Galileo Picnic Thursdays are held in Cape Town’s most popular botanical garden
Hyatt Regency: the new hotel at the heart of Cape Town’s Bo-Kaap
It’s close to the city centre, the Waterfront, plus it has a Starbucks
The newly opened Hyatt Regency Cape Town in the CBD has everything in its favour: a central and historic location (in the Bo-Kaap district), restaurants with innovative menus (and the kitchens are halaal), personable and professional staff, a sophisticated look, and its own unique attraction: a Starbucks outlet – the only one in the centre of the city.
Management also has a holistic attitude. “You cannot function in the community around you if you are not part of the community around you,” says General Manager Asif Raza.
HYATT AT THE HEART OF THIS HERITAGE ATTRACTION
The Hyatt is set at the corner of Buitengracht and Wale streets, right at the heart of one of Cape Town’s most memorable and photogenic areas, the Bo-Kaap. It’s steep cobbled streets are lined with the colourful houses that have become recognisable the world over, spice shops and various vendors of the community’s unique cuisine. Guests have only to step out the revolving door to tap into all this richness.
However, as much as a hotel is about bringing tourists into an area, it’s also about contributing to the wealth and health of its community. Raza says one of the hotel’s goals is to draw in locals, particularly from the immediate vicinity. The Bo-Kaap is a predominantly Muslim community, he says (Raza, too, is Muslim), and out of respect for tradition, the Hyatt kitchens are all halaal, and no alcohol is served on the ground floor, only on the mezzanine levels and in the rooms above.
TOP CHEF IS BEHIND 126 CAPE RESTAURANT
126 Cape Kitchen & Café, on the ground floor, is the main drawcard. It is sleek and classic in design, with tones of warm wood, gold and white. The chef behind the menu is Keith Frisley, formerly of the Four Seasons Westcliff in Johannesburg and also a member of the South African national cheffing team. The restaurant serves some of the most inventive salads to be had in the city, like the local burrata with heirloom tomato, roasted stone fruit, basil pesto, macadamia nuts and sage, a delicious mix of piquant flavours balanced with cool rich creamy cheese (locally sourced). There’s also a pickled cauliflower salad with apple, walnuts, chicory, curry leaf and turmeric and ginger, deliciously crunchy and sweet and tart on the tongue – plus it’s healthy.
THE BO-KAAP HAS MALAY ROOTS, EVIDENT IN THE FOOD
In keeping with the location, Malay cuisine is a strong influence on the Hyatt Regency’s menus. 126 Cape serves a Malay lamb curry and a local “vis” bredie, delicious masala-spiced line fish with crushed potato, curry leaf, spicy tomato chutney, basmati rice and pickled lemon. Even the gourmet burgers (beef and vegan) are noteworthy, and the 24-hour braised beef rib. Unlike many restaurants, there are many exceptional vegetarian options to choose from. Our must-try? It’s a side dish: the truffle fries are to die for.
POP IN AND PICK UP A QUICK SNACK OR BREAKFAST
The Market Place is a deli-style take-away café where guests, and locals, can pick up a quick, fresh breakfast or lunch snack of locally sourced produce. Plus the lobby has the only Starbucks in the centre of the city (there’s another at the V&A Waterfront), and what’s convenient is that, Raza says, customers can pull up in the slipway, grab their fix and slip back into the stream of traffic without delay.
IT’S CLOSE TO THE CITY CENTRE & THE V&A WATERFRONT
One of the biggest advantages of booking in at the Hyatt Regency is its location: you can walk wherever you want within the city without raising a sweat. It is literally about three minutes walk to Bree Street, home to some of the city’s best restaurants, or Long, Kloof and Loop streets, full of excellent galleries and shops and cafés. Even the De Waterkant area, packed with restaurants, bars and shops, is less than 10 minutes walk away. The V&A Waterfront is a 10-minute drive away (book an Uber). Of course, step out the front door and you’re right in one of the most culturally rich areas of the city.
But no need to feel pressure to go out. You can also simply relax and swim in the slice of blue pool on the pool deck, and order refreshments and light snacks and enjoy the sun with a view of Lion’s Head above you.
THE HOTEL IS CHIC, EASY AND WELCOMING
”We care for people so they can be their best.” This statement is at the heart of the Hyatt brand, says Raza. It’s also what informed the look of the Hyatt Regency Cape Town, which is chic and welcoming. The lobby is double volume with a modern, sophisticated atmosphere balanced with warm homely touches, like the lounge-style area with a plush carpet, rust-coloured velvet pouffes and a library of books. Sit there, and it feels like you’re in someone’s stylish, interesting home. The staff add to that feeling, with a relaxed and personable style that makes one feel at ease.
The Regency Club Lounge is another unique element of Hyatt hotels. It’s especially geared to people travelling for work. It follows the concept of the best of airport business lounges, with comfortable sofas and secluded workstations where guests can connect. There’s also a boardroom, and snacks and beverages available day and night, plus canapés and drinks for those guests staying in club rooms and the suites.
BOOK A ROOM AT 20% DISCOUNT
The rooms at the Hyatt Regency are divided into rooms and suites. Suites are grand, one is 120m2, another 70m2, also decorated in the same tones and quality finishes, and with spectacular views of the city. Both have access to the Regency Club Lounge with its many perks, exclusively geared for business guests.
King and twin rooms are smaller, but still spacious enough for a comfy couch and writing table, and of course an enormous bed with quality linen. All are dressed in muted, stylish, peaceful tones of blues, greens, warm creams and light browns and greys. All also have access to pretty views and are fitted with huge TV screens.
FOR FURTHER READING:
The Bo-Kaap is one of the most historic areas in Cape Town. You can take walking tours of it and the city.
If you’ve got an evening free, the world-renowned V&A Waterfront is close by.
The Cape is South Africa’s most prolific wine region. Here are just some wine experiences worth trying.
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