If you’re thinking of spending a few nights in Cape Town, Bantry Bay Suite Hotel is a great choice, writes Marchelle Abrahams.
Waking up to the smell of salty sea air, it took me a while to adjust to my surroundings. It was one of the few precious nights where I had uninterrupted sleep - no one calling me from their room asking for water or waking up in the middle of the night to the sight of a little person standing beside my bed saying they can’t sleep.
I stayed there for a while, taking in the sound of the sleepless Atlantic, then walked slowly downstairs and opened the balcony door. My view from the 4th floor of the Bantry Bay Suite Hotel afforded a front row seat to Cape Town shaking off her mist-shrouded coat as the rest of the city was waking up.
My “bed” for the evening had been one of the 4-star hotel’s presidential suites. The loft-style apartment is luxuriously fitted with all the mod-cons you’d expect from a luxury hotel, and then there’s the extras like the coffee pod machine, two bathrooms and a fully-functional kitchenette.
It doesn’t hurt either that the hotel is surrounded by views for days, situated in one of the city’s most sought after suburbs, and it’s a hop and a skip from bars and restaurants.
Bantry Bay is a playground for the rich and famous, making the hotel perfectly positioned as a base from which to explore the city. With the fierce ocean on its doorstep and World Wonder Table Mountain directly above, it basically ticks all the boxes if you want a mixture of culture, beauty and a cosmopolitan lifestyle.
With 40 suites, the hotel prides itself in being big on hospitality and service. And therein lies its strong point. Too often large hotels tend to concentrate on their amenities, room size and brand, but they forget the important stuff - stuff that matters to hotel guests - like going above and beyond when it comes to service. Get that wrong, and your weekend might as well be a write-off.
Yes, they don’t have a luxury spa or gym facilities, but they make up for it with buckets of enthusiasm when it comes to making your stay memorable.
But if you fancy a quick dip before breakfast, there’s a decent sized pool in the courtyard. Want a light snack or dinner with your drinks? Freddie’s Bar & Garden Terrace is a great option if you don’t intend leaving the comfort of the hotel.
Quick note: Try their lamb curry while you’re there.
If you live in the Western Cape, you’ll know the province is experiencing one of its worst droughts in its history.
So it’s refreshing that the hospitality industry is playing its part. Bantry Bay Hotel’s water-saving initiative might seem as a hindrance to some overseas guests, but it’s commendable how far they’ve gone in an effort to defeat Day Zero.
What they’ve done is provide each shower with its own bucket so guests can collect their water, which the hotel uses for various grey water projects. Don’t even think about being sneaky with a bath - there’s not a bath plug in sight.Their taps are fitted with water saving washers, with water coming out in a fine mist.
The only thing I found the slightest bit annoying was that both the showers were erratic when it came to finding the right temperature. Suffice to say, I ended up having a 1-minute cold shower out of fear of wasting more water.
You can’t visit Cape Town without stopping by some of its biggest attractions. And the best part about the off-season is that you won’t get the tourist hordes.
The Sightseeing Bus should be on your to-do list. It’s a great way of seeing the city from the top of an open-top bus. Buy a one-day pass; that way you can do all the routes. Purchase your package online and you’ll receive a discount.
Bantry Bay is at the foot of Table Mountain, so you have no excuse to give it a go. Take the cable car up; or better still, if you’re a keen hiker, take a hike. Just remember to leave your valuables at the hotel and go with a seasoned guide if it’s your first time up the mountain. All of this can be arranged by the hotel concierge.
The last word
The Bantry Bay Suite Hotel is celebrating 21 years in business this year. That’s something when it comes to the fickle world of hospitality. Its longevity proves that it must be doing something right.
And don’t use the excuse that luxury hotels in the city are too expensive they are constantly running specials. So do yourself a favour and book a weekend away. You won’t regret it.
Room rates from R2990 per night, including breakfast. Special offer: Stay for 4 nights, pay for 3
Visit bantrybaysuitehotel.com for more info and bookings.