Fodor's Expert Review Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! by Marriott Cape Town

New Church and Victoria Sts., Cape Town, Western Cape, 8002, South Africa See on Map

With a fantastically silly name, and initially built as a highly themed hotel—interior elements like ice on the bar and carpets decorated like fire still exist (although some of the more nuts elements, like the climbing wall, are are no longer present)—this place will appeal to those who value a vibey social atmosphere and proximity to Cape Town's nightlife. Rooms are small, but this hotel isn't really about spending much time in them anyway—even if you stick to the hotel, you're much more likely to spend time by the small pool or in its popular, sceney lounge bar, complete with DJs as day turns to evening.

Thoughtful extras like free local newspapers in the public areas and free popcorn at the bar continue to please guests.


Rooms are modern, some with balconies and mountain views. The style is reasonably plain, with a red accent wall, and humorous cushions on the bed--gems include 'Don't go bacon my heart'. We'll let you decide if that sounds fun or fills you with horror...

YOU SHOULD KNOW The WiFi is a bit dodgy, continually logging us (and others) out, which is annoying.


The powerful, circular howers in many of the rooms are divided from the rest of the space only by curtains, rather than a wall--not great if you're looking for privacy.


The hotel lobby is busy, large and contemporary, with many brilliant staff behind reception coping admirably with the stream of guests who file past the quiet backstreet and uninspiring exterior to reach the hotel. The color scheme is a mixture of greys and bright notes, like the lime green cushions.


The small outdoor pool and lounge area is open 24-hours a day for a sneaky midnight dip.


For a hotel at this price point to boast a spa--and a pleasant one at that--is a boon. Relax Spa offers treatments, massages, and facials, all of which need to be pre-booked.


The hotel has a reasonably well-appointed gym.


The chilled modern restaurant specializes in burgers, and is famous among Capetonians for its milkshakes. The solid buffet breakfast has hot and cold options as well as an egg station.


The bar is popular, seemingly with guests and locals alike, with a small outside area and 90s-style draped white curtains.


Getting Around

The downside of this city center location is the lack of sea views (although you can see the mountains), but the massive upside is your proximity to Kloof Street's nightlife and the CBD.


The hotel recommends GOLD (5-minute drive) for a unique African experience. Or try laidback but brilliant Black Sheep (12-minute walk, 3-minute drive) on cool Kloof Street. Or treat yourself at the fairy-lit Kloof Street House (7-minute walk), an elegant Victorian dining space with a bar and gardens.


Stop for a drink at popular Kloof Nek hangout, The Power & the Glory (6-minute walk). Or very close to the hotel check out the Orphanage Cocktail Emporium (3-minute walk), a cool speakeasy-style joint.


If you can get past its silly brand name and some minor glitches, the reasonable prices and an unexpected array of good facilities, from the pleasant spa to the buzzing bar, mean that you feel you're getting more for your money at this centrally-located hotel.



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