A view of the rooms from the pool area.
A view of the rooms from the pool area.
The Island Restaurant offers relaxed, contemporary dining.
The Island Restaurant offers relaxed, contemporary dining.
The sea-and-mountain-facing rooms of the President Hotel have stupendous views.
The sea-and-mountain-facing rooms of the President Hotel have stupendous views.
Located on the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean is The President Hotel - the Grand Dame of Bantry Bay.

Set in a wind-free corner of the bay, the view from the front of the hotel overlooks Queens Beach.

The President is conveniently located at the end of Sea Point, allowing guests a choice of restaurants if they do not wish to dine at the hotel.

After dinner, one can wander down to the famous Sea Point promenade for a stroll alongside the ocean - all within a five-minute stroll from the hotel.

As one enters the President, you are immediately presented with spectacular vistas of the pool and gardens, which are visible through the arched-glass staircase that leads from the reception area to the ground-floor restaurants, bar and pool deck.

All the sea-facing rooms look out over the exquisite, circular swimming pool surrounded by crisp-white loungers and towering palm trees with endless views of the Atlantic Ocean.

The private balconies allow guests to watch boats enter Table Bay from far-away lands as seagulls sweep over the blue expanse.

The mountainside rooms have uninterrupted views of Lion’s Head and Table Mountain.

The hotel’s 349 rooms and apartments reflect the contemporary sophistication and spaciousness of the lobby and restaurant areas.

As a mother, what I really appreciate is that every guest room has a semi self-catering kitchenette with a microwave, fridge, tea and coffee-making facilities and cutlery.

My husband and I arrived on a Friday evening after work and after freshening up in our room, we made our way to the Islands Restaurant on the ground floor, which overlooks the pool area.

Unlike many other hotel restaurants, dining at the Islands is a relaxed affair. There are a variety of a la carte choices and specials of the day.

We opted for the seafood buffet, which also offers a few meat options.

The President is known for one of the best breakfast buffets in Cape Town - at an unbeatable R185, the sumptuous spread included everything from smoked salmon and fried dishes, to fresh juices and pancakes that kept me going for the rest of the day.

What I like about the President is that it offers specials in its restaurants throughout the year. The new Botany Cafe offers main courses throughout the week for R85.

For Father’s Day, and Heritage Day, there is a two-course winter menu for under R200, making it affordable for locals.

Sommelier, Job, is wonderfully talented and passionate about locally produced products. He recommended that as an aperitif, I start with a local amber fynbos-infused gin cocktail, which was heavenly.

Growing up in Cape Town in the 1980s, Sea Point and Bantry Bay were the most fashionable places in town.

The handful of five-star hotels were reserved for wealthy visitors from up country and overseas, and were seldom affordable for the average Capetonian.

Fast forward a decade or two, and how things have changed. The President has become not just a hotel but a hangout, where locals can while away their time with a sense of being in a far-away exotic destination.

I was impressed by the number of locals who were dining and staying there.

On entering a lift, my husband and I were pleasantly surprised to hear many guests with a local accent, and even met a South African couple from Sydney visiting family in Cape Town who told us that they always stay at the President when they visit as it feels like a home from home.

The service was excellent - from the reception desk to the restaurant - and the staff were relaxed and happy, and this was reflected in the way they interacted with guests.

The hotel’s internet connectivity is one of the fastest in the country, which allows guests to enjoy wi-fi with no restrictions.

The President Hotel is a wonderful weekend break for locals - you will feel as if you have escaped to a island resort (without the airports, flights and general stresses involved in travelling abroad).

I will definitely be returning - if not for a relaxed weekend break, then to celebrate a special breakfast or dinner.