A hotel by the beach, in the heart of downtown, or at the foot of Table Mountain would all be great locations for a stay in Cape Town…but to experience the best the city has to offer in a single shot, we stayed at Cape Grace. Set on the picturesque Victoria & Albert Waterfront with views to the mountain and the marina, it’s the ideal city escape…that’s only a few minutes walk from the center. The way the hotel infuses the Cape’s dynamic history into everything from the decor to cuisine without losing its 21st-century style makes it a perfect taste of the Cape.
I’m a design nut so I went gaga for the hotel’s collection of antique Cape furniture—European-inspired pieces made in South Africa from 1700-1900—mixed with contemporary designs. The lobby sets the stage with a period painting of Cape Town, a patrician sofa, and a modern steel wing chair.
Each floor thoughtfully represents the main industries of the Cape’s heyday…mining, fishing, farming, and the high society that enjoyed its spoils. One detail I adored was how tools from those trades (antique fishing rods, ox yokes, etc.) were displayed like art along the hall walls. On the penthouse floor, you can see the silver candlesticks in mini glass cabinets leading your eye toward the spa down the hall.
The rooms were quite spacious with a luxe marble bathroom, leather sofa seating area, and a grand tufted bed. Knowing it was our honeymoon, the staff welcomed us with champagne, chocolates, and a sweet note of congratulations.
Walking into the Signal Restaurant for dinner, the space felt so chic and cozy under the glow of the crystal chandelier and candlelight. We chose the whimsical embroidered seats by the window looking out to Signal Hill but loved the modern option of the Louis Ghost chairs.
We enjoyed a few tapas as we browsed the Cape Cosmopolitan menu. The choices drew from the diverse cultures that passed though the peninsula– the French Huguenots, British settlers, Dutch and Asian traders. For a starter we enjoyed a seared ostrich apple-chile sambal and for the main we had a Cape Malay spiced rib-eye beef with butternut puree and almond crumble. Yum!!!
Having a balcony looking out to the marina and Table Mountain calls for room service. We set our clocks for sunrise to make the most of the view and indulged in eggs Benedict, fresh fruit, homemade granola, and cappuccino.
After digesting a bit, we headed down to the pool. With the marina on all sides, time on the deck gives the effect of lounging on a luxury cruise liner.
Walking out of the front doors of the hotel, we were in the heart of the V&A waterfront with a million things to do—the Nelson Mandela Gateway museum, shopping at the Waterfront Craft Market, enjoying the waterside cafes, or listening to the rhythms of the street musicians.
One of our favorite features on our long list of Cape Grace’s hospitality home runs was the complimentary chauffeur. This hot new beamer would zip us to any place within 10k of the hotel—the boutiques in Woodstock, the cable car to Table Mountain, the bars on Long Street, and any other place we could dream of visiting in the city.
We think Cape Grace is fantastic but don’t take our word or it…just ask Travel + Leisure magazine, they’ll tell you they rated it the #1 hotel in Africa and the Middle East. Not too shabby.
Note: Cape Grace invited us to be their guests; however, all opinions are our own.