An unforgettable journey through Cape Town

By Shingai Darangwa Time of article published May 7, 2018

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I’m tearing down a steep, bumpy pathway on a scooter. It’s unlike anything I’ve done before. I can barely soak up the stunning scenery around me as all my focus is diverted on not falling off.

It’s a beautiful, sun-kissed afternoon and this adrenalin-pumping ride with Scootours, which sees us travel down Signal Hill and into Bo-Kaap, feels like a perfect way to explore Cape Town for the adventurous at heart.

This is our second day on a media tour showcasing Tsogo Sun’s Cape Town offerings.

Our journey started at the Southern Sun Waterfront Cape Town, a sprawling 5-star hotel with 537 elegantly decorated rooms fully equipped with just about everything you’d want of a world-class hotel, the day before.

A selection of the hotel’s rooms have views of Table Mountain, while the others look out over Cape Town’s bustling Foreshore. Mine was roomy and elegant.

After settling in, we went on a guided tour of the Zeits MOCCA, an art gallery, which displays art from Africa and the diaspora. The gallery has some exquisite (and thought-provoking) pieces of art from some incredibly talented artists from around Africa and the diaspora, including Ghada Amer, Hank Willis Thomas, Kendell Geers, Isaac Julien, Chris Ofili and Banele Khoza.

We capped off a thoroughly rewarding afternoon with sundowners at the SunSquare Cape Town City Bowl’s 14 Stories Rooftop Bar. This, the 14th storey of the newly built hotel, consists of an enclosed pool deck and opens onto an outdoor deck overlooking the city skyline, Cape Town harbour and Lion’s Head.

Our day ended with dinner at the Waterfront’s Ziyani restaurant. As we enjoyed the restaurant’s fine selection of wine, John van Rooyen, Tsogo Sun’s operations director for the Cape Region, explained why, despite the water restrictions, Cape Town is open for business. “It’s all still here - as beautiful and appealing as ever,” said Van Rooyen.

“The mountain hasn’t moved, the beaches and the harbour are spectacular, the Waterfront delivers endless retail and entertainment options, and the city’s restaurants - while adopting innovative water-saving measures - serve the same delicious food and beverages that they are renowned for. The city is wholly open for business.”

Like many hospitality establishments in the region, Tsogo Sun hotels have undertaken to reduce water consumption by 40%. Some of the measures implemented include monitoring water consumption per bed night, removing bath plugs, adding water-saving shower heads and tap restrictors, removing table linen and introducing good-quality paper serviettes and reducing linen changes.

The adventures continued the following day as we were whisked off to Groot Constantia Wine Estate for lunch at Simon’s Restaurant. Our table, situated upstairs near the balcony area, had the most stunning view of the estate’s lush greenery.

While the popular choice at the table was the beef fillet, I opted for the salmon - after all, I was in the seafood mecca of the country.

After a wholly satisfying afternoon at the estate, we were driven in a sidecar to the Southern Sun Cullinan, our second and final hotel. The hour-long ride along the Atlantic seaboard passed through locations such as Camps Bay and Hout Bay. Like the Scootours ride, the sidecar experience allows you to explore and experience the city in a different light.

On arrival at the Cullinan, we were met by the hotel’s general manager, Garry Reed who gave us a brief introduction to the hotel over some delicious welcome treats.

Before rushing off to the Waterfront, we enjoyed a brief spa treatment at the hotel’s spa, Mangwanani Boutique Spa. After such an action-packed day, it proved to be the perfect way to massage the exhaustion away.

We then headed off to the V&A Waterfront where we enjoyed a few drinks at the Den Anker Belgian Restaurant Bar and Beer. Kabous, a fellow journalist, and myself ordered the Kwak beer - a beer which requires that you take off a shoe and give it to your barman as deposit for the expensive, Florence flask-shaped glass that it’s served in.

The shoe is kept in a basket at the bar and returned once you’ve returned the glass.

A quirky barter but I loved it - along with the unforgettable memories of gorgeous Cape Town.

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