Cape Town

Jan 14th, 2002, 08:56 AM
T Anne Franks
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Cape Town

I am taking a snap decision trip to Cape Town during the second week in March. I am seriously behind with info, ie temperature, hotels, sites, beaches etc - I will be there for 7 days. Any info much appreciated. Also chocie of airline.
Thanks !
Jan 14th, 2002, 12:08 PM
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Weather is still probably good in March.Where are you flying from? That will determine your choice of carriers.

As to places to stay, you have a choice of areas. Most popular are hotels at the Waterfront, which are usually more expensive, hotels and apartment hotels in Sea Point, 3 anchor Bay and along that coastline, extending to Clifton. There are also "self catering" houses and apartments featured on various sites. Clifton, Camps bay, Bantry bay are very exclusive and attractive. Very easy to get around. It is not high season, so rates should be lower.

You will definitely need to hire a car.

Must see Sights are
activities at the waterfront,
Robben Island,
cable car up Table Mt.
drive along Chapmans peak to Hout Bay,
visit the Kraal gallery at Hout bay
beaches at Clifton and Camps bay,
drive to Cape Point
fish lunch at Hout Bay
visit the penguins and beautiful beach at Boulders near Simonstown Kirstenbosch gardens
Groot Constantia wine farm
wine route of Stellenbosch
(you may even want to spend a night or 2 here)

Jan 14th, 2002, 12:47 PM
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Good advice from Lisa, although note that Chapmans Peak Drive is shut following a rock which crushed a car (and killed the occupant). I'd add tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel, a heli-flip over the city by Court Helicopters, a tour of a township - sure to bring you down a peg or two, a stay in Franschhoek beyond Stellenbosch - one of the prettiest villages around and full of wineries and amazing restaurants - the view from La Petite Ferme is stunning. Have lunch outside the Grande Roche in Paarl for the Capes finest cooking. I was there a few weeks ago, and the rand is outstandingly good value right now - a meal and wine at a seriously good restaurant probably won't hit $100 for FOUR people! As for airlines, if your coming from the US, SAA from Miami (or is it Atlanta?). If from UK stick to BA. I've tried all the rest, and BA is still superior in every way.
Jan 14th, 2002, 01:54 PM
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Good recommendations, James.

SAA flies from Atlanta direct to CT and New York, via Johannesburg.
Jan 15th, 2002, 03:41 AM
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Not much that I can add that you would be able to do in one week but we did a train trip from Cape Town station to Simon's Town in Dec. It is an hour and half trip with the last 20 - 30 minutes right on the sea. Magnificent views. Django's restaurant in Simon's Town had a cold seafood platter for R95,00.

Chapmans Peak is open but there is a big sign that says you drive there at your own risk. As much as I like to do it, I did not take the change. many others did, though. Must be one of the most beautiful scenery in SA.

We went to Camps Bay. Most enjoyable.

The queue at the cable car can sometimes be very long but if you just drive past the lower cable station, the view of Cape Town is still very nice.

Enjoy it!!
Jan 15th, 2002, 07:59 AM
T Anne Franks
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Thank you so much for great info. I have printed and will place in my newly created CT file! Three "higher end" hotels that have been recommended to me: Bay Hotel, Ellerman House, Mount Nelson. I note from an earlier reply that Mount Nelson is not be missed for tea - what about a stay? Any views on these or perhaps another hotel would be really helpful. I have booked my flights today with BA -- direct to CT from LHR. So just in need of accom! Awful about Chapmans Peak Drive. Many thanks again to all !
Jan 15th, 2002, 09:01 AM
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I visited Cape Town twice in the last two years. We stayed in a great hostel in Cape Town called Zebra Crossing. At that time it cost me $7 a night. It is very clean, shared bath, small restaurant, good security. There is a great backpackers network (We used it despite being in our 50's!), with hostels all over the place. The people who run then are very helpful, and can get you anywhere cheaply. There's the Baz Bus that takes you all over South Africa, stopping at various backpacker places along the way.
Please e-mail me if you have further questions or want more information on Zebra Crossing or Baz bus.
Jan 15th, 2002, 12:49 PM
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Okay, looks like you are going very upscale. I guess, with the pound it is a lot easier to do that. I would say that of the 3 you have mentioned, Ellerman House is something unbelievable. It is right on the water, very small and exclusive and everything is laid on.
Nothing wrong with the other 2 either. The Mount Nelson is set a lot further back ( a few miles from the ocean) and is older.

The American version of Conde Nast has just rated the Cape Grace as the top hotel in the world. That is in the waterfront area. Table Bay Sun and the V&A at the waterfront are also excellent hotels and have good locations. These are all upscale. The Villa Via, very near the waterfront is also rated highly.

If it is was me, and the Ellerman was in my budget, I would go for that. Have you checked out their website? Please post a report of your final decision and stay.
Jan 15th, 2002, 04:48 PM
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If you rent a car be very careful of leaving it parked and locked with things in the trunk. Just had a cell phone and camcorder stolen from the trunk/boot of a locked car when it was parked at the base of Lions Head. There was no evidence that the car had been tampered with. What about the Peninsula or the Ambassador - both in Bantry Bay with sea views.
Jan 16th, 2002, 02:07 PM
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I agree with Lisa - Ellerman House is a gem. If you want something a bit more 'traditional' the Mount Nelson is OK but I wouldn't go there again - it's probably an age thing, I'm in my mid 30's and I felt like a kid I was so young compared with everyone else! THe Cape Grace is very flashy, but apart from the fab views of the City Bowl and Table Mountain, you could be in any luxury hotel anywhere in the world. Same goes for Villa Via only it's not as good (but excellant for a spot of lunch outside). ps I'd definitely have a couple of nights in the winelands - Lanzerac in Stellenbosch or particularly The Grande Roche in Paarl - possibly my all time favorite small hotel. A week's just not enough!!

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