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Lily622 Jun 2nd, 2007 08:17 PM

Cape Town: hotel or guesthouse?
My husband and I will be traveling to Cape Town for three nights in early July. We're having trouble deciding between a hotel or a guest house. We have stayed at the Mount Nelson and thoroughly enjoyed it, but are opting for something less expensive this time around (under $200). For those in the know, would you choose the Cape Cadogan or the Portswood? According to the rates I've found, the Portswood is about $15 more per night. One concern for a guest house is that there's no on-site restaurant

Lily622 Jun 2nd, 2007 08:23 PM

Ooops, hit the button too soon!

We are arriving into CPT late at night and will want something to eat - so one concern is the lack of on-site restaurant with a guest house.
We're hoping for a quiet, comfortable somewhat upscale room with a good location. Would we encounter noise problems at either the Portswood or the Cape Cadogan? We'll do sightseeing and shopping and are hoping to plan a trip to the winelands. We'd also need airport transfers and I know that most guest houses will arrange this...
Another concern with the Cape Cadogan is the bathroom layout of some of the rooms - I read in one post on this board that some rooms had open-plan bathrooms, though the post was a few years old and perhaps it has been updated.
Has anyone stayed at Alta Bay? I couldn't find any trip reports for it on this board though the Trip Advisor reviews are excellent.
Any suggestions would be most appreciated!

jasher Jun 3rd, 2007 02:36 AM

Hello Lily,

How late will you be getting into Cape Town? The Cape Cadogan is in Gardens (actually very close to the Nellie) and there are plenty of restaurants nearby, but the time you get in will make a difference.

Personally I'd choose the Cape Cadogan hands-down over the Portswood (or any other big tourist hotel). You'll get much better value for money at the Cape Cadogan. It's recently been renovated and is an absolutely lovely place to stay. If the bathroom thing is a concern let them know and they'll put you in a room with an enclosed bathroom.

Another great option in Gardens (though not quite as centrally located) is Hemingway House:

There are floor plans on their website for both the house and the funkier Lodge next door.

I don't recall noise being an issue at the Cape Cadogan as it's a short walk from the main street, but you can always request a room in the back if you're concerned.


Lily622 Jun 3rd, 2007 07:28 AM

Thanks Julian! Our flight arrives at 9:35PM and then we'll be making our way into Cape Town. Would we be better off getting something to eat at the airport?
Thank you again for your advice and suggestions. I think the Cape Cadogan sounds great, though Hemingway House looks wonderful!

jasher Jun 3rd, 2007 09:24 AM

Hello Lily,

As much as I hate to recommend eating airport food to anyone, I've checked the hours for a number of restaurants and it looks like most of them shut around 1030 -- 11pm. Given that you'll need time to get your luggage and get to the hotel, there's a pretty good chance it will around 1130 by the time you arrive. There are a few places open until midnight but you'll be cutting it pretty fine.

The other possibility is to contact the Cape Cadogan and see if they can send someone out to get some wraps or sandwiches to put in your room. Smaller places are often very accommodating about doing this sort of thing.

Alternatively, you could opt to order in something from Mr Delivery, a service which delivers food from a number of restaurants in Cape Town. It would arrive before you would so it would be best to order something that's good when cold, but the food would be restaurant quality. I've not tried this service myself, but it's gotten good reviews and if I were in your shoes this is what I would do.


Lily622 Jun 3rd, 2007 11:42 AM

Great idea, thanks Julian!

kurt_a Jun 4th, 2007 02:40 AM

Hi Lily622

a couple of comments to add:

- Alta Bay is a gorgeous guest house in Oranjezicht/Higgovale in a residential neighbourhood with excellent views out over the city and of Lion's Head. Different entirely from the other properties you (and others) mention. Service and amenities are top notch.

Late night food is always a challenge in Cape Town. I like Julian's ideas, but Mr Delivery might struggle to help you at 11pm. As Julian suggested, I'd consider asking your guest house owner/manager to arrange a boxed lunch (like for a picnic) to be waiting for you in your room when you arrive. They can get sandwiches from Melissa's along with fruit, greens, and something sweet -- give them a budget and they'll surely sort you out. Much better than cold, soggy pizza!




jasher Jun 4th, 2007 05:40 AM


Melissa's is a great idea -- my favourite deli option in Cape Town! I've taken some of their sandwiches up on my visits to Table Mountain for a little picnic.

Another good option might be seeing if you can get Mr Delivery to pick something up from Saigon -- they're open until 11, and quite a few Vietnamese dishes are meant to be eaten cold (try the crystal salad rolls) This is probably better as a lighter option if you're not that hungry.


Lily622 Jun 4th, 2007 10:48 AM

Delivery from Melissa's sounds perfect. Thanks for the suggestions!

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