Tuesday, August 23, 2011

African Trip Review -- Westin Cape Town

We opted to stay the four nights in Cape Town at the Westin. This hotel was near the convention center-- which wasn't a selling factor for us, but the lucrative Starwood Points + Money option did. We paid $45 plus 4,000 points/night. I started Tweeting to the hotel and Starwood before we left and once we arrived we were upgraded to nice corner suite with a view of Table Mountain (partial view).

The room had a lovely large bathroom, a bedroom and a living room/office.  The real savor here was the separate rooms.  MS snores a bit, especially when he is exhausted.  I am a light sleeper, so coupling us together can make for a night (or nights) of limited sleep.  Unfortunately we did have to take turns sleeping in the living room area.  While we were upgraded to a suite, we weren't offered access to any Executive Lounge or a complimentary breakfast.  MS is also an elite Starwood guy -- still no Lounge or other amenities.

The location of the hotel was pretty good.  It was a very short walk to the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Waterfront, which sort of reminded me of Navy Pier in Chicago.  There were street performers, dozens of restaurants (of varying quality...everything we had there was far from Michelin rated, that's for sure).  Our hotel had a shuttle every 15 minutes to and from the V&A Waterfront - which was a nice little bonus.

The hotel had a nice lobby bar with a pretty nice port selection.  We really became fans of port as a nightcap after spending a couple weeks in Portugal in September 2010. It's nice being someplace where you actually have a choice of ports.

The hotel also had a EuroCar kiosk in the lobby.  I've never used EuroCar before, so I can't speak to the overall service at this company, but I can say the folks at this hotel were absolutely horrible.  We decided to rent a car for a day and drive down to the Cape of Good Hope. We reserved a car once we got there (Thursday) for rental on Saturday.  We then confirmed again on Friday and our car was set and ready to go -- we could pick it up anytime after 08h00.  We show up at 10h30 and we don't have a car, no reservation, nothing.  I walk away and let MS deal with this...after about 45 minutes we are given a car and we are off  to the Cape.

Cape Town has gone through a major change since hosting the World Cup in 2010 -- our guidebooks often had phases like "should open in 2010", "major renovations expected before Summer 2010".  We used the concierge quite frequently during our stay because of this.  Each of the concierges were quite knowledgeable and managed to get us reservations several times and at a moments notice.  I wouldn't hesitate to rely on these people for recommendations for a second.  Top notch service -- plus they all had pretty cute South African accents.

Would we stay here again -- for the price, I absolutely would stay hear again.  If we had to pay market rate (currently $250/night), I wouldn't rule it out.  It would be nice to try some place else in the City.

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