay, since the hotel’s entire system was offline. I have to mention here that the wonderful Rooms Division Manager called me later to apologize for the delay in check-in, a much appreciated gesture and not often found in such big hotels. She explained that the amazing staff checked 500 people in and 300 out all manually in a couple of hours, bless them! The stress (and complaints) must have been enormous, but they still managed friendly smiles and in due course I am shown to my room. And what a lovely room it is!

The view of the surrounding city and Waterfront is simply spectacular and all modern amenities are provided. Recently refurbished, the hotel offers 537 beautifully-appointed rooms, in a Standard, Standard Surcharge and Executive format, along with a number of spacious Suites. The chic contemporary decor echoes the tasteful and modern design that characterizes this award-winning hotel - all at very affordable rates.

The hotel negotiates that sometimes difficult dichotomy between leisure and business hotel beautifully. Free WiFi, DStv, air conditioning, and individual tea and coffee facilities make things easy and comfortable and in addition to the hotel’s fully-equipped fitness center and outdoor pool give that luxury holiday feel to the place. For the convenience of business guests, the hotel offers two fully-serviced meeting rooms, is a short walk away from the Cape Town International Conference Center and an easy commute to the city center.

Smoking and wheelchair accessible rooms are also available on request.

I do some work before having to head out to my conference at a nearby venue and the free shuttle every half an hour to the V&A Waterfront is a godsend for my purposes, even though it is within easy walking distance. In fact, the hotel could not be more ideally is located in the heart of the city’s most tourist-friendly precinct. Here you are merely a hop, skip and a jump away from world famous attractions including Cape Town’s Green Point Stadium, Table Mountain and the Two Oceans Aquarium. The closest beaches are also only about a 10-minute drive away, if that!

I return much later in the evening, dead tired after a day of networking and work shopping so a glass of fine South African Pinotage by the pool outside is just the thing. I finally start to relax in the beautiful, tranquil surrounds under the stars and I am served my wine with much aplomb and friendliness, even though it is quite late and I know the staff here have had an equally rough day.

I snuggle into my crisp white bed with its enormous cloud - soft duvet - which has been turned down - and sleep like the proverbial dead.

Breakfast the next morning is a splendid buffet affair with all the trimmings. There is the usual delicious and fresh pastries on offer as well as a range of cereals, yogurts, juices, coffees, teas, cheeses and cold meats and of course a glorious hot breakfast of your choice with all the trimmings. Again, the service must be mentioned - quick, efficient and with a warmth you seldom find at city hotels.

Unfortunately I didn’t get to experience the cuisine at the hotel, but dining options include South African inspired dishes at the hotel’s Yizani Restaurant. Yizani translates as "Come in...Welcome" in isiXhosa, and offers guests a taste of contemporary South African and fusion food prepared using the freshest seasonal produce. The menu offers a range of popular South African dishes, with a contemporary twist and includes appetizing starters, fresh salads, soups, succulent meat and poultry dishes, fish and seafood and truly decadent desserts.

All this, combined with a comprehensive wine list that includes Champagne, kosher and organic wines and dessert wines, the elegance of the venue and attentive service, makes for a truly remarkable dining experience, I’m sure! Oh well, next time... Too soon I have to check out and the lovely concierge allows me to store my bags in their store room for a later retrieval.

Be it for business or leisure, the Southern Sun Waterfront Hotel is the ideal place to call home for however amount of time you spend in Cape Town. You will experience warm hospitality, great food, luxurious surrounds and probably the best location in the entire city. I am impressed...


Getting there:

Air China outbound flights to Johannesburg in South Africa operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, with return services from Johannesburg offered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Flights will departs from Beijing at 23:15 Beijing time, and arrive in Johannesburg at 7:35 local time on the following day. The inbound flight departs from Johannesburg at 11:50 local time and arrives in Beijing at 7:30 Beijing time.

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