Cape Town is that most wonderful thing among African cities: a metropolis where the city centre is a vibrant, populated and – largely – safe place to spend your time. Unlike so many other cities on the continent, the centre of Cape Town is a place where people live, eat, drink, work and party.
So if you’d prefer to soak up the buzz of the city – rather than sea or winelands views – booking a room at the Taj is an altogether excellent idea.
The first Taj-branded property in Africa opened its doors in 2010 to reveal a hotel carved from two landmark buildings in the heart of the city. Formerly the headquarters of the South African Reserve Bank, the marble floors and grand chandeliers of the lobby hint at the old money that once flowed through here.
This split personality between rich past and revamped future is also reflected in the floors above. The Heritage Luxury rooms offer high ceilings, sash windows and a taste of old Cape grandeur, although the Taj influence from India is never far off. As part of the revamp 17 floors were added to the original buildings, and these modern ‘Tower Rooms’ offer a more predictable hotel experience perhaps better suited to business travellers making the most of the central location.
Regardless of which room you choose though, the location in the heart of Cape Town makes this hotel an excellent choice. St. George’s Cathedral, made famous by Desmond Tutu, lies just across the street, with the Parliament Buildings and historic Company’s Garden a few minutes’ walk away. Rooms on the upper floors offer wonderful mountain views to boot.
The on-site Jiva spa offers a range of Indian-inspired spa treatments – including authentic Ayurveda – while the ground floor the intimate Bombay Brasserie brings a sprinkle of fine dining glamour to ever-popular Indian cuisine.