Where to stay in Cape Town, South Africa
MEGAN PINCKNEY | 11/9/2017, 3:52 p.m.
With dozens of lodging options all over the city, and a variety of neighborhoods with different characteristics and opportunities, choosing a place to stay while in Cape Town can be quite challenging. While on my trip, I was fortunate enough to experience three different hotels and found that each offered a different perspective of the city.
The first place we stayed was the Westin Cape Town. The best thing about this hotel is that it offered a sense of familiarity in a city that was so foreign to me. The hotel was designed with the same aesthetic as all of the other Westin properties I’ve stayed at—even exuding the same scent that I’ve come to relate so closely to the Westin brand. The rooms are standard in size and features, although lacking the number of plugs needed to charge every last device throughout the night. The hotel offers a spa and a club-level breakfast buffet that’s worth a stop in. The biggest draw for this hotel is the fact that it is connected to the city’s convention center, making it the perfect place for convention groups to stay. Although the hotel is located among the city’s scattered skyline, it isn’t really walking distance to anything worthy of visiting. You’d have to catch a taxi or car service almost everywhere you want to go. However, the Westin Cape Town is an affordable lodging option with standard rooms
starting at $230 per night.
The second hotel we experienced, the One and Only Cape Town, was much more luxurious than the first. Situated on the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, beneath a breathtaking view of Table Mountain, the One and Only provides guests with the ultimate resting stop during their South African adventures. Every afternoon in the lobby you’ll find an exquisite high tea setup, and every evening the lobby bar will be filled with cocktail specialists who can whip up a custom cocktail based on your own personal taste. Archie, one of the hotel’s finest bartenders, created a custom cocktail for me that was worthy of an Instagram post and was as delicious as it was beautiful! The lobby is also where you’ll find award-winning restaurant Nobu and Reuben’s, where we enjoyed a complimentary buffet breakfast every morning.
Guests are welcomed to their rooms with bottles of the region’s finest wine and plates of fresh fruit. There are several different room and suite options, but most come with a balcony to enjoy the view of the waterfront and Table Mountain. We stayed in a marina Table Mountain room and enjoyed how spacious and technologically advanced it was. Most guest rooms are located in Marina Rise, the main building, but a few suites are located across the waterway on the same island where the serene spa is located.
One of the One and Only’s best attributes is its proximity to the action. You are within walking distance to all of the lively V&A Waterfront restaurants, shopping and entertainment. Another special quality this hotel has is its concierge staff, who go above and beyond to help their guests. With very little notice, Tashwin, a skilled concierge at the One and Only, booked us a reservation for four at a trendy Cape Town restaurant that usually needs notice well in advance. The service and style of this hotel make their expensive price tag worth it. A night here can set you back $1,000 for
a standard guest room.
The third hotel I experienced in Cape Town was the ultra-luxurious, ultra-hip Silo Hotel. And although it just opened its doors this year, the Silo is already on track to becoming the most expensive hotel in the entire country. Located in the elevator portion of a historic grain silo complex, it sits atop the brand-new Zietz MOCAA—the continent’s largest collection of contemporary African art and the city’s newest popular attraction. The hotel itself is striking, making it hard to ignore among the other structures near Table Bay Harbour, in part because of its geometrical, crystal-like glass windows that anchor each of the guest rooms. Because the hotel’s main lobby is actually located up on the sixth floor, the first floor has a pseudo-front desk and a waiting area fully decked out in modern, colorful African art and textures. There are only 28 guest rooms in the Silo Hotel and one penthouse, which attracted the likes of Justin Bieber while he was on tour. Most of the guest rooms are suites with a bedroom found on a mezzanine level, like the superior suite I experienced. The standard rooms start at $1,300 a night, and the penthouse goes for nearly $5,800 a night. If neither of those prices is in your travel budget, you can still have the Silo experience. Make it a point, whether you’re a guest or not, to head to the city’s newest hot spot: the Silo’s rooftop. There you can enjoy specialty cocktails, delightful appetizers and 360-degree views of Cape Town. If you’re a guest, you can also enjoy a dip in the rooftop pool. While the rooftop is the perfect place to end your afternoon or begin your evening, the best place to spend your evening (especially your Saturday evening if the one Saturday I was there was any indication) is at the super-hip Granary Café, located on the sixth floor. The night I was there every table in the restaurant was filled with an eclectic group of young professionals enjoying dinner before a night on the town. The atmosphere was the perfect place to begin your night. But don’t think you’ll get in either the restaurant or the rooftop by just showing up. Both require a reservation for entrance. The Silo also has the option of a private dinner room, The Wisdom Room, which can seat up to 22 people. The Silo Hotel exudes cool and is the definition of “the
place you want to be.”
Megan Pinckney (@shadesofpinck) is a retired beauty queen turned lifestyle blogger who loves exploring the world and writing about it.