Child-friendly luxury in Cape Town: A fabulous stay at the charming Cape Grace
Updated: Apr 8, 2019
Every year we head to Cape Town where we are faced with the same first world dilemma: which amazing hotel shall we choose to stay at. It’s not a difficult choice by any means, we are simply spoilt for choice with the many fabulous places. This time round, we wanted to demystify the astounding reputation of the famous Cape Grace.
The Cape Grace takes pride in being the oldest hotel on Cape Town’s beautiful Victoria & Alfred (V&A) waterfront and is part of the Leading Hotels of the World Group. At the V&A you will find a mall, tours to places such as Robben Island, cinemas, restaurants, museums and even the 12 Ocean's Aquarium. The Cape Grace sits on it's own quay between the V&A waterfront and the yacht marina, and is shouldered by Cape Town’s Table Mountain and Signal Hill. It is a 5 minute walk away from the afore mentioned amenities. We were greeted with THE warmest welcome as we arrived together with the most beautiful proteas (South Africa's national flowers) amidst the colonial style furniture, which were placed all around the reception area. Our delightful porter uttered ‘Welcome Home’, and as I found out later, the Cape Grace is geared towards creating your home away from home. The hotel takes pride in knowing it's guests and their needs which thus explained why the staff are incredibly friendly and knowledgable. They knew us by first name instantly. We didn’t need to wonder further why the hotel was a class above the rest when we were offered to have our WiFi registered on both mine and my husband’s surnames (instead of just one) - we have different surnames. It's these simple touches that give the Cape Grace the wondrous reputation it has.
We were taken to our room which was a Family Suite with a view of the magnificent mountains and harbour. Each floor of the Cape Grace has a different theme that is carried across in the lighting, furniture and artwork. Our room was decked in art work, hand painted linen capturing South African history, and furniture produced by local talent, all curated to tell a story. The Cape Grace collection is one of the most important and comprehensive public collections of furniture and artifacts owned by and displayed in a hotel in South Africa. The collection consists of more than 300 pieces of original antiques that were all made or used locally. I was so impressed to hear that this was part of the Cape Grace’s corporate social responsibility which also extended to supporting the Masizakwe Youth Art Project and SOS Village Africa (vulnerable children of SA), amongst others. The theme of the room (and the hotel) was focused on a blend of South Africa’s rich history from the settlement days merged with that of the Titanic. The rooms house fresh flowers, personally selected books, an amazing marble bathroom with a separate bath and shower, dressing area and walk in closet and mini bar, whilst the french doors of the bedroom opened onto a balcony overlooking the yacht marina. It oozed a feeling of pure luxury, surpassing all expectations.
Nothing could prepare me to find the most baby friendly suite we ever did see. It simply had everything: a steriliser, microwave, bottle brush, nappy bin, wet wipes, a high chair, liquid soap, even game consoles and toys, to name a few. There was literally everything you would have at home for a baby. Beyond this, Alexander has the most luxurious cot and was also given a towelling robe for the pool and one for the room. He also had a baby towel, slippers and even a cute little welcome toy! In the bathroom we found bath toys, a bath seat and bath divider too. I’ve never stayed anywhere that had this much consideration for a baby and were thoughtful enough to supply these much needed items. To top it off, there was the cutest little bear to hang on the door which said ‘Shh...the baby is sleeping.’ How amazing is that!
We dined at the Cape Grace’s flagship Signal restaurant on our first night. It offers creative Cape cuisine that’s fresh and inventive, drawing on influences from the many nationalities and customs that have shaped the Cape region; namely Dutch and British settlers, French Huguenots, Asian traders and African cultures. The menu is seasonal, with the tasting menu changing regularly which is not to be missed! Breakfast is also served at Signal Restaurant, with a lovely buffet spread featuring plenty of choices in addition to an à la carte menu for the hot dishes.Again the service was just impeccable, with personalised greetings from the staff and awareness of our dietary requirements (which we filled in when our stay was booked). The cutest high chair was supplied for Alexander and also child safe cutlery and crockery. The food was just amazing. We chose the aubergine salad, roast chicken and fish mains. Off course, it didn’t surprise us that the children’s menu was just amazing with so many options. Everything was just delicious and blew us away.
One of the highlights of our trip was the child friendly nature of the hotel. We enjoyed swims in shallow heated splash pool for kids whilst Alexander was supplied healthy fruit snacks and flavoured water. Further to this, I was so impressed to find that the Cape Grace hosted kid friendly activities such a ginger bread decorating and African story time at 6 pm everyday. Alexander thoroughly enjoyed this.
For us, there was much to do too with a library decked in national and international papers. The bar hosted a complimentary Cape Wine tasting experience daily, which we enjoyed immensely and complimentary sherry and port were also available in the library every evening. The hotel bar, designated ‘Bascule’, is a favourite among locals and guests. There are over 500 whiskies from around the world and an impressive selection of the finest Cape wines on offer.
I took advantage of the steam room at the spa and was so impressed with the lounge facilities, and international products and treatments offered, many of which are unique and exclusive to the Cape Grace. The spa hosts a wonderful terrace with spectacular Table Mountain views, where I relaxed after my steam room session. There is also allocated valet parking for guests and also complimentary chauffeur services which should be booked in advance.
There’s plenty to do at the Cape Grace and with the level of service offered to both adults and children, it truly is a home away from home. We can’t wait to return and really enjoyed every exquisite moment spent. It prides itself on being a family friendly hotel and truly is in every sense. I hope you enjoyed my review and you get to experience the luxurious offerings and service of this spectacular place soon!
Shanti | The Kensington Diary
DISCLAIMER: This is an honest review. Our stay at the Cape Grace was partially hosted. Bookings can be made at https://www.capegrace.com/
British Airways flies into Cape Town for £1500 per person in April in 11 hours 30 minutes.
The Cape Grace is located approximately 30 minutes drive from Cape Town international airport. Transfers can be arranged by the hotel, if required. Local taxis and UBER are also available
Rooms in the Cape Grace start from £400 per night. The room we were allocated is a luxury family suite. Bookings can be made at the Cape Grace directly.
Details: Telephone:+27 (21) 410 7100. Fax:+27 (21) 419 7622. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org