ALTHOUGH the Table Bay hotel officially opened its doors to guests on October 30, 2020 I had the unique pleasure of being the first post-lockdown guest earlier in the month. For a few glorious hours I was also the only guest, before the Miss South Africa finalists, various VIPS, and their entourages arrived.
The hotel hosted the 2020 pageant finale on October 24.
It was a lengthy stay which brings with it many differences compared with short overnights. The level of comfort and ease gives new meaning to the phrase “a home from home” as the surroundings grow more familiar as time passes. It’s an opportunity to get to know the staff properly – friendly chats in the lobby, knowing who’s on the other end of the line when you call in-room dining, even developing “inside” jokes are all part of it. Housekeeping quickly catches on that you like that specific glass next to the bed for your water better than any other glass, and understands you drink about six cups of the vanilla bourbon tea a day so they make sure you’re well stocked.
One might argue that this kind of service is to be expected at a five-star establishment and one wouldn’t be wrong. However, every interaction brought with it a sincerity and genuine desire to be friendly and accommodating. Table Bay’s staff are an enormous asset.
There are two sides to the hotel – mountain facing and sea facing. My room was on the latter, spacious and comfortable, and I was ridiculously pleased with the large closet. Perhaps because for once I was unpacking a lot of clothes. On the TV screen was a QR code to download an app which replaces the handheld remote control (the instrument is available if you prefer). Through this, you can navigate through the TV channels as well as things like in-room dining.
I made great use of that, which beats having to get dressed and go downstairs for breakfast, hands down, and ordered something different every day. When butler Badin Johnson brought it, I knew he’d be a few minutes early, which then totally ruined me for the other days when I was pacing up and down the corridor at two minutes past the appointed time.
You have the option of the room being serviced daily, and while I’m a fairly tidy person, I can’t be bothered to make a perfect bed and somehow in a hotel it feels a bit tacky. After a couple of days, I let them have at it. I learned a lot about the hotels practices when I wrote a previous story, so I felt quite comfortable.
The Table Bay has escalators linking it directly to the Victoria Wharf shopping mall which is extremely convenient, as I soon found out, to the detriment of the credit card. A security guard is posted to check your temperature every time you re-enter the hotel, and wall-mounted hand sanitiser dispensers are located at various points along your journey to lobby to lifts to The Atlantic restaurant.
Besides shopping, there are many attractions on the doorstep – the Cape Wheel, Zeitz MOCAA, Lindt Chocolate Studio where I cannot be left unsupervised (but I was and that is why I have a ridiculous number of Lindor balls now in all the new flavours even though, truth be told, I don’t eat that much chocolate), Two Oceans Aquarium, and Oranjezicht City Farm Market on Saturdays and Sundays. Or just go for a walk. To counteract the chocolate, you understand.
Back at the hotel, you can lounge by the pool and perhaps you’ll find Oscar there. He’s the Table Bay’s mascot, a real seal now immortalised in bronze at the Waterfront entrance. Around the interior you’ll find cute blow-up blue versions and the intention is to encourage safe social distancing. It works like a charm and I can tell you, having been given one as a parting gift, he’s a LOT bigger when you’re trying to wrestle him into your car, and in your house which is a great deal smaller than the spacious lounge from whence he came. You can be pretty sure if you carry him around with you, no one is going to get close.
All Sun International properties, which includes The Table Bay, have been certified by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) with the international ‘Safe Travels’ destination stamp. The stamp gives guests the reassurance that the WTTC has examined and approved the health and hygiene protocols in place, and has found that they match or exceed internationally benchmarked protocols.
Sun International’s health and safety protocols can be accessed from the website www.suninternational.com
PHOTO CREDIT: BIANCA COLEMAN ©