Full moon night cycle through the bustling streets of Cape Town
The Strand Tower Hotel: four star accommodation for urbanites
Searching for the music of the traffic in the city?
Searching for the music of the traffic in the city?
I’ve lived in Cape Town for five years, but I’ve only truly woken up in the city once; the night I stayed at the Strand Tower Hotel.
“It just felt so cosmopolitan,” I told my colleague.
“Well, Cape Town is cosmopolitan,” she replied rather sharply.
Fair enough, but when you’ve banished yourself to the relatively squat residential area of the Atlantic Seaboard, a night of sleep in the heart of the city bowl is like giving caviar to someone who’s only eaten cardboard their whole life.
In short, it’s electric.
Hemmed in by two of the streets that make up the heartstrings of the CBD, the Strand Tower Hotel is a towering four-star accommodation fashioned from a former office building, and its rising glass and concrete walls carry the same heat and energy that pulse through the throughways of the Cape Town city centre.
Tastefully decorated and enlivened by the odd talking point – like the mammoth aluminium art piece attached to the building’s exterior created by renowned South African artist Paul du Toit and the Richard Scott artwork in the executive lounge, the hotel creates a stylish, but not overbearing setting that complements the clean, comfortable rooms and facilities on offer.
And whether the quirky incorporation of design was in fact a planned nod to Cape Town’s bid for World Design Capital in 2014, or whether the owner just has good taste, the public spaces hold their own. Not to mention, small touches, like a pianist playing Elton John alongside the proverbial buffet-style breakfast, infuse the atmosphere with the same spark that I felt when I threw back my eleventh floor curtains for a sunrise salute to Table Mountain and the Mother City rising up below.
I even had the pleasure of overnighting on a Thursday, the evening when the up and coming band ShenFM serenades pool-deck patrons between 6pm and 9pm; complimentary snacks come round and cocktails, wines and beers are within easy reach – the hotel’s bar is just adjacent.
So, while sea views or a leafy suburb may picque the interest of some, those searching for the music of the traffic in the city and the excitement of the neon lights that go with it, can rest easy at the Strand Tower Hotel – Cape Town city centre accommodation for the true urbanite.
With 242 en-suite rooms (king size or twin beds), but no more than 18 rooms per floor, the Strand Tower Hotel can accommodate large groups, while still serving individual guests. Each room affords visitors sweeping views of Table Mountain, the Waterfront and harbour, or the city itself; with more than half of the rooms boasting enormous corner windows that entitle guests to vistas from multiple angles.
For those looking for a little something extra, the deluxe room types come complete with free Wi-Fi, a separate shower and bath in bathrooms, bath robes and access to the Executive Lounge. Deluxe rooms are also located on the highest floors of the hotel, offering an even more extensive panorama than the standard fare.
Family rooms don’t have a separate bath and shower, but can accommodate two adults and two children, or three adults sharing with the addition of a sleeper couch.
All rooms come equipped with basic amenities: Wi-Fi, individual air-conditioning, tea/coffee making facilities, bathroom with bath, shower and toilet, direct dial phones, a safety deposit box, hair dryers, DStv satellite programming and 24-hour room service; as well as a few noteworthy extras: a 32-inch flat-screen TV, a media jack that connects to the TV, allowing guests to play an iPod, video camera, photo camera and laptop through the TV, a laundry service upon request and a mini-bar.
Guests take all their meals buffest-style in a spacious, open-plan dining room; where warm and smiling waitrons buzz around the normally busy eating area offering table service for drinks. A pianist helps wake early morning breakfast-goers with a melody easy on the stomach and the mind.
Aside from the typical South African cuisine, eclectic Asian dishes – think Chinese noodles for breakfast and stir-fry for dinner – are a normal feature on the buffet. Not to mention, a live cooking station manned by experienced chefs dishes up everything from scramblies just after dawn to grilled prawns in the evenings.
For those who prefer al fresco dining, there’s seating on the pool deck, an area that transforms from a low-key dining destination during the day to a lively cocktail venue on warm evenings. As mentioned, on Thursdays the hotel sponsors music and complimentary munchies from 6pm to 9pm.
With six conference rooms the hotel is equipped to host both large and small conferences. Two of the facilities can accommodate between 100 and 200 people, while the four smaller rooms are ideal for forty people. Furthermore, an on-site conference coordinator and on-site equipment essentials make planning easy; additional equipment is available upon request.
Not to mention, a well-appointed executive lounge – office technology exists alongside complimentary snacks and a butler service – makes for a convenient work environment outside the push and pull of the daily grind.
Set on the corner of the Strand and Loop Street intersection in the Cape Town CBD, the hotel lures tourists as easily as it does business travellers due to its fantastic location.
Mere steps away from Cape Town’s main nightlife artery, Long Street, and only five to ten minutes drive from Cape Town’s stunning beaches, the Cape Town Stadium and the V&A Waterfront, this city centre accommodation provides a convenient jumping off point from which to explore the Mother City.
Alternatively, the hotel’s placement only a short distance from the Cape Town International Convention Centre and its close proximity to some key South African corporate headquarters is ideal for business travellers attending meetings, seminars or workshops off-site.
Lastly, public transport to go from point A to point B is readily accessible nearby. The MyCiti bus service has a route just outside the accommodation, and the Hop-on, hop-off city sightseeing bus has two stops both within a five minute walk of the hotel.
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