Over the years many locals and celebrities made their way to the Table Bay Hotel, including one of our most cherished icons.
Sun International’s iconic hotel was officially opened by statesman Nelson Mandela on May 30, 1997. Since then the property has become an icon of elegance and luxury, acquiring a string of local and international accolades over the years for its service excellence and the warmth of its welcome.
In 1997 many questioned why a premium hotel would be built in a gritty working harbour, especially as the V&A Waterfront was a long way from the bustling, world-famous destination it is today.
However, Sun International disagreed: “Right from the start, we saw the potential in establishing a world-class hotel in the heart of what we recognised would be a rapidly evolving tourism destination. Today we are envied for having the best address in Cape Town,” says the company’s CEO, Anthony Leeming.
The location also got the blessing of former Sun International CEO, Sol Kerzner. The late visionary hotel and resort developer was adamant, and would not budge, the Table Bay Hotel had to be built at an angle, facing Table Mountain head-on. From the opposite angle the hotel offers equally beautiful unobstructed views across Table Bay, all the way to Robben Island and beyond.
Sun International’s former CEO and its chairman fondly remembered the hotel’s development and its opening.
“I remember the opening day very well. We were honoured to have President Mandela perform the official opening ceremony which marked the culmination of a lengthy and at times quite challenging collaboration between the Waterfront Company, Sun International and a professional team drawn locally and from around the world.
‘’Today, 25 years later, the Table Bay is well established as one of Cape Town’s and South Africa’s leading hotels, occupying an unrivalled location with the unique capacity to cater for groups and conventions without compromising the quality of personalised service demanded by international and local independent travellers,” said former CEO Peter Bacon.
Previous chairman, Buddy Hawton said: “The Table Bay has an advantage due to its location and presence in the Victoria and Alfred precinct. I, together with my late wife, were regular guests at The Table Bay, and having stayed in many top grade hotels, both locally and internationally, we were in many respects able to broadly measure guest experience. We always departed from The Table Bay with a longing to return which serves as a barometer of this experience. I wish them all at The Table Bay every success in the future.”
Many speak of the hotel as a part of their home, it has such history to it, and despite the challenges faced back then and now, it has made it to 25 years. Just as its nautical architecture reflects its location in the heart of South Africa’s oldest working harbour, so too, the hotel’s interiors continue to echo the rich maritime history of Cape Town, the famous Tavern of the Seas that offered seafarers a safe and warm refuge from the elements.
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