Last week Sunday, I woke up in the heart of the city.
Something I’ve always wanted to do. But it wasn’t just anywhere, it was at the very beautiful and classically styled Taj Cape Town. An oasis of luxury accessed by stepping off Wale Street, through welcoming wooden doors flanked by smiling attendants, into a foyer that holds and makes – history.
Invited by The Taj to join their #CelebrateCapeTown Instagram competition launch and take a guided walk of the city as part of their 5th Birthday celebration, I was then encouraged to check in, stay and make the hotel my home for 24 hours.
Upgraded to a one bedroom suite by my lucky stars, I opened my 9th floor room door to a passage which took me around the corner past a table laden with goodies just for me – Miss Molly red wine, sweet confectionary treats and fruit perfectly placed next to a water bowl that held fresh rose petals for rinsing my hands …
There I was met by the warm winter sunlight that shone through the glass doors on to my king size bed and spacious lounge area. Bringing life to the beautiful room. A bed so comfy and large I wanted to jump on it and make imaginary snow angels. But I didn’t.
Instead I walked straight to the doors, pushed them wide open and took some time breathing in the beauty of Cape Town from the balcony. Views towards Lions head on the one side, the high rises of the city bowl on the other. Life, city sounds and spectacular pride are what greeted me.
My incredible suite.
Beautiful bathroom with shower and giant bath, I tried both, of course.
Room drop, luggage tags and info pack.
On entering the room, this passage and a table laden with treats awaited me. A turn left and the lightness of the room, luxury and views.
After an afternoon that included a delicious High Tea in the lounge and some relaxed time in my room, I took the longest bubble bath before readying for dinner at the Bombay Brasserie.
Located on the ground floor with easy access off the street, Bombay Brasserie offers an Indian specialty dining experience. Opulent decor, bold chandeliers and rich textures set the mood while mouth-watering dishes are elegantly served off big bronze trays, arriving with descriptions that leave you anticipating the flavour sensation.
We enjoyed a set menu which delighted from start to finish. Highlights for me were the Bhuni Makai Ka Shorba, roasted yellow corn soup with turmeric flavoured popcorn. Incredible! I do believe gourmet popcorn should be a thing. Also the Dhal Makhani, black lentils and kidney beans with sautéed spinach and lots of naan bread, a favourite. Dessert was a hand selected collection of the chef’s finest.
I ate everything before retreating to a night of luxury, snug in that beautiful bed, the door left a little open so I could take in the sounds of the city below.
The morning brought a leisurely start as I opted for tea in bed and some reading before taking another walk of the city. The clocks from surrounding churches and the St George’s Cathedral for company.
Breakfast was a generous spread of fruit, pastries and delicacies. Fresh squeezed juices, coffees and steamy cooked breakfast. All served in MINT, unless you opted to take it in the lounge, which was an option.
Reluctantly packing up I said my good-byes to the friendly and attentive staff, feeling very much that I had reconnected with my city, knowing that as much as I travel and love the gifts that the world brings me, Cape Town is where I belong. Here is a city deserving of much time, one that has seen successful regeneration of it’s centre, one that needs to be walked and appreciated.
Also, you can’t beat The Taj Cape Town for a inner city luxury hotel experience. Thank you for all for allowing me to call it home for a night!
The lobby is stylish and vast with dominant marble pillars adding to the glamour. Pockets of seats are perfectly positioned in the lounge and across the bar, for drinks or meetings. A good reprieve at any time of day.
For some additional background, the Taj Cape Town is a luxury hotel offering guests a combination of refined Indian hospitality and an authentic Cape Town experience. Occupying two historic buildings, it retains the architecture and many meticulously restored interior features of the original South African Reserve Bank and former Temple Chambers, built in 1890. Seventeen new storeys house suites, guestrooms and residences with views of the Mother City and the iconic Table Mountain.
Located on the corner of Adderley and Wale Street across from Government Avenue which leads through the 350-year-old Company Gardens from St George’s Cathedral, opening onto the pedestrian walkway of St George’s Mall and Greenmarket Square.
With a total of 176-rooms divided into 11 different room types including the two bedroom, split level Presidential Suite lovingly referred to as the TATA Suite, and said to be the best in the city.
Also 10 Heritage Suites, 20 Heritage Luxury rooms with mountain views and 10 overlooking the city. The Taj Club floor has a private lounge with a dedicated butler team to provide breakfast, evening canapés and cocktails.
The rooms combine old-world quality and modern amenities. As well as a mini-bar, safe, voicemail and international plug sockets, high-speed wireless internet, an iPod docking station and charger, an internet-enabled television and a work station with a multi-media hub so laptops can be interfaced with the television and more.
There are meeting rooms and banquet hall too. A bar and smoking lounge that seems to draw a young dynamic crowd and keep them cosy late into the night. A full concierge serves and of course, the complimentary walking tours and other activities.
The Jiva Grande Spa on the First Floor is in a league of it’s own. With the main focus on authentic, traditional Indian wellness treatments there is a great sense of healing wisdom as you are pampered and indulged here. I did not visit on this occasion but have before, enjoying one of their signature treatments which left me practically unable to speak for a few hours, such was the realigning and impact of the spoil.
In addition there is a fully indoor heated swimming pool, fully equipped gym, sauna, steam room and vitality pool. For more information or to make a booking, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below, the view from my room towards Lion’s Head.
And below towards the city along St George’s Mall.
Footnote: I was invited by The Taj Cape Town to spend a night, enjoy dinner at Bombay Brasserie and breakfast at Mint. When I accepted their kind offer I had no idea how much I would love every moment of my stay.
Top and Spa pic taken off The Taj Cape Town website.