We stayed in three different hotels in Cape Town…and yes, Mr S wasn’t exactly happy with this. He prefers to unpack, hang up his shirts and relax not to go on some peripatetic quest to check out all the luxury hotels in town. But I had a reason for this…we stayed at The Table Bay because we were invited to come for the night and check out the restaurant and we then moved on to Ellerman House for privacy and relaxation (and cake of the day, people!!). After our trip to the Winelands and drive along the Garden Route (blog posts to come) we had booked to stay in The One and Only, Cape Town to be back at the Waterfront and in easy reach of the restaurants and nightlife there.
Plus it was voted best hotel in Africa by Conde Nast Traveller, what lover of luxury could resist a hotel with such an accolade. And it has a Nobu. Have I justified myself enough now?
When we arrived we were greeted with sparkling wine and loads of chocolate! Mr S was already feeling happy with this hotel!
We had booked to stay in the Marina Rise section of the hotel that has views across to Table Mountain and Signal Hill but there is also the option to say in an Island Room in the middle of the hotel’s waterway.
The room was incredibly spacious and the sandy tones are intended to mimic the hues of the African savannah whilst the vibrant splashes of colour pay homage to Africa’s energy and spirit.
The room had all the usual luxurious gubbins such as a Nespresso machine, iPod dock, 42-inch flat screen TV etc etc.
Perhaps best of all was the bathroom, which was huge!
With a deep egg-shaped bath…
and a double sink, which I always love, as Mr S takes up so much space with his toiletries 😉
And huge rain shower.
I popped on a little black dress as we were heading to dinner at the in-house restaurant, Nobu, that just happens to be a branch of one of my favourite restaurants! It’s actually the first Nobu in Africa and coming here means I’ve now visited Nobu in four different continents!
The hotel also houses Reuben’s, a restaurant by local celebrity chef Reuben Riffel and a casual poolside eatery called Isola. We didn’t get a chance to try either but they will definitely be on my list for time.
During our time in the Winelands we totally fell in love with South African Sauvignon Blanc and ordered a bottle to enjoy with our Japanese feast.
The restaurant had a dramatic towering high ceiling and was full of sparkly gold lights, though it had more of a business feel to it than other Nobus.
One of the great things about Nobu as a brand is that the menu is always altered to reflect the location. Here South African seafood and indigenous spices are used to make the restaurant totally unique to Cape Town.
We began by ordering our absolute favourite dish, yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno.
Rather than fall back on our other favourites, we went for the Omakase or chef’s selection menu; starting with a selection of sashimi and sushi dishes.
I don’t need to tell you how good these were, for me Nobu really sets the standard of excellence for sushi.
It was world class chef Nobuyuki (Nobu) Matsuhisa who popularised black cod and it is now served at most quality Japanese restaurants. It’s still one of my favourite dishes and I always loved the Nobu version.
Our other hot dishes were:
Duck with orange miso and…
…Mr S’s favourite beef teriyaki.
Finishing with a light dessert.
We arrived back in the room to a romantic turn down…now I’ve mentioned I find the rose petals and candles thing a little cringe worthy but you have to have a heart of stone not to love a towel fashioned into a swan! They’d also left even more chocolate by the bed!
Despite much wine and chocolate consumed we woke up raring to go for a day in Cape Town.
The breakfast buffet is the perfect place to commit carbicide, I mean that bread is just a work of art!
And though there is an a la carte menu there’s plenty of hot and cold options on the buffet; I really like the option of having both. I also really loved their toast, I am a toast addict and they served thick, warm slabs of my drug of choice with perfectly melted butter.
Talking of carbs, this was what greeted us when we arrived back the hotel…
I’ve never had so much regret for eating too much at lunch….chocolate chip cookies were calling my name…
As were brightly jewelled macarons….
This sweet temptation was all presented beautifully in the hotel’s Vista Bar and lounge…
A large space that greets you as soon as you enter the hotel, perfect for a coffee or cocktails. Also check out that panoramic view from the bar’s huge picture windows! There was a large number of young teenage girls populating the lounge and we soon found out it was because One Direction were staying in the hotel during their Cape Town concert set.
Rather than consume more calories, we decided to burn some and go for a walk around the hotel’s grounds. No, it was not because I was hoping to bump into Harry Styles!!
The hotel is actually built across two private islands and it is surrounded by pretty waterways with a backdrop of Table Mountain.
Only guests of the hotel are allowed over that bridge and into the gorgeous pool area, which is rather fortunate as we could leave the 1D fans behind us and head to the seclusion of the pool.
There is a large heated infinity pool with chaise lounges and pretty raised pavilions. The spa, the most expansive in Cape Town, is located just behind the pool… should Harry Styles and co need to get away from the mob.
I didn’t get any photos but I also wanted to mention the lovely onsite boutique which sold some of my favourite designer labels such as Matthew Williamson, Christian Louboutin and Anya Hindmarch as well as gorgeous African artwork and sculptures.
So, I stayed in three different hotels in my Cape Town, which was my favourite? The Table Bay Hotel and The One and Only were larger resort-style hotels, both had several restaurants, a huge amount of choice at breakfast, a large pool and both were very centrally located right on the Waterfront. Of the two, I preferred The One and Only as it was more modern and had larger bedrooms, though The Table Bay had a fantastic location and we loved the restaurant.
Though it might not be right for everyone my favourite of the three was the smaller boutique hotel. It was a little further out of the way and there were less options in terms of food but I preferred the privacy and the personal touch of Ellerman House. It really was a very special place.
If you have the time / energy / resources I would suggest splitting your stay as I really enjoyed the benefit of the two different experiences.
The One and Only, Cape Town
V & A Waterfront
8001, South Africa
We paid full price for our room but our dinner at Nobu was complimentary.