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DE Feb 22nd, 2003 03:17 PM

Table Bay Hotel - Any Recent Stays?
Has anyone stayed at this Cape Town hotel within the last year that give info on the hotel in terms of service, rooms, cuisine, etc. Would appreciate any comments.

Roccco Feb 22nd, 2003 05:11 PM

DE,<BR><BR>The Table Bay Hotel was one of my hotels in Cape Town during my stay last March. <BR><BR>I only had a standard room at the Table Bay but it was more than sufficient. It overlooked the ocean and had a small balcony. My wife and I would drink our morning coffee out there and we actually saw a shark circling around on a couple mornings!<BR><BR>The Table Bay is in the trendy Waterfront area and right in the middle of all the action. It is literally connected (in the same way that many Las Vegas hotels are connected to each other) to the Waterfront Mall.<BR><BR>The service at the Table Bay is excellent and food is very good. We had breakfast every morning at the Table Bay (it was included in our package) and we ate every morning al fresco, right on the boardwalk.<BR><BR>Room service was very good AND very reasonably priced. Plus, there are plenty of other restaurants to choose from right on the Waterfront.<BR><BR>The other hotel I stayed at was the Mount Nelson. They were both great hotels and probably two of the top three in Cape Town (with the Cape Grace being the other). The Mount Nelson is in the City Bowl and is not as modern as the Table Bay, but that is its charm.<BR><BR>Just FYI, I am staying at the Twelve Apostles Hotel, in the upscale Camps Bay part of Cape Town, for four nights and I got an incredible deal. Do yourself a favor and check out I saved $1000 for a four night stay at this hotel, paying only $555 total for a 4 night stay in a room that is sold on travelocity and other websites for nearly $400 per night. <BR><BR>You can also get a great deal on the Michelangelo Hotel in Johannesburg if you want to stay for four nights in Joburg. I am paying $600 for four nights in a junior suite. This would have cost me upwards of $300 per night for a junior suite anywhere else I have found this hotel.<BR><BR>If you happen to be checking out the Cape Winelands area, the Grande Roche is the highest end hotel in the Cape Winelands. I was scheduled to stay there last year but then I got stuck in Zimbabwe an extra night and just decided to add a couple nights at a 50% last second discount to my stay at the Mount Nelson (the effect of the discount was negated by being charged 50% cancellation fee charged by the Grande Roche).<BR><BR>Here are some helpful websites I have come across:<BR><BR><BR> za<BR><BR><BR> (air) <BR><BR>Good luck.

DE Feb 22nd, 2003 08:08 PM

Hi Rocco,<BR>Thanks again for your informative reply. I have looked at luxury link and have found it quite interesting with some good savings. If we do this trip we will stay at the Table Bay Hotel so I will look into recommended sites to see what kind of competitive rates are offered before booking. Do you happen to know anything about the Royal Malewane Lodge near Kruger National Park. It is one of the places that has been suggested by one tour outfit. Thanks again.

Selwyn_Davidowitz Feb 22nd, 2003 09:36 PM

While I agree with what Rocco says about the Table Bay I have to add a couple of pointers.<BR><BR>For starters Rocco you cannot be to good an adviser (-:) (-:) (-:)if you claim to have seen a shark in the harbour or anywhere near to it. It is the biggest fallacy that there are sharks in Table Bay. Trust me on this one as I have swum the Robben Island to Cape Town swim in the bay on two occasions and have monitored over 100 other swims in the bay. There are NO SHARKS in Table Bay. What you probably saw was a seal. (-:) <BR><BR>OK now onto the more serious side. I agree with all that Roccos says about the Table Bay. As far as the Mount Nelson is concerned it might have the charm but boy does it lack in service. As a matter of fact I sometimes would go as far as labelling the MN's service as disgraceful and I have reasons that I can quote to prove this via some of the visitors whom I have taken around Cape Town who have told me their experiences. <BR><BR>Unless one wants a hotel experience I simply recommend some of the many great guesthouses in Cape Town and believe me there are many in the city that leave the various hotels in the dust.<BR><BR>Btw Rocco you are correct in labelling the TB as a hotel that has similar linkages to the Waterfront as Las Vegas hotels. Having stayed in many Las Vegas hotels in the past I also have to add that imho the Table Bay is nothing other than a Las Vegas hotel and my feelings are why come to South Africa to enjoy a Vegas hotel when it is on ones doorstep. Is it not the intention to want to arrive in Cape Town and enjoy an African experience??<BR><BR>Just my twopence worth.<BR><BR>Selwyn Davidowitz.<BR>[email protected]

Roccco Feb 22nd, 2003 11:17 PM

Selwyn,<BR><BR>I can see where one could say that the Table Bay has certain similarities to a Las Vegas hotel. In all fairness though, so we do not scare anybody away, it has the feel of more like the very best LV hotels without, of course, any casinos, late night chaos, etc.<BR><BR>I am just wondering which hotels that you feel are very good in Cape Town but that receive very little attention??? <BR><BR>Also, if you can provide me a couple good recommendations in the Cape Winelands region, I would be most appreciative. I am considering a two night stay in the area and I am considering the Ryneveld Country Lodge, Le Quartier Francaise, the Franschhoek Country House, the River Manor and the Grande Roche. <BR><BR>Is the Grande Roche really that far superior to the others in my list or is it just hype???<BR><BR>Also, will I be able to get around the Cape Winelands during the day without a vehicle???<BR><BR>Thanks.

Roccco Feb 23rd, 2003 09:30 AM

DE,<BR><BR>Regarding the Royal Malewane, while I have not been there personally, I met a very nice couple while at Singita that had just been at Royal Malewane prior to Singita.<BR><BR>They enjoyed Singita very much but they actually preferred the Royal Malewane, especially regarding the food. I enjoyed the food at Singita but I just thought that it was very good and not excellent.<BR><BR>They did say that the rooms at the Royal Malewane were not as grand as at Singita but that they were still great rooms. Singita has an incredible room with his and her bathrooms and total privacy for the plunge pool area. <BR><BR>Vuyatela is the upscale new camp of Djuma private game reserve. Djuma has a sizable land holding just as Singita does, so you are guaranteed not to be driving around in circles all day and probably see new areas each day.<BR><BR>I have no idea about the traversing area of the Royal Malewane.<BR><BR>I do know that you can probably get into the Royal Malewane for about $1100 per night low season (May 01st and afterward) while Singita will still likely be $1500. <BR><BR>Check out some of those websites that I gave you and you should find the Royal Malewane on there. I will look for the same.<BR><BR>I am likely going to stay at Vuyatela this year and like Singita and Royal Malewane, it offers a private plunge pool and very nice accomodations. The big difference is that I will stay at Vuyatela for $500 USD per night compared to more than double the price for the Royal Malewane and triple the price for Singita (where I stayed last year).

Roccco Feb 23rd, 2003 10:12 AM

DE,<BR><BR>You can stay at the Royal Malewane for 4,497 ZAR per person per night if you book on With current exchange rates, that works out to about $1,115 USD per night total ($557.50 per person per night).<BR><BR>The direct website for the Royal Malewane is If you book directly with the Royal Malewane and pay rack rates, you may expect to pay 4,950 ZAR per night.<BR><BR>In comparison, I have not seen any advertised discounts for Singita. Rack rates advertised on Singita's website are currently 6,800 ZAR per person per night. Current conversion rate translates into a whopping total of $1,685 USD per night ($843.50 per person per night sharing).<BR><BR>The direct website for Singita is<BR><BR>I stayed at Singita last year and while it was very expensive, it was NOWHERE near this expensive. I paid a maximum of $1100 per night, so even if you take the 45% gain of the ZAR vs. the USD, it still does not cover it. <BR><BR>I suppose Singita just keeps raising prices every time they receive some major award. For the second year in a row Singita was the #1 destination of the world as voted by Conde Nast Traveler readers.<BR><BR>Although I know first hand of the wonders of Singita, I cannot justify paying those prices again. At the end of the day, the highlight of Singita was still the game drives that were probably just as wonderful at the neighboring game reserves in the Sabi Sand Reserve such as Vuyatela, Savanna, Chitwa Chitwa and others that are well under half the price of Singita, and mostly under half the price of even Royal Malewane.<BR><BR>But, if you are insistent on staying at either Royal Malewane or Singita, for the value it looks like the Royal Malwane is the way to go.

DE Feb 23rd, 2003 10:24 AM

For Rocco,<BR>Thanks for your reply on Royal Malewane. I appreciate yours &amp; others comments and opinions. I will also look at your choice of Vuyatela as a possible alternative. My spouse however liked the look of the Royal and it seems to offer good game viewing as well as excellent service, food, ammenities, etc. <BR>Re: Table Bay. Our reason for choosing that hotel was to be in an area with easy access to the city, activities, etc. as well as having good accommodations. Our main African experience will be spent in the wilderness areas. Am also looking at spending a few days in Namibia to experience the real feel of the Desert Area and the large sand dunes. My spouse is also interested in a Hot Air Balloon ride over the desert. Have you heard anything about the Sossusvlei Wilderness Camp? It is in the southern region of Namibia and as we will be in SA and Botswana, it won't be too far to go. Thanks again. DE

DE Feb 23rd, 2003 10:53 AM

For Rocco,<BR><BR>I just looked at some info on your choice of Vuyatela. Looks like a wonderful lodge with great accommodations and game viewing, etc. Is definitely worth considering with the difference in cost from RM. We will definitely be well informed when choosing who to use when finalizing any bookings. With so many different choices of destinations, camps and lodges etc, it can be somewhat confusing when trying to make final decisions. Thanks again for your insights. DE

Roccco Feb 23rd, 2003 11:21 AM

Selwyn,<BR><BR>Regarding the shark spotting in Table Bay, you may be correct about it being a seal. But please tell me who played that dirty trick on the seal by strapping a sharks fin on its back!

Selwyn_Davidowitz Feb 23rd, 2003 01:03 PM

Hi Rocco,<BR><BR>Firstly that sharfin that you speak of was more than likely a seal lying upside down showing its flippers above water. It is a very common error that many make when they identify sharfins as opposed to seal flippers and to top it all the two types of fins dont look anywhere alike. So dont worry as I am sure that you did not see a shark and what you probably misidentified puts you into the &quot;normal&quot; category. (-:)<BR>All I can tell you is that if a shark was in the Table Bay region the local newspapers would have been firing out the story as it would have been a first for Cape Town.<BR><BR>More important is your request to find Winelands accommodation. My suggestion is that you look at Cathbert Country House. The venue is nirvana personified and does not fall into the very high price categories of the other venues you speak of. Go to as well as to see more of this venue. I recommend the establishmenmt highly and thus put my money where my mouth is by using the facilities of this fabulous venue regularly for my visitors with great success.<BR><BR>Grande Roche - Imho highly overated and not worth the high price.<BR><BR>As far as having a car in the winelnds is concerned unfortunately it is a must have setup. For good car hire prices in Cape Town look no further than either or as they rep[resent the best value in Town.<BR><BR>Another question that you pose on the Fodors page is about discounts for the Blue Train or Rovos Rail. If you find out about this please let me know because in my experince both these operations just dont believe in discounts and I have never seen them been offered before. Btw if I had to choose I would definitely do the Blue Train ahead of Rovos. Both are classy rides but the Blue Train just has the edge in my opinion. Both journey are expensive but I do believe worth it.<BR><BR>Hope this helps.<BR><BR>Selwyn Davidowitz.<BR>[email protected]

Roccco Feb 23rd, 2003 07:11 PM

Selwyn,<BR><BR>Regarding the service at the Mount Nelson, maybe I am the exception, but I found the service to be excellent.<BR><BR>I got stuck in Zimbabwe an extra night after Matetsi Lodge failed to reconfirm a flight. I called the Mount Nelson at about 3PM on the day I was scheduled to arrive to let them know that I wouldn't arrive until the next day.<BR><BR>I was fully expecting to either be charged 100% for my first night or at a minimum 50%. The Mount Nelson was gracious enough to waive my entire fee.<BR>The concierge was always very helpful and not at all stuffy. <BR><BR>Also, one night we had one of the drivers drive us out to dinner. We were going to Panama Jack's and ignored the concierges advice for reservations. The restaurant was very busy and it didn't look like we were going to get in until our driver / diplomat interceded and told the restaurant that we were &quot;guests of the Mount Nelson.&quot; <BR><BR>After a two minute wait at the bar, we were in, I believe in front of others that were waiting. Seems a little elitist, but I guess that is why we were paying the big bucks to the Mount Nelson.<BR><BR>I did post a full review of my experience at the Mount Nelson on another website. Here is a link for anybody that may be interested:<BR><BR>

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