Self-catering accomodations near Cape Town?

Old Nov 30th, 2005, 09:30 AM
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Self-catering accomodations near Cape Town?

We will be in South Africa in April visiting our daughter. We will need accomodations for my husband, myself and our 14 year-old son. While near Cape Town, we would prefer some type of self-catering, apartment so that we can prepare some meals there and have a little more space than a hotel room, and would like to be near a beach. Cost wise, we're looking at $200 - $300 night for the 3 of us.

As of now we are planning on spending 6 days visiting the typical sights in and around Cape Town (City Center, Table Mountain, Robben Island, Boulders Beach, Cape Point) and then maybe spend 2 days in the Winelands, or head toward Hermanus in the Southern Cape. We are open to suggestions for our itinerary, and are especially interested in recommendations for activities that our son will enjoy. We will be there over Easter and since our son is a runner, we hope to see the 2 Oceans Marathon on Easter Saturday.

Our daughter will be doing a med-school rotation at Tygerberg Hospital. We will spend our weekends with her sight-seeing. I doubt that she'll be able to join us at night during the week. Then we will all fly to Sabie Sand for a 3 night safari at the end of our trip. (Thank you to all of you who helped in making those arrangements!)

So now I am looking for suggestions on a location around Cape Town that would be a good base for visiting the various places. We will have a car and don't mind having to drive a little each day. We would love to be near a beach for spending some downtime in between sight-seeing, but are wondering what the temps will be in mid-April. It sounds like the water isn't too warm on the Atlantic side even in the summer, but will it be warm enough to walk and lay on the beach then? I've read about certain beaches being very windy and others more protected. Any ideas?

I've done a search on Fodors and have come up with several names of self-catering properties and booking agencies, but feel I first need to determine what location to target. The Camps Bay area seems appealing. Does anyone know how far this area would be from Tygerberg Hospital? Would it be a good base location? How would the beaches be in April?

I welcome all suggestions for places to visit, good locations to stay, and specific properties. Thank you!

Erin44 is offline  
Old Dec 1st, 2005, 03:49 AM
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Hi
We found trying to book triples in Cape Town to be a real problem. Guest houses required we take an additonial room. Our daughter is also 14 and Cape Town will be at the end of a very expensive RTW trip so budget is an issue.
We are staying at the Peninsula All Suites which is about 8 k from the waterfront overlooking the beach. Selwyn (a regular poster here) verified it is a good choice. He lives nearby.
I booked it through Expedia who gave me a far better rate than directly. I've booked a suite for USD 119 per night.
I have booked the suite for two people but I was assured by the management (I called direct) that there is no cost for the third person. Expedia wouldn't accept the booking for three so I am crossing my fingers.
There are larger apartments.
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Old Dec 1st, 2005, 03:54 PM
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i am following this with interest - we are going to meet our daughter in feb - she is a a medical missionary with her family and we are also looking for suites in good location in capetown - will look at peninsula and apppreciate any feeedback
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Old Dec 1st, 2005, 11:26 PM
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Erin,

It's great to hear that you (and the others) will be visiting our beautiful city! I definitely recommend that you book your self-catering accommodation with smaller establishments as you will find that you have more space, tranquility and excellent hospitality. I can recommend a number of places in Camps Bay, Hout Bay and Llandudno, which are at most 20 minutes away from the City Centre. You are welcome to contact me on [email protected] for specific recommendations - I will need dates to check availability, but I am confident that I can assist you in finding excellent places to stay.

There are a lot of activities and outings you can plan that will enchant even a 14-year old. The Two Oceans marathon is a big event for Hout Bay as the runners enter Hout Bay over Chapmans Peak Drive - our little village comes to a standstill for this amazing event as ther are only 3 roads entering and exiting Hout Bay, 2 of which will be closed for the duration of the marathon. An excellent place to support and watch the runners is at the end of Chapmans Peak drive, right at the Hout Bay beach. I was there, and the atmosphere is amazing!

Kind regards
R
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Old Dec 2nd, 2005, 03:32 AM
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I have stayed at a beautiful beach home in Scarborough, Cape Town. It is in a delightful village and offers great value for money. I found it at http://cape-town.e-gnu.com/beach_house.html. They sleep between 2 and six guests.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2005, 06:40 AM
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Hello Erin44,

Firstly may I comment on the eloquence of your mail content and style of writing. It was a pleasure to read.

As an opener let me comment that if your daughter is going to be at Tygerberg Hospital then no matter where you stay, if you want to be at the sea, you are going to be relatively far (30 minutes) from her.

In terms of The Peninsula Hotel I would agree with Sarvowinner that it would be a good choice because he/she is also correct about the difficulty of finding a second room for your son in terms of costs etc. The Peninsula Hotel beats this problem in that you can find rooms that house three people at hardly any extra cost. The hotel is also near the sea and has minimal self catering facilities available. Sarvowinner is correct in that I stay 200 yards from the hotel and certainly know this area well. (I have actually been living on this wonderful seafront for a period that stretches back in time where I actually watched them renovate an old building to eventually become the Peninsula Suites) I would recommend the hotel HOWEVER I would do this as a second choice to Camps Bay Terrace in Camps Bay (www.campsbayterrace.com)

Camps Bay Terrace (CBT) is an absolutely wonderful place to stay. You could hire the penthouse which has two bedrooms, a huge dining room, a magnificent lounge, a fully equipped kitchen, a private Jacuzzi plunge pool and a view of the sea that is a 270 degree panorama of the whole of the Camps Bay area. If you fell off the balcony you could virtually land in the sea. Camps Bay Terrace is very close to all the places in Camps Bay that are right on the beach and this means that you could have breakfast in one of the many coffee shops if you want to. The beach at Camps Bay has cold water so forget about Cape Town beach swimming in April however you might well still be able to lie on the beach and enjoy the sun even though we will be crossing over to the forthcoming Winter months of June September. The whole trick about Camps Bay Terrace is that you will be in a crossover zone rates wise and you should find that depending on your exact dates of stay you should be able to negotiate a deal that falls well within your ambit in terms of the budget you speak of. Another very important advantage is that the penthouse can sleep 4 people but in terms of space for activity would be able to house 8 people with ease. Take a look at the website where you can see physical dimensions of the apartment and you will understand what I am trying to explain

Right now, because I receive a tour operator report re availability on a weekly basis from the agents who market CBT and other venues, I know that the CBT penthouse is available for you to rent for the time that you will be in Cape Town. With that said please bear in mind that it will be the Easter weekend as well as the Two Oceans marathon and that means that this venue and many other good ones will disappear of the available list very soon so please start moving on your reservations soon.

If you decide that you ant to stay at CBT may I also suggest that you write to me and I will in turn will be only to happy to try and help you to negotiate a good deal (you will be in Cape Town in a tricky crossover period with regard to rates) and might also be able to obtain a further discount for you. I have done this for many a Fodorite in the past and they have gained handsomely in the process.

In terms of Winelands accommodation I would suggest that you stay in a self catering apartment in Stellenbosch or Franschhoek that can house 4 people. Generally accommodation like this can be found on winefarms and this recommend that you take a look at:

Papyrus Lodge (http://www.papyruslodge.co.za/)

Lekkerwijn (http://www.lekkerwijn.com/index.html)

Zandberg farm The family suite (http://www.zandberg.co.za/frameset.htm

Bellevue manor http://www.bellevuestellenbosch.co.za/)
The rates for this establishment are not on the net however rest assured they fall well within the ambit of your budget. Wonderful place to stay, slap bang in the middle of the vineyards, on a Cape winefarm

In your 6 days in Cape Town I would suggest that you do the following

Day 1: Travel along the Cape Peninsula tour route

Day 2 : Visit Robben Island in the morning and the city in the afternoon.

Day 3. Try and go on a quality type township tour

Day 4: Visit the V&A Waterfront

On your other days just chill out on the beach and enjoy the Cape Town sun.

To accommodate the needs of your 14 year old son may I suggest that while doing most if the above you incorporate the following experiences:

Do the ascent of Table Mountain.
Your son might want to do the 2 hour Plattekloof Gorge climb to ascend the mountain whereafter he can descend the mountain by cablecar. Just remebe the golden rules of ascending mountain of:

a. No matter what the weather situation always take a warm set of clothing in case it is needed

b. Take a cap.

c: Take lots of water


Visit the penguin colony.

Take a trip to Seal Island by boat from the Hout Bay harbour

Visit the Scratchpatch in Simonstown.

Visit the Cape Town aquarium

Visit the World of Birds in Hout Bay.

Visit the working harbour of Fish Hoek.

Visit and undertake the challenge of finding your way through a real maze of trees in Green Point next to the Putt Putt course.

Go down to the Cape Town Waterfront. This is also a place where your son and daughter can have much fun.

Visit the local Saturday morning craft market in Hout Bay. This is a fantastic market and seemingly remains a hidden secret to visitors to Cape Town in that only Capetonians frequent this wonderful market.

When in the winelands to accommodate your children may I suggest that you:

Visit the Butterfly Farm in Simondium.

Have fun at the Huguenot chocolate factory in Franschhoek.

Visit and pat the cheetahs at the Cheetah Foundation near Stellenbosch

Watch how wine barrels are made in Stellenbosch at Van Ryns Brandy cellars.

Go to Kei Carpets and see how hand made carpets are woven.

Visit the Corkscrew antique shop and view its HUGE hidden secret that everybody misses when visiting Franschhoek.

OK Erin44 (and Elizabeth 172)I hope that this helps you in your planning decisions. If you need any further ideas please just write to the Fodors board and I will do whatever I can to help you with relevant advice.

Hope that you enjoy our great country when you visit.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Old Dec 5th, 2005, 10:12 AM
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Thank you for all of your wonderful suggestions! I really do appreciate the time that so many of you take to share your wealth of knowledge with the rest of us.

Sarvowinner, I will keep the Peninsula All Suites in mind. The rate you received from Expedia is very reasonable, and it's good to know that the suite for 2 that Expedia offers will actually accomodate 3 people. Best of luck on your RTW trip. How exciting!

Roly, thank you for your offer to assist us with accomodations. I am currently looking into a few places, but may email you for additional help. I am especially grateful for your input regarding the marathon. We will definitely try to watch near Hout Bay Beach.

Blueturtle, thanks for the Scarborough beachhouse recommendation. I did follow your link and it does look charming. I'm just concerned it may be a little further away than we'd prefer to be.

Selwyn, thank you so much for your very thorough list of activities. I have read many of your posts and greatly value your suggestions. Interestingly, I had already looked at Camps Bay Terrace and did like it based on the photos and descriptions. I will send you an email to discuss this in further.

We are in the process of finalizing our itinerary, but would still welcome anyone elses thoughts on self-catering accomodations, and also activities that a 14 year-old boy would enjoy. In particular, I'd love to hear from anyone who has stayed at the Camps Bay Terrace or any other accomodations in the Camps Bay Beach area.
Many thanks again!
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Old Dec 7th, 2005, 01:17 PM
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Hi Erin,

We spent 6 days in Cape Town in September and rented a cottage. I had the same question as you do regarding the location. I can give you some information based upon our experiences.

Our itinerary for the 6 days was focused on day trips outside of Cape Town so we wanted a location with easy access to the freeways. Our plans included trips to Darling, Worcester/Paarl, Steleenbosch, Hermanus and the Cape. We had spent three days at the beginning of our trip in the City Center so access to the center was not as important to us.

We initially considered Camps Bay and Hout Bay but ended up choosing a location in the Southern suburbs. It had pluses and several minuses. The big plus was it was very easy to get onto the freeways. This made the days trips very easy. It was also close to shops and other services. Unfortunately, there were also several minuses. The cottage ended up being on a major road and there was a lot of traffic and noise outside the cottage. The cottage was nicely equipped so we were very comfortable. But I would not recommend it due to the busy street.

On our experience, I would recommend the Camps Bay area. Hout Bay is a nice area but it can be limited by access. You will have slower windy roads to get in and out of the area. I think Camps Bay will have easier access to the main Cape Town.

One website to look at that I found helpful is http://www.capestay.co.za/. I liked the option of searching for accomodations by regions. The maps helped me to become familiar with the regions.

Good luck.
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Old Jan 8th, 2006, 04:37 PM
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Our trip arrangements had to take a back burner due to the holidays, and I am sorry that I am just now responding.

Travel4flowers, thank you for sharing your past experience regarding accomodations near Cape Town. Your recommendation to stay in the Camps Bay area makes sense, and we have actually reserved a place to stay there.

Through Fodor's, I eventually hooked up with Selwyn Davidowitz via emails and by his new website, www.CapeTownTour.com. Most of you may know him by his other website, www.ILoveCapeTown.com, which he uses for booking tours.

Thanks to Selwyn's phenomenal negotiating, we were able to reserve the Camps Bay Terrace penthouse (see www.noxrentals.co.za) that he had referred to earlier in this post - at a fraction of its normal rate. This is a gorgeous 2 BR, 2 bath, and full kitchen apartment, with a spectacular full-length deck that looks out over the 12 Apostles and ocean. The regular rate is $465 a night, but Selwyn was able to secure it for us for only $250.

If any of you are also looking for accomodations in the Cape Town vicinity, I strongly urge you to check out Selwyn's new website and contact him for assistance with your arrangements. He has been great to work with and although we don't depart for another 3 months, he has already provided us with a wealth of information regarding our visit to Cape Town.

I'll be sure to report back after our stay in April, and will be glad to answer any questions others might have.

Thank you to everyone who has answered my seemingly unending list of questions!
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Old Jun 14th, 2006, 06:14 PM
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We returned from our first trip to South Africa the end of April. I wanted to post a reply regarding our stay much earlier, but had to delay due to an injury. I'm slowly recovering and am now able to remark on this phenomenal experience.

We stayed at the Camps Bay Terrace Penthouse, thanks to Selwyn Davidowitz' suggestions and booking, and it did not disappoint. The apartment is truly breathtaking. The entire back of the apartment is mostly glass with gorgeous views over looking the ocean and the Twelve Apostles. We have never witnessed so many beautiful sunsets. There is a deck which runs most of the length of the apartment with a plunge pool at one end.

The interior has 2 nice sized bedrooms, each with a private bath, and sliding doors leading onto the deck. There is also a living room, a small but nicely equipped kitchen with a washer and dryer (very nice for when traveling with children), and a huge dining area. It was very tastefully furnished with charming African artwork, offered plenty of living space, and was meticulously maintained.

The town of Camps Bay was just a few blocks away. It had quaint restaurants with outdoor dining overlooking the ocean, a grocery store, pharmacy, cute boutiques, and a beautiful white sandy beach.

One of the best things about staying there was the price that Selwyn secured for us. During the summer season, which included the time we were there, the penthouse rents for about $540USD a night. We stayed there for 9 nights during their busy Easter week at a rate of $250 a night! We had our two teenage children with us, so many hotels would have required us to get two rooms to accommodate us. Here we stayed in a huge penthouse in a prime location for less than the small hotel rooms would have cost.

The Nox Rental Company, (www.noxrentals.co.za), which rents this property plus many others in the area, was also top-notch. The Nox owners actually live in the home below the penthouse and are very friendly and helpful. Gila stopped by a few times to see if we needed anything and to make recommendations for tourist sights. Their son, Richard, now runs the business and he checked on us periodically also to make sure everything with our stay was perfect.

If any of you are looking for accommodations or sight-seeing activities in the Cape Town area, I highly recommend that you contact Selwyn to help you with your arrangements. Not only is he extremely knowledgeable about the area, he can also acquire better rates for you than handling them yourselves, just as he did for us. He actually has two different websites where you can gain information on his services. His first one was www.ILoveCapeTown.com; and he recently started a new one at www.CapeTownTour.com.

We did the normal sight-seeing activities while in Cape Town: Robben Island, V&A Waterfront, Table Mountain, penguins at Boulder Beach, Cape Peninsula drive over Chapman's Peak, etc. But probably the highlight of our time in Cape Town was going on a Baboon Walk with Jenni Trethowan through Baboon Matters. Tours can be arranged by emailing her at [email protected]. We went on about a two hour walk with Jenni and two others to where two different troops of Chacma Baboons are residing. The animals have no fear of humans and allowed us to get extremely close, with some of the little ones actually climbing into our laps. The baboons were fascinating and comical to watch and it was an experience that will stay with all of us for a long time.

If any of you have any questions regarding our stay, I'd be happy to answer them. Thanks again to Selwyn and all the other Fodorites who helped make our first journey to Africa so memorable. I'm sure it won't be our last.
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Old Jun 15th, 2006, 04:26 AM
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I've been reading this thread with interest as I'll be spending a week in Cape Town with my fiance at the end of September. We already have accommodation booked (staying at Davids B&B - thanks to Selwyn's recommendation on a previous thread), but I would appreciate some advice on part of the itinerary. Can anybody suggest a two day itinerary (returning back to Cape Town each night as Davids is booked for the full week) which would allow us to visit the key attractions/view points along the Cape Point coastline, to go kayaking with the penguins (sorry but I can't help picturing a double kayak with me at the back and a penguin sat in the front!!!) around Simonstown, to take the boat out to Seal Island and do to the baboon matters walk (which I believe is only available as an early morning or early evening tour without double backing on ourselves too much? We're trying to cram as much as we can into our week as we don't know when we would be able to return. Erin44 - did you rent a car whilst you were out there? If so, which company did you use and would you recommend them? Thank You in advance for your replies.
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Old Jun 15th, 2006, 05:20 AM
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You might also want to check www.wheretostay.co.za for accommodation. There of lots of self-catering places listed.
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Old Jun 15th, 2006, 09:32 AM
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dmjapril,

Yes, we did rent a car and are so glad we did. Due to there being 4 - 5 of us traveling at a time, it was much more cost effective for us to drive ourselves. Plus we enjoyed the convenience of going wherever we wanted, when we wanted. Our daughter was doing a med school rotation at Tygerburg Hospital, so it was nice to be able to visit her there, or have her join us for dinner, etc. when she was not working.

We arranged our rental car by comparing rates first online and then called Auto Europe to book it. They offered the best rate for the class of car we needed. Since we were not accustomed to driving on the left and were unfamiliar with the area, we decided that we wanted an automatic to make driving less stressful. We ended up getting a 4 door, 5 passenger, automatic with air for around $575 for 8 days. I was unfamiliar with them prior to our trip, but they are essentially a car rental broker which handles the rental agreements for other rental companies. They arranged our rental with National Rental Car and we picked up the car and returned it to their airport location. We had absolutely no problems with the entire transaction.

Just to give you a heads up - if you should decide that you want to book with Auto Europe, when you call them they may offer you a discount if you are willing to reserve it right then and prepay for the rental. The reservation can be cancelled later and the prepayment is fully refundable. So we ended up saving a lot as compared to renting the exact same car thru National.

I'm so glad to hear you're going on the baboon walk. When we were there in April, they were offered at 8:30am and I believe again at 3pm, depending on interest, sunlight, and the present location of the baboons.

I'm afraid I'm not familiar enough with the area to offer much advice on your travel times and daily itinerary. Hopefully someone else can help you out there. Enjoy your trip!
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