Simons Town Quayside Hotel and Conference Centre

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Jubilee Square, St George’s Street, Simon’s Town 7975, South Africa


Air Conditioning, Banquet Hall, Conference Room, In-room safe, Internet, Laundry Service, Minibar, Restaurant, Room Service, Satellite TV, Self-Serve Laundry, Wifi


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  1. Expert Review

    5.0 rating based on 1 rating
    Oct 2014 · Dana Sanchez

    Jubilee Square is the one landmark everyone knows in Simon's Town, and that's where I found the superbly located Simon's...

    Jubilee Square is the one landmark everyone knows in Simon’s Town, and that’s where I found the superbly located Simon’s Town Quayside Hotel and Conference Center.

    This harbor town is arguably the world’s most picturesque Naval base, a town brimming with quaint boutiques where small private guest houses and inns are common tourist accommodations. The 26-room Quayside is the largest hotel in Simon’s Town, according to front desk manager Tamryn Jeffrey.

    When I checked into my room, my jaw dropped at the postcard-perfect view of the harbor, the bay and Hottentots Holland mountains in the distance. I sat on my patio, basking in the South African light.

    Of the hotel’s 26 rooms, 21 have ocean views. The others have mountain and street views.

    My room decor had a nautical theme, and the bed was as comfortable as it looked. The hotel isn’t brand new — it could use some updating. But it has so many other things going for it — views, great service, great price and proximity to penguins — that the slightly dated feeling was not an issue for me.

    Named after two Naval vessels that are still in service, the hotel’s Drakensberg and Protea Conference Center can accommodate up to 50 people, and often, those people are Navy or defense personnel.

    “A lot of conferences want to be in Cape Town, but here, you’re out of the hustle and bustle of the central business district,” Jeffrey said. “You step out of the door of our conference room and you have a view second-to-none.”

    Shark dives are one of the hotel’s most requested attractions, especially in the winter months from April to September. “We have 200 different species of sharks,” Jeffrey said with pride.

    I was far more interested in seeing the town’s colony of penguins at Boulders Beach, less than a mile’s walk from the Quayside. The walk gave me a chance to check out Simon’s Town up close, and to get a feel for it’s history. Once a base for the Royal Navy, the town is now an epicenter for anti-piracy efforts, Jeffrey said.

    On my walk to Boulders Beach, I saw statues, art and souvenirs of Just Nuisance, the town’s canine mascot. This Great Dane was the only dog ever officially enlisted in the Royal Navy, and served between 1939 and 1944.

    I arrived at Boulders Beach in the late afternoon and was surprised to find myself outnumbered by penguins. They were singing. And all these years, I thought singing penguins were something dreamed up by Hollywood scriptwriters for the animated musical, “Happy Feet.” Well they actually sing in unison, and the song is mesmerizing. So I hung with the penguins for a while, and we checked each other out. More humans joined me on the beach, and the late afternoon light made the entire scene feel gilded and spellbound.

    On my way back to the hotel, reality set in. I saw several penguins wandering around in a parking lot, and one that looked like it was considering jumping down a drain.

    When I got back to my room, the staff had left a cookie on my pillow with a card showing what the temperature would be the next day.

    Quayside is owned by African Hotels, which was recently bought out by another hotel group, Three Cities. This brought the total number of hotels to 43 in the company, which is now owned by Johannesburg-based Tourvest. It is now part of South Africa’s second-largest hotel management group, Jeffery told me.

    About 60 percent of guests are there on vacation, including a lot of Americans, Brits and Germans. The rest are there on business.

    One of the most amazing things about my room at Quayside was the price — $91 a night. When I arrived for breakfast at the hotel’s Top Deck restaurant, staff were expecting me and knew my name. Breakfast was included with eggs made to order, any way you like, and more spectacular harbor views. Chef Sayi cooked me fried eggs and sausages.



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