The Victoria & Alfred Hotel in Cape Town isn’t so much as close to the action as completely within it.
As you walk around the city’s V&A Waterfront - a mixed shopping, dining and entertainment precinct - you’ll probably stroll past it multiple times, perhaps without even knowing it’s a hotel. That’s because it blends in well too.
Located in a former warehouse built in 1904, the V&A hotel exterior is beautiful. Like a lot of the structures around here. And the beauty continues inside.
In my spacious Piazza Facing Room, classical yet simple furniture combine with a contemporary bathroom to give an aesthetic of new and old, while modern features like free wifi, flat-screen tv and fully stocked minibar ensure form is matched by function.
With its original brick walls - now painted white - and rustic hallways outside, there’s no mistaking that I’m staying in a conversion of something.
As the V&A is a low-rise hotel, I never feel far from the action either. After opening my second storey window, the intoxicating sounds of the dock rush in as I look out over the Cape Town Wheel, Victoria Wharf, shops and restaurants. Other rooms have even better views over Table Mountain and Alfred Basin.
Downstairs, guests can enjoy a delicious meal in the seaside Ginja restaurant. For breakfast, a smorgasbord of oysters, smoked salmon, cold meats and cheeses sits alongside platters of pastries and fresh fruit, while an a la carte menu features numerous cold and hot dishes including smoothie bowls and a choice of three frittata omelettes.
Particularly good are the ‘Specialty Breakfasts’ - which feature dishes like the ‘South African’ (think a full breakfast with sirloin steak) and the salty but sweet red pepper waffles - and the smoothies that prove too good to resist (and keep me going for hours).
After a big day out exploring Cape Town and its surrounds, patrons can then enjoy a drink at the small but smart cocktail bar, where there’s a wide variety of local gins and boutique beer paddles for under five dollars!
Or if you prefer to wind down a little differently, guests have access to a pool, gym and spa at the nearby sister property, Dock House Boutique Hotel.
Or you could do all of the above ...
What to do?
Check out Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 18 years. The Nelson Mandela Gateway, from which ferries to the island depart, is located a short walk from the hotel. Read about my trip to the prison.
Alternatively, visit Kirstenbosch Garden, a big and beautiful botanical park situated a short drive from downtown Cape Town.
If you have time, South Africa’s most renowned wine-producing region in the Western Cape is also less than an hour away. Stay tuned to read about my visit to the vineyards.
The writer was a guest of South African Tourism.
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