Luxury Hotels

Cape Town’s luxury Table Bay Hotel

Joanne Selby

Just as Table Mountain, the natural protrusion, needs no introduction, neither does The Table Bay, the luxury hotel that dominates Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront (see a sunset view from the hotel, above). The whole Waterfront development, 123 ha in total, gets some 24 million visitors a year – it has contributed over $25 billion to South Africa’s economy in the last 15 years. The eight-floor Table Bay is slightly older: it was opened by Mandela in 1997 and Tricia Wilson’s designs have proved amazingly long-lasting (add to this the fact that GM Joanne Selby is obviously a maintenance minutiae addict as everything still looks brand new).

Hotel-sponsored Sexy Socks

The whole world knew about the city’s appalling water crisis 15 months ago. Here, at the hotel, she and her team managed to cut the hotel’s usual usage by 50%. Today, notices in elevators are a reminder how much water a bath-tub uses. She has replaced fabric napkins by stylish non-linen napkins that apparently are made out of bamboo. They seemed to do the job just fine, and I gather guests complain. Similarly, Joanne Selby says her hotel’s orchids have given way to not-so-thirsty proteas. Along the same lines of community conscience, too, if you buy a pair of hotel-labelled Sexy Socks then a pair is given to a needy child.

The lounge at tea time

Despite the fact that it is only a few minutes’ walk from the hotel’s rear entrance to dozens of restaurants and bars along Waterfront boardwalks, the hotel’s restaurants and lounges do well. II arrived when afternoon tea, in a lobby lounge with working fire, was in full swing: history buffs could look up high, to a trio of paintings of historic vessels by local artist Peter Bilas, from left to right, the São Gabriel, 1497; the Johanna, 1671, and the CSS Alabama, 1862. We dined, later, in the hotel’s intimate Camissa, ‘deep water’ restaurant – in my case I went for Keshan Rambarun’s seafood platter, which went splendidly with Beyerskloof Pinotage Reserve 2017 from Stellenbosch.

Scenic view at breakfast

Yes, although the hotel’s yellow and blue exterior does have a hint of such other boardwalk areas as Newport RI, there is a powerful sense of place here at this Cape Town hotel. See the video, below, of suite 834, which has several really large oils of the Drakensburgs and other scenes that could only be South Africa.  And at breakfast in the Atlantic Grill the buffets were set in front of yet more scenic views.  When I left, however, I had yet another view of Cape Town’s iconic logo, Table Mountain.