The Bay Hotel....anyone stayed there?

May 29th, 2003, 05:00 PM
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The Bay Hotel....anyone stayed there?

I am thinking about staying at the Bay Hotel in July. Has anyone stayed there before? Any information would be appreciated.

ttpizza is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 06:01 PM
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While flying back from Singita last year on a charter, our plane picked up a couple in their early 30's from Londolozi that had stayed at The Bay Hotel and really enjoyed it. However, their stay was in early March when the weather in Cape Town was most likely perfect. July may find Cape Town at its worst.

I will be right next door at The Twelve Apostles Hotel in just a couple weeks. I bought a four night package on for a mere $555 USD and that includes four nights in a king-bedded luxury seafacing room, champagne and flowers in room upon arrival, afternoon tea for two on one day of your choice, breakfast daily, dinner for two on one night of your choice.

The room alone goes for about $400 USD per night so to get this package at the price I did (and that it often goes for on Luxury Link) was a real bargain.

The Twelve Apostles was just named one of the "80 Hot New Hotels" in this months Conde Nast Traveler magazine.

So, besides The Bay Hotel, you may want to consider The Twelve Apostles. It seems to come up for bid at least once a week on Luxury Link.

Whereever you end up staying best of luck with your upcoming trip to Cape Town.
Roccco is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 09:31 PM
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Oops! What Roccco is saying is far from correct. The 12 Apostles is miles away from the Bay (To be exact 7 miles) and as a matter of fact is miles away from anything. It is a hotel that stands ON IT OWN 7 miles away from anything on a mountainside overseeing the sea. It is FAR from Cape Town central, that is by Capetonian standards. Ask yourself why the 12 Apostles offer all these specials at ALL times of the year??? The hotel is now in its third ownership over a period of 6 years. What I have to mention is that having had first hand experience with the establishment if your are not using car hire and have no formal self transport then there is not even a question in my mind that the 12 Apostles is NOT a place to stay. I will say no more other than I do not recommend the venue as a place to stay. Sorry Roccco but as I have told you in the past with this deal you ran after the money and not necessarily the best place to stay and imho if this is what suits your pocket then it is a winner for you but definitely not for all. Just another quick comment ? imho he who follows a site like Conde Naste as the be all an end all of ideas and advice is in my opinion ?I rather wont say it! )

Back to the Bay Hotel which must start off by telling you is exceptionally well positioned. It is directly over the road from the beach and is slap bang in the middle of where it all happens in Camps Bay. I have seen the rooms which are very spacious and also very well appointed. Personally I think it is a hotel with a very cold and stark atmosphere and visitors whom I have had travel with me in the past who have stayed there have told me similarly as well as that the service was lacking. I once had a group of 6 Scandanavian travel agents tour with me who came to Cape Town with the expressed purpose of finding new accommodation for their clients. Amongst others they stayed at the Bay and all they said relative to the other places that they stayed at was ?never again? Would I recommend the Bay Hotel? If you definitely want to stay at a hotel and not a guesthouse and you also want to be near the sea I suppose I would sya stay at The Bay however there is no question in my mind that one of at least 3 Camps Bay guesthouses would be a better bet. Imho places to look at would be

Bay Reflections

Atlantic View Guesthouse

Bayview Penthouses

Lions View Guesthouse ,

Bali Bay

May I add that even though the taxi system in Cape Town is an efficient and cheap resource to use at most of the above venues you also would need transport if you intend ?doing things? in Cape Town

In terms of good deals please bear in mind that in the Winter months of July through to early September you can name your price in Cape Town and you will find that good deals are available everywhere.

OK Ttpizza I hope that this helps you make your stay in our city a great one because even in Winter Cape Town is a still a wonderful city to want be visiting.

Selwyn Davidowitz
[email protected]
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
May 30th, 2003, 05:52 AM
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I figured that since both places advertise themselves as being in Camps Bay that they were close together.

A similar type ocean view room at The Bay Hotel runs about $220 USD per night. With all the other amenities that the Twelve Apostles is offering (including free shuttles to The Waterfront and Camps Bay) it is probably worth closer to $250 per night.

So, the question is whether of not the Bay Hotel is worth an extra $110+ per night??? And if willing to pay $110 per night extra per night between The Bay Hotel over The Twelve Apostles Hotel, is it also worth it to pay another $110 extra and instead stay at the Cape Grace Hotel???

Perhaps I put too much stock in Conde Nast Traveler, but it has never let me down before. Without it, I likely wouldn't have stayed at Singita, The Table Bay Hotel or The Mount Nelson Hotel last year, all excellent establishments in my opinion.

I just stayed at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco because it was rated the best hotel in SF by Conde Nast Traveler.

For those who are unfamiliar with a city, I think a source like CNT is priceless. There must be a reason beyond advertising that The Twelve Apostles was just named one of the 80 hottest new hotels in the world by CNT.

Lastly, remember that although it may not seem like it to a casual observer that this holiday of mine was put together on a budget. None of the hotels that I am staying at were more than $200 USD per night for me (thanks to Luxury Link that allowed me to buy the Michelangelo and Twelve Apostles at deeply discounted prices) and none of my safari lodges were more than about $265 per person per night.

For someone on a budget that wants to make their dollar or euro stretch, I think if it is possible to find a place that is endorsed by CNT for $150 USD per night, then it would be a mistake not to give it a shot.
Roccco is offline  
May 30th, 2003, 06:58 AM
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Roccco made a comment some time in the last few weeks about only feeling unsafe in Cape Town when he visited at Century City because of the large number of Devout Muslims within the shopping mall.This was of course immediately after 9/11. But it is a comment that I have chewed over in my my mind over the past few weeks, as I have always felt very safe there. But...

Did you know that the Twelve Apostles or De Oudekraal as it use to be known, is built close to the site of a Holy Muslim Burial Site, and its presence has caused much unhappiness in the Muslim Communities ? Use it .. don't use.. but I thought it was an interesting aside !

Enjoy your holiday in South Africa. This forum has been fascinating and I have learned so much.
katycee is offline  
May 30th, 2003, 09:48 AM
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I don't know if you are an American as I am, but as an American, all my life I have been inundated with information that Muslims are bad. While I usually try to think for myself and form my own opinions, given the politcal climate, I don't think it is completely unnatural for an American to feel uncomfortable when seeing a Muslim man walking around a shopping mall with his wife in a full burka (covered head to toe). It is just so odd to an American to see this.

Also, any Capetonian must surely remember the terrorist bombing campaigns staged by the People Against Gangsters and Drugs (PAGD)(a misnomer if I've ever seen one). I cut and paste the following from an article from a website that detailed these terrorist acts:

Chronology of Recent Cape Town Bombings

25 August, 1998 Planet Hollywood restaurant blast kills two and injures 26
18 December, 1998 Synagogue bombed in Wynberg suburb
2 January, 1999 Car bomb injures two in Waterfront parking lot
28 January, 1999 Explosion outside police station injures 11
9 May, 1999 Car bomb explodes outside police station
6 November, 1999 Pipe bomb explodes in gay bar, injuring six

While this may only be a relative few committing the bombings, it is enough to make me feel uncomfortable.

From talking to Capetonians, the general attitude that I interpreted was that there were not nearly as many problems between whites and blacks/coloreds as there were between Muslims and everybody else.

I will do my best to stay off the Muslim burial ground and hopefully the PAGD will do their best not to put a pipe bomb in my room at The Twelve Apostles.
Roccco is offline  
May 30th, 2003, 09:55 AM
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People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (PAGAD)
From: Patterns of Global Terrorism, 2000. United States Department of State, April 2001.

Comments on the content of the material should be sent to the U.S. Department of State


PAGAD was formed in 1996 as a community anticrime group fighting drugs and violence in the Cape Flats section of Cape Town but by early 1998 had also become antigovernment and anti-Western. PAGAD and its Islamic ally Qibla view the South African Government as a threat to Islamic values and consequently promote greater political voice for South African Muslims. The group is led by Abdus Salaam Ebrahim. PAGAD's G-Force (Gun Force) operates in small cells and is believed responsible for carrying out acts of terrorism. PAGAD uses several front names, including Muslims Against Global Oppression (MAGO) and Muslims Against Illegitimate Leaders (MAIL), when launching anti-Western protests and campaigns.

PAGAD is suspected of conducting recurring bouts of urban terrorism--particularly bomb sprees--in Cape Town since 1998, including nine bombings in 2000. Bombing targets have included South African authorities, moderate Muslims, synagogues, gay nightclubs, tourist attractions, and Western-associated restaurants. PAGAD is believed to have masterminded the bombing on 25 August 1998 of the Cape Town Planet Hollywood.

Estimated at several hundred members. PAGAD's G-Force probably contains fewer than 50 members.

Location/Area of Operation
Operates mainly in the Cape Town area, South Africa's foremost tourist venue.

External Aid
Probably have ties to Islamic extremists in the Middle East.
Roccco is offline  
May 30th, 2003, 01:44 PM
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I just have to comment on all of the above.

Katycee is 100% correct in that one of the five shrines of the "Holy Circle of shrines" is situated right next door to the 12 Apostles Hotel. What I think she is trying to say has nothing to do with whether you should visit the shrine or not; (FYI You would be welcomed with open arms by the lcoal Muslim community to visit ANY Muslim shrine in Cape Town) it has everything to do with the fact that the 12 Apostles Hotel should never ever have been built in the area that it is not only because of the shrine but also because it destroys the whole eco environment of the area. The result has been simple; Capetonians DONT support the hotel in the droves that management thought they would in their initial planning. Thus we have had 2 sellouts of this hotel already at what was known to be a bargain basement price.

Conde Naste statement of one the 80 hottest new hotels of the world.-There is only one way to describe this and that is absolute hogwash. This venue is so far from this description that it is unbelievable that CN make it.

Roccco please note I am not trying to put you off the 12 Apostles as it suits your pocket and thats what counts when it comes to your travelling. I am sure that you will probably enjoy the premises and I certainly would not try and do comparisons between this hotel and The Bay pricewise when the list of guesthouses that I passed on in this thread outstrip the hotels by far in price, offer much better personalised service and are wonderful places to stay at as a matter of fact imho they are much better than the hotels in question but then may I also add that this is my opinion and I could be just as wrong as Conde Naste. (-;

Oh my oh my Roccco your letters are so out of date that you disappoint me. As
a matter of fact when I see people throwing out this type of information it actually angers me purely because of the ignorance of the content

For your UP TO DATE information:

The G-Force has been out of existence for the past 3 years when our local police crack unit, the Scorpions, took the whole ring apart.

The leaders of the G-Force, inclusive of what was the main leaders of PAGAD, are all behind bars and we have not heard of a PAGAD activity in Cape Town for the past 3 years. As a matter of fact there are people in Cape Town who would not even know what you were talking about if you spoke about PAGAD these days. Furthermore the whole Muslim scare story in Cape Town is actually a disgrace to speak of in this thread because there have been ABSOLUTELY NO INCIDENTS WHATSOVER in Cape Town for the past 3 years worth mentioning about that should scare anyone from enjoying Cape Town without having to worry about this imaginary menace. All I can say is that whatever has been said about this subject in this thread reeks of incredible ignorance. Sorry to be so harsh about this but there is no question in my mind that the local Cape Muslim community are being held up as being a militant force which they certainly are not and all that is coming out of this thread are unsupported facts that lead to totally unjustified paranoia.

Btw I think I should know about all of this as I am amongst the Muslim community on a daily basis, have many friends in the community and have a damn good idea as to what they are about.

Where all of the above comes from in terms of being relative to the 12 Apostles knocks me over and I hate deviating within a thread on Fodors so with the above said can we please forget about this and keep up the accommodation talk. Roccco all I can say is now we HAVE TO enjoy that cup of coffee together in Cpe Town so that we can sort this all out.

Just my twopence worth.

Selwyn Davidowitz
[email protected]

Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
May 30th, 2003, 01:47 PM
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Message: Roccco

Your comments remind me of White women who would grab their handbag if a Black man entered the same elevator with them.

A muslim man with his wife in a full Burka walking thru a mall is no more strange than teen and young adults with full body tatoos and piercings in the same mall in America.

There are and always will be people/groups out there with no other desire than to distrupt the lives of the society they inhabit - regardless the country.
May 30th, 2003, 02:45 PM
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You speak as if three years ago is actually three centuries ago! I suppose that these terrorists will be getting out of jail someday and will resort to their former activities.

I am sad to see that I am not as tolerant as many Capetonians here seem to be but I just cannot turn the switch on and off as easily as Capetonians have been able to do. Three years just would not be enough time for me to feel completely comfortable from the bombings that terrorized my city.

It seems to me that Capetonians are just a little too politically correct, but this will fade.

Anyway, after my trip to Chile last December, during which I stayed at a self labeled 4* hotel that was more of a 2* hotel, I am sure that the Twelve Apostles will be a wonderful experience.
I will be staying right after spending 5 nights in South Luangwa and we will welcome any nice hotel after 5 nights on safari.

I do think that The Twelve Apostles is overpriced for a hotel that is struggling to attract guests. Of course it is going to struggle attracting guests when it is priced in the same range as the Table Bay Hotel, the Mount Nelson and the Cape Grace, yet is not in as convenient a location as these hotels.

I suppose some of the controversy may also be because it is so close to Llandudno, a wealthy beachfront enclave that I was told is completely against any further development of the area (beyond what these people have already done, of course).

In closing, nobody here should consider me as some sort of authority on Cape Town or South Africa. Admittedly, I am just an ignorant American making observations from 10,000 miles away.
Roccco is offline  
May 30th, 2003, 04:03 PM
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Interesting article...

New identity for controversial Oudekraal hotel

The controversial hotel nestled on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean between Camps Bay and Llandudno in the Cape, has re-invented itself. After years of dodging contentious development restrictions, opposition from environmentalists and Muslim groups and putting up with a variety of different owners, this poor orphan has finally been adopted by affluent parents.

The Red Carnation Hotel Group, known as having one of the world?s finest boutique hotel collections, have obtained a long-term management contract of the property previously known as De Oudekraal Hotel. They have renamed the establishment: The 12 Apostles Hotel, after the breathtaking Twelve Apostles mountain range which forms a stunning backdrop to the hotel and gives it one of the finest settings in the world.

Presently undergoing a R20 million interior refurbishment (which will be completed this October), this 70 room property promises to be one of the world's finest boutique hotels. Rooms and suites will be decorated individually and will include state-of-the-art guest and business facilities. As with all the properties in the exclusive Red Carnation Hotels Collection, discretion, luxury, strict privacy, traditional hospitality and impeccable service awaits the world's most discerning traveler.

Red Carnation Hotels is also proud to announce that at the recent Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors for The Leading Small Hotels of the World, held in Los Angeles last month, The 12 Apostles Hotel was awarded acceptance into this exclusive organisation.

The Company believes that this superb affiliation is consistent with its current and future plans for the hotel. Other current Leading hotels in Cape Town include the Cape Grace, Table Bay Hotel and Mount Nelson Hotel.

With extensive experience and a superlative reputation in the hotel industry, Charles Lotter now heads the wonderfully talented and charismatic team at The 12 Apostles Hotel. Mr Lotter will be facilitating extensive staff training programmes and will be increasing the staff compliment to make The 12 Apostles Hotel one of the finest international destinations.

The 12 Apostles Hotel is the first South African property to join the exclusive Red Carnation Hotel Collection of luxury boutique properties in London, Geneva and Palm Beach, Florida.

The Four and Five Star properties in London include; the Five-Star ?41?, located across from the Royal Mews, the Five-Star Milestone Hotel & Apartments in Kensington, The Rubens at the Palace across from Buckingham Palace, The Montague on the Gardens in Bloomsbury and The Chesterfield in the heart of Mayfair.

The USA Chesterfield is on the elite island of Palm Beach in Florida and in Switzerland, Hotel d'Angleterre overlooks Lake Geneva and the Swiss Alps. Each of the properties is ideally positioned, characterised by outstanding personal service, exquisite elegance and luxury.

For reservations and information:
Phone: 27 21 437 9000 or 0800 997 012


Given that the Red Carnation Hotel group has poured 20 million Rand into their 70 room hotel (about 300,000 Rand per room!), I would think that it would be safe to say that this hotel has undergone a major facelift and upgrade. This is probably why it qualified as one of the 80 New Hotels Of The World in Conde Nast Traveler.

I am excited about having the opportunity to stay at The Twelve Apostles. For the first time, I no longer see the Twelve Apostles up for bidding on Luxury Link and that may be a sign that they no longer need to discount their rooms.

-Rocco (Twelve Apostles Apologist)

Roccco is offline  
May 30th, 2003, 09:41 PM
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In response to the above mail I am going to ask one question:

What is the Red Carnation Group going to do with the highway that runs directly outside the hotel that CANNOT be moved and is one of the 5 busiest highways leading into Cape Town which generates so much car noise that the minute you open your hotel room front door or sit on so called "wonderful" <sic> Trinidads open patio area blasts you away with the horrific sound of high speed cars passing 24 hours a day???

You can publish whatever letters you want to however at the end of the day in my book PRACTICALITY should rule. Part of this practicality would be that if I am staying at a seafront hotel the least I want to do is have a view of the sea from my room balcony and also want to hear the sea and not 10 cars a minute passing by.

Discounts, articles, great promotions can all get lost imho when a HUGE facility such as the above or even other TRUE factors such as the distance from anything else are not promoted to the aspirant visitor.

Anyway I look forward to your first hand report after returning from Cape Town and I am sure that it will be as candid and honest as your wonderful writings have always been.

The proof of the pudding shall definitely be in the eating or should I say staying.

Selwyn Davidowitz
[email protected]
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
May 31st, 2003, 08:55 AM
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I feel like I am in a never-ending tug of war here!

I will know first hand soon enough about the Twelve Apostles, and then I will either eat crow or come back and sing its praises.

I don't really mind being out of the way at the Twelve Apostles even though it will not allow me to look outside my window and see those Cape Sharks circling the Table Bay!

While I have your attention, do you know of any tour operators that will put a fat American with no scuba experience in a cage for a Great White Shark encounter? This would just round out a fantastic trip but the tour operators I have seen so far require a scuba certification.

Also, how far a drive is it to the popular cage diving locations from the Twelve Apostles? And do you agree that there is a 90% chance of seeing Great White Sharks as some tour operators claim???

Roccco is offline  
May 31st, 2003, 11:30 AM
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Hi Roccco,

Firstly there are NO GREAT WHITES in Table Bay. Thats one of the biggest myths in Cape Town and believe me I should know about this as I have swum across the Bay from Cape Town to Robben Island twice and have ferried many other swimmers across Table Bay when they did their Robben Island swim.

When it comes to False Bay we are talking about a totally different story as the bay is teeming with great whites.

Unfortunately I know of no operator who will let you dive without a scuba license. I always find it amazing that everybody runs off to Gansbaai to see great whites when what is probably the most professional operator in Cape Town does cage diving in False Bay itself.

Go to

Chris Fallows and Rob Lawrence are amongst the very best in their field. They are the ultimate professionals. My suggestion to you Roccco is to write to them and ask them for advice re diving without a scuba license.

Hope this all helps.

Selwyn Davidowitz
[email protected]

Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
May 31st, 2003, 12:59 PM
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Roccco: - I wouldn't worry about the Certification, if as you say, you're a "fat American". While I didn't dive, my partner did and I assisted getting people into their dive suits. Not a "large" suit to be found. Maybe large enough for a "little belly" but fat, no suit.
Besides, if you're fat, you might not fit into the cage.
May 31st, 2003, 01:07 PM
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I'm a purist, so I must be obnoxious and mention that there's no such thing as a scuba "license." People only receive "certification" that they have been duly trained and have demonstrated a certain level of competency.

License implies governmental intervention and no government gets involved in this aspect of scuba.

<Soapbox: Off>
NoFlyZone is offline  
May 31st, 2003, 01:40 PM
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I am not morbidly obese (I did run three marathons last year), but I definitely am not going to be confused as a Baywatch actor.

I just think most Americans are fatter than other people for the most part. I believe I just read that 2/3 of Americans are considered obese.

For the opportunity to cage dive I would consider dropping the money to buy my own dive suit and bring it with me. I do think, however, that mid-June will likely be too early to guarantee a good outing and I don't have more than one free day to devote to this activity on this trip.

If I don't do it this time around, I will likely wait until my next trip, likely in 2005. Maybe by then I will be confused for a Baywatch star and if so then the Comrades Marathon (88 Kilometers instead of 42K's) will be a cinch and that will put in late June. Comrades, although 30K longer than Two Oceans in Cape Town, cannot be THAT much more difficult considering the nasty elevation changes incurred at the Two Oceans Marathon.

What a nice future South Africa and I have in store for each other!
Roccco is offline  
May 31st, 2003, 02:07 PM
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Whether you bring your own or use one from the Dive company - these are not light weight suits as one finds in the Caribe or Hawaii. They are very heavy for the very cold water.

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