Taj Cape Town

I recently stayed at the new Taj Cape Town hotel in downtown Cape Town. This looks to be a very impressive addition to Cape Town’s array of five star hotels.  Its location, in the heart of the old part of the city, is really one of its unique features. I have never been a great fan of the V&A Waterfront which, though very convenient with its array of shops and restaurants, is a rather glitzy, commercialised experience which could be in one of many waterside cities around the world. In contrast the Taj is in the heart of Cape Town with the Anglican cathedral opposite, the historic Company gardens, where the new settlers grew vegetables for the passing ships and the vibey pedestrianized St Georges Mall on your door step, with art galleries, museums, restaurants, street cafes and street markets all within a couple of minutes walk.

The other big plus is the impressive interior of this 110 year old building with its high vaulted ceiling. It offers a winning combination of rich history and elegant contemporary architecture and really does feel like one of the grand old city hotels of Europe.

I had breakfast at one restaurant and dinner at the Bombay Brasserie. I loved the eclectic mix of this exquisitely furnished Indian restaurant, with its ornate chandeliers and table settings, and the more casual and modern Mint restaurant, where I had breakfast. This has tables flowing out onto the streets enclosed by partitions of greenery a la Paris.

My bedroom, a Heritage room, was very spacious with understated elegance and soft colours in the bedroom area and a sleek modern bathroom.  The bathroom has a glass wall onto the bedroom which can be closed off behind a blind for additional privacy – a feature which I really liked as I think it’s really important that people who want privacy in their bathrooms are able to get it – a fact that many modern hotel architects seem to ignore! Check it out when you are next in Cape Town.

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Kate Bergh is co-founder of Cedarberg African Travel, a specialist tour operator for Southern and East Africa.

She heads up the South African office, having lived in South Africa since 1993. Her home looks up to the Cedarberg Mountains, where she enjoys hiking and cycling, when she’s not out discovering new places to visit, with her three children in tow. Kate has travelled extensively throughout the region to Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe as well as most areas of South Africa. She also loves history, meeting people and a good thriller...

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