Where do I begin to tell you about our first trip to Cape Town. We arrived on time with Virgin Airways, the collection of our luggage was so swift by the time we had walked off the plane to the baggage carousel our luggage was already there! We had arranged to be collected by Tour d'Afrique who were there ready and waiting for us.
We had booked our flight and hotel through Natalie at Best @ Travel, who I can’t thank enough for making our holiday happen. We stayed at the Southern Sun Cullinan in Cape Town, our room was on the 15th floor and overlooked the Green Point Stadium/Signal Hill and the Bay beside V&A centre. This hotel is used by the cabin crew of Virgin, and I can see why. The hotel is full of character and charm, the staff are very helpful and friendly and can’t do enough to help you.
The hotel’s pool is small, which for us was great as we just wanted somewhere to ‘dip’ after a sunbathing session. This hotel is not for families with children under the age of 15 – it may cater for them, but the facilities are not child orientated. We were 2 adults and our 17yr old daughter. The food at the hotel is of very high standard and the buffet breakfasts, well where do we start….They have everything you could possibly think of and more! Every morning the food was hot, fresh and delightful. The bar snacks were also of high standard and not at the usual rip off hotel prices either, we choose bar snack to the main hotel restaurant as you could sit on tables around the pool, rather than just being indoors.
There is a regular shuttle which runs twice an hour to and from the V&A, for us it was free but this is dependent on who you book with, as some people who were staying here had to pay. We used this most of the time, although we did on the odd occasion walk to the V&A it was about a 15 min walk and was perfectly safe to do so and is well signed. A word of warning though it stops by a lovely shop called Resonance which will make you spend lots of money!! I won’t say anymore but do be sure to have a look inside
We were lucky enough to purchase tickets to see the first match ever to be played at Green Point Stadium, home to the World Cup – it was a fantastic experience and for this I thank Dilshaad at the local Tourist Information office, without her help I wouldn’t even of known about the game. We booked this over the email before we arrived and she could not have been more helpful.
We had prior to arriving booked a few tours, I did hours of research for this as there were so many comments and opinions…..but I am glad to say that I made the correct choice We booked 2 two day tours one which took us around Cape Town out to Cape Hope and the other Robben Island & Table Mountain Tour both of these were booked with Cape Convoy – Rob is your man and he is excellent!!! He knows his history and has lots of interesting things to tell you as he takes you along your route. They pick you up from your hotel and return you afterwards. Rob makes your day very enjoyable and he is also very helpful, I can justify this because we were scheduled to visit Table Mountain on the Thursday of our holiday, but sadly the mountain was closed due to high winds, so Rob arranged to meet us the next day to try again…..sadly the winds were still too strong and we could not go. Luckily on the morning of our last day there the sun was out the mountain was clear and the wind had dropped, so he rang us at 8:30 to say ‘get up the mountain it’s open’. Sadly, he was already pre-booked elsewhere which was understandable (he’s very popular) but he did refund us that part of our payment to go up Table – which was really nice of him I can’t recommend Cape Convoy enough, I was so worried about booking a tour before getting there so please if you have any concerns DON’T they are great! We look forward to seeing him again when we go back next year.
The other tour we did was a game reserve, I booked this direct with the game reserve INVERDOON Nr Ceres. This was a wild card in more way’s than one, as there weren’t really any reviews on it, but a few Cape Town Tripadvisor experts recommend them so off we went …..It was a great day, we were collected from our hotel and although it is a 2 ½ hour drive from Cape Town, do not let this put you off as once you get out of the city the scenery changes and opens up to all different kinds ranging from large open spaces to winelands to mountain ranges it all helped to make the day very special. The Game Reserve Tour was well managed and we got to see the animals promised the price included lunch which was of good quality and buffet style so you could help yourself all very nice. Our driver Willy took us back home a different way on the return trip and it was even more spectacular than the way up, we were driving along narrow roads with ravines below, again passing amazing scenery, he also pulled over a few times for us to get out and take photo’s although they will never do it justice.
The V&A centre is great, it boasts over 70 restaurants to eat at, and we did our best to try most of them!! From Harries Pancakes at the Clock Tower (who are sadly moving to Hout Bay in a few weeks) to Primi – This place was great and does the best food for me Another great place we frequented was Quay Four, these guys have a live band/singer who play a whole range of songs to suit all tastes and just adds to that special feeling of eating al fresco. And I mustn’t forget the haagen daz restaurant. We went to the Aquarium there which was nice and the restaurant has tables outside which overlooks the harbour and sea lions in the sea.
My advice to anyone going to Cape Town who wants to go up the mountain…If you haven’t pre-booked to do it, just go as soon as you can when you get there as the weather there is so unpredictable. Don’t’ get me wrong we never had a dull or wet day whilst there, but as the mountains are so high the cloud just rolls in over them it’s shut or as in our case the winds get up and it’s closed. I came so close to not going up it, I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through the worry I did haha.
Taxi’s are available in most places but you do not flag one down, you go to a taxi rank and make sure you get one with a yellow cab sign on it.
There isn’t much left to say other than we cannot recommend our holiday / Cape Town enough, we didn’t realize how much we’d love it and know we will be returning again next year but this time taking in Cape Town and the Garden Route………..
- Also Known As:
- Southern Sun The Cullinan Hotel Cape Town Central
- Southern Sun The Cullinan Hotel
- Southern Sun Cullinan
- Cullinan Hotel
- Cullinan Hotel Cape Town
- Southern Sun The Cullinan Cape Town, South Africa
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Only The Cullinan Hotel offers views of all of the Mother City’s main attractions: Table Mountain, the harbour and ocean, the V&A Waterfront and the city skyline. Marble pillars and floors and lush furnishings, transport guests into a world of luxury complete with individualized four-star services. A pool and gym offer the perfect way to relax after a day of business meetings or sightseeing and the choice of bars and restaurants is sure to meet everyone’s tastes. ... more less
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