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Advice sought for Cape Town hotels

Advice sought for Cape Town hotels

Old Nov 1, 17, 4:07 pm
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Advice sought for Cape Town hotels

Looking to book a hotel for a 4 night stay in Cape Town. Never been to South Africa before, and not familiar with the layout of the city. Should I look to stay close to city center, V & A waterfront, or Camp's Bay?

Last edited by ErickG; Nov 1, 17 at 5:21 pm
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Old Nov 1, 17, 11:25 pm
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Originally Posted by ErickG View Post
Looking to book a hotel for a 4 night stay in Cape Town. Never been to South Africa before, and not familiar with the layout of the city. Should I look to stay close to city center, V & A waterfront, or Camp's Bay?
What time of year and what is the purpose of the trip?
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Old Nov 2, 17, 12:21 am
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Originally Posted by ErickG View Post
Looking to book a hotel for a 4 night stay in Cape Town. Never been to South Africa before, and not familiar with the layout of the city. Should I look to stay close to city center, V & A waterfront, or Camp's Bay?
Definitely not the city center unless you're there for business.

V&A waterfront is one of the more touristy areas, although it's also convenient since it's the starting point for many tours, scenic flights, trips to Robben Island etc. Not sure I'd want to stay right there, but a hotel with a free shuttle bus to the V&A Waterfront is a nice feature (although taxis are quite cheap).

Camps Bay etc. are nice if you want a scenic, more relaxed atmosphere. Not as convenient in terms of getting to the V&A Waterfront, but not too far away either.
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Old Nov 2, 17, 12:29 am
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When is the trip?

What is your budget?

Needs vs wants of the hotel/apt?

Desired events during stay in Cape Town?

Age & interests of the travelers?


When I went last year we booked a managed apartment in the downtown/ de Waterkant area and it was great for us. We had a two bedroom apartment on the lower end of the budget ( (fully refundable rate booked 8 months in advance) with easy access to Brea & Long Streets as well as the waterfont areas. Uber is very affordable there with the USD exchange rate so we used it often.

The Waterfront area is where most of the nicer hotels are but is easily accessible from nearby areas. I really liked Cape Town and plan to return next year for a wedding of some friends we made while there.
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Old Nov 2, 17, 10:19 am
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Early May; 2 couples travelling together; doing regular touristy stuff: Robben Island, Cape Hope, see the penguins; whale watching; maybe a winery tour.
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Old Nov 2, 17, 3:21 pm
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May is the start of winter, so unlikely to be using the beach. Camps Bay is lovely, but definitely has more vibe during summer than winter.
The Waterfront is the premier tourist destination in the city and a good place to be based if you want to be very central to the whole tourist infrastructure. You can get a variety of pricing from your top end like the One & Only or over the top like the new Silo Hotel, but also much more reasonable options like the Portswood Hotel or somewhere in the middle like the V&A Hotel.
Being in May, you should also benefit from winter rates helping reduce hotel prices.
The city centre is vibrant and often I feel has a bit of a negative reputation. There is a wide variety of options available in the city centre.
Or perhaps look at somewhere like the Winchester Mansions on the Sea Point promenade - which a hop on hop off bus stop right outside. It would give you a well located, well priced hotel just outside of the very touristy area.
With the exception of Robben Island (where the ferry leaves from the V&A Waterfront), all your other excursions to winelands, Cape Point (which would be the same tour as the penguins) are really all the same distance away whether you are in town, Waterfront or Sea Point.
Note that May is not whale season, they really only start arriving late June/July.
Hope that is some help.
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Old Nov 2, 17, 9:55 pm
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We have stayed in the Cape View apartments at Clifton beach a couple of years ago. We booked the three bedroom apartment and there was good space, parking a great breakfast and awesome views.

It was a good location to base ourselves for travelling around.
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Old Nov 4, 17, 6:43 am
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My sole experience was at The Cullinan. Walkable into Town [up Long Street] and with a free hourly Shuttle-bus service to the V&A. Suited us, not bothering with a car, and returning next month.

Some details in the CPT Trip Report in my signature.
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Old Nov 4, 17, 9:29 pm
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I agree in may, the beach areas are less vibrant. For a first visit, V&A - De Waterkant - the waterfront (Westin/Cullinan) area is good. Plenty of taxis to visit specific restaurants in town or suburbs.

For 2 couples, it will definitely be cheaper to hire an apartment / house than to use hotels. And I would say in May-September low season you will get a lot more for your cash. I can recommend De Waterkant Cottages, although the check in is a bit of pain if you are driving (have to grab a parking space on very tight hill). We stayed at 2 Bayview Terrace - plunge pool, jacuzzi overlooking Table Mountain, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, massive kitchen and living space, and garage. Interesting neighbourhood with good coffee shops for leisurely breakfasts. For a similar price to a chain hotel.
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Old Nov 7, 17, 5:13 pm
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We really enjoyed staying at the V&A waterfront and then being able to walk into downtown. We are big walkers, so might not suit everyone. But we almost always had dinner at the waterfront and then walked back to the hotel. Super pleasant and safe. Camp's Bay was beautiful, but since we live at the beach, didn't find that as appealing. Depends on the kind of vacation you want. I know lots of honeymooners favor the Camp's Bay hotels. One hotel that is near downtown yet has a resort feel with its gorgeous pool is the Mount Nelson. We stayed at the One&Only and were pretty happy with that.
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Old Nov 7, 17, 11:26 pm
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I usually like centrally located hotels so I stayed in the city center a few months ago at the holiday inn express.

I consider that a mistake. The city center of Cape Town is really dodgy and unsafe after dark. So you're within walking distance of the bars and restaurants on Long Street but you won't want to be walking back from there after that. Lots of aggressive panhandlers, one gently threatened me with a box cutter when I refused to give him money and explained that he didn't want to cut people.

Camps Bay was beautiful, lots of great restaurants. Uber works great in Cape Town and the big red hop on hop off double decker buses are also great to get around and have a stop at Camp's Bay. I would stay at Camp's Bay if I go back.
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Old Nov 8, 17, 12:44 am
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I can commiserate a bite with JPHRIJAH's experience. The area near the Holiday Inn Express at night can be overwhelming with the crowds & panhandlers. We were with locals when one was aggressively pick pocketed which lead to a chase. Nobody got actually hurt which was good and we got back the wallet & phone. During the day the situation is very different. Panhandling is common in Cape Town but most will move on if you say no. Just be smart and you'll be fine.

We stayed at the Icon building in a 2 bedroom apartment. Reviews are all over the place but our experience was rather good. The apartment wasn't a 5 star hotel but as good as any moderate chain hotel. Was nice having a functioning kitchen also. The building has a pool, security, dry cleaning & laundry, airline offices, a business center, cafe & a market place for your daily needs. The market has fruits & vegetables, snacks, a hot & cold bar of foods for breakfast on through dinner, a sushi bar & a juice bar. The staff were friendly and check-in was a bit slow as most things seems to work in South Africa. I'd stay there again as the cost is quite good, location is good for seeing much of the city itself and getting to other points of interest.

Be sure to invest in a quality converter if you'll be using electronics. Mostly we charged everything via my laptop. I carried a portable battery pack with me during the day to charge our phones since they got heavy use and recharged that via my laptop overnight.
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Old Nov 8, 17, 12:32 pm
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Originally Posted by jphripjah View Post
I usually like centrally located hotels so I stayed in the city center a few months ago at the holiday inn express.

I consider that a mistake. The city center of Cape Town is really dodgy and unsafe after dark. So you're within walking distance of the bars and restaurants on Long Street but you won't want to be walking back from there after that. Lots of aggressive panhandlers, one gently threatened me with a box cutter when I refused to give him money and explained that he didn't want to cut people.

Camps Bay was beautiful, lots of great restaurants. Uber works great in Cape Town and the big red hop on hop off double decker buses are also great to get around and have a stop at Camp's Bay. I would stay at Camp's Bay if I go back.
We stayed there at the end of July this year. I booked it as I have a ton of IHG points and it was free. We walked around a lot for three nights and I can see why people think of the area as dodgy.

We were never accosted but my wife and I have done a lot of international travel together and we both have a very heightened sense of that I call "situational awareness". If you walk around that area at night, you really have to keep your eyes open and be aware of what is going on around you.

I noticed that the Holiday Inn Express had a couple of security men in plain clothes out on St Georges Mall near the hotel. I would tell them when we left where we were going and when we expected to return and I always saw them waiting for us at the end of the block. We had fewer issues in the CBD of CPT than we had staying in the Rosebank Mall area of JNB. A lot less.

My opinion on it is you need to have experience in the inner city of major urban areas to stay there safely. I don't know if I would stay there again as sometimes when you are on vacation you just want to relax and not worry about some of that stuff. But I also didn't feel that I was in fear for my life.
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Old Nov 14, 17, 3:44 am
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I had the rental car and stayed at a guesthouse out in Milnerton. It was a big, really nice house with a fence and a gate and even some parking and a pool, and my section had a kitchen, bedroom and bathroom at around $40/night.
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Old Nov 14, 17, 3:50 am
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I think these days we can go for AirBnB, to enjoy their actual living experience?
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