Taj Cape Town honours heritage, with a touch of contemporary luxe

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THE Taj Cape Town has always presented the perfect meeting place between the past and present: a magnificent heritage building with a proud history in the epicentre of an equally historic city, where the movers and shakers of the day meet. Now, the hotel is readying for an exciting future, thanks to a reveal of its beautifully refreshed ground floor.

Mark Wernich, General Cluster Manager Africa for Taj Hotels, notes there are many reasons to be proud of Taj Cape Town; not least the way it graciously thrived through a tumultuous time for the entire hospitality industry. With local and international arrivals on the up, the refurbishment of the hotel comes at the perfect time for Taj Cape Town to welcome a new breed of international tourists, business and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) travellers and local guests on the lookout for exceptional experiences.

“The beauty of our spaces have always attracted people eager to indulge in a little opulent luxury – from barristers to members of parliament, from international guests who are already familiar with Taj Hotels’ exacting standards and commitment to Tajness to locals who want an inner city experience with a difference,” said Wernich. “The elements which created this appeal remained unchanged – our warm hospitality and emphasis on helping guests create lasting memories of this beautiful city will always be a given. But we’ve upped the ante by modernising and refreshing the space, while also adding some fantastic new offerings.”

The Lobby Lounge is a case in point: the grand architecture of the old South African Reserve Bank, where Taj Cape Town made its home, is still intact (including the iconic fluted marble columns), but key touch points have been updated to create a fresher appearance to appeal to the modern traveller. 

There is a range of new experiences for the Taj guest to indulge in. The Lobby Bar, for instance, now features an even more spectacular view of St George’s Cathedral, thanks to the installation of a large, customised bar positioned so it is framed between the gorgeous sash windows that are one of the most noteworthy features in this space. Guests are certain to appreciate the antique mirrors positioned at the back of the bar between the sash windows, made all the more remarkable by up lights that place the bar firmly in the spotlight.

Taj Cape Town has introduced a Whiskey Bar, offering a wide range of fine whiskeys, where whiskey connoisseurs can relax and indulge in the nostalgic atmosphere created by elements such as framed heritage photographs, which recall the elegance of the past.

The furnishings at Mint Restaurant, above, have received a bold, dramatic update. The introduction of wood-fired grills add a new dimension to the space, introducing an element of theatricality, while a new small plates menu, which includes a variety of delicious wood-fired grills, means guests  can be in and out in an hour during lunchtime. It’s full of great options to be enjoyed with after-work drinks.

Those with a sweet tooth will delight in the addition of the Pantry, where visitors are able to feast with their eyes and choose a delectable treat from a selection of golden baked goods, and enjoy it with a creamy cappuccino or fine Ceylon blend while relaxing in the newly furnished Lobby Lounge – the perfect venue for special occasions like baby showers, birthdays or reunions with friends.

“With the tourism industry in Cape Town swiftly gaining momentum once more, we are thrilled to be able to offer a range of experiences to suit everyone,” Wernich said, adding that this move is part of an overall repositioning of Taj Hotels in Africa which has included a similar exercise for Taj Lusaka. “This places us firmly on the trajectory for growth; we wouldn’t be surprised to see performance in early 2023 outpace 2019,” he concluded. 

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