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Issue 16
Africa Travel> Issue 16
UPDATED: June 2, 2015
At Your Service
The charming Radisson Hotel experience leaves an indelible impression
By Jo Kromberg

Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town (COURTESY OF RADISSON BLU HOTELS)

Grin fatigue – this is what I keep thinking after I answer the door to my beautiful hotel room and the most charming gentleman you will ever meet hands me my personal gift from the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town. A genuine Balmain ball point pen set with its numbered certification – they smile all the time, these people! From the moment you check in, to the wonderful Edwin who greeted me outside and carried my luggage in and saw me to my door, the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town is sheer understated elegance.

Set on the beautiful water of Cape Town with a view to die for and the soundtrack of seagulls, the hotel is both a business and leisure haven. All Wi-Fi is free and with wooden floored rooms, understated pastel colours, hues and art, the hotel just whispers elegance and class. Since it refurbished its business class rooms and suites in 2009, few other hotels in Cape Town can compete with the notable combination of location, service and style that it offers guests. Each of the 117 rooms and suites at the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town is equipped with direct dial phones, Internet access, satellite TV, tea and coffee-making facilities and mini-bar. The exclusive and spacious Business Class rooms – which I stayed in - offer spectacular views over the ocean and marina.

The hotel is built in the shape of an ocean liner and the nautical theme repeats subtly everywhere, while light streams into all nooks and crannies of the rooms with their light wood touches and soft finishings, typical of modern contemporary Scandinavian decor and design. . "Our challenge was to create a hotel experience which matched the uniqueness of the location. Fresh colors, quality materials and an exciting blend of modern and classic design elements have been combined to give the guest the ultimate experience of luxury," commented Paul Luck from Arkiteckto Lightspace, on the idea behind the look and feel.(Source: http://www.capetownmagazine.com/accommodation-capetown/radisson-blu-hotel-waterfront-cape-town/191_22_18613)

The hotel is insulated from city noise despite its location. All you hear at night is the soothing noise of the masts of the yachts against the wind, moored here in its own private marina.

After a hard day's shopping or sightseeing or wine tasting, this is the place you want to come home to. The business district and the spectacular Cape Town beaches and golf courses are just a short drive away, while the world famous Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, the shopping and entertainment hub of the city, is within a few minutes' stroll. The hotel also has a magnificent Spa with amazing treatments.

The lights reflecting in the water from the balcony, the seagulls' cries, the soft waves crashing on the breakwater right in front of your window – this all creates a natural ambience hardly ever found in a city hotel. And no visit to the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town is complete without a delectable cocktail at Tobago's Bar and Terrace. It recently was appointed best seaside bar by Condé Nast's House and Garden magazine in South Africa.

Tobago's Restaurant, consistently rates as one of Cape Town's premium restaurants, and offers a mouthwatering gourmet selection of local and international cuisine. Unfortunately I didn't have the chance to sample the dinner menu but I did delight in their 'Super Breakfast'. Buffet breakfasts usually offer the same old fare but breakfast at the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town is an experience. Of course your hot breakfast is made to order, but morsels like pancakes, a myriad variety of pastries and the most beautiful and unusual array of juices, coffees and teas make this a special event. Little touches like gluten free bread and crispy and non-crispy bacon provide the cherry on top.

A visit to this special hotel is a must-do if ever you find yourself in Cape Town.

Radisson Blue Gautrain Hotel in Johannesburg (COURTESY OF RADISSON BLU HOTELS)

Radisson Blue Gautrain Hotel

In the meantime, about 1400 kilometres away, in the centre of South Africa and the heart of the country's economic hub, Johannesburg, lies the sister hotel for the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town – The Radisson Blue Gautrain Hotel. The Gautrain refers to the country's high-speed train connecting Johannesburg and Pretoria as well as the airport and it is with this amazing train that I arrive at the Sandton station and walk the "arduously long" 50 metres from the exit of the station to step into the marvellous world of Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel. While the architecture differs radically from its seaside sister, the hotel is equally impressive in terms of its friendly staff, beautiful interiors and subtle elegance. I am shown to my room and a delightful surprise awaits me again – a lovely array of fresh fruits and chocolates with a high-quality bottle of South African champagne. The beautifully modern rooms are spread over seven floors with stunning views of the city – also the greenest city in Africa with the most trees - and boast first-rate amenities, just like Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town. Combining elegance and supreme comfort, The Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel offers 220 guest rooms, including standard and business class rooms, as well as 20 luxurious suites. Free high-speed internet access is available in all the rooms and all areas of the hotel.

Situated in the heart of Sandton, considered the richest square mile in Africa, the hotel is an easy stroll away from the best shopping in the Southern Hemisphere in the form of Nelson Mandela square and the Sandton City shopping mall. Most of Johannesburg's major tourist attractions are also relatively easily accessible from the hotel – just ask your friendly concierge to make some suggestions as well as plan your day.

We decide to spend the afternoon relaxing by the outdoor pool in the lovely winter sun while doing some work and enjoying a few choice cocktails. The service is splendid – fast, friendly and efficient.

We meet some friends for dinner later in the Central One Restaurant & Bar, the hotel's "all day restaurant" with its spacious 300 m² interior and outdoor terrace. This modern restaurant, offers a uniquely refined selection of cuisine created using the freshest seasonal ingredients. I delight in my perfectly cooked rib-eye steak and my companions respectively feast on sea bass and calamari which lemon and garlic which they proclaim to both be excellent. For dessert, a fantastic baked cheesecake with mint macaroon, litchi and mixed berries finds itself to my plate, only to disappear like lightning as everyone tucks in. Other deserts include vanilla crème Brule with honey mascarpone foam, slated caramel and homemade Rooibos ice cream. Enough said…

I sleep like the dead that night in my gargantuan bed. The room's black-out curtains and insularity from any city noises make for a wonderful, peaceful night's rest.

The next morning, as with the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town, the Super Breakfast Buffet is served with over 120 breakfast specialities on offer to get the day off to a great start. We sadly say adieu to our Radisson Blu experience but the impression of this magnificent hotel group will stay forever.

Services and Facilities, Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town:

- Complimentary high speed wireless internet in-room and public area's

- Room service

- Health Club

- Suites

- Outdoor Pool

- Beach Access

- Spa

- Free shuttle to the V&A Waterfront shopping mall

Services and Facilities, Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel

- Complimentary high speed wireless internet in-room and public area's

- 24 hour fitness centre

- 24 hour room service with the concept of whatever is in our fridge we will prepare for you

- Porters to assist with group arrivals

- Efficient group check in & welcome

- One Touch Service

- 3-hour Express Laundry

- Super Breakfast buffet

- Late Check-Out

- Grab & Run breakfast

- Complimentary shuttle within 4km of the hotel

- Outdoor pool and deck

Location -- Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town:

Beach Road, Granger Bay

Cape Town 8002, South Africa

Tel: +27 21 441 3000

Fax: +27 21 441 3560

Email: capetown.info@radissonblu.com

Reservations details

Tel: +27 21 441 3551 52/53/54

Fax: +27 11 441 3560

Email: capetown.reservations@radissonblu.com

Location -- Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel:

The Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel, is located in the heart of Sandton, in Johannesburg's sophisticated northern suburbs. Conveniently, it's the closest hotel to the Sandton Gautrain Station (55 steps) which provides underground railway connections to O.R Tambo Airport 35 km away, Pretoria and the various areas of Johannesburg. The hotel is easily accessible to all major tourist attraction in Gauteng.

Cnr Rivonia Road and West Street,

Sandton 2196,


Tel: +27 (11) 286 1000

Website: http://www.radissonblu.com/hotelsandton-johannesburg

Reservation details

Tel: +27 11 286 1000

E-mail: reservations.gautrain@radissonblu.com

Getting there from China:

There are no direct flights at present between China and South Africa but Emirates, Cathay Pacific and Etihad operate daily flights with stop-overs.

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